330d M Sport (E90) (2005 to 2008)
The E90 330d M Sport is one of BMW’s best performance buys. Pick up a well-maintained 75kmile 2008 example for under ten grand, add a remap (adding about 50bhp and 60lb ft of torque) and you’ll have one the best all-round rides £10,000 can buy. And if your sensible side questions the decision – just highlight the 42.8mpg combined economy and affordable £205 a year road tax bill.
320d EfficientDynamics (E90) (2010 to 2013)
Not every 3 Series buyer is seeking epic performance, and that’s why BMW created its EfficientDynamics 320d, complete with 68.9mpg combined economy and CO² emissions of just 109g/km – which equate to an annual road tax bill of just £20. Being a popular choice with fleet managers means there are plenty of used examples around to choose from, with £10,000 bagging a 2011 55,000-mile minter.
335i M Sport (E90) (2006 to 2009)
If you don’t cover a large distance every year and you fancy M3-baiting performance, then the 335i M Sport could be the 3 Series Saloon for you. Packing 306hp as standard and capable of hitting 62mph in just 5.8 seconds the E90 tops out at 155mph. And a good ECU remapper can easily extract more power and torque, too. A £10,000 budget will buy the finest 60k-mile 2006 car you can find.