It’s no secret that many US-based journalists have cooled on the current-gen BMW 3 Series quite a bit. While the 3 Series always been the pinnacle of sport sedan greatness, this new model lacks the finesse and enthusiasts of its predecessors. It’s technically impressive, sure, but it’s just not the precision tool older 3 Series’ were. But, there are still a lot of positive attributes in this newest 3er. So Car and Driver gave it a very in-depth review to see how good the current 3 Series is in all phases.

Car and Driver is a publication that knows the 3 Series well. For a long time, the famous BMW was the pub’s longest running 10Best winner. Though that ended with this new car. So can the 3 Series win C&D over after being thoroughly reviewed? Let’s find out.

From the outside, C&D claims its looks are classic BMW. It might not be as sexy as the Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Giulia, but the 3er is a handsome looking car with looks that will age well. Although, it does take a bit of a hit thanks to the ugly hunchbacked 3 Series Gran Turismo.

On the inside, the cabin space and technology are good but its design is getting stale. It’s also nowhere as interesting as the Audi A4 or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, inside. So it loses some points on aesthetic grounds. There’s enough space for four adults in decent comfort, but its German competitors are said to be better. While we’re not sure about the C-Class, the A4 certainly has more rear seat space. While the 3 Series’ exterior is aging well, its cabin is not.

Now, the 3 Series has often struggled with being the prettiest car in the segment, as well as having the nicest interiors. Those are areas where BMW has never been the class leader. Where BMW led the pack, though, was in performance and handling. Except that it doesn’t really lead this segment in those categories anymore.

As far as straight line performance, the 3 Series is still great. Its new engines are dynamite, with a new 2.0 liter turbo-four and a 3.0 liter turbo-six both packing enough performance to be genuinely exciting. While its competitors have been catching up in the four-cylinder department, no competitor has yet to properly compete with BMW’s B58 I6 engine.

But in terms of handling, the 3 Series just isn’t the car it used to be. While it can still hang with the best cars in the segment, there’s a crispiness that isn’t there anymore but is present in some of its competitors. So it can perform well and pulls impressive handling numbers but lacks enthusiasm while doing it.

Overall, Car and Driver gave the 3 Series 4.5 stars out of 5. That seems extremely good, given what was said about the car. The 3 Series isn’t perfect but it’s still one of the best sport sedans on the market.

[Source: Car and Driver]