This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest BMW 3-Series Compact (01-04) review.

Parkers overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 2.5

Compact only got a choice of two engines: the 316i and 318 ti. That means no diesel. Both engines work well with Compact's smaller body. To make things more complicated, both the 316 and 318 were powered by a 1.9 engine from 1999. The 316 had 105 bhp, while the 318 got 140 bhp.

Suspension is borrowed from the previous-generation 3-Series, so the ride is not as sophisticated as the saloon, Touring, coupe and convertible. However, it's still good to drive, with a chassis that demands to be driven hard (although you still need to watch it in the wet). Ride is fine for the motorway.