Used BMW 3-Series Saloon (1998 - 2005) Comfort

Review by Parkers on
In the closely fought compact executive market, one model stands out from the rest: the BMW 3-Series. It has history stretching back to the 1980s and has built a solid reputation, and is the car of choice for every young middle manager.
2.5 out of 5


Lack of rear space, a problem which dogged past 3-Series, is improved, but still not great - that rear drive layout eats into rear space. It's a car that's comfortable for passengers, with well-supported, sculpted seats, but don’t even think of regularly carrying more than three passengers in one. The cabin is quiet when cruising. Good sound insulation keeps out road and engine noise, but the sporty suspension set-up makes the ride firm.

2.5 out of 5


The saloon is perfectly suited to cruising on A-roads, comfortably covering hundreds of motorway miles at a time. It’s not quite as nimble around town but it carries the weekly shopping with ease. 3-Series is roomier than the previous generation model, but the rear drive does compromise boot capacity a little. Although it's a good effort overall, with very useable space, there are bigger-bottomed and more accommodating rivals available.

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How does the boot space compare?

455 litres
445 litres
378 litres
BMW 3-Series Saloon (98-05)
300 litres
4 out of 5

Behind the wheel

It pampers the driver, with a fully adjustable seat and a position that puts buttons and switches within easy reach. Dials are perfectly sited and all major controls have been positioned to deliver a sporty ambience - ready for action. The driving position can be tailored to suit most needs but base models feel a bit spartan.