If we had to suggest a car with the hefty weight of expectation on its roof rack, it would be this, the latest BMW 3 Series. It’s the brand’s longest-running model and its most popular, accounting for nearly a third of its annual sales.
For that reason, BMW’s reluctance to stray too far from a successful formula is entirely understandable, so the time-proven theme of a well-packaged, sporty, rear-wheel-drive saloon remains front and centre of the model's ethos.
However, four-wheel drive 'xDrive' versions are available, along with the a good range of petrol and diesel engines and a choice of three trim levels to suit your taste and budget. In BMW's range, the 3 Series sits above the 1 Series hatchback but below the larger 5 Series luxury saloon.
But the big questions hanging over the BMW 3 Series are: is it as good, or even better than, its two chief executive adversaries, the Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4, and has it reclaimed its ‘most sporty saloon’ crown from the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE?
We'll answer those questions of over the next few page, and if you decide you want to buy a BMW 3 Series, or indeed any other new car, find out how much money we could save you on the list price by checking out our New Car Buying section.