Even the E90 feels bigger & boatier than my ZHP, though similar to how the E46 felt after my E36. Every new 3 series is a tradeoff vs the old one Ė bigger, a little less involving, but with (usually) nicer interior, better features and a better engine. Trust me, if you think an E39 sucks compared to your ZHP, youíre not gonna like an A3 Ė yeah, itís smaller, but itís nowhere near as involving or balanced as your car.
The GTI is usually more like a 3 series in feel than A3. A MkV I drove felt a lot like my E46 and itís just as roomy except the trunk is tiny with the seats up.
The funny thing is, I donít think interior space has improved since the E36, only exterior size has increased. I adjusted the driverís seat for myself in the F30, then sat behind it, and the seat was up against my knees, just like it is in every 3 series back to the E36.
I plan to keep the ZHP til it gets problematic, and I like to avoid 1st model year BMWs anyway.
"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice." - Cherokee Expression