Which BMW Series is the best to drive?

Date Posted 3rd July 2020
Read Time 9 min read

Driving a BMW is always something to remember. The thrill, the excitement, the quality, it’s a feeling only gained behind the wheel of a Bimmer. 

Each piece complements one another. The expert German craftsmanship giving you something truly unique, allowing you to be at one with machine and road.

You feel in complete control. Whether that’s effortlessly gliding along the motorway or tight-corner apex hunting while analysing braking points. It feels at home no matter where you put it. And you feel at home in it. 

BMW 2 Series

From raw power to the refinement, comfort and luxury surrounding you in every stitch and panel, the level of detail has no ceiling, nor does a BMW’s driving experience. 

Every turn. Every gear change. Every decision. You feel part of the vehicle. You know how it’s going to respond. You know you can rely on it. 

And that sums up BMW. Motoring royalty that makes driving so much more.

Which BMW Series Is The Best?

Deciding which BMW series is ‘the best’ is almost cruel. It’s like choosing between your children. 

Each comes with the unrivalled character only the German powerhouse can provide. However, each BMW also possesses its own unique artistry. It tells its own story. 

So, which series is the best? Well, that depends on what you’re doing. 

The Best BMW On Long Journeys

Every BMW can comfortably conquer long journeys, but some give you that little bit more. Whether that’s space inside the cabin to relax, through the likes of a 4 Series, or cruising with access to hundreds of miles of blue sky in a Z4 Roadster

But it’s not just more legroom or feeling the wind against your face as you carve through your surrounding landscape that gives these cars an edge. 

Like the rest of the BMW range, they come with some serious standout attributes. 

BMW 4 Series

The BMW 4 Series is the perfect combination of sport, style and sophistication. And on long journeys, that’s a place you want to be. 

From the hardcore M Sport performance-focussed nerve-tingler, which blasts from 0-60mph in a blistering 4.1 seconds, to the more economical BMW 418d, which takes just nine seconds to reach the same speed, acceleration is never a problem. 

BMW 4 Series Coupe

Nor is the drive. The 4 Series loves being tested through the corners. And with a 50:50 weight distribution over the front and rear axles, throwing it around the bends is both calculated and exhilarating. 

It helps, too, that the 4 Series’ steering is the best in its class. It’s responsive and nimble. Light yet not separated from the machine. And when you put your foot down to explore the deepest depths of the engine, it’s as alert as a coffee-swilling fighter pilot. 


But yet, the fierce 4 Series isn’t for everyone. Instead, you may want to sample every moment of your long journey to the fullest. Be able to feel where you’re going, as well as see it. And that’s where the Z4 comes in. 

It’s no surprise its primary characteristic is the roof – or lack of if you choose. But there’s so much more to the aggressive-looking roadster than just feeling the wind in your hair.


Speed? Yes, in bucket loads. A sub-eight-minute time around the famous Nürburgring shows the Z4 has everything it needs to challenge even the fastest of German sportscars. 

Style? Again, absolutely. The Z4 comes with a crisp interior coated in fine leather, complete with finely-crafted technology. The exterior styling is angle-orientated, eye-catching and achingly beautiful.

With the top down or up, it makes any long journey complete. 

The Best BMW In The City

Although, as we’ve already covered, the entire BMW range fits any setting. But it’s hard to look past the 1 Series when it comes to city living. 

BMW 1 Series

Compact in style, you’ve got a few choices when it comes to the 1 Series. If you’re looking for a more conventional front-wheel-drive experience, where the steering is precise and every inch of power is used economically, you’d favour the new 2020 edition. 

But if you enjoy the rush of fighting a sliding tail every now and again while mastering the unpredictability of a powerful beast, then the previous rear-wheel-drive model should whet your appetite. Of course, there’s also the option of four-wheel-drive, if that’s your preference. 

BMW 1 Series Front

It’s well known that mooching around the city can be laborious. Especially in traffic. But the BMW 1 Series goes some way in challenging that stereotype. 

It takes away the dullness with its punchy powertrain – right across the range – and more than enough room to remain comfortable.

