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8.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.3
Safety: 9.1
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 BMW 3-Series Review

The BMW 3 Series has precise driving dynamics, an engaging performance, and an upscale interior. In many ways, it's the quintessential luxury sports sedan. In this very competitive class, however, you can find cars with even more luxurious cabins. 

Pros & Cons

 

  • Exceptional handling and acceleration
  • Impressive fuel economy
  • Upscale interior

 

  • Limited steering feedback

2015 BMW 3-Series Overview

Is the 2015 BMW 3 Series a Good Used Car?

Whether it's the high-performance M3 (which was redesigned for the 2015 model year) or the base 320i, the 2015 BMW 3 Series offers athletic handling and abundant power. Factor in outstanding fuel economy and an elegant cabin, and it’s easy to see why the 3 Series is a great used luxury car. The 3 Series also offers variety. It's available in three body styles: sedan, Sports Wagon, and Gran Turismo hatchback.

Used 2015 BMW 3 Series Performance and Interior

The 2015 BMW 3 Series comes standard with a energetic 180-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The 3 Series has five additional engines to choose from, with the most powerful being the M3's 425-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V6 that is very fast off the line. The 3 Series is available with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The base 3 Series gets 23 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. The ActiveHybrid 3 model gets 25/32 mpg city/highway, while the turbodiesel 328d gets the best fuel economy in the 3 Series' lineup, with 31/43 mpg. All of these estimates are excellent for the class.

The 3 Series has a comfortable, smooth ride, and models equipped with BMW’s M Sport suspension provide sportier handling. The brakes provide good pedal feel and offer plenty of stopping power, but the 3 Series’ steering doesn't provide enough feedback. Rear- and all-wheel drive (xDrive) are available.

Read more about 3 Series performance »

The 2015 BMW 3 Series seats five on standard leatherette upholstery. Available features include leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, front sport seats, heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.

The seats are comfortable, and the rear seats are among the most spacious in the class. For installing child safety seats, the 3 Series has two complete sets of LATCH connectors in the rear outboard seats and an upper-tether anchor in the middle seat.

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

The iDrive system has sharp graphics, quick load times, and organized menus. However, some rival systems let you change settings in fewer steps.

The 3 Series sedan and M3 models have 13 and 12 cubic feet of cargo space, respectively, which is about average. The wagon and hatchback models have more room, with 17.5 and 18.4 cubic feet of space, respectively, with the rear seats up and 53 and 56.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. A power liftgate is standard, and a hands-free power liftgate is available in wagon and hatchback models.

Read more about 3 Series interior »

Used 2015 BMW 3 Series Prices

A used 2015 BMW 3 Series starts at about $22,240 for a base 320i model, while a Gran Turismo 335i xDrive costs about $38,900. Prices will vary based on the vehicle's condition, mileage and trim. Prices can also shift with demand.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 36 Reviews Analyzed

We gathered and analyzed 36 professional reviews, along with crash test results, reliability ratings, and cost of ownership estimates, to help you decide if the 2015 BMW 3 Series is the right car for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our editorial team has more than 75 years of combined experience working in the automotive industry. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers, and a third party places the ads on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2015 BMW 3 Series?

J.D. Power and Associates give the 2015 3 Series a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.

Read more about 3 Series reliability »

How Safe Is the 3 Series?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 BMW 3 Series its top score of Good in four of five crash test categories. In the fifth – the small overlap front test – the 3 Series received a Marginal score (the second lowest). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 3 Series five out of five stars overall, including five stars for side and rollover crash testing and four stars for front crash testing.

The 3 Series doesn't come standard with any advanced driver assistance features. Available safety 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 »

Should I Consider Another Used 3 Series?

The 2015 3 Series is part of the model's sixth generation, which began with the 2012 model year and includes the 2017 model. The 3 Series has undergone several changes since the 2012 redesign. For 2013, BMW added a hybrid version and an option for all-wheel drive. A wagon model and a diesel engine option were added to the 2014 model. Depending on which model and powertrain options you are interested in, you may be able to find a similar 3 Series from a previous year at a cheaper price.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 3 Series » 

Which Used BMW 3 Series 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, as well as a more powerful engine than the base model. This trim is available in all three body styles with AWD.

For additional peace of mind, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned 3 Series. The BMW CPO program has three levels based on the vehicle’s age and the number of miles on the odometer: Certified Pre-Owned Elite, Certified Pre-Owned, and Pre-Owned. Each level receives the balance of the original new-car warranty. Certified Pre-Owned Elite vehicles get an additional one-year/25,000-mile warranty, while Certified Pre-Owned models receive an additional two-year/50,000-mile warranty. Pre-Owned BMWs receive no additional coverage. Each BMW undergoes an inspection before earning CPO status. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the BMW warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the BMW certified pre-owned program »

2015 BMW 3 Series and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2015 BMW 3 Series or 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has a balanced ride, potent engines, and high-quality materials. It also won our 2015 Best Upscale Small Car for Families award, thanks to its high safety ratings and spacious cargo and seating capabilities. Though the 3 Series has a nice interior, the C-Class' is more luxurious. Additionally, the C-Class comes with more standard features, including a Wi-Fi hot spot and driver drowsiness monitoring, both of which aren't even available in the 3 Series. The C-Class has plenty of power for city and highway driving, but it has slow, sloppy gear changes. If you want top-of-the-line performance, the 3 Series is a better bet. If you want more luxury and features, the C-Class is the car to buy.

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

With standard leather upholstery and wood and aluminum accents, the Audi A4 also has a more luxurious interior than the 3 Series. However, its infotainment system is more complicated. The A4's base engine produces more power than the 3 Series' base, making 220 horsepower to the 3 Series' 180. However, the 3 Series offers a potent lineup of engines, whereas the A4 only has one – and that one gets poor fuel economy (18/28 mpg city/highway). If you want luxury, go with the A4. If you want performance, go with the 3 Series.

Compare the 3 Series, C-Class, and A4 »

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