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Interior

What is it like on the inside?

For all Alpina’s smattering of crests and plaques across the place, this is still very much a 3 Series inside. Albeit a 3 Series with especially nice leather (leather shared with actual Rolls-Royce if you tick the right options boxes).

But as base cars go, there are few better than the Three, which is still peak Normal Car. There’s a media and nav system you can operate with a dial or touchscreen, and it links up to your phone via Bluetooth. So if you’re into CarPlay, once set up it’ll appear magically on screen every time you get in the car. It might also start playing whatever you listened to last, mind, so careful of the music you listen to right before driving a friend to the station.

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The driver’s seat whirrs down and low, the wheel is well positioned and you can spec Alpina’s own elongated metal paddleshifters for another £280, which are miles better than the stubby little plastic items used by BMW itself. Fat steering rim aside (a BMW thing Alpina might surely change if it was simpler), the driver will find the B3’s inner quarters hard to fault.

As will the passengers. There are USB ports aplenty and acres of room in the back, while the Touring keeps BMW’s famed separately opening glass tailgate. As well as 1,510 litres of luggage space...

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