It’s a nice place to be, too. Everything inside the 1 Series is a quality item. There’s nothing there that doesn’t need to be. But at the same time, there’s an abundance of technology at your fingertips through BMW’s i-Drive infotainment system – which is version 7.0 in the 2020 model. 

BMW 1 Series Rear

From inside to out, everything is perfectly crafted. The hatchback’s smaller base gives it venom, spirit and character. And if you spend a lot of time in the city, you’d be hard pushed to find a better companion. 

Most Fun BMW To Drive

There are several contenders for this throne. And they all make very convincing arguments. 

But the BMW M3, since its inception in 1988, has been the company’s flagship endorphin-inducer.


Behind the wheel, you control the destiny of 425bhp – a monstrous power source that’ll take from 0-60 in just over four seconds and eventually up to 155mph. 

Yet, with the M3, it’s not just the unadulterated power that makes it an exceptional drive, but everything that comes with. Such as its precise steering, brakes that allow you to push the explosive saloon to the limit and a gearbox more fluid than Niagra Falls. 


In many respects, it’s the perfect car. Exciting, exhilarating and frenzied, while remaining reserved on request. 

And it’s that which makes the BMW M3 the most fun to drive. It’s like a grenade. It’ll sit dormant and undisturbed. Watching the world go by quietly and happily. 

But pull the pin, and all hell breaks loose. 

The BMW Range

We’ve only scratched the surface of the BMW range. The 4 Series, Z4, 1 Series and M3 are all incredible cars. They’re all great to drive. But they’re far from the only ones.

BMW 2 Series

The 2 Series is unique within the BMW family. From drop-top to family estate, coupe to a face-ripping performance car.

It’s exceptionally rare to have such diversity across one model, but the 2 Series certainly encapsulates BMW’s essence in each. 

The coupe; a stylish, sleek two-door with rear-wheel-drive and exceptional handling. The estate; a plush, luxurious space fit for the daily commute or a long-distance family holiday. 

BMW 2 Series

The drop-top, everything the coupe brings to the table with the added bonus of unlimited sunshine. And, of course, the high-performance M2, which goes some way in challenging the M3 as the most fun BMW to drive. 

It’s difficult to think of a scenario where the BMW 2 Series wouldn’t be the answer to your motoring problem. Space, speed, comfort, economy, it has it all, and in abundance, too. 


Yet, despite BMW appearing to cover all bases with their aforementioned models, there is, of course, the X Series range. 

From the 1 Series to 7, the X takes inspiration from its hatchback or saloon namesake and prepares it for the land that lies off the tarmac. 

The X1, for example, resembles its city hatch counterpart in style but offers a beefier trim, higher driving position and the xDrive four-wheel-drive system as standard on petrol models. 


And it’s a similar story up to the X7, which possesses the BMW 7 Series’ luxurious finish both inside and out, yet wouldn’t feel out of place tackling the rugged terrain of the Scottish Highlands. 

So perhaps we’ve found a new category. The best BMW to take off-road. All are certainly befitting of the title, yet there’s one that continues to shine more than two decades after first being introduced; the X5. 

The Best BMW To Take Off-Road

Some may believe the BMW X5 is more suited to the streets of Chelsea than the tracks of the Lake District. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s brilliant on both. 


An impressive 10.3-inch ground clearance thanks to the luxury SUV’s adjustable air suspension makes short work of most inclines and descents. And a 360-degree camera view around the car provides great visibility when climbing over tricky terrain. 

Power is also available in abundance. From the xDrive30d xLine, which houses 286bhp and will take you from 0-60 in 6.1 seconds, right up to the X5 M50i, which holds 530bhp and will blast to 60 from a standing start in just over four. 

Really, for both on-and-off-road, there’s very little the X5 can’t do. 

Should You Buy Or Lease A BMW?

So, you’ve read how exciting BMWs can be. And believe us, they are. They’re smile-provoking pieces of mechanical genius. 

But now for the big question. Should you buy or lease one? Well, if you’re not sure, we can help. 

Read Next: Should I Buy Or Lease A BMW?

The Best BMW On Long Journeys – BMW 4 Series & BMW Z4

The Best BMW For City Driving – BMW 1 Series

The Most Fun BMW To Drive – BMW M3

The Best BMW To Take Off-Road – BMW X5