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.
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.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe BMW 3 Series is well built, efficient and fun to drive, justifying its place near the front of the compact executive saloon class
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe BMW 3 Series gets a range of fast but frugal engines and is one of the best compact executive cars to drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsConsidering the powerful range of engines, the 3 Series returns admirable fuel economy and emissions
- 4Interior, design and technologyInside, the BMW 3 Series can't compete with the super-desirable Audi A4, but it's not a bad place to be
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceSpace in the back of the BMW 3 Series is a bit tight, but no worse than in key rivals
- 6Reliability and Safety - currently readingThe BMW 3 Series finished mid-table in our Driver Power survey, but safety is top-notch