2018 BMW 3 Series vs. 2018 BMW 5 Series: Head to Head

BMW 5 Series, BMW 3 Series
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3 Series vs. 5 Series: Worth the Upgrade?

The BMW 3 Series has been the entryway to the brand for decades. Sure, some smaller BMW models have popped up, but the 3 Series is still perceived as a default choice for an entry-level luxury sedan. This model is also currently available as a hatchback and a wagon, and as a coupe and convertible in the BMW 4 Series guise.

The midsize 5 Series is not a direct competitor to its smaller sibling, but it’s a compelling choice for potential buyers who have already decided on the BMW brand and are choosing a model based on size or pricing. Currently, the 5 Series is available only as a sedan, though there are plenty of performance options. In years past, the lineup has included hatchbacks (5 Series GT), wagons, and convertibles.

The 3 Series sedan was last redesigned in 2012 and last refreshed in 2016, though BMW frequently shuffles this model’s available trim levels and engine lineup. BMW has announced a redesigned 3 Series for the 2019 model year.

The 5 Series was redesigned in 2017. It holds the No. 3 spot in our luxury midsize car rankings, while the 3 Series sits in the No. 4 spot of our luxury small car rankings.

Using scoring data from U.S. News reviews, we’ve put these BMWs side by side in the categories that are most important to luxury car buyers. For the sake of an accurate comparison, this head to head will focus primarily on the sedan versions of these cars.

Keep in mind that the scores on our site are updated constantly as new expert reviews and data become available. Therefore, the scores mentioned in this slideshow may not match the scores in our reviews.