From £26,090
Something of an oddity, and slightly underwhelming in terms of performance. But the whole package is well sorted and at this price, there are no obvious rivals.

Our Verdict

 BMW 3 Series Coupé

The BMW 3 Series Coupe is stylish, recently updated and has an unrivalled blend of performance and economy

25 October 2006

What is it?

The awesome twin-turbo BMW 335i coupé left us breathless, but it's time to sample the opposite end of the range - the 325i. The entry-level 3-series coupé uses a 2.5-litre straight six producing 215bhp and 184lb ft of torque. Mated to a six-speed manual box, that results in a 0-60mph time of 6.9secs and and top speed of 152mph. BMW claims a combined economy figure of 33.6mpg.

What's it like?

Don't expect 335i performance - but then, you could say that of most cars. The 325i feels far more like a tourer than a sports coupé. It's an accomplished, refined cruiser, but that relatively low torque figure means that while in-gear acceleration is decent enough, it never seems rapid.

The steering is heavy but direct, and the gearchange has a slightly rubbery mechanism but is ultimately slick enough. The handling isn't quite as precise as the 335i but that's down to the lack of uprated sports suspension - and that means the ride is one area where the base model can trump the range-toppers. It's less fidgety.

The rest of the car highlights how much progress BMW has made with the new coupé - rear access is decent and there's room in the back for two adults. The interior is comfortable and well-finished - although the mood lighting (situated just under the door windows) didn't do any favours to the garish red leather trim in our test vehicle.

Should I buy one?

The 325i is out on a limb pricewise - it's considerably more expensive than Audi's 2.0-litre TT, but more practical with it. Equally, it lacks the grunt of Merc's 280 CLK but is over five grand cheaper (and you should be buying a 335i at that money anyway).

It might occupy a lonely area of the market, therefore, but that doesn't make it any less compelling as a proposition. If you can't quite stretch to a 330i, then this will do quite nicely.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK