Added: 11th of October 2016
Comfortable, reasonably economical and very reliable. The 3.0 litre diesel returns around 34 mpg and offers great performance, particularly in sports mode. Leather upholstery with 'comfort seats' for the driver and passenger which are both heated and provide almost infinite adjustment, to suit any driver or passenger shape or size. Settings are stored in the built in memory. The rear seats don't provide quite as much flexibility but they do benefit from electrically adjustable head restraints, a retractable centre arm rest with built in storage, and door bins to each side. There is plenty of leg room for most passengers. As you would expect with a big BMW it comes with all the toys; cruise control, auto lights, auto wipers, sat-nav, trip computer, multi-function radio/disc auto changer, built in telephone, climate control, heated screen etc. etc.. BUT it does have a few design flaws. The most obvious problem areas are the location of the driver and passenger seat controls and the automatic selector lever (situated just the top right hand side of the steering wheel, not on the transmission tunnel as normal)! The seat controls are located to each side of the central drive tunnel which means if you are a large person (such as myself) it's very easy to knock the the 'push button' seat heater switch by accident, which can and has, led to very difficult circumstances! The BMW seat heaters are very effective so It's more than a little disconcerting to suddenly find your seat getting very hot unexpectedly - particularly when at high speed on a busy road!!! Similarly with the seat adjustment controls can be knocked in error, but more importantly they are difficult to reach from outside the car. The problem is particularly noticeable when a small driver is handing the car over to a larger driver. The larger driver will have to physically lean across the seat (which may be too close to the steering wheel) to access the seat memory switch or use the seat adjustment control lever before they can move the seat away from the steering wheel and get into the car! I have this problem every time I collect my car following a service as the mechanics never return the seat to the original position! The logical place for both sets of controls is on the car door panel, as with the Mercedes S Class.