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. And it still delivers a very satisfying and balanced overall driving experience.
Alerts
There is 1 recall on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags standard, available in rear from 2000. Head protection air bags standard from 2000. ESC standard from 2001.
Road Test

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. And it still delivers a very satisfying and balanced overall driving experience.

Ride comfort, cabin quietness, and interior fit and finish are all impressive. The rear seat has received a little breathing room over the years, but it's still tight. And some controls remain needlessly complicated.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
4-door hatchback
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 7-speed Sequential
  • 8-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbodiesel (180 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (240 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (180 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 hybrid (248 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (320 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (300 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (425 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 BMW 3 Series owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Erratic minor problems, the most serious of which is that the first few words of the voice commands get cut off, I.e., "... urn right" instead of "In a quarter mile turn right." Cannot recreate these problems for the dealer. Dealer installed updated software; too soon to see if it is working"

Robert H., MA (2016 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Satellite receiver system failed, nothing.requiring satellite data worked... covered by warranty"

Anonymous, AL (2016 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"outdated at purchase; inaccurate directions, not intuitive; false traffic information"

Michael B., CA (2016 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Radio

"Pushbuttons do not work correctly. Difficult using radio/Sirius while driving"

D H., CT (2016 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"windshield needed to be re-installed"

Michael D., NY (2016 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"There was a rattle when we drove on rough roads. Took the dealership a couple of test drives to find it in the steering column. Fixed and no problems since"

Anonymous, OR (2016 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Rattle started after service and was resolved after next service"

Michael W., CA (2016 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"There is a rattle that comes from the rear passenger side when it gets warm, but not when it is colder"

Anonymous, PA (2016 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Gauges

"Instrument cluster failed twice while driving. BMW replaced the entire cluster under warranty"

Anonymous, PA (2016 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Headlights

"The stock halogen headlights on the BMW 3-Series are total garbage. They barely light up the road at night. The high beams don't add much additional light. I have had better halogen headlights on cars costing half as much. If Toyota can put a good halogen headlight on a base model Corolla or HID headlights on a Camry, BMW can do better without charging $4000+ for their technology package to get HIDs on a $40K+ car. I love the car. The driving dynamics, the handling, reliability, comfort are all"

Anonymous, NY (2016 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Springs or torsion bars

"Shock Tower brace came unscrewed from the factory. Dealer had to screw it in"

Anonymous, CA (2016 BMW 3 Series 340i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Steering wheel vibration

"Excessive steering wheel vibration"

Anonymous, TX (2016 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel pump

"Failed"

Franklin M., MA (2016 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint on front bumper just started coming off in the car wash. Dealer is repainting"

Shellie B., MO (2016 BMW 3 Series Unsure 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Premature brake wear

"Brakes needed to be reclined after very few miles"

Dorsey G., MA (2016 BMW 3 Series Unsure 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Blower (fan) motor

"Mid summer and the blower on the a/c failed. Dealership arranged a loaner for the 3 days it took to fix. Not what you would expect for a vehicle with 7590 miles"

Anonymous, OH (2016 BMW 3 Series 328i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

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