One, two, 3

Road test: new BMW 3 Series

You’ll have to wait for my motoring column in The Beacon Magazine (due out shortly) for the full review of the new BMW 3 Series, now in its sixth incarnation. In the mean time, here are the headlines for the 320d Sport we drove.

What’s good: Thankfully, BMW has adopted the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach so the handling is still delightful and thanks to improved suspension, the ride is improved. We liked the head-up display, the seats and the engine frugality.

What’s bad: BMW’s iDrive control system is still as unfathomable as ever and the stop-start function in crawling traffic became a bind with excessive vibration through the gear lever each time the engine fired-up (hopefully just a feature on our press car).

What else you should know: The styling changes appear minimal but in fact the car is 93mm longer and every panel has been changed, giving the latest 3 Series a flatter, wider appearance. Updated front and rear light clusters bring a look of the larger 5 Series to it, emphasised further by its more tightly-crimped shoulder line. Overall, it’s capable and smart but the external revisions seem a little conservative.

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