BMW 3 Series review

Manufacturer price from:£27,800
What Car? Target Price:£25,521
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BMW 3 Series
Review continues below...
21 Dec 2015 14:55 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 14:56

In this review

Overall rating

What Car? says...

The BMW 3 Series is so synonymous with the compact executive saloon class that other manufacturers who enter it are often described as ‘trying to build a better 3 Series’. However, BMW no longer dominates like it once did - not because its standards have dropped, but because rivals have raised theirs.

That’s great news for you, because key rivals such as the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class are now genuine alternatives, while the addition of the Jaguar XE gives you even more choice.

It’s also worth remembering the Volkswagen Passat. It might not carry quite the same badge cachet, but offers similar quality, a huge interior and represents great value.

One of the 3 Series’ key attributes is the way it drives. The traditional rear-wheel-drive underpinnings still offer keen drivers a great driving experience, although these days you can also buy xDrive versions with four-wheel drive.

The range of trims includes SE, ED Plus, ED Sport, Sport, Luxury, and M Sport, plus the 3 Series is available with several petrol and diesel engines that combine excellent performance with competitive emissions. Contrasting this is the standalone M3 model, which offers blistering pace and poised handling, but isn’t cheap to buy or run.

Read on over the next few pages for everything you need to know before buying a BMW 3 Series, including the engine, trim and options to choose.

 

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There are 31 trims available for the 3 Series saloon. Click to see details.See all versions
SE
Comes with all the essentials such as sat-nav, reversing sensors, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, DAB radio and 17in alloy wheels, but you have to pay extra for luxuries such as leather seats...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£25,521
Average Saving £2,279
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Sport
Like the ED Sport, the standard Sport model comes with 17in wheels and more sporty bumpers and trims. Inside there are sports seats and a sport multifunction steering wheel, but not the leather tri...View trim
Fuel Petrol
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£25,796
Average Saving £2,304
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SE
Comes with all the essentials such as sat-nav, reversing sensors, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, DAB radio and 17in alloy wheels, but you have to pay extra for luxuries such as leather seats...View trim
Fuel Petrol
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£27,626
Average Saving £2,474
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SE
Comes with all the essentials such as sat-nav, reversing sensors, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, DAB radio and 17in alloy wheels, but you have to pay extra for luxuries such as leather seats...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£27,873
Average Saving £2,497
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Sport
Like the ED Sport, the standard Sport model comes with 17in wheels and more sporty bumpers and trims. Inside there are sports seats and a sport multifunction steering wheel, but not the leather tri...View trim
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What Car? Target Price from
£27,900
Average Saving £2,500
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Sport
Like the ED Sport, the standard Sport model comes with 17in wheels and more sporty bumpers and trims. Inside there are sports seats and a sport multifunction steering wheel, but not the leather tri...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£28,147
Average Saving £2,523
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SE
Comes with all the essentials such as sat-nav, reversing sensors, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, DAB radio and 17in alloy wheels, but you have to pay extra for luxuries such as leather seats...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£29,099
Average Saving £2,611
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Sport
Like the ED Sport, the standard Sport model comes with 17in wheels and more sporty bumpers and trims. Inside there are sports seats and a sport multifunction steering wheel, but not the leather tri...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£29,373
Average Saving £2,637
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M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered sports suspension. Inside are leather sports seats and steering wheel, along...View trim
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£29,639
Average Saving £2,661
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SE
Comes with all the essentials such as sat-nav, reversing sensors, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, DAB radio and 17in alloy wheels, but you have to pay extra for luxuries such as leather seats...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£30,160
Average Saving £2,710
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Sport
Like the ED Sport, the standard Sport model comes with 17in wheels and more sporty bumpers and trims. Inside there are sports seats and a sport multifunction steering wheel, but not the leather tri...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£30,435
Average Saving £2,735
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EfficientDynamics Plus
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£30,792
Average Saving £2,768
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M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered sports suspension. Inside are leather sports seats and steering wheel, along...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£31,112
Average Saving £2,798
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EfficientDynamics Sport
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£31,249
Average Saving £2,811
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M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
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£31,377
Average Saving £2,823
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M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered sports suspension. Inside are leather sports seats and steering wheel, along...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£32,173
Average Saving £2,897
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M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£32,850
Average Saving £2,960
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SE
We have not written anything about this yet...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£33,610
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M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£33,912
Average Saving £3,058
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M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered sports suspension. Inside are leather sports seats and steering wheel, along...View trim
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£34,337
Average Saving £3,098
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Sport
We have not written anything about this yet...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£35,010
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M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
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£36,076
Average Saving £3,259
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M Sport
We have not written anything about this yet...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£36,510
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Sport
We have not written anything about this yet...View trim
Fuel Petrol
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£37,660
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M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered sports suspension. Inside are leather sports seats and steering wheel, along...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£37,690
Average Saving £3,380
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M Sport
We have not written anything about this yet...View trim
Fuel Petrol
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£39,160
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M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered sports suspension. Inside are leather sports seats and steering wheel, along...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£39,391
Average Saving £3,539
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M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£39,428
Average Saving £3,542
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M Sport
M Sport models come with even more aggressive-looking bumpers and sill extensions, M Sport 18in alloy wheels and lowered sports suspension. Inside are leather sports seats and steering wheel, along...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£40,466
Average Saving £3,609
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M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£41,130
Average Saving £3,700
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M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
What Car? Target Price from
£42,204
Average Saving £3,771
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