BMW 3 Series (2012-2018) review - Reliability and Safety

The BMW 3 Series finished mid-table in our Driver Power survey, but safety is top-notch

The latest 3 Series finished 34th (out of 75) in the 2018 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, with predictably strong showings for performance and handling. As a whole, BMW finished a disappointing 21st out of 26 manufacturers, which is behind Mercedes and Volvo, but ahead of Vauxhall.

As for safety, the BMW scored the full five stars in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests, but it is second to the Lexus IS as it has six airbags as opposed to eight in the Japanese car.

Adaptive brake lights are also standard on the 3 Series, as well as automatic lights and wipers, and rear parking sensors. You can also buy lane change assist, blind spot warning and auto high beams as optional extras on the lower-spec models.


All cars come with a three-year unlimited mile warranty (beating that of the Audi A4) no matter which 3 Series you go for. Of course, things like brake pads and tyres are not included – though some service plans will add these for extra cost.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The 330e gets an extra warranty for its battery pack over and above the standard cover. This lasts for six years, although the Passat GTE has cover for eight years.


Various service packs are available for the BMW 3 Series. A comprehensive package covers your car for three years or 36,000 miles (whichever comes sooner). Service Inclusive, as BMW calls it, costs around £399 on standard models, or around £1,000 on the M3.


Which Is Best


  • Name
    318i SE 4dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
  • Price

Most Economical

  • Name
    330e SE Pro 4dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
  • Price


  • Name
    M340i xDrive 4dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
  • Price

Most Popular

Mazda MX-5

New Mazda MX-5 2020 review

The popular Mazda MX-5 has been updated for 2020, but with the changes comes a jump in price
5 Apr 2020

New SEAT Leon 2020 review

The all-new SEAT Leon hatchback impresses with its blend of sporty handling and cutting-edge technology
3 Apr 2020
Car group tests

Kia Soul EV vs MG ZS EV

The second-generation Kia Soul EV faces the value-for-money MG ZS EV in an SUV shootout
4 Apr 2020