BMW 3-Se­ries

Be­hold! A new BMW that’s largely in­of­fen­sive to look at

Top Gear (UK) - - CONTENTS - OL­LIE KEW

This is the new BMW 3-Se­ries sa­loon... and it’s stolen Peu­geot’s head­lights. Look! B Book­end­ing ok­end­ing the merged kid­ney grilles are head­lights with lit­tle notches of f b body­work dy­work eat­ing into them. Even so, isn’t it pleas­ant to have a new BMW that doesn’t make you want to retch? Take note, X2, X3, X4, X5, iNext, 6GT…

The agree­able styling is draped over a body that’s 85mm longer and 16mm wider than the last 3-Se­ries, yet this XXL sev­enth-gen ver­sion is said to be 55kg lighter than the last. In­side, BMW has fi­nally stopped fid­dling with its Nineties de­sign themes and gone chas­ing af­ter Audi and Mercedes mod­ern-cool am­bi­ence. We’ve got a 12.3in dig­i­tal in­stru­ment dis­play that lies flush with a widescreen iDrive con­sole. Oh, and this is the first Three to ditch a man­ual hand­brake. Adap­tive sus­pen­sion is o op­tional, as is xDrive all-wheel drive. At launch, you’ve got a choice of a 187bhp 320d diesel, a four-cylin­der turbo 330i with 254bhp and later there’ll be a plug-in 330e hy­brid to make mak the com­pany-car fleet man­ager’s choice a lit­tle eas­ier i ( (and nd diesel’s job tougher still).

Ba­si­cally, this is a big col­lec­tion of num­bers, all of which are quan­tifi­ably bet­ter than the last one. The boot is 36 litres big­ger. There’s 11mm more rear legroom. Op­tional laser head­lights can peer 350 me­tres into the gloom. The stan­dard stereo of­fers 100 Watts, the cost-ex­tra Har­man Kar­don hi-fi ups that to 464 Watts. Re­fresh­ingly there’s only six op­tion packs and 10 sin­gle op­tions for the car. Be­fore any are se­lected, the new Three starts at £33,610. Now, go and lie down in a dark­ened room and con­tem­plate how many of these things you’ll clap eyes on in the next seven years. All with Peu­geot head­lights you can’t un­see…

BMW from the back, Peu­geot from the front, Audi on the in­side... new Three is eclec­tic

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