This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest BMW 3-Series Touring review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

You always feel in full control of the 3-Series, with an excellent driving position, rake and reach adjustment for the steering wheel, clear instruments and superbly comfortable seats. Buyers specifying the satellite navigation option get BMW's iDrive system, which is slicker and more intuitive to use on facelifted models. The multi-function steering wheel controls cost £120, although they are standard on SE models.

Accommodating yet supportive seats contribute to excellent comfort for all occupants and work on refinement has resulted in a hushed and cosseting environment. Slight wind noise from around the windscreen at higher speeds does spoil things somewhat and the ride is a little on the firm side too. This is no problem on the motorway but on rougher surfaces the BMW doesn't absorb bumps and potholes as well as rivals like the Mercedes C-Class.

Rear legroom is adequate but with a taller driver and front passengers, those in the back may find it cramped, however there's decent headroom.