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To say the BMW 3 Series coupe’s styling is understated is, well, an understatement – despite the fact that this is the most divergent 3 Series coupé yet, sharing just three body parts with the E90 saloon it is loosely based on.

It is another BMW from the Chris Bangle era that’s incapable of doing itself justice on the page, and is therefore immeasurably sleeker in the raw.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
The coupe is sleek and low. We love it's looks

Find an E92 coupe looming large in your mirror and you’ll differentiate it from the E90 saloon by its lower front lights (possible because of standard-fit dual xenons), aggressively flared wheelarches and mesh-filled grille.

And as it effortlessly wafts past, you’ll be looking at a broader, sleeker, less bland-looking rear. This rear view of the E92 coupe makes the E90 saloon appear fussy and ugly, but then that’s not saying much. From most angles, it looks like a different model altogether.

Does it possess the presence a coupé should? Perhaps not. Is it more attractive than the E90 saloon? Immeasurably so. Unmistakably a BMW, its classy shape and elegant proportions looks so much better in the metal than in pictures, which don’t do justice to the discreet crease lines.

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Although the body may have been all-new over the E90 saloon, the E92 retains the same basic underpinnings. So there’s MacPherson struts up front and multi-link at the rear for the suspension.

The saloon and coupe share the same 2760mm wheelbase. The coupe has a slightly narrower rear track than the saloon (1510mm versus 1535mm) and the front track is also narrower (1500mm versus 1505mm).

The rest of the car highlights how much progress BMW has made with the coupé - rear access is decent and there's room in the back for two adults.

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