The BMW 3-Series is one of the most popular cars on the road today. Building on a long tradition of excellent mile-munchers, the saloon is the go-to choice of those looking to be able to travel long distances in comfort. Regularly seen up and down stretches of the UK’s motorway, the 3-Series is the choice of business drivers too. However, with the range even broader than ever, we’ve put together three of the best to choose from.
The smart choice for saving money – 3-Series SE
The SE is the base spec 3-Series, though this doesn’t mean that you’ll be wanting for extras. As standard, the SE features 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control. On top of this, there’s LED driving lights, a multi function steering wheel and satellite navigation.
On the outside there’s matte black exterior trim along with high gloss black door sill finishers.
The engine that we’d go for is the 316d, as this offers the best setup for those looking to save money. Low emissions of 109g/km CO2 means that tax will be low, while a consumption figure of 68.9 will mean fewer trips to the pump.
The base model will come with a manual gearbox, though an excellent automatic can also be specified. The SE retails from a base price of £27,435.
The smart choice for value – 3-Series ED Sport
The ED Sport trim builds on the SE buy offering further luxuries to make the entire 3-Series experience that little bit more special. It adds Dakota leather upholstery, along with sill finishers with the BMW logo put on top.
There’s also high gloss interior panels, a sport multi-function steering wheel with red stitching and sport front seats.
Adding to the sporty theme, there’s a sport instrument cluster with red highlights and a chronometer scale.
The ED Sport also features 17-inch double-spoke style alloy wheels and active air flaps mounted within the kidney grille to provide even great aerodynamics.
The engine we’d go for is the 320d, which offers more power than the 316d, but still maintains excellent economy at just under 68mpg. There is a price increase of course for the extra economy, with the 320d ED Sport retailing at £30,985.
The best choice for technophiles – 3-Series M Sport
Button pressers should look no further than the 3-Series M Sport. On the outside, this trim incorporates 18-inch M Star alloy wheels, high gloss exterior trims, LED fog lights for both front and rear and a full aerodynamic kit. The changes aren’t only skin deep though, as the spec also adds M Sport suspension which creates a keener and more sporting drive.
Inside, there’s aluminium used on the major panels in the car, and there’s ambient lighting inside too – with drivers able to change the colour between white and orange. There’s even a button inside that changes the driving mode of the car, switching between ECO PRO, Comfort, Sport and Sport +. These change the characteristics of the car, and can be used when the driver wants to tailor the behaviour of the car in relevance to the road that they are on.
The engine we’d go for would be the 330d, which is one of BMW’s quickest diesel powerplants. It’s capable of reaching 62mph in just 5.6 seconds, but can also see 56.5mpg returned.
For this level of luxury and performance there’s a significant price hike though – with the 330d M Sport coming in at a hefty £37,415 before extras.