Pros & Cons

  • Exceptional handling and acceleration
  • Impressive fuel economy
  • Upscale interior
  • Limited steering feedback




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.3
Safety: 8.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 BMW 3-Series Overview

Is the 2015 BMW 3 Series a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2015 BMW 3 Series is a good luxury small car with above-average performance chops. It’s available as a sedan, Sports Wagon, and Gran Turismo hatchback, and it boasts a multitude of engine choices, good fuel economy, an abundance of power, and swift acceleration from a stop.

While the 3 Series’ sharp driving dynamics and cushioned ride are admirable, some may long for better steering feedback when tackling sharp corners. Additionally, several cars in the class offer a nicer interior and better reliability ratings.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 40 BMW 3 Series reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 BMW 3 Series?

Based on more than 4,460 listings for the 2015 BMW 3 Series on our site, the average price is $22,800. Prices range from $17,300 to $30,500 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2015 BMW 3 Series Cost to Own?

The 3 Series’ five-year costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are projected to be around $29,880, or $5,976 per year, which is typical for a luxury small car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New BMW 3 Series?

The 2019 BMW 3 Series starts at $40,250 and rises to $51,250 for its top trim. That’s much more expensive than an average-priced 2015 3 Series, but you get a lot for the money. Among the features in the fully redesigned 2019 3 Series that you won’t find in the 2015 model: a rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and the newest iDrive infotainment system, which features a larger touch screen and a more user-friendly interface than previous versions. The 2019 model also has a stronger base engine and more responsive steering than the 2015 3 Series. If it’s within your budget, we recommend the newer model. If you’re in the market for a Sports Wagon or Grand Turismo, which haven’t been updated for 2019, go for an older model, which will likely cost less.

Read about the new BMW 3 Series »

If you’re considering a new luxury small car but your budget is limited to the average price of a 2015 3 Series, you’re out of luck. If you’re willing to consider nonluxury models, however, you'll find affordable options with impressive performance traits in the compact car class. The 2019 Volkswagen GTI ($27,595) and 2019 Mazda3 ($21,000) both have strong engines, sharp handling, and quick steering.

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Which Model Year of the BMW 3 Series Is Best?

The 2015 3 Series is part of a generation that began with the 2012 model and concluded with the 2017 3 Series. For 2013, all-wheel drive became available in the sedan, and the 320i trim was introduced. For 2014, BMW reintroduced the redesigned Sports Wagon, the Gran Turismo hatchback joined the lineup, and the 3 Series coupe and convertible became the 4 Series. Also for 2014, a diesel engine became available. The high-performance M3 was redesigned for 2015, and the 2016 3 Series saw updated styling. Wireless device charging and Apple CarPlay were made available in the 2017 model. If you can live without the smartphone gadgetry, stick with the 2015 3 Series, which offers a lot of car for the money.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 3 Series »

How Reliable Is the 2015 BMW 3 Series?

J.D. Power gives the 2015 3 Series a reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average for the market but below average for the class.

Read more about 3 Series reliability »

2015 BMW 3 Series Recalls

At the time of writing, there are two recalls for the 2015 BMW 3 Series. One is for a possible coolant leak in diesel-powered models that could potentially result in a fire, and the other is for side marker lamps that may not illuminate.

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on BMW 3 Series safety recalls »

Which Used BMW 3 Series Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 BMW 3 Series comes in six trims: 320i, 328i, 328d, 335i, ActiveHybrid 3, and M3. For the best deal, go with the 328i model. It comes standard with many features and a more powerful engine than you'll find in the base model. This trim is available in all three body styles and with all-wheel drive.

For the best fuel economy, go with the diesel-powered 328d or ActiveHybrid 3 models. Performance enthusiasts should check out the M3 trim, but keep in mind that its sharper handling comes with a rougher ride.

See 2015 BMW 3 Series trims and specs »

What Does BMW's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

The BMW Certified CPO program is available on vehicles with between 300 and 60,000 miles on the odometer. The program covers buyers for one year with unlimited mileage after the four-year/50,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty has expired. This warranty can be renewed for a fee, but there is a maximum of five years of coverage. Each BMW must pass a road test and a 196-point inspection before earning CPO status. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available. Restrictions apply on transferring CPO coverage to subsequent owners. Read the BMW warranty page carefully.

