BMW 3 Series

  • Everyday guide
  • Market review
  • Fault guide

In this guide

How much does the BMW 3 Series cost to run?

The 2.0L diesel is the most economical BMW 3 Series to run, taking into account insurance, tax and fuel efficiency.

The BMW 3 Series 2.0L diesel costs £20.00 a year to tax, as it sits in tax band B.

It does just under 69 MPG on average, which means it will cost £9.00* in diesel every 100 miles driven.

In terms of fuel efficiency, it sits between the Volvo V60 2.4L diesel and the more thirsty Audi A4 2.0L diesel.

The lower the insurance group, the cheaper a car should be to insure. This model is rated insurance group 18, which is lower than the Audi A4 2.0L diesel, but higher than the Volvo S60 1.6L diesel. (If insurance cost is important to you then the Audi A4 has the lowest insurance group.)

Engine options

model1.5L petrol1.6L petrol2.0L diesel2.0L petrol3.0L diesel
mpg49.6 - 54.345.6 - 53.348.7 - 74.338.7 - 51.441.5 - 57.6
emissions122 - 133124 - 14399 - 153129 - 169129 - 178
tax£125.00 - £145.00£125.00 - £160.00£0.00 - £200.00£125.00 - £235.00£125.00 - £260.00
insuranceGroup 21Group 23 - 30Group 18 - 36Group 22 - 36Group 30 - 43

*UK average price of diesel £1.34 as of 01/06/2019.

*UK average price of petrol £1.29 as of 01/06/2019.

BMW 3 Series: How big is the boot?

The BMW 3 Series comes in five body shapes, all with different size boots.

The hatchback takes 520 litres which is space for one pushchair and 3 large bags.

  • The estate takes 490 litres
  • The saloon takes 477 litres
  • The coupe takes 438 litres
  • The convertible takes 350 litres

Worth knowing, the Volvo V60 estate is the best in class, allowing for one pushchair and 3 large bags with its 564 litres.

Is the BMW 3 Series easy to park?

While not the absolute narrowest car (that is the BMW 1 Series), this is in the top third for ease of parking in car parks. Given a typical supermarket space, it will fill three quarters of the space.

If you park on the street regularly, this is one of the cars to shortlist. At 4631m long it gives you reasonable 169mm space to move the car in and out of the bay.

Which BMW 3 Series has the best performance?

The fastest BMW 3 Series from 0-60, is the 3.0L diesel (if you’re a petrol head, it has 630 lbs/ft torque and 313 bhp). It hits 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.

The closest rival in its class is the Mercedes Benz C Class 3.0L petrol, which will beat your BMW 3 Series to 60 by 0.1 seconds. That’s a big gap in Formula 1, but not something you would notice in your commute to work.

Engine options

model1.5L petrol1.6L petrol2.0L diesel2.0L petrol3.0L diesel
zeroTo628.9 - 9.37.6 - 9.46.6 - 11.35.8 - 10.44.8 - 8
torque220220 - 250260 - 450190 - 400400 - 630
bhp136136 - 170116 - 218143 - 258197 - 313

What size caravan or trailer, can the BMW 3 Series tow?

If you are towing you want good torque to pull away easily despite the extra weight, and the car needs to be at least 15% heavier than the caravan to keep you stable at speed.

The model that can tow the biggest caravan or heaviest trailer is the BMW 3 Series 3.0L diesel which has 630 lbs/ft torque. It should be able to tow a braked caravan or trailer that weighs up to 1800kg comfortably.

You must check your car handbook – maximum towing weights vary considerably with different engine and gearbox combinations.