BMW 3-Series (16 - present)

The 3-Series is one of those cars that has always embodied 'success' in Ireland. The prestigious badge combined with its classic, no-nonsense good looks make it a timeless classic, and its rear-wheel power makes it the driver's car of choice in the competitive executive saloon segment. This 2016 facelift, while subtle, was timed well and necessary in a year that coincides with Audi's much-hyped new A4 and sends a gentle reminder that it's still very much present in the deadly battle of the German saloons. While you may struggle to pick out the exterior changes (there has been a slight repositioning of the headlights which you'd have to be a keen BMW enthusiast to spot), the big news is in the new more powerful and fuel efficient engine line-up. It also promises a stiffer suspension and sharper steering to improve what is undoubtedly its finest asset – the way it drives.

Look out for

  • Long-term running costs – BMW servicing can be pricey

What we like

  • Great badge appeal backed up by a great driving experience
  • Great range of high-performance engines
  • Carbon emissions and running costs are down
  • Spacious and practical cabin, finished well and loaded with kit
  • Strong resale values
  • Full five star NCAP safety rating

What we don't like

  • You do pay for the prestige of the badge