What Car? says...
Since 1975, the BMW 3 Series has been a well-built, sporty, rear-wheel-drive saloon – and that basic mould remains very much intact for this seventh-generation model.
However, that doesn’t mean it isn't a thoroughly modern machine. These days, you also have the option of four-wheel drive (xDrive in BMW speak), along with a strong range of petrol and diesel engines to suit most tastes and budgets. There's even a plug-in hybrid version, which can power itself on pure battery power for around 25-30 miles.
That's before you factor in all the infotainment goodies that either come as standard or adorn the options list, and the long list of safety equipment that makes the 3 Series one of the most well-protected cars on the road.
But the big questions hanging over the 3 Series are: is it a better all-rounder that its two chief executive adversaries, the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class? And is it still the saloon of choice if you're looking for something genuinely fun to drive, or would you be better off with an Alfa Romeo Giulia or Jaguar XE?
We'll answer both of those questions over the next few pages. And if you decide you want to buy a BMW 3 Series, or indeed any other new car, find out how much money we could save you on the brochure price by checking out our latest deals.