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Hitting the market in May 1975 and succeeding the 02 series, the BMW 3 series is an entry-level luxury car now in its sixth generation of production. Originally only available as a two-door sedan, the 3 Series has since expanded its model range to incorporate multiple bodystyles. The 2013 4 Series took over production of the 3 Series coupe and convertible models, so the current sixth generation 3 Series comprises a four-door saloon, five-door station wagon and five-door fastback body styles. The 3 Series is the best-selling model of BMW, accounting for around 30% of their total annual sales and winning numerous awards in the process.
Despite competition from the likes of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Alfa Romeo Giulia, the 3 Series has been a consistent leader in the compact executive class. A lot has changed over its four decades of production, with the latest model exhibiting a refined and efficient range of engines, excellent handling and a well-built spacious design. The extensive engine line-up includes a variety of three-, four- and six-cylinder units. The 321bhp 3.0-litre 340i turbo petrol engine gives exceptionally good performance with a 0-60mph time of 5.5 seconds, while the 2.0-litre diesel gives an excellent blend of power and fuel efficiency. All of the four-cylinder diesel engines have CO2 emissions of sub-120g/km, so low running costs and road taxes are perfectly attainable.
The SE, Sport, Luxury and M Sport trims available give endless possibilities to tailor the 3 Series to personal taste, while the DAB radio, sat-nav and wide central screen come as standard across the range. The interior is minimalist yet stylish, with plenty of front and rear passenger space and a generous 480-litre boot. The 3 Series has a maximum five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating, and the adaptive brake lights, automatic lights and rear parking sensors as standard ensure the upmost level of driving safety.
The BMW 3 Series is a high quality executive saloon, offering great handling and a broad range of fantastic engines. BMW know how to make a bold statement car, and the 3 Series is no exception.
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