As if an original five-star Autocar road test accolade wasn’t a big enough haul, the BMW 3 Series is back for more. No doubt spurred on by overwhelming critical acclaim, Munich isn’t hanging around when it comes to fleshing out the meat of its big-selling compact exec range.
Having been offered a streamlined selection of models from the launch of the F30 3 Series, UK buyers can now order an entry-level 134bhp 316i saloon for £25,160 – a sum that won’t currently buy you a top-of-the-range 1.6-litre Ford Mondeo Ecoboost. You can also buy a 3 Series with BMW's xDrive, in which four driven wheels feature in a BMW saloon for the first time since the E34 525ix of 1991, and even an iPerformance petrol-electric 330e garnishes the range.
That is not to say that the diesel engines have remained untouched with six-cylinder units being added to the range, which may leave you questioning why BMW has been so keen to embellish its range?
Well the answer is simple enough, BMW can't afford to rest on its laurels so the 3 Series model range has been shrunk slightly with the coupé and convertible versions now classified as 4 Series, while there is the addition of essentially a grand coupé in the shape of the BMW 3 Series GT and the range is completed by ludicrous the BMW M3 and in some respects the BMW M4.