BMW 3 Series saloon (2011-2018) - Reliability & safety

The BMW 3 Series is safe, reliable and satisfying to own, with tried-and-tested engines from the rest of the range

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Reliability & safety Rating

4.0 out of 5

BMW has a strong reputation for building dependable cars that impress in terms of build quality and the 3 Series saloon has a good amount of safety kit as standard. Technology like adaptive cruise control and safety packages like the Active Security and Vision packs can be specified too, adding to the safety kit list.

BMW 3 Series reliability

The BMW 3 Series range was was rated just above average for reliability in our 2017 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK. Of the owners who responded, 7.6% reported experiencing a problem with their car on one or more occasion.

The two categories that 3 series owners are the most pleased by is their engines and gearbox, as well as their infotainment and connectivity features. Practicality and space, as well as limited safety features, dragged its owner satisfaction score down.


As you'd expect, the BMW 3 Series is as safe as any car in its class. With a raft of airbags, electronic stability control and a tyre-pressure monitoring system, the BMW boasts a five-star Euro NCAP test rating, putting it on par with the Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4 and Lexus IS.

It's possible to add even more advanced safety kit, including adaptive LED headlamps (which follow the steering direction), blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assistance (which gently keeps the car in its lane on the motorway). There's also the option of the xDrive four-wheel-drive system on selected models, which improves grip in adverse weather.

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