For The engine gives a fine blend of efficiency and performance, with tremendous flexibility at low revs. The BMW 3 Series 320d SE gets dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers.

Against Going for SE denies you the opportunity to choose some of the personalisation options that are available on dearer trims.

BMW 3 Series Saloon

What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

The BMW 3 Series 320d SE is great to drive, cheap to run and well specified, this is the pick of the 3 Series range.

What Car? readers say


Key facts

7.5 secs
Top speed
146 mph
Average mpg
Tank range
841 miles
See all running costs

View the whole BMW 3 Series Saloon range

Read in full

The full BMW 3 Series review

  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
    A wide range of engines; all usefully flexible
  • Ride & Handling
    4 out of 5 stars
    Great to drive if you choose the right options
  • Refinement
    3 out of 5 stars
    Falls a bit short, mainly due to noisy diesel
  • Buying & Owning
    4 out of 5 stars
    Most models make sound financial sense
  • Quality & Reliability
    4 out of 5 stars
    Classy, but BMW’s reliability record isn’t great
  • Safety & Security
    3 out of 5 stars
    Safe, although a little off the pace for kit
  • Behind The Wheel
    4 out of 5 stars
    Little to complain about from the driver’s seat
  • Space & Practicality
    4 out of 5 stars
    Roomy enough, although some rivals are bigger
  • Equipment
    4 out of 5 stars
    Pretty generous spec compared with key rivals

Buyer's notes

Target Price team says:

The 3 Series range has a huge selection of engines, gearboxes and trim levels, but there’s little reason to look beyond the 320d Efficient Dynamics model. It’s quick and has seriously impressive running costs; if you’re a company car driver, you’ll love the low company car tax bills it commands. The standard manual gearbox is notchy, so we’d choose the slick automatic, especially because it hardly dents performance and actually makes some versions more economical. We’d also strongly advise adding the optional Adaptive M Sport Suspension. With it, the 3 Series is the best-driving car in the class; without it, the car’s dynamics are a little disappointing. The xDrive models come with an advanced four-wheel-drive system that can send power to the front or rear axle. It works well and doesn’t hurt fuel economy or CO2 emissions too much. Unless you really need four-wheel drive, though, we’d save some money and go for a rear-wheel-drive version.

Reader test team says:

BMW 3 Series Saloon 320d Efficient Dynamics Plus 4dr

I have a 2012 BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics. What can I say - it's a fantastic car in every way. Bought it high mileage at 95k - some say it is a risk,…

Mohamed Ghoorun

5 out of 5 stars

BMW 3 Series Saloon 320d Efficient Dynamics Plus 4dr

The car has has now done 123000 miles in nearly 4 years (in March 2016). It has been excellent in terms of reliability and economy. as per my previous…

Earl Mckoy

4 out of 5 stars

BMW 3 Series Saloon 330d M Sport 4dr

I've just downsized from a 63 plate 530D as I found the car to be just a bit too big for all the tight car parks it has to visit plus we have a 330D…

Sandip patel

5 out of 5 stars

BMW 3 Series Saloon 320d xDrive Sport 4dr

My first BMW after numerous VWs and I have to admit to being disappointed. Its an average car, not a great one the way the reviews seem to…

Dave Stanley

3 out of 5 stars
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