In-depth reviews

BMW 3-series review – design

The 3-series majors on refinement and cutting-edge technology but still offers a rewarding, if not overly sporting, drive

Evo rating
Price
from £32,565
  • Chassis balance, punchy engines, interior quality
  • Lifeless steering, M Sport suspension too hard

While several recent BMW models have been lambasted for the size of their kidney grilles there’s a definite case of BMW playing it safe with the 3-series – being too experimental with its best-selling model clearly being seen as a bad thing. It’s instantly recognisable as a BMW and while its proportions generally ape those of the 5-series there is some slightly fussy detailing, particularly around the front grilles where there seems to be too much going on.

Despite this it’s a relatively cohesive design and BMW is very pleased with its aerodynamic efficiency, being significantly slipperier than the model it replaces, partly down to a very flat floor.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

The trademark BMW round headlights are still in evidence although they’re now somewhat more squared off than they used to be, but they do light the road well as adaptive LEDs are standard across the range.

As with many generations of 3 Series it could be argued the Touring version, due to go on sale in the UK later this year, is the sleekest-looking model with a slightly more convincing profile and rear-end treatment.

Most Popular

Is this a new Porsche 911 Safari?
Porsche 911 coupe

Is this a new Porsche 911 Safari?

Tall ride height and wheelarch extensions suggest a surprise 911 derivative could be coming
22 Oct 2020
205mph Brabus Rocket 900 revealed – a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S turned to 888bhp
Mercedes

205mph Brabus Rocket 900 revealed – a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S turned to 888bhp

The Brabus Rocket is back for 2020, and this time it takes the form of a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S with extras
23 Oct 2020
Hyundai i20 N revealed – 200bhp supermini ready for some Ford Fiesta ST baiting
Hyundai i20 hatchback

Hyundai i20 N revealed – 200bhp supermini ready for some Ford Fiesta ST baiting

Long-awaited second N division model set to shake up the junior hot hatch establishment
20 Oct 2020
Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot
Alpine

Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot

Heated-up Renaults but no A110 replacement for Alpine as it follows in Cupra and Abarth footsteps
21 Oct 2020