- Efficient diesel engines
- 330e plug-in hybrid should be cost-effective
- Petrols surprisingly frugal too
As with most cars, the claimed fuel economy figures for the 3 Series vary depending on the size of the wheels and tyres fitted. Generally, the larger the wheels, the higher the fuel consumption of the car.
Starting with the diesels, the 318d returns between 55.4mpg and 58.9mpg when fitted with a manual gearbox. With the automatic, BMW claims 52.3-55.4mpg. Step up to the 320d and the figures are 54.3-56.5mpg for the manual, and 53.3-55.4mpg for the auto. Specify xDrive all-wheel drive (auto only), and claimed fuel economy falls slightly to 49.6-52.3mpg. Finally, the 330d claims between 46.3mpg and 47.9mpg.
The petrols aren’t too far behind the diesels for claimed fuel economy. The 320i returns 41.5-43.5mpg, while the 330i offers 40.4-41.5mpg.
Estimated fuel cost per year
|Fuel type||Pence per litre||Estimated cost per year *|
|Unleaded||128p||£1,238 - £1,238 *|
|Diesel||131p||£889 - £976 *|
* The estimated fuel cost figure is based on an annual mileage of 10,000 miles and is a guide to how much this model will cost in fuel each year. It's calculated using the model's average MPG (calculated from both town centre and motorway driving) and the average fuel price from around the country. Actual fuel costs will vary based on driving style and road conditions.
Ongoing running costs
|Servicing period||Determined by the on-board computer|
|Warranty||Three years/60,000 miles|
|Road tax (12 months)||£145 - £465|
25 - 38
How much is it to insure?
Vehicle excise duty (VED) varies according to the CO2 emissions and the fuel type of the vehicle. For cars registered before 01 March 2001 it is based on engine size. For cars registered on or after 01 March 2001 the VED or road tax is based on the car's CO2 emissions.
Emissions for the 3 Series are pleasingly low across the range. The best performer is the 318d, producing 109g/km and 113g/km for automatic and manual gearboxes respectively. The 320d isn’t much worse, producing 115g/km and 110g/km for auto and manual models. Even the auto-only 320d xDrive emits just 118g/km of CO2.
At the top of the diesel range, the 330d emits 133g/km, while the 320i and 330i petrols produce 126g/km and 134g/km respectively.
Highest and lowest CO2 emissions
|Engine||CO2 emissions||Road tax (12 months)|
|2.0d Diesel||109 g/km (Min)||£145|
|2.0i Petrol||134 g/km (Max)||£145|
- BMW has a strong reliability record
- New 3 Series should prove similarly dependable
- Three-year warranty as standard
The 3 Series has a good reputation for reliability – the previous model was the subject of three recalls during its life, and none were for anything serious.
The newer model uses some new technology which we’ve found to be patchy in operation – such as disconnecting phone connections randomly and even when you come to a stop – but software updates through your dealer should sort this out in time.
Otherwise, mechanical components are tried and tested from a vast range of other BMW cars.
Car checklist problem points
|Body||No problems reported.|
|Engine / gearbox||No problems reported.|
|Other||No problems reported.|