BMW 3 Series Review 2022

BMW 3 Series At A Glance

+More spacious than before. Upgraded engines. Very refined.

-Saloons not as practical as SUVs in many people's eyes.

New prices start from £34,900
Insurance Groups are between 24–42
On average it achieves 78% of the official MPG figure

The BMW 3 Series is wider, longer and lighter than its predecessor - with BMW insisting that it will remain at the top of its class in terms of handling. Still clearly a 3 Series, the latest model features a larger kidney grille and headlights similar to the bigger 5 Series. 

A longer wheelbase translates to a roomier cabin. BMW is promising an extra 11mm of rear legroom and more headroom for those in the front and back. Larger doors should make getting in and out of the new 3 Series easier, while the rear seats can accommodate three child seats. With the rear seats left up, boot space is 480 litres, while the rear seats can be dropped 40:20:40 to increase luggage capacity.

There's more kit as standard, with the entry-level model featuring an 8.8-inch central touchscreen infotainment system, increasing to a 10.3-inch system on the M Sport model. Apple CarPlay is standard across the range, although drivers will have to pay for a subscription service after the first year.

Like the Mercedes-Benz 'Hey Mercedes' personal assistant that made its passenger car debut in the A-Class, drivers and passengers in the new 3 Series will be able to access functions and retrieve information by saying 'Hey BMW'.

Described as 'the ideal co-driver', the personal assistant will learn your routines and habits allowing it to answer questions and even provide casual conversation ('Hey BMW, what is the meaning of life?' is an example provided by BMW).

The 3 Series comes with a digital key as per bigger models in the range, allowing it to be locked and unlocked from a smartphone.

From launch, buyers can choose from a range of four-cylinder engines in the 320d diesel and 330i petrol. The diesel produces 190PS with peak torque of 400Nm, taking it to 62mph in 7.1 seconds (automatic: 6.8 seconds), while the four-wheel-drive xDrive version takes 6.9 seconds.

BMW 320d xDrive M Sport 2019 Road Test

Car seat chooser

Child seats that fit a BMW 3 Series

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

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Real MPG average for a BMW 3 Series

RealMPG

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

78%

Real MPG

30–60 mpg

MPGs submitted

51

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

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Ask Honest John

Can you suggest a ULEZ-friendly coupe for under £35,000?
"I live in London and the impending ULEZ extension forces a reluctant sale of my much loved Euro5 BMW 640d. Everything about this car has been superb for the past five years but now is the time to move on. Requirements for a similarly comfortable, fast and entertaining premium car (ideally a coupe) that can accommodate four people is a must. I do only 4000 miles per year with infrequent long-distance driving. My max budget is £35,000. I'm considering an M4 (2019 Competition spec) but I'm concerned that future environmental taxes will price me off the road within a few years. I don't like Teslas and whilst the Honda E appeals, it's no good for long drives and is a long way off the BMW's 6 Series for luxury. Are there any interesting alternatives I should consider?"
Can you charge a car at home? If so, have you considered a BMW 330e plug-in hybrid? It's not as outlandish as the M4 (nor is it a coupe...) but it is a relatively quick, comfortable and economical car that shouldn't feel too much of a downgrade after your 6 Series. Your budget will get you a 2019 saloon model in desirable M Sport trim. Alternatively, consider a self-charging Lexus RC Coupe. It's not a particularly practical choice but it's very comfortable, a bit left-field and ULEZ-friendly.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Which automatic should I buy up to £20,000?
"I'm going to be taking my driving test soon so am looking to buy a reliable automatic. My budget is £20,000. I think I need something the size of a saloon as I will be doing around 18,000 miles per year with frequent motorway trips (three people) but will also be driving in London frequently too. What should I buy?"
It'll need to be ULEZ compliant to drive in London, which rules out most pre-2015 diesels – I'd run any car through the ULEZ checker before you buy. Your budget is enough to get a 2018 BMW 3 Series 320d diesel in popular M Sport trim, which has sporty touches outside and in. The 3 Series is an excellent car on the motorway, where it will get great fuel economy, and most will have the optional eight-speed automatic fitted. It's ULEZ exempt, but will be subject to the congestion charge, given your projected mileage I'm assuming you won't be driving in central London where the CC applies. The 3 Series is a Swiss Army Knife of a car – practical, easy to drive, cheap to run, but also fun. There are very few negatives.
Answered by Russell Campbell
Is there a new BMW 3 Series in 2022?
"I am thinking of buying a new BMW 330e SE Pro Touring. I have been told there is an upgrade or new model later this year. Do you have any information on this? Should I wait for the new model? I have been told the earliest current date is June/July if ordered now."
The 3 Series is indeed due for a facelift later this year – expect fairly minor updates made to the looks and engines, infotainment will likely be the most notable improvement, although nothing has been confirmed by BMW. The current car is already brilliant so I suppose it depends how much having the latest version matters to you. On the other hand, there might be savings to be made on stock versions of the current car, although the current car shortage makes this less likely than normal.
Answered by Russell Campbell
Which car should I buy for motorway commuting?
"I am looking for a car for motorway commuting and I am spiralling down an endless rabbit hole of options! I drive around 500 miles a week - a mix of 80% double carriage/motorway and 20% single carriage/broads/town. Comfort and economy are important to me so ideally I'm thinking of a biggish car (though I'm not keen on SUVs). I do quite like my options too (i.e. adaptive cruise control, digital dashboard). My budget is around £30k and I'm considering the following: Mercedes-Benz C-Class or E-Class, BMW 3 Series or 5 Series, Skoda Octavia or Superb, Jaguar XE or XF, or Volkswagen Arteon. What do you recommend? "
The Skoda Superb estate scores well for user satisfaction and your budget will get you a post-facelift example with all the toys you mention. For ultimate comfort, the Mercedes C-Class is a good shout and it's just been replaced so there may be deals to be done on slightly older cars. The E-Class is even more comfortable and many of them will have been specified with air suspension that takes them to another level compared to the rivals you mention. The Jaguars offer a great balance between comfort and handling, particularly the XF, but they're feeling a little dated now. The BMW prioritises comfort at the slight expense of comfort, but both the 3 and 5 Series are still great cars to do lots of miles in.
Answered by Russell Campbell
More Questions

What does a BMW 3 Series cost?