FORTY years. That’s how long the BMW 3 Series has been here in the UK, and after all that time BMW still manage to find ways to improve it.
The 3 Series isn’t necessarily the best car in the world. It’s not the best looking. It’s not the cheapest. It’s not the fastest. It’s not the most spacious. It’s not the best handling. Taken in isolation each one of those characteristics could be bettered by something else.
But combine all those attributes into a single package and nothing else is quite like a BMW 3 Series. That’s the secret to the ongoing success it enjoys.
Now the latest models are available to lease and they have received a few updates to the standard specification, as well as a few new options.
BMW 6.5-inch Navigation System with live tiles, LED headlights, fog lights and Servotronic steering are now standard on every 3 Series. You can also choose from new wheel options and exterior colours including Sunset Orange. There is also a rather impressive looking Digital Cockpit with BMW Touch Control that could make it worth delving into the options list for your next lease car.
The new BMW 3 Series retains the characteristic coupe-like silhouette that you would expect - unless it’s an estate - with the remodelled front bumper and apron emphasising the wide stance of the car. The new LED headlights use adaptive technology to automatically adjust to the driving conditions, including LED cornering lights that anticipate bends by turning before the car for optimal lighting on twisty roads. The LED foglights help to reinforce the sporty look.
The interior of the latest 3 Series is still built around the driver-oriented cockpit but it’s finished with chrome and high gloss touches for an elegant feel passengers can enjoy. There is actually a choice of finishes including ash black wood and high gloss, and a range of materials and stitching options for the upholstery and interior trim. Plenty to choose from to personalise your BMW.
Regardless of trim options the main decision to be made when choosing a 3 Series is which model to go for. The Saloon is usually the most popular but you could also opt for the Touring or GT variants. The Touring range – the estate model - increases the practicality of the car with a much larger load area while the GT adds the flexibility of a hatchback.
Once that decision is made you can then choose an engine. If you take the time to search the BMW website you will find this quite a bewildering exercise. The number of possible combinations is staggering.
There is the usual choice of either diesel or petrol. Petrol engines range from the three cylinder, 1.5-litre petrol found in the entry level 318i to the six cylinder, 3.0-litre of the range topping 340i. Diesel options start with the four cylinder, 2.0-litre in the 316d to the six cylinder 3.0-litre in the 335d.
Factor in the options for two or four wheel drive and the manual or automatic transmission and the combinations are far to numerous to list here. Unless you have a spare couple of weeks to read through them all that is.
Traditionally a BMW should have a straight-six engine and rear wheel drive but given the sheer range available today it seems BMW have decided that was far to restrictive. Purists may argue that that’s still how a BMW should be configured but quite frankly you should ignore them and choose the one that suits your own purposes.
What’s more important is that the BMW 3 Series range contains a mix of power and economy that should mean there is a car for everybody.
If you choose a diesel you can expect economy figures to start from around 70mpg and 99g/km. Petrol starts around 52mpg and 120g/km. Either way you’ll be able to configure your ideal 3 Series regardless of whether you place economy over performance or vice versa.
If economy is your main concern it may be worth considering the 330e iPerformance Saloon. This is a plug-in hybrid that can deliver an electric only range of up to 25 miles and a combined fuel consumption of up to 148mpg. CO2 emissions are also significantly reduced with an impressive 44g/km.
Driving a car that’s as well balanced as a BMW does allow you to make the most of twisty roads. Rear wheel drive and a powerful engine is an excuse for most people to channel their inner racing driver, but the economy figures give a whole range of drivers another reason to consider the new 3 Series.
As much as we would love to give you all the details there really are too many options, too many variables, to make a definitive list without breaking the internet. We’re very sorry about that but it’s not our fault, blame BMW.
By way of compensation you can always give us a call with your requirements and we’ll help you configure your perfect BMW 3 Series. We promise it won’t take as long as you think.
Alternatively, you can browse our current BMW 3-Series offers on our website: Latest BMW 3-Series offers .
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