BMW 3 Series (2019-present)

The latest BMW 3 Series is the new benchmark in the executive saloon class

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Entertaining handling
320d engine is economical
Excellent entertainment system

Weaknesses 

M Sport suspension is uncomfortably stiff
No Android Auto functionality, yet
Costs around £2000 more than outgoing model
Best New Discount

BMW 3 Series Saloon m340i xdrive 4dr step auto

Total RRP £48,555

Your quote £41,597

You Save £6,958

2019 BMW 3 Series prices from £17,099   Finance from £233 per month

Any new BMW 3 series has a tough act to follow but this latest version rises to the challenge and wins hands down. It might be around £2000 more expensive than its predecessor but it has more interior space, greater refinement and a lot more technology. At a stroke, it’s the executive saloon the rest have to beat.

Its rivals include the Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4, Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE. All of them excel in particular areas but none is the brilliant all-rounder the new 3 series manages to be.

It’s offered with a typical mix of diesel and petrol engines, most of them paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. There’s also the option of BMW’s intelligent xDrive four-wheel-drive system on 2.0-litre diesel versions. It’s intelligent because it can shuffle power between the wheels, sending it to those with the most grip, so preventing wheelspin in slippery conditions.

The 3 Series has always been known for its balance, steering accuracy, agile handling and, at least on standard suspension, supple ride. All these qualities are very much in evidence on this latest model.

If you do a high mileage and have an eye on economy, the diesel engines, especially the 320d with its decent performance and 56mpg economy, are the obvious choice. In fact you can have your cake and eat it, with the most powerful diesel, the 330d, being the quickest 3 series in the line-up yet still capable of almost 48mpg.

Those drivers doing a lower mileage or who prefer the sweeter refinement and performance of a petrol engine, can choose between the 320i or turbocharged 330i. Either suits the agile 3 series very well.

There are just three trim levels but even SE, the cheapest, has satellite navigation, adaptive LED lights, heated leather seats, front and rear parking sensors with a reversing camera, 18-inch alloys and cruise control. Sport is good value but top-spec M Sport starts to undermine the model’s appeal with its high price and stiff suspension. It makes sense only with the 330i or 330d engines.

The new 3 Series is roomier than the previous model, especially in the back. Driver and front passenger have no shortage of space, either, while having a top-quality dashboard to enjoy complete with well integrated controls and an even better infotainment system than before.

Being a saloon the 3 Series is not as practical as an SUV like the BMW X1 but if comfort with a sporty driving experience and reasonable running costs are your priorities, it wins hands down.

Last Updated 

Friday, June 28, 2019 - 22:00

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years/unlimited mileage
Boot size: 
660 litres
Width: 
2068mm
Length: 
4709mm
Height: 
1435mm
Tax: 
£170 to £210 in the first year; £140 to £465 in the second

Best BMW 3 Series for... 

BMW 318d SE
With up to 58.9mpg possible from the manual version, the 318d is the clear economy champ. SE trim keeps the price down, too.
BMW 320d xDrive SE
Its blend of strong performance and good economy make the 320d SE perfect for a family with half an eye on their finances. Meanwhile, xDrive provides a valuable layer of additional security on slippery roads.
BMW 330i M Sport
The 330d is quicker but the turbocharged 330i petrol is still very powerful while being smoother, more flexible and more responsive. It suits the sophisticated 3 series much better. M Sport trim adds stiffer suspension and a sporty bodykit to suit.
BMW 318d M Sport auto
A sheep in wolf’s clothing springs to mind when describing this version of the 3 series. The money would be better spent on a 320d Sport, which costs the same.

BMW 3 Series History 

2019: Model launched 

Understanding BMW 3 Series car names 

  • 3 Series
  • Engine
    20d
  • Drive
    xDrive
  • Trim
    M Sport
  • Gearbox
    Auto
  • Engine
    Normally this number would be a reliable guide to the size of the engine but in BMW’s world it is as much an indicator of power. Granted, in this example it’s a 2.0-litre engine but the 330i is a 2.0 litre also, and not a 3.0 litre. The ‘i’ at the end stands for injection and means it’s a petrol engine. The diesel engines have a ‘d’ for diesel instead.
  • Drive
    This is the name BMW gives its four-wheel drive system that channels the engine’s power to all four wheels. It’s an intelligent system that only sends power to those wheels with the most grip to avoid unsafe wheelspin. It’s only available as an option on 320d automatic versions of the model.
  • Trim
    This tells you how well equipped a specific model is, with M Sport being the most well equipped, and expensive, of the three trim levels. However, basic SE trim has enough features for most drivers.
  • Gearbox
    The transmission isn’t referenced in the car’s name but for the record and when checking prices it’s worth knowing that most versions of the 3 Series have an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Only the 318d and 320d are offered with a cheaper, optional six-speed manual gearbox.

