ABS standard. Side air bags standard, available in rear from 2000. Head protection air bags standard from 2000. ESC standard from 2001.
The BMW 3 Series has long been a sports sedan benchmark -- and perennial best-seller to boot. Not only is the 3 a focused sports sedan, it also boasts a well-crafted interior with high-tech electronics and thorough attention to detail. Recent updates have helped this BMW regain some of its sporty driving characteristics, while being one of the roomiest and most fuel-efficient models in this class.
That said, other rivals like the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class are almost as engaging to drive, and those German rivals have a more comfortable ride and quiet cabin. With typical options, the 3 Series also ends up costing more than the Audi and Mercedes, although lease rates are comparable.