The bmw 3 series has a choice of six engines; the 2.0 litre petrol and diesel engines having recently been updated now deliver significant improvements in performance and economy. With a sportier reputation than most of its rivals the 3 Series has a lot to live up to, it doesn’t disappoint, BMW has tuned the chassis to make the 3 Series even more responsive and to improve driver feedback. Apart from the 316i, which is underpowered, all of the BMW engines excel; the six cylinder engines are silky smooth and the diesels are awesome, in particular the 330d. On the flipside of the BMW’s sportier pedigree is a firmer suspension, resulting in a slightly harder ride than its rivals. The BMW 3 Series has an excellent driving position with two-way adjustable steering and height adjustable seats, which provide good support. The gear change can be a little harsh at low speeds. The steering wheel mounted SMG sequential semi-automatic transmission is also worthy of consideration. As you would expect the cabin is well laid out with controls logically placed and within reach.
BMW clearly acknowledged criticisms over passenger space in the previous 3 Series and although not a class leader, the new car easily accommodates four adults with good legroom in the rear. However, a raised central cushion in the rear will make for an uncomfortable journey for a fifth passenger. The new 3 Series has a slightly harder ride than its predecessor. Wind and road noise are very low and engine noise from the diesels is minimal, even at motorway speeds, the six cylinder petrol engines give out a muscular note when pressed.
Boot space in the new 3 Series is reasonable if a little inflexible; the rear seats do not fold or split. The glove box is a reasonable size and there are plenty of additional storage spaces in the cabin.
In contrast with previous 3 Series even basic models are now reasonably equipped with air conditioning, electric windows, driver, passenger, head and side impact airbags all as standard. The stereo provides a good sound quality and satellite navigation can either be delivered through the stereo display or via a separate LCD panel integrated into the dashboard; the display also doubles up as a TV screen when the car is parked.
Safety & Security
Driver, passenger, head and side-impact airbags with crash sensitive inflation rates are standard on all BMW 3 Series. Also standard are anti-lock brakes traction control and Dynamic Skid Control (DSC).
Quality & Reliability
The BMW 3 Series has a well-earned reputation for durability; hard-wearing engines and the use of high-quality materials in the interior make these cars resilient to daily wear and tear.
The BMW 3 Series has class leading running costs due to low depreciation; expect to recover around 60% after 3 years, and low servicing costs. Servicing intervals vary depending on how the car is driven; maximum intervals are at 15000 miles.
Review ©2010 New-car-reviews.co.uk
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