Comfort and Quality » 8
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
Headroom and legroom are good for all but the tallest drivers
Not much interior storage space
Materials are upgraded
Car and Driver
The 2009 BMW 3-Series justifies its admittedly high base price with a combination of wonderful driving dynamics and high-end comfort and quality, although the BMW 3-Series does lose some points in terms of available cargo space.
Seating capacity for the BMW 3-Series is exactly what you would expect, as Cars.com finds that "sedans and wagons can hold five occupants, while coupes...seat four." TheCarConnection.com's research reveals that front-seat passengers will be quite comfortable, but those in the rear of the coupe might have a hard time on long trips. Up front, ConsumerGuide reports that "headroom and legroom are good for all but the tallest drivers," while the BMW 3-Series' "seats have excellent bolstering to secure occupants through turns." However, Edmunds cautions that "the rear seats are adequately roomy for adults on shorter trips, but taller passengers will wish for more headroom," and most adults will take exception with being stuck back there for extended periods.
As a practical daily driver, the 2009 BMW 3-Series excels in many categories, but the coupe struggles when it comes to cargo capacity. ConsumerGuide cautions that the "coupe's small aperture won't swallow large packages, but its standard split folding rear seatbacks expand space." Those split folding rear seats aren't standard on the sedan, but they help make the most of the trunk; Cars.com says that, without the seats folded, "the sedan's trunk capacity is 12 cubic feet." On all three versions—coupe, sedan, and wagon—Edmunds reports that there is "not much interior storage space," but the wagon understandably excels in terms of rear storage.
BMW has always been regarded as a luxury brand, and the interior materials and build quality of the BMW 3-Series definitely reflect that reputation. ConsumerGuide reviewers find that the "cabin materials have a sturdy, soft-touch feel," while Edmunds notes that "materials and build quality are exceptional" on the 2009 BMW 3-Series. ConsumerGuide also highlights the build quality, commenting that the "bodies exhibit ingot-solid construction." Compared to the previous BMW 3-Series, "the materials are upgraded" beyond the high standard set on the outgoing version, says Car and Driver.
One of the quickest ways to identify build quality on a vehicle is to take it for a drive and see what sorts of road and wind noise intrude into the cabin. You'll have to strain your ears to pick up much from inside a BMW 2009 3-Series model, as Car and Driver finds that "the interior is well isolated." ConsumerGuide also observes that "tire noise is subdued," although they report that "wind rush is evident at highway speeds."
For impeccable build and materials quality combined with a comfortable, quiet cabin, look no further than the 2009 BMW 3-Series.