Go to homepage - Car Reliability Index

brought to you by

Warranty Direct

Car Warranty & Extended Warranty

Buying Guides

BMW 3 Series (2012-2018) Buying Guide

BMW 3 Series (2012-2018)
BMW 3 Series (2012-2018)BMW 3 Series (2012-2018)BMW 3 Series (2012-2018)BMW 3 Series (2012-2018)BMW 3 Series (2012-2018)BMW 3 Series (2012-2018)BMW 3 Series (2012-2018)BMW 3 Series (2012-2018)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

When BMW launched the original 3 Series in 1975 it was an expensive car made in relatively small numbers, and the first generation came in two-door saloon form only. By the time production of the sixth-generation 3 Series was fully under way, BMW had created the 4 Series so as not to overwhelm its customers with variations on the 3 Series theme. As a result the 3 Series encompassed four-door saloon and five-door estate editions (along with the 3 Series GT hatchback), with the coupe and convertible now badged 4-Series. In typical BMW fashion the Mk6 3 Series was brilliant to drive and powered by some of the most efficient engines on the market. Superbly built and well equipped, the 3 Series was a big hit for BMW, despite its premium positioning - and as a used buy it's every bit as desirable.

We LikeWe Don't Like
Great to drive
Very well made
Well equipped
Very safe
Efficient engines
Strong image
Costly to buy
Can be costly to run
M Sport's firm ride
So-so cabin space
How much to cover this car?
Get a warranty quote for this car in less than 60 seconds from Warranty Direct
Key Dates 
2/12The sixth generation BMW 3 Series saloon is launched in the UK. Codenamed F30 by BMW, there are 328i, 335i and 320d options.
7/12A 330d debuts alongside a hybrid (the ActiveHybrid3) and a 320i with xDrive four-wheel drive.
11/12The 316i and 320i EfficientDynamics join the range, both powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine.
9/12An F30 Touring appears, along with 316d and 318d engines.
1/13A DAB radio is now standard on all cars and the 325d is introduced.
7/15A facelift brings styling tweaks, LED headlights, new engines and an upgraded cabin.
7/16The 330e plug-in hybrid replaces the ActiveHybrid3.
  • The 320i and 328i have a 2.0-litre engine, the 316i and 320i Efficient Dynamics have a 1.6 turbo. The 316d, 318d, 320d and 325d have a 2.0-litre engine; the 330d and 335d are powered by a 3.0-litre straight-six.
  • When a mobile is paired via the bluetooth system, it can struggle to import data from the handset, but a software update should fix things.
  • The front seat frames can corrode, which lead to squeaks and creaks from the hinges and the various adjustment mechanisms.
  • A digital odometer means it&s easy to clock a , but the correct diagnostic tool will soon uncover if the clock has been wound back.
  • The regular 3 Series has power going to the rear wheels only, but xDrive models have four-wheel drive which gives much better grip in the wet.
Get a cover quote in 60 seconds
Protect your car against the cost and hassle of unexpected failure in the future