Image, smooth six cylinder engines, great to drive
Not much standard equipment, limited rear legroom, less exclusive than some rivals
Although technically only a three door version of the saloon, BMW decided to market it as something posher and hike the price up. And they were pretty successful with it, because choosing a 3-Series is more about style and status so people tended not to miss the practicality of extra doors. It's not a car to disappoint in any key areas, and its desirable image is holding up well despite being replaced.
It's a real driving machine that's still in demand, so prices remain high, but you would probably be better served with a saloon.