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Expert Rating

BMW 3 Series

Our unique Expert Ratings combine scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites to give you a definitive rating on every new car

Expert Rating

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Summary


The BMW 3 Series is a medium-sized saloon and estate model, and has long been considered the benchmark for the compact executive saloon class. The latest generation was unveiled in late 2018 and went on sale in the UK in early 2019.

The estate (known as Touring) models were launched several months after the saloon versions. Additionally, the high-performance M3 saloon was unveiled in September 2020 and arrived in the UK in early 2021.

The new BMW 3 Series has received very high scores from the UK media. Initial ratings were even higher than the current Expert Rating of 84%, with the scores moderating slightly as media outlets spent more time with different models of the 3 Series range on local roads.

As with previous generations, particular praise has been directed at the way the BMW 3 Series drives compared to its rivals. The quality and design of the interior are better than previous models, although other cars are just as good or better.

3 Series highlights

  • Still the best car in its class to drive
  • Interior a significant improvement
  • Petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid options available
  • Cabin space now a match for rivals

3 Series lowlights

  • Battery range can’t match class leaders
  • Ride firm with sports suspension
  • Digital display not as good as those on rivals
  • Another BMW with polarising styling

Key specifications


Body style: Mid-sized saloon and estate
Engines: petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid
Price: From £32,595 on-road

Launched: Winter 2018/19
Last updated: Summer 2020
Replacement due: TBA


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

The Car Expert

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Auto Express

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Auto Trader

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Autocar

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Car

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Car Keys

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Carbuyer

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Carwow

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Company Car Today

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Daily Mail

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Daily Mirror

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Evo

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Green Car Guide

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Honest John

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Motors.co.uk

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Parkers

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The Sun

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The Sunday Times

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The Telegraph

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Top Gear

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What Car?

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Which?

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Safety rating


Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

Overall rating: 5 stars
Date tested: October 2019

97%

ADULT OCCUPANT

87%

CHILD OCCUPANT

87%

VULNERABLE ROAD USERS

76%

SAFETY ASSIST

Eco rating


No eco rating

The BMW 3 Series has not been lab tested by Green NCAP. This is a new initiative, launched in 2018 as a sister organisation to Euro NCAP. As yet, very few new cars have been tested for environmental impact by Green NCAP, and inevitably the testing programme was halted in early 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic.

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the BMW 3 Series has received

2021

  • Company Car Today CCT100 Awards – Best Compact Executive Car
  • What Car? Awards – Best Executive Car + Best Plug-In Hybrid to Drive + Best Estate Car to Drive
  • carwow Awards – Best Family Hybrid Car (330e)
  • Auto Trader New Car Awards – Best Hybrid (330e)
  • Fleet World Awards – Best Compact Executive Car
  • Business Motoring Awards – Best Medium Car + Best PHEV
  • DieselCar & EcoCar Top 50 – Best Compact Executive Car
  • Fleet News Awards – Best Premium Car
  • What Car? EV Awards – Best Hybrid Executive Car

2020

  • Parkers New Car Awards – Best Company Car (330e)
  • What Car? Awards – Best Executive Car + Best Plug-in Hybrid + Safety Award
  • Fleet News AwardsNew Company Car of the Year + Best Premium Car
  • Fleet World Awards – Best New Fleet Car + Best Fleet Compact Executive Car
  • Auto Trader Awards – Most Loved Car
  • What Car? Electric Car Awards – Best Plug-In Hybrid Executive Car
  • Autocar Britain’s Best Car Awards – Best Company Car (330e)
  • Business Car Awards – Best Premium Car
  • Company Car Today CCT100 Awards – Car of the Year + Best Compact Executive Car
  • DieselCar & EcoCar Top 50 – Best Compact Executive Car

2019

  • carwow AwardsCar of the Year + Best Family Car
  • Auto Express Awards – Best Compact Executive Car
  • What Car? Awards – Best Executive Car

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the BMW 3 Series, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Alfa Romeo Giulia | Audi A4 | Audi A5 Sportback | BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé | Jaguar XE | Kia Stinger | Mazda 6 | Mercedes-Benz C-Class | Peugeot 508 | Polestar 2 | Subaru Levorg | Tesla Model 3 | Vauxhall Insignia | Volkswagen Arteon | Volkswagen Passat | Volvo S60 | Volvo V60

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Best car rankings

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The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites

Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites