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I am happy to say I own this baby Beamer starter model 316ti SE. BMW's are known worldwide for their excellent in build and engineering. BMW cars are said to last very long and I totally agree with this as the Compact hatchback range is no exception.
The manufacturer has gone to great pains with model updates to ensure the success story continues by refusing to compromise on quality, and strengthening the all-important element of desirability.
The model I chose to test drive was a black 316ti SE and after initially parking it up alongside a 7 Series, I felt I'd got the same attention to detail, the same superb build, refinement and status.
The 316ti SE uses the same revolutionary Valvetronic 1.8 litre petrol engine, a 115bhp British built four-cylinder unit. Valvetronic means the engine offers the same fuel economy as an advanced direct-injection engine, but without the need for elaborate emission management technologies. In short, it has cut harmful emissions by 10%, and increased power by the same amount - in case your wondering!
It doesn't require sulphur-free fuel like a direct injection petrol engine, either: it can run on all commercially available grades of regular petrol.
You can easily coax 50mpg out of it taking things easy around town, because the 316ti's real power doesn't punch in until your well up the rev counter (very handy on the roads today).
I am a tall driver so the BMW is great for lowering the front seat, which thankfully meets my driving needs. One thing I would like to point out is that the offset pedals did take a little adapting to when I first bought the car.
The SE specification gives the BMW car a reasonable kit and good passenger safety features. The kit makes the car look sporty and modified which I believe is great if you like to turn heads on the streets.
But BMW, like Mercedes and Audi, love to charge extra for the extras. It came with £3000 of add-ons. Included was £95 for the colour-coded door handles, and I think I could live without the SE's original alloys, without paying another £1,540 for the supplied seven-star wheels.
I would sadly say that the 316ti has one disadvantage that the inclusive automatic air conditioning went down to 16 degrees, one degree under room temerature. So on a hot summer's day, don't expect to have your cold air condition on as the air condition being turned on makes no difference whatsoever.
The new Compact is a fantastic car with superb build and engineering but beware of the extras which can take your total outlay from a relatively cheap amount.
I would recommend anyone to buy the BMW 3series but I want you to be aware that it does cost a lot to maintain.
BMW 3 Series Compact 316ti SE
Compact eight-model 3dr hatchback range from 1.6Ti (£16,265) to 325ti Sport (£23,550).
Bodyshell/Drivetrain: 4.26m by 1.75m.
4dr saloon; 1796cc, 115bhp four-cylinder, 16-valve engine, driving rear wheels through five speed manual gearbox.
Company car tax liability: 167g per km CO2 emissions (15% of cost of car when new, taxed).
Performance/economy: top speed 125mph, 0-62mph in 10.9 seconds.
Official fuel figures: city 29.1mpg, country 53.3mpg, combined 40.9mpg.
Fuel tank: 63 litres
Insurance group :11