Re:Diesel or Petrol
Blade, if you like to drive hard, test the Beemer before you fall in love with it. I have not driven the 3 series, but the 530 Turbo Diesel, goes like a rocket, handles like a wet hanky.
I have driven a few good diesels recently, the Audi was superb. I could never afford to buy one, but the new Jaguar XF 3.0 Diesel is VERY good!
My favourite car at the moment, you gotta trust me on this, is the Skoda Superb. Its petrol though - 3.6L V6 4x4 260bhp. Handles like a dream and its an absolute monster - plus -its cheaper than the Audi and BMW. Oh and if you like quirks in a car, the Skoda Superbs boot can either be a hatch or saloon as it is hinged in two places and you choose by which boot release button you press whether it opens hatch or saloon. Nice touch I thought (No I don't work for Skoda either!)