THE BMW 3 Series has dominated the junior executive market for over 40 years racking-up over 15 million sales in the process.
Saloons may be struggling at the moment against the SUV/Crossover tide but the 3 is still BMW's biggest seller and the German company recently launched the seventh generation model.
The design is a fairly modest evolution of the last model's styling but the 3 is now wider, lighter and longer than the model it replaces resulting in more space for passengers.
Refinement has also been improved as has the cabin quality and the technology is now amazing.
At the same time the 3 Series retains its class-leading blend of performance and economy to keep it right at the top of its game.
The opposition is now tougher than ever but the new 3 offers stacks of driver appeal thanks to its perfect balance and prestige badge.
All this comes at a price and the new range starts from Â£32,445 - a reasonable increase when you consider the extra equipment and technology.
Three trim levels are available - SE, Sport and M Sport - with the entry-level SE trim only being offered on the 320d. All cars are well specified with sat nav, adaptive LED headlights, three-zone air conditioning, cruise control, Apple CarPlay and heated seats.
BMW's new Intelligent Personal Assistant is also included, and this allows you to operate many of the car's functions via voice control.
Sport models get aggressive front and rear bumpers and exterior trims, along with sports seats and leather upholstery.
The range-topping M Sport I sampled is a best-seller in the UK and if you opt for it you will get a lot of additional equipment including an M Sport bodykit, more advanced sat nav with a larger central display and increased functionality, as well as BMW's new Live Cockpit Professional which has a 12.3-inch digital instrument display.
As you would expect the 3 Series also features all the latest safety technology, while the cabin offers lots of comfort for driver and passengers and all the materials are of a high standard.Boot room is also good with 480 litres available and there is also lots of storage inside the car.
This car had the 2.0-litre 187bhp diesel power plant with an automatic gearbox and all-wheel-drive.
It is good for a top speed of 145mph with a sprint time to 62mph in 6.9 seconds. According to the latest tests it is also good for just over 50mpg on average with emissions of 133g/km.
BMW's xDrive system means it has stacks of grip even on slippery roads. The eight-speed automatic gearbox slips smoothly through the gears and xDrive delivers most of the power to the back wheels under normal conditions but steps in to alter things when it detects a loss of traction - ideal in our winters.
The 320d xDrivecosts a hefty £39,705 but it is possible to increase that figure considerably if you dip into the tempting options.For an additional £2,200 you can select the M Sport Plus package which will provide larger alloys, adaptive suspension and a neat rear spoiler.
A technology pack adds a further £1,800 but will give you a head-up display and wi-fi hotspot preparation and much more.