Primary Navigation Mobile

BMW 3-Series review

2019 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 54.5
” Still the best compact executive saloon for enthusiastic drivers “

At a glance

Price new £39,950 - £58,750
Used prices £13,017 - £49,162
Road tax cost £190 - £600
Insurance group 24 - 42
Get an insurance quote with Mustard logo
Fuel economy 34 - 62.8 mpg
Range 546 - 844 miles
Miles per pound 5.0 - 8.0
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types



Pros & cons

  • Wide range of engines and trims available
  • Great fun to drive while still comfortable
  • High-quality interior with lots of tech
  • Options can make it quite pricey
  • Jerky start/stop system
  • Firm and fidgety ride on M Sport models

Written by Keith Adams Published: 27 January 2023 Updated: 26 March 2024


The BMW 3 Series is the very core of the firm’s model range, to the extent that its strengths (and weaknesses) of this saloon car effectively define the brand. It combines affordable aspiration with premium interior quality and enough space for many uses, and underpins it all with the superb driving dynamics BMW has built its reputation upon.

Not that we should be surprised. The 3 Series name has been around since the 1970s, so the company has had plenty of time to perfect its formula. This generation of 3 Series has been on sale since 2019, and was refreshed during the summer of 2022, bringing updated looks and the very latest BMW infotainment system. We’ve driven the updated model here.

This BMW 3 Series review deals exclusively with the saloon; we have a separate BMW 3 Series Touring review for the estate version, a BMW M3 review for the high-performance variant and a BMW 330e review for the plug-in hybrid model. The closely-related 4 Series is available as a coupe, convertible and five-door fastback. In short, there’s a medium-sized BMW for everyone.

Key rivals are Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, as well as other, less-popular premium alternatives such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE – both great to drive, if flawed in other respects. Other choices include the Lexus IS, Peugeot 508 and Volkswagen Arteon, so the 3 Series has more competition than ever.

There is a range of engines that covers petrol, diesel, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Power outputs in even the standard line-up range from 184hp through to 374hp (the M3 packs 510hp). Both rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD – badged xDrive) are available, too.

That said, if you want an electric 3 Series you’re out of luck – although the BMW i4 is pretty close, and one of the best electric cars you can currently buy. The 3 Series facelift is shown by the grey car wearing the German number plates in this review – you can see pictures of the pre-facelift model in the image gallery.

Keep reading for our full review of the BMW 3 Series, covering everything from the interior and its practicality to performance and how much it costs to run.