Even if you choose the humdrum 2-litre petrol model, the 3 has all the right ingredients to make it one of those cars you’ll be pleased you bought. The driving position is comfortable, the dashboard looks elegantly stylish and the way the car’s controls have such a consistent, smooth action is a lesson to others.
Drive it, and whether around town, on the motorway or on an empty B-road, the 3 doesn’t put a foot wrong. It is quiet, smooth riding and reassuringly responsive. Early impressions suggest it could shake up the pecking order and ruffle a few feathers.
Downsides? Well, it’s on the snug side in the back seats, so anyone approaching six-foot tall will have their head on the roof, and fitting high-backed child seats and lifting kids into them through the shallow door opening could be challenging. And the boot has shrunk, down to 295 litres. But if these aren’t concerns for you, then the 3 – a car you’ve probably never even considered before – should be inked onto your shortlist.
Price: £21,000 (estimated)
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol
Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
Power/torque: 120bhp @ 6,000rpm/157Ib ft @ 4,000rpm
Top speed: TBA
Kerbweight: 1350kg (est)