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.

Warranty

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.

Servicing

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

Cheapest

  • Name
    318i SE 4dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £29,990

Most Economical

  • Name
    330e SE Pro 4dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £36,970

Fastest

  • Name
    M340i xDrive 4dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £48,070

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range
Volkswagen ID.4

New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range

The new Tiguan-sized Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV becomes VW’s second ID. model, rivalling the Tesla Model Y
23 Sep 2020
New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range
Land Rover Range Rover Velar

New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range

Land Rover has given the Range Rover Velar an update, with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and an improved infotainment system
23 Sep 2020