Though buyers might be choosing more SUVs than ever these days, saloons and estate cars continue to be popular, too – as BMW’s 3 Series shows.
This executive model, which competes with the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class, continues to outsell rivals in its class, and impress with its high-quality interior and class-leading driving experience.
It’s also available with a wide choice of trims and powertrains to choose from. So if you’re considering a BMW 3 Series, here’s what you need to know…
What powertrains are available?
With the 3 Series available as a petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid, it offers something to most buyers.
Let’s kick off with petrol, with buyers able to choose from a 318i, 320i, 330i and flagship M340i. The first three engines use a turbocharged 2.0-litre unit, and deliver outputs of 154bhp, 181bhp and 254bhp respectively. Even the 318i can manage 0-60mph in 8.2 seconds, too.
The 368bhp 3.0-litre M340i is the quickest 3 Series on offer outside of the M3, with its 369bhp 3.0-litre petrol engine able to propel the model from 0-60mph in just 4.2 seconds.
High-mileage drivers will be best off with a diesel, and again there’s plenty of choice – including the 318d, 320d, 330d and M340d. The first three are 2.0-litre options, with power outputs of 148bhp, 187bhp and 282bhp respectively, while the M340d delivers 335bhp from its punchy 3.0-litre unit. All but the 318d are also mild-hybrids, and are especially efficient, returning up to 60mpg.
Then there’s the 330e plug-in hybrid, which combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined 288bhp. It can reach 0-60mph in under six seconds, and can also travel for up to 37 miles on electricity. With low CO2 emissions of 30g/km, it also means it slots into a low company car tax bracket (10 per cent) that makes it a seriously appealing option for business users.
What trim levels are offered?
Just like with engines, there’s a seriously extensive range of trim levels on offer, with equipment highlights and prices as follows.
SE Pro – from £32,590
Despite being the entry-level model, the SE Pro still gets plenty of standard equipment, including adaptive LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. Inside, it also features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and voice recognition.
Sport Pro – from £40,290 (only available in higher-spec engines)
Sport Pro adds more attractive 18-inch alloy wheels, along with additional gloss black cues, heated front seats and leather upholstery.
M Sport – from £34,340
Popular M Sport versions bring sporty looks thanks to a revised bodykit, new 18-inch alloy wheels, though also come with sports suspension and variable sports steering.
M Sport Pro Edition – from £44,640
This Edition adds enhanced gloss black styling elements, metallic paint, black 19-inch alloy wheels and tinted windows. It also features an upgraded sports braking system and adaptive suspension.
M340i/M340d – from £50,545
At the top of the range, the M340i and M340d are signalled out by their Cerium Grey styling details, red brake callipers and 19-inch alloy wheels. It also features a black headlining, an M Sport differential and upgraded sound system.
What about personalisation?
BMW is a brand that offers drivers plenty of choice, and aside from the range of trims and engines, there’s also scope for a unique specification. A good range of colours are available, including bright options like Portimao Blue and Sunset Orange (both metallic), while a great range of interior leather options can be chosen, such as brown, cream and a stylish red and black upholstery.
A long range of traditional options are also available, and though you might want to be selective with what you pick, options like a head-up display, heated steering wheel and keyless entry are particularly appealing.Enquire on a new BMW 3 Series