While the Ford Fiesta may regularly head the lists of the UK’s most popular new cars, something with a little more pizazz has been making an appearance at the top of the charts for used cars - a used BMW 3 Series.

Yes, according to Auto Trader, it’s the BMW car that wipes the floor when it comes to the number of used car searches. Not bad for a car that didn’t even appear in the top ten of new car purchases in 2016! With nearly 50% more used car buyers looking at the 3 Series than at the next most popular model, BMW’s compact saloon beats the bunch for generating interest in the secondhand market.

And it’s no surprise why nearly 135 million people looked at used BMW adverts in Auto Trader in 2016. With a timelessly stylish, roomy interior, solid drive and excellent handling you can see why many want to invest in this nippy little number. Not only that, even the older models are economic and fairly green, with a great MPG of up to 70 and CO2 emissions of just over 100 g/km.

Though used BMWs hold their price well, you can still expect to get hold of a 3-year-old model for around half it’s original price, saving yourself anywhere between £12,000 and £17,000 on a new 3 Series at a used BMW dealer. Keep it a few years and the trade-in value will still be pretty decent.

With a used BMW, you’ll turn heads too, which, let’s face it, is all part of the appeal - something you won’t experience with a new (and no doubt perfectly lovely) Ford Fiesta!

Another bonus is that this good-looking saloon is available in a huge range of engine sizes and trims, from the 1.5-litre 318i SE to the 320d ED Plus and 3-litre 335d xDrive M Sport, providing a car for all tastes and every budget. The more recent addition, the BMW 330e iPerformance plug-in hybrid also gives BMW cars the opportunity to cater for the electric market. This extensive variety allows you to pretty much pick your own blend of performance and running costs.

The choice doesn’t stop there. The differing body styles of this used BMW also offer numerous options to suit every lifestyle: touring estate, saloon, GT and even a few 3 Series coupés and convertibles (now rebadged as 4 Series) so whether you are looking for practicality, reliability or performance, the Series 3 can tick all of those boxes. Opt to buy from a used BMW dealer and you can throw affordability into the mix too.

Rear wheel drive and a compact body provides excellent control and agility, with the help of the now common Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) as standard to practically stick your used BMW to the road, whatever the conditions. With the 2012 edition gaining 5 stars in Euro NCAP testing, you can be satisfied that you’ll be safe inside the car too.

It’s the 6th year in a row that the 3 Series has been crowned the most searched for used car with other BMW cars appearing at 5th (5 Series) and 6th (1 Series) position. Unsurprisingly, the top 15 is littered with premium vehicles as low rate finance makes prestige vehicles more affordable, especially in the used car market.

So, what’s the alternative to this most viewed BMW car? A mere 45 million searches behind the 3 Series, and second on the list, lies the Volkswagen Golf. With an equally good reputation for quality, the VW can give the 3 Series a run for its money but the BMW is a bigger and more comfortable ride. While fuel efficiency is comparable across the two, it also trounces the Golf on tank range by more than 100 miles.

On the power front, a BMW 3 Series 380d SE beats the Golf GT TDI 2.0 by 40 bhp and a 0-60mph of 7.3 secs compared to the Golf’s 8.3 secs.

Also in the running, and perhaps more attractive to those seeking a car that packs a bit of kudos, is third placed Mercedes-Benz C Class. It might be comparable to the BMW for fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions but when it comes to power, the 3 Series wins out again, with a slightly faster acceleration rate and a higher top speed and power.

For the practically-minded, the BMW 3 Series is once again victorious when you consider boot space. At 495 litres, there’s more room for your golf clubs, shopping or luggage than you’ll find in either the C Class or the Golf.

Of course, in Liverpool, we’ve always had good taste in motors, which is why as well as being the most searched for used car, the BMW 3 Series is also number one in new car sales in the region.

Find out what all of the fuss is about by taking a look at Motor Range’s huge range of over 1000 expertly picked used cars which are all prepared to the best standard. You can search online or at our new innovative showroom on Dunning’s Bridge Road. We’ve plenty of BMW cars in stock and our friendly and helpful team are happy to help.