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In-depth reviews

BMW 3-series – interior and tech

Typically excellent BMW interior backed with the very latest infotainment technology to match, or beat, the best rivals can offer

Evo rating
Price
from £40,205
  • Chassis balance, punchy powertrains, interior quality and tech
  • Lifeless steering, harsh M Sport suspension

While there was nothing wrong with it when it made its debut in 2012, the previous F30 generation of 3-series began to lag behind its rivals when it came to interior design and technology. Thankfully, all that changed with the latest G20 model, mainly thanks to its CLAR architecture that also underpins both the more premium 5- and 7-series.

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The 3-series is now roomier inside than before, with BMW claiming an additional 11mm of rear leg room along with improved headroom for all passengers. All models now receive leather upholstery in 2024, with M Sport models featuring sports seats with a greater level of adjustment. The quality of materials is first rate and fit and finish is excellent, too.

BMW is making much of its ‘Intelligent Personal Assistant’ which is standard in all models and allows you to interact with the car in a similar way to Alexa or Siri by uttering the phrase ‘Hey BMW’. It is designed to learn your voice and habits with the idea that the more you use it the more intuitive the system will become. For those that like voice control it’ll no doubt be a boon, but for Luddites it’ll probably go unused for long periods of time. Apple Car Play is standard across the range.

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> BMW M3 (F80) – the car world's greatest misses

New for the facelift is a standard curved dual display unit spanning almost the entire width of the dash, measuring 12.3-inches and 14.9-inches for the dash and infotainment portions respectively. The system is one of the quickest, sharpest and most intuitive of any on the market, offering plenty of handy tools and entertainment features right from the bottom of the range. 

The majority of the climate functions are now touch controlled through this display, but given the speed at which it operates, this is far less of an issue in the 3-series than most cars. There's also a satisfying rotary dial and a selection of buttons on the centre console for some level of haptic feedback, with the steering wheel retaining real, tactile buttons for the likes of cruise control, volume control and navigation of the various functions within the digital dashboard. 

Overall, the 3-series’ cabin is a very pleasant place to be, with excellent build quality, technology and ergonomics. There’s a host of standard equipment too, and if you'd like even more, there's plenty of extra kit to opt for – the Comfort Plus Package adds the likes of an electric bottled, electric front seats, a heated steering wheel and comfort access to the entry-level Sport for £2205, with uprated speakers, different interior trims and seat coverings also available for a cost throughout the range.

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