19 BMW 3 Series: Great package, if a little too mature

There are plenty of competitors but still this sporty saloon delivers the goods with aplomb

The BMW 3 Series’ handsome maturity makes it the George Clooney of motors

The BMW 3 Series’ handsome maturity makes it the George Clooney of motors

 

It may be a perennial in terms of its appeal but the BMW 3 Series is starting to sprout a few grey hairs these days. Now, admittedly, these are effortlessly handsome, George Clooney-style grey hairs, but they are grey nonetheless. For four decades, the mid-size BMW has been the unquestioned king of the sports saloon sector but, Game Of Thrones-style, there are now crowding competitors all putting forward claims. Whether it’s the Audi A4, Mercedes C-Class, the Jaguar XE or the Lexus IS300h, all can make verifiable cases for being better than the 3 in one area or another. Few manage to get things quite so right as the 3 in one package though . . . OK, so its core-model 2.0-litre 320d diesel is too noisy now, especially by Audi standards, and unless you spend an utter fortune on the options list, the cabin is well behind C-Class and IS standards, but the 3 remains good looking, great to drive, practical, frugal and well built. Mega-fast M3 is a ragged-edged hoot, part-electric 330e might just be the best all-rounder now.

Price range: €36,570 to €105,360

CO2 emissions: 44 to 204g/km

Which one? 330e Luxury

PCP from €POA