BMW 3 Series: Imperial Car Of The Month - Full Video Review
We review one of our best selling used cars - the BMW 3 Series. Since its release in 2005 the E90 BMW 3 series has been setting the standard for executive cars, in terms of both refinement and efficiency. One of the most popular saloons on the road, the 3 Series is an excellent used buy due to impressive residuals and a massive range of specifications.
Throughout the range, buyers can expect sharp handling, minimal road noise and a standard of refinement that would be at home in a car costing many thousands more. The entry-level ES trim features Air conditioning, multi-function steering wheel and alloy wheels. The SE adds digital climate control, anti-glare rear view mirror, larger 17 inch alloys and scope to add many extras from BMWs tempting options list. The most aesthetically pleasing M-Sport trim boasts sports seats, M steering wheel, M Sport suspension and the stylish M Sport bumpers and side skirts. These goodies provide the M Sport 3 series with more road presence and an aggressive stance.
For the more eco-conscious among us, 2010 saw BMW offer the brilliant EfficientDynamics model. With innovative technology such as Brake Energy Regeneration, Active Aerodynamics and Automatic Start/Stop it manages to return a huge 68.9 MPG on the combined cycle and costs a tiny £20 per year to tax. Unlike many eco-cars on the market the EfficientDynamics 3 series retains its good looks and high specifications, no wheel trims here!
The interior of the 3 Series is as expected, ergonomic and gadget-packed. Easily adjustable seats and steering column means that any driver can get comfortable very quickly. Leather upholstery and Satellite Navigation with BMW’s iDrive system are available as options throughout the range.
On the road, the 3 series comes into its own, it isn’t called the ultimate driving machine for nothing! Huge amounts of grip, a firm but comfortable ride and pretty good visibility are what to expect.
When it comes to choosing what you want to power the 3 Series you are faced with one of the most comprehensive and versatile engine ranges on the market. For those who prefer diesels there are three 2 litre 4-cylinder engines of varying performance to choose from and three 3 litre 6-cylinders with the phenomenal 335d at the top end. There is a similar selection of petrol engines on offer, two 2-litre 4-cylinder engines and the iconic 3-litre straight six engine of which there are three variations ending with the awesome twin-turbo 335i. The 2 litre diesel engine is our favourite, offering strong performance (116 to 184 BHP) and unrivalled efficiency in its class – all returning over 58 MPG combined.
In conclusion, we think the BMW 3 series is one of the best cars on the road today, offering unbeatable build quality and refinement alongside strong desirability and versatility. One of the only issues –albeit minor- you may come across is that there could be more room in the back for the taller folk among us. Though rear-wheel drive is a quintessentially BMW feature, it may not fair the best in our snowy winters – still we wouldn’t have it any other way!