When you pause to consider that one product line - the 3 Series saloon - accounts for fully a quarter of BMW's global sales, you begin to appreciate quite how much there is riding on this car. Pricing starts at around £34,000 for the 320d diesel - with a premium of around £2,800 more for the xDrive system. You'll need a budget of around £38,000 for the 330i petrol model. For that though, you now get quite a lot, with even base 'SE' trim now featuring kit like Extended LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED front fog lights, interior Ambient Lighting with up to 11 colour settings, a reversing camera, three-zone air conditioning and enhanced acoustic glazing. All 3 Series models benefit from 40:20:40 split folding rear seats and folding rear headrests as standard. The entry model features a leather Sport steering wheel and BMW Live Cockpit plus, with its 8.8-inch central instrument cluster.
There's a slightly more dynamic-looking mid-range 'Sport' model but if budget permits, you'll probably want to stretch up to top 'M Sport' trim. This gives you a body kit, sports seats, an M leather steering wheel and the new 'BMW Live Cockpit Professional' dash package, which gives you a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.3-inch central instrument cluster and BMWs brand new ID7 operating system.