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STYLING | 9 out of 10
a dynamic flair that reflects common styling cues with the larger series
Plain-Jane interior design
Clean, elegant look
Kelley Blue Book
The 2008 BMW 3-Series wears sculptured lines that please most reviewers around the Web, while its cabin is more sedate.
Cars.com dishes more specific details for the outside of this 2008 BMW, pointing out features such as "a long hood and short front overhangs," as well as the "prominent twin-kidney grille" that have been part of BMW automobiles almost since the beginning. Kelley Blue Book offers the following description, highlighting "a relatively long wheelbase coupled with short front and rear overhangs, plus a slight wedge shape...[giving] the compact 3 Series [BMW 2008] a dynamic flair that reflects common styling cues with the larger 5 Series and 7 Series." Edmunds remarks, “The current model, which represents the fifth-generation 3 Series, is now slightly larger, heavier and faster than the previous model,” while observing its “bolder look.” USA Today had harsh words for the new lines—“Not as ugly as the similar look on the bigger 5, 6 and 7 Series BMWs, but way ugly nonetheless”—but despite its “slightly controversial” styling, as Car and Driver called it, most car reviewers felt the new 3-Series’s look was an improvement over the previous edition. MyRide leaves it up to you to decide if it’s better—only, they ask, you judge it after seeing it in the sheetmetal because “the car looks much better in person than in photos.”
We observed some mixed reactions to the BMW 2008 3-Series' interior. Cars.com makes simple, objective observations: "simulated leather seats are standard and real leather is optional. Burl walnut, poplar and aluminum trim are available." Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book offered contrasting value judgments. The former described the cabin of this 2008 BMW as having a "plain-Jane interior design," while the latter praised its "clean, elegant look...highlighted by standard leatherette upholstery set off by [the] wood or aluminum trim." MyRide.com dislikes the “Austere, business-like interior,” but Automedia thinks “3 Series' cabins artfully blend luxury and sporty elements befitting a modern BMW.” Edmunds says the emphasis is on “driver comfort and involvement” in the 3-Series, thanks to a “clean, clear analog gauge cluster dead ahead.”
This BMW 2008 is a mixed bag; most Bimmer fans will appreciate the 2008 BMW 3-Series's outward styling, but whether or not they like the interior will be a matter of individual taste.