- BMW 3 Series 1.8D Auto

I know I love a Jaaaaag really but we were both intrigued and impressed with ... our holiday hire car. #NotAJag Extroadinary, for us anyway. Sometimes we go abroad and hire a car for our holidays, I say sometimes because it's been a while and we've been using our Jaguars for holidays for the last ten years. There, I've said it.

Nice rear end

Nice rear end

Apart from a solo trip to Australia, where I had no need for a car rental, this was our first expedition for a family holiday abroad for a very long time. We wanted an auto because I can't handle right handed gear changes, no matter how hard I try. This might be doubly difficult as I'm left handed. We also wanted something that would fit all our gear in the boot without having to squish things, fiddle about or put things on the back seat. Hassle free driving was needed.

Really like the eye level satnav system, and the night time mode works brilliantly, unlike the Jag. Soz Jaguar.

Really like the eye level satnav system, and the night time mode works brilliantly, unlike the Jag. Soz Jaguar.

Easy to adapt to after using only a Jaguar for many many years (for me anyway) we were soon on our way and out of the airport car park. Instantly an easy and comfortable drive, with enough grunt to get us out of awkward situations. Overtaking was a breeze, of course.

A proper gear stick, not a knob.

A proper gear stick, not a knob.

I think I adapted to the gear stick quicker than my other half. The handling was brilliant.

And we're off. Comfortable steering wheel with all the usual buttons in easy reach.

And we're off. Comfortable steering wheel with all the usual buttons in easy reach.

I'm not usually a fan of an all black interior look but the door trims were lightened a little with a black grey pattern. The seats were very comfortable, and hugged you gently, just right for the twisty Mallorcan roads.

Stylish in black, and very shiny.

Stylish in black, and very shiny.

I'll admit, it was a diesel, but none the worse for that as long as you weren't expecting the burble of a gorgeous V6 or V12 come to that. It's a holiday hire car after all, you've got to expect some disappointments. We found that was the only one. The fuel bill was very light on the pocket of course.

We kept saying how good the satnav was, especially at night.

We kept saying how good the satnav was, especially at night.

The interior lighting was quite a display, but not distracting.

Not the Starship Enterprise.

Not the Starship Enterprise.

I know BMW say the 3 series saloon 'makes every journey a joy', but they're not far wrong. If I couldn't have a Jaguar saloon, I think this would be high on my list for an alternative. I'd also be looking at an Alfa but that's not what we're here for today.

We looked forward to our trips out.

We looked forward to our trips out.

And here's another thing. I'm off to Australia again later in the year and considering a road trip along the coast on my own, exploring the beaches and towns south of Sydney all the way to Melbourne. I've always felt more comfortable, as a woman travelling alone, in a larger car. You don't get squished or ignored on the road as you do in a smaller car, and being in a marque of some sort seems to offer more consideration and thoughtfullness. As a woman who's been a victim of some bad aggression from pretty dubious people trying to run me off the road (yup, it happens, very frightening) what would you chose for a hire car? Bearing in mind a medium sized budget would you still stick with a little hatchback or go for a saloon or an SUV. Thoughts welcomed!

So what so you think. If you love a Jag but can't have one, would this be on your list? Just to remind you what you're missing, here's a picture of a Jag to keep you going.

We didn't hire one of these, we bought one.

We didn't hire one of these, we bought one.

Take a look at ILJ if you love a Jag and don't forget to post your own pics here first!

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