BMW has one of the less-attractive CPO programs among luxury car manufacturers, according to our research. You’ll get better warranties from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Jaguar.

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How Safe Is the 3 Series?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 3 Series an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. It received five stars in the side crash and rollover tests and four stars in the frontal crash evaluation. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 3 Series the highest rating of Good in four tests and the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the driver-side small overlap front test.

The 3 Series doesn't come standard with any advanced driver assistance features. Available features include a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, side- and top-view cameras, front and rear park assist, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning.

See 3 Series safety scores »

2015 BMW 3 Series Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 BMW 3 Series or 2015 Audi A4?

If the 3 Series’ limited steering feedback concerns you, consider the 2015 Audi A4. It earns one of the highest performance scores in the luxury small car class thanks to two powerful available engines, slick transmissions, sharp steering, and spry handling. The A4 also has an upscale cabin with premium materials and simple styling. The seats are comfortable, are well-contoured, and come with leather upholstery. The 3 Series offers a few more engine options than the A4, but the Audi offers more-balanced handling and a better reliability rating.

Which Is Better: 2015 BMW 3 Series or 2015 BMW 4-Series?

The BMW 3 Series and 2015 BMW 4 Series are both luxury small cars with powerful engine lineups, outstanding fuel economy, and agile handling. The 4 Series is our recommendation. It has a higher reliability rating, and it comes with adaptive headlights and adaptive cruise control; the 3 Series doesn't come with any standard driver assistance features. Also, the 4 Series’ steering feedback is better than you’ll find in the 3 Series.

Compare the 3 Series, A4, and 4 Series »

2015 BMW 3 Series Performance

How Does the 2015 BMW 3 Series Drive?

The 2015 BMW 3 Series comes standard with a vigorous 180-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. There are five additional engines available, with the strongest being the high-performance M3's 425-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 that produces quick acceleration off the line. All 3 Series models come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and a six-speed manual is available in the sedan. The M3 comes with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an available seven-speed automated manual.

The 3 Series has a tranquil, smooth ride, and models equipped with BMW’s M Sport suspension provide lively handling. However, there isn’t enough steering feedback. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive (xDrive) is available.

Does the 2015 BMW 3 Series Get Good Gas Mileage?

The BMW 3 Series has great fuel economy numbers. The base model returns an EPA-rated 23 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. The turbodiesel 328d with front-wheel drive gets the best estimate in the 3 Series' lineup, with 31 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway. All of these estimates are excellent for the class.

Read more about 3 Series performance »

2015 BMW 3 Series Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 BMW 3 Series Seat?

The 3 Series has seating for five on synthetic leather upholstery. Genuine leather upholstery, front sport seats, heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

Up front, the seats are comfortable, and the rear seats are some of the roomiest in the luxury small car class. The cabin is handsomely designed and made with premium materials, though some rivals are nicer inside.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 BMW 3 Series?

The 3 Series has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats, as well as an upper tether anchor on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use. The lower anchors are set too deep in the seats and can be difficult to maneuver around.

2015 BMW 3 Series Features

Standard features in the 3 Series include push-button start, Bluetooth, a USB port, and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-inch display. Available features include a moonroof, a 16-speaker sound system, and a head-up display.

The iDrive system has crisp graphics, fast responses, and straightforward menus. However, some rivals’ systems don’t require as many steps to change settings.

See 2015 BMW 3 Series specs »

Read more about 3 Series interior »

2015 BMW 3 Series Dimensions

BMW 3 Series Cargo Space

The 3 Series sedan has 17 cubic feet of cargo space, which is typical for the class. The M3 has a much smaller 12 cubic feet. The wagon and hatchback have 17.5 and 18.4 cubic feet, respectively, with the rear seats up and 53 and 56.5 cubic feet with them folded. A hands-free power liftgate is available in wagon and hatchback models.

2015 3 Series Length and Weight

The 3 Series is about 15.2 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,280 to 4,010 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 BMW 3 Series Built?

BMW built the 2015 3 Series in Germany.


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