BMW 3 Series Engines 

Petrol: 320i, 330i
Diesel: 318d, 320d, 330d

The tax advantages associated with running a diesel rather than a petrol company car may have been eroded in recent years but the engines are still much more economical and dominate the 3 series model range. For example, a 320i can do up to 43.5mpg but its diesel equivalent, the 320d, can do up to 56.5mpg and is just as quick.

Part of its economy advantage is explained by the fact that the most economical 320d has a manual gearbox, while the 320i petrol is only available with a less efficient automatic. In fact, all petrol-engined versions of the 3 Series are automatic.

King of economy is the smallest and least-powerful diesel engine, the 318d. It’s capable of up to 58.9mpg, although is more than a second slower to 62mph than the 320d.

Not that the petrol engines are entirely inferior to the diesels. They’re quieter and smoother for a start, plus a lot more flexible and responsive. They’re lighter, too, so the car is more agile in corners.

However, the diesels do pull strongly through the gears, which is handy when overtaking, make good tow cars and cruise comfortably and quietly over long distances. The best all-rounder is the 20d. The 330d is very quick but the slightly slower 330i, which is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, is more flexible and responsive, and suits the new, finely honed 3 series better.

 

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration

Top speed

20i

Petrol

40.4-43.5mpg

184hp

0-62mph: 7.1s

-

30i

Petrol

38.7-41.5mpg

258hp

0-62mph: 5.8s

-

18d

Diesel

51.4-58.9mpg

150hp

0-62mph: 8.3-8.4s

-

20d

Diesel

48.7-56.5mpg

190hp

0-62mph: 6.8-7.1s

-

30d

Diesel

44.1-47.9mpg

265hp

0-62mph: 5.5s

-

BMW 3 Series Trims 

SE, Sport, M Sport

The 3 Series trim range is quite straightforward with only three levels to choose from.

SE the cheapest and offers most of the things drivers expect on a premium car. They include three-zone climate control, a well specified entertainment system with a sat nav, adaptive LED headlights and a reversing camera.

However, it has only 17in alloy wheels where the next trim level, Sport has 18in wheels. This trim is only £1400 more expensive but also brings a larger fuel tank, turning the diesel versions in particular into long-range touring cars, and heated, leather sports seats. It looks like better value.

Top-spec M Sport replies with sportier details, smarter 18in alloys, stiffer sports suspension and more entertainment features, all for a £1500 premium over Sport. If you want the sportiest-looking 3 Series, this is the trim to have, although it’s best ordered with a suitably powerful engine to match.

BMW 3 Series Reliability and warranty 

This 3 series was too new to feature in the Auto Express Driver Power 2019 owner satisfaction survey but its predecessor did and performed reasonably well, charting at 39 out of 75 models.

Like all BMWs it has a three-year warranty with no mileage limitation. That’s better than the warranty offered with new Audis which are capped at 60,000 miles but lags behind Hyundai’s at five years and Kia’s at seven.

Still, with the exception of the sporty Kia Stinger, these manufacturers’ models are unlikely to appeal to a BMW driver who is likely to be financing their car on a three-year lease deal in any case.

Used BMW 3 Series 

This latest BMW 3 Series should prove popular among used car buyers attracted by its image, styling, performance and lower prices.

The diesel models will hold their value well. The strongest performer in this respect is likely to be a 320d xDrive since it should appeal to private buyers looking for good economy but strong performance with relaxed high-speed cruising ability and secure all-weather grip. The least desirable, because it’s the slowest, cheapest and likely to be a favourite with fleets, will be a 318d SE. It’ll be good value for money, though.

Drivers who do lower mileages and for whom economy is not such an issue, should explore deals on the petrol versions. A used 320i Sport or 330i M Sport will make a great used car buy.

BMW 3 Series Prices

BMW 3 Series M Sport

318d m sport 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 64.2mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £30,658

You could save up to: £4777

318d m sport 4dr [plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 64.2mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £32,594

You could save up to: £5041

318d m sport 4dr [tech pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 64.2mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £32,330

You could save up to: £5005

318d m sport 4dr [tech/plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 64.2mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £34,266

You could save up to: £5269

318d m sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 65.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £32,022

You could save up to: £4963

318d m sport 4dr step auto [plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 65.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £33,958

You could save up to: £5227

318d m sport 4dr step auto [tech pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 65.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £33,694

You could save up to: £5191

318d m sport 4dr step auto [tech/plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 65.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £35,630

You could save up to: £5455

320d m sport 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 62.8mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £31,029

You could save up to: £5566

320d m sport 4dr [plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 62.8mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £32,965

You could save up to: £5830

320d m sport 4dr [tech pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 62.8mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £32,701

You could save up to: £5794

320d m sport 4dr [tech/plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 62.8mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £34,637

You could save up to: £6058

320d m sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 65.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £32,516

You could save up to: £5769

320d m sport 4dr step auto [plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 65.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £34,452

You could save up to: £6033

320d m sport 4dr step auto [tech pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 65.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £34,188

