Overall rating

BMW 3 Series review

Manufacturer price from:£27,800
What Car? Target Price:£25,521
So you’ll save at least £2,279, but if you ask for a quote you’re likely to get a much bigger discount.
Search new 3 Series deals
BMW 3 Series
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.

 

open the gallery4 Images
Inside?
There are 26 trims available for the 3 Series Saloon. Click to see details.See all versions
M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
New from
£36,075
Save £3,259 from RRP
View Trim
M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
New from
£41,129
Save £3,700 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£39,391
Save £3,538 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£31,111
Save £2,798 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£25,521
Save £2,278 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£27,872
Save £2,497 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£30,160
Save £2,709 from RRP
View Trim
EfficientDynamics Sport
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
New from
£31,249
Save £2,810 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£27,625
Save £2,474 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£25,795
Save £2,304 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£34,337
Save £3,097 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£29,638
Save £2,661 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£29,098
Save £2,611 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£32,173
Save £2,896 from RRP
View Trim
M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
New from
£42,204
Save £3,770 from RRP
View Trim
M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
New from
£33,911
Save £3,058 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£28,147
Save £2,522 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£27,900
Save £2,499 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£40,465
Save £3,609 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£29,373
Save £2,636 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£30,434
Save £2,735 from RRP
View Trim
M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
New from
£39,428
Save £3,541 from RRP
View Trim
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
New from
£37,689
Save £3,380 from RRP
View Trim
EfficientDynamics Plus
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
New from
£30,791
Save £2,768 from RRP
View Trim
M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
New from
£31,377
Save £2,822 from RRP
View Trim
M Sport Shadow Edition
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel
New from
£32,850
Save £2,959 from RRP
View Trim