The BMW 3 Series is an excellent car that boasts high quality, attention to detail and a long list of high-tech features. Sure, it's a bit less engaging to drive than it used to be, with less tactile steering. But the car is agile, steady and well balanced, even when pushed hard. It also still delivers a very satisfying and balanced overall driving experience.
There are 7 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"The suspension seems almost perfectly tuned, the car handles precisely and predictable. This particular model has an automatic transmission that sometimes has a hard time choosing what to do around town, it works fine if driven aggressively, but when driving slowly shifts around aimlessly."

Anonymous, OR (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Quick acceleration under most circumstances and very responsive steering."

Joel M., NV (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Acceleration, handling, fuel economy"

David M., CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Hesitation before acceleration engages while starting from a dead stop."

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"I like the 6 cylinder engine. It is powerful enough and responds to my needs. More power would be wasted and unnecessary and less not as desirable The size of the car is right. I find the 4 series too big unless it is a 4 dr sedan. This is my 4th 3series and I still like it"

Anonymous, ON (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"good: acceleration and handling"

Bruce T., VA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Great acceleration and best handling BMW that I've ever owned."

Anonymous, TN (2012 BMW 3 Series)


Anonymous, DE (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Although the car has tons of power, the acceleration from a stop can feel just a touch slow to respond. Maybe because I used to drive a manual transmission."

Paul M., CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"I don’t like when it switches from regenerative breaking to the pads... needs to be a smoother transition (which I have noticed has been fixed with later gemeration loaners). I would certainly recommend staying with the six cylinder engine I’m used to from past bmws over the 4 cylinder; but the 4 has great gas mileage for my daily long commutes. The 6 cal engine have more fun factor though :)"

Anonymous, GA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"good acceleration and great handling. The car's response is beautiful."

Anonymous, VA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Awesome power and cornering. So fun to drive."

Maurice C., TX (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"For a basic BMW engine, surprisingly good acceleration, and excellent handling."

G G., ON (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"It is a fun car to drive."

Anonymous, FL (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Excellent acceleration even with smaller engine (328) Responsive handling"

Leonard C., FL (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"I love how this car drives. Quick acceleration, great handling."

Barbara F., VA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Nothing. I will never purchase a 3 series again"

Anonymous, PA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"The handling is supreme! The steering feel and weight is excellent with this last year of the mechanical steering. The acceleration is very good. What sets this last of the naturally aspirated inline 6 engines apart - is their pure silky and flat response across the RPM spectrum. A dream to drive!"

Mark K., CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Great fun little car. Accelerates well and handling is sporty"

Peter Z., CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Sprinter when you want it to be, very agile and dynamic on Sport setting."

Mark W., TX (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Precise steering. Very good acceleration. Firm ride with good feedback. V. Good braking"

J S., FL (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Great stability on cornering"

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"fun to drive with excellent handling and acceleration."

Anonymous, FL (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Exclelkent handeling, goo brakes"

Christine C., FL (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"The V8 engine is fantastic. Still out accelerates and provided s ton of fun for driving experience"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Excellent precise handling"

Anonymous, MO (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"A pleasure to deive. Quick, responsive, agile, solid, and absolutely terrific in rain."

Robert B., VA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Fast, nimble. Power on demand. Really fun to drive. Alternatively in "eco mode", the car gets excellent gas mileage and range. The best of both worlds."

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"absolute top of the class. This car makes driving an experience to be anticipated."

Anonymous, ON (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Good handling, acceleration is bit rough when engine is in low rpm"

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Truly the Ultimate Driving Machine! Great power. Love the manual transmission. Fantastic handling."

Anonymous, FL (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Drives great. Handling is very good."

Anonymous, FL (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Acceleration, handling and braking."

KEVIN R., MN (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Power and fantastic handling. Best in any car I have ever owned."

TERRY T., IL (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Acceleration is great. Steering doesn't have the precise feel that our previous BMW had."

ROGER E., CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Plenty of power, but it sounds like a diesel.. I'd rather have a non-turbo inline six like I had in my 2004 325i. Very good fuel economy, but most of my driving is city so that's why I listed the MPG I did."

THOM H., CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"The bmw is fun to drive and is quite comfortable on long trips. I love getting over 40mpg while traveling at extra legal trip on long trips. I drove true sports cars all my life but orthopedic problems don't allow me to drive manual transmissions anymore. I consider it an old man's car so it is fun considering that automatic transmissions are boring"

MARK C., TX (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"The car is very responsive; quick acceleration, and is easy to maneuver."

