If you are intensely aware of the difference between what is simply very good and what is genuinely excellent, if you love to drive yet are constrained to run a four- or five-seat vehicle, not the mid-engined two-seater of your dreams, then BMW 3-series cars are the perfect answer. Head and shoulders above the many Asian, American, and European models that are "just like a BMW" stands the real thing, representing the Platonic ideal of what an automobile should be (if Plato had had an automobile). With either of its superb in-line sixes--a 2.5-liter or a 3.0-liter--the 3-series chassis is a tool that any sensitive driver will appreciate. The size is right, neither too small nor excessively large. Comfort, agility, and fuel economy make a balanced package still unsurpassed.
Photographed by George Saitas