You could save up to: £5997

320d m sport 4dr step auto [tech/plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 65.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £36,124

You could save up to: £6261

320d xdrive m sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 61.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £33,836

You could save up to: £5949

320d xdrive m sport 4dr step auto [plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 61.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £35,772

You could save up to: £6213

320d xdrive m sport 4dr step auto [tech pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 61.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £35,508

You could save up to: £6177

320d xdrive m sport 4dr step auto [tech/plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 61.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £37,444

You could save up to: £6441

320i m sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 50.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £30,684

You could save up to: £4781

320i m sport 4dr step auto [plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 50.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £32,620

You could save up to: £5045

320i m sport 4dr step auto [tech pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 50.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £32,356

You could save up to: £5009

320i m sport 4dr step auto [tech/plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 50.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £34,292

You could save up to: £5273

320i xdrive m sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 47.1mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £32,088

You could save up to: £4967

320i xdrive m sport 4dr step auto [plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 47.1mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £34,024

You could save up to: £5231

320i xdrive m sport 4dr step auto [tech pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 47.1mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £33,760

You could save up to: £5195

320i xdrive m sport 4dr step auto [tech/plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 47.1mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £35,696

You could save up to: £5459

330d m sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 55.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £35,125

You could save up to: £6120

330d m sport 4dr step auto [plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 55.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £37,061

You could save up to: £6384

330d m sport 4dr step auto [tech pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 55.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £36,797

You could save up to: £6348

330d m sport 4dr step auto [tech/plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 55.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £38,733

You could save up to: £6612

330d xdrive m sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £36,445

You could save up to: £6300

330d xdrive m sport 4dr step auto [plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £38,381

You could save up to: £6564

330d xdrive m sport 4dr step auto [tech pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £38,117

You could save up to: £6528

330d xdrive m sport 4dr step auto [tech/plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £40,053

You could save up to: £6792

330e m sport 4dr auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy 176.6mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £33,987

You could save up to: £5993

330e m sport 4dr auto [plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £35,923

You could save up to: £6257

330e m sport 4dr auto [tech pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy 176.6mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £35,659

You could save up to: £6221

330e m sport 4dr auto [tech/plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy 176.6mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £37,595

You could save up to: £6485

330i m sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 47.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £33,401

You could save up to: £5884

330i m sport 4dr step auto [plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 47.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £35,337

You could save up to: £6148

330i m sport 4dr step auto [tech pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 47.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £35,073

You could save up to: £6112

330i m sport 4dr step auto [tech/plus pack]

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 47.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £37,009

You could save up to: £6376

BMW 3 Series M Sport Plus Edition

320d m sport plus edition 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £34,989

You could save up to: £6106

320d m sport plus edition 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £36,476

You could save up to: £6309

320d xdrive m sport plus edition 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £37,796

You could save up to: £6489

320i m sport plus edition 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £33,994

You could save up to: £5971

320i xdrive m sport plus edition 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £35,398

You could save up to: £6157

330d m sport plus edition 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £38,821

You could save up to: £6624

330d xdrive m sport plus edition 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £40,141

You could save up to: £6804

330e m sport plus edition 4dr auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £37,683

You could save up to: £6497

330i m sport plus edition 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £37,097

You could save up to: £6388

BMW 3 Series M340i

m340i xdrive 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £41,597

You could save up to: £6958

BMW 3 Series SE

318d se 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 65.7mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £28,106

You could save up to: £4429

318d se 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 67.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £29,450

You could save up to: £4615

320d se 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 64.2mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £28,477

You could save up to: £5218

320d se 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 67.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £29,944

You could save up to: £5421

320d xdrive se 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 62.8mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £31,284

You could save up to: £5601

320i se 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 51.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £28,132

You could save up to: £4433

320i xdrive se 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 47.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £29,536

You could save up to: £4619

BMW 3 Series SE Pro

330e se pro 4dr auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy 176.6mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £32,135

You could save up to: £5740

BMW 3 Series Sport

318d sport 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 64.2mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £29,338

You could save up to: £4597

318d sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 65.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £30,702

You could save up to: £4783

320d sport 4dr

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 62.8mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £29,709

You could save up to: £5386

320d sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 65.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £31,196

You could save up to: £5589

320d xdrive sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 61.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £32,516

You could save up to: £5769

320i sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 50.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £29,364

You could save up to: £4601

320i xdrive sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 47.1mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £30,768

You could save up to: £4787

330d sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 55.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £33,805

You could save up to: £5940

330d xdrive sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 54.3mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £35,125

You could save up to: £6120

330i sport 4dr step auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 47.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £32,081

You could save up to: £5704

BMW 3 Series Sport Pro

330e sport pro 4dr auto

  • Doors 4
  • Fuel petrol/plugin elec hybrid
  • Economy 176.6mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £33,367

You could save up to: £5908

Other Editions