Anonymous, VA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"While the electric steering needs much more road feedback, the overall handling and comfort of the Sport model is superb if you get rid of the tun-flat tires"

GREGORY R., MA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Very smooth normally aspirated inline 6 engine and associated drive train. Superb steering response absent in present-day models."

ROBERT R., AZ (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"It handles challenging road conditions easily. Great in commuter traffic and extreme weather."

Anonymous, MN (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Accelerates quickly and reliably without drama (lots of racket) and drives smoothly at high -- very high -- speeds. Its easy to get a ticket in this car without realizing you're blowing past everyone."

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"This car has a 2 liter turbocharged engine. I get great gas mileage and the car takes off like a rocket if I need power."

FRANK K., TN (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"This is an automatic transmission 6-cylinder non-turbocharged car and it's a bit slow to accelerate in non-sport driving mode."

ROBERT F., CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"4 cyl engine runs rougher then expected."

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"The engine is underpowered and lacks the performance of BMW sedans. Slow acceleration from stop. Handling is very good as expected from this make."

ROBERT M., VT (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Excellent handling and steering feel. A friend commented that even as a passenger "it feels like the car loves to take the curves!""

MARK K., CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"I love to drive this car(335is). It accelerates faster than any vehicle I have ever owned and brakes far better than any of my (many) previous vehicles. Handling exceeds my expectations in all respects, especially cornering. Also, it excels in cargo carrying capacity with the rear seats folded down."

CHARLES W., NJ (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"The car reacts instantly and properly to the driver's moves. Driving this car feels as though it is part of your body."

FREDERICK H., FL (2012 BMW 3 Series)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"rattles, rattles, rattles and more rattles mostly within the dashboard"

Anonymous, TX (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Seats are firm, noise is low"

John R., GA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"It is the pits."

Anonymous, PA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"its a comfortable ride and steering is electronic so it’s very smooth and easy."

Anonymous, GA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Its has very taut sport handling with the M Sport package - which gives me supreme comfort in feeling safe during spirited driving on coastal and mountain roads!"

Mark K., CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"The seats are nicely adjustable, but not super comfortable. The ride is great, the handling is excellent, but a bit noisy compared to other cars like it."

Anonymous, OR (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Very responsive vehicle, but outside noise is problematic. Good ride with different comfort/performance settings available. Comfort level of seats diminishes with distance travelled."

Mark W., TX (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"I'm 6' 5" . I need more thigh support"

Jim B., FL (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Because it is a sportscar, the ride is very rough."

Anonymous, HI (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"wrap around seat design makes entry difficult without scrubbing against the seat side bolsters"

Anonymous, TX (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"leg room is limited; on longer drives, this limits comfort"

Anonymous, OH (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"The seats are seemingly infinitely adjustable. With the top up and windows closed, the cabin is quiet and calm. Everything is within arm's reach. It's just a wonderful place to be regardless if stuck in traffic or booming down the freeway."

JOHN D., NC (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"The seats and climate controls are excellent. I can easily travel 900Km in a day and still feel comfortable driving."

RONALD G., SK (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Seats are very uncomfortable. Some wind nose from the Windows"

PAUL A., CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"The passenger side front seat belt, when employed, stuck in the furthest latch position with no give. As was the case with another BMW I own, the service technicians told us that there was nothing wrong and refused to do anything. On the 3rd try, we had the service manager sit in the passenger seat, went for a 30 second ride, and then asked him to retrieve a newspaper we had put on the dashboard in front of him. He could not. He could not turn or move a single inch. "Aha!" he said. "there is de"

Anonymous, GA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Comfortable ride, low noise, and easy control climate"

DONALD B., VA (2012 BMW 3 Series)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Horrible depreciation and well deserved This Call is overpriced and poorly built ."

Chris B., ON (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Lousy air conditioning"

MARK M., CA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"The value of this car was great in 2012, but is no longer the case for new models today as price has increased and content decreased. For this reason I would not buy BMW again."

ROBERT R., AZ (2012 BMW 3 Series)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Very aggressive sport model with a factory black roof. It turns heads and looks fast just sitting there."

STUART B., NC (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Sleek yet mature looking car"

DONALD B., VA (2012 BMW 3 Series)

"Convertible looks great"

RON S., IL (2012 BMW 3 Series)


Anonymous, NJ (2012 BMW 3 Series)

Would you buy this car again?

2012 vehicles
Acura TSX
Audi A4
BMW 3 Series
Buick Regal
Infiniti G
Lexus IS
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Volvo S60
Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
Change Vehicle