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179 used BMW 3 Series cars for sale

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Grey BMW 3 Series from the front

Since its launch in the 1970s, the 3 Series has been the brand’s bestselling model. It is one of the most desirable midsized cars on the market. It appeals to many drivers, from those who want a sporty car for day-to-day driving to those in need of decent space for the family. It’s also popular among commuters who need to put in long miles for work.

The BMW 3 Series is a compact executive vehicle and a perfect example of German automotive excellence. Larger than the 1 Series hatchback yet smaller than the 5 Series, the 3 Series has all-rounder appeal. It’s comfortable to drive on long motorway journeys and country lanes. As it's also compact in the executive vehicle class, it's easy to park. The 3 Series comes in a range of body styles. Body styles include the traditional saloon, a coupé, estate and high-performance M3. There’s a great variety of engine options too, including a range of petrol and diesel as well as hybrids.

Competition comes from the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The model also stands up well against saloons from luxurious brands like Jaguar. The BMW 3 Series offers a premium driving experience with enhanced handling and performance.

BMW 3 Series updates and facelifts

Grey BMW 3 Series from the rear

BMW first released the 3 Series in 1975 in two-door coupé body styles only. It was following the Mk2’s release in 1982 that four-door, convertible and estate versions became available. The Mk2 also brought a diesel engine option alongside its petrol engines. BMW first introduced the M3 with the Mk2 model in 1986. It was called the BMW M3 E30. The M3 E30 was built on the same platform with a high-speed concept four-cylinder petrol engine. The Mk3 3 Series in 1990 brought a hatchback variant. This was the first generation of the 3 Series to offer six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. The Mk3 also had improved suspension.

BMW released the fourth generation 3 Series in 1997. The Mk4 brought with it updated technology available on the model. It included sat-nav, rain-sensing wipers, LED taillights and an electronic brake force display. In 2004, the Mk5 dropped the hatchback variant from its body styles. This generation saw the introduction of a turbocharged petrol engine. The Mk5 M3 received a powerful V8 engine.

The Mk6 saw the greatest change in body styles available on the 3 Series. In 2011, the coupé and convertible were removed from the lineup. The body styles were relaunched after a design update as the BMW 4 Series. The 3 Series added a new body style, a long-wheelbase hatchback called the 3 Series Gran Turismo. The Mk6 also offered a plug-in hybrid engine option. This generation brought many trims and personalisation options, meaning models from this era vary greatly.

BMW’s 3 Series is now in its seventh generation. This version was the first to give the estate an M3 option. It also has a curved touchscreen for everything from music and sat-nav to climate control. This generation continues to offer a mix of petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains. It received a facelift in 2022 that gave it an updated front and rear, along with a newer iDrive 8 infotainment system.

A wide variety of trims, engine sizes, transmissions and colours are available with a used BMW 3 Series. Examples include the 320d, 320i, 330e, 330d, m340i and the touring body type for those needing a little more room.

Practicality and style of the car

The 3 Series is a practical yet premium vehicle that can effortlessly handle everything from the daily commute to long-distance adventures. It has a length of 4,709mm, a height of 1,442mm and a width of 1,827mm. A stylish and spacious cabin means comfort is guaranteed. There is plenty of space in the front and rear cabin, with ample leg and headroom.

BMW 3 Series interior rear leather seats

Most of the saloon and coupé models offer 480 litres of boot space. This is the same as the Audi A4 and more than the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. With the rear seats folded, there is 1,510 litres of space for larger items. The seats fold in a 40:20:40 split. This gives you more versatility to take bulky or long items along with passengers in the back. Some variants have technology that lets you open the boot by swiping your foot under the rear bumper. Most current 3-series models are fitted with run flat tyres as standard.

Grey BMW 3 Series boot

The hybrid model offers 375 litres of boot space which is 105 litres less than the saloon. This is due to electrical equipment for the hybrid battery system taking up more of the floor space. The convertible model offers 350 litres of boot space with the roof up, and 210 litres when it is down. The BMW 3 Series Touring offers the most boot capacity with 500 litres of space.

If you’re planning on adventurous weekends away, the BMW 3 Series is up to the task of towing 1,800kg. That’s the capability needed to tow a caravan or a trailer of sports equipment.

Running costs

The 3 Series sits between insurance groups 18 to 50. The cost of insurance will differ depending on the chosen trim level, transmission-type and engine size. A 330e (from 2019 onwards) typically sits between insurance groups 33 to 36. Insurance costs are similar to rivals. The Audi A4 starts at a lower group of 19 and spans to 44, and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class ranges from groups 23 to 47.

Tax rates are also similar to the competition, starting at £180 a year. Some models attract the additional rate of £390 for their first five years after registration. The average CO2 emissions in grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilometre for segment D cars in the UK is 199.2/km for petrol, 162g/km for diesel, and 48g/km for BEVs. CO2 emissions on a 3 Series can range anywhere from 30 g/km to 247 g/km. The cost of taxing a 3 Series will largely depend on engine type and emissions. Additionally, maintenance and repair costs can be kept low providing the vehicle is regularly serviced and well looked after.

How a used BMW 3 Series drives

Automatic BMW 3 Series centre console showing gear selector

Most used BMW 3 Series cars for sale have a diesel engine. This is because these powertrains proved most popular with new buyers. These are typically either a 2.0-litre 318d engine that produces 148bhp or the 320d version that produces 181bhp. The more powerful of the two reaches 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds. For an even faster diesel, look out for the M340i six-cylinder unit that produces 335bhp. It can hit 0-62mpg in 4.6 seconds. For the diesel engines, mpg figures range from 54.3 to 62.8.

Petrol options are available but there are fewer around. In terms of output, the 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder 320i engine produces 182bhp. It can achieve 0-62mph in just over seven seconds. The more powerful 245bhp unit can achieve the same acceleration in 5.9 seconds. The 3 Series petrol units return between 41.5mpg to 44.1mpg.

There are also hybrid powertrains in the mix. The 330e combines a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit with an electric motor for a total output of 288bhp and 420Nm of torque. Thanks to the added electric boost, it can reach 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds. It’s a plug-in hybrid, meaning it can drive on electric-only mode, with a quoted figure of up to 37 miles. It also returns between 42.2mpg and 62.8mpg. Rear-wheel drive models typically deliver the most miles per gallon.

Most BMW 3 Series models are rear-wheel drive and mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. However, you may find some models with a six-speed manual transmission. These versions tend to be paired with the less powerful engines. For more traction in adverse weather conditions and on more challenging roads, look for models marked XDrive. These are all-wheel drive. BMW’s xDrive technology offers an intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD) system. xDrive maximises driving performance on a variety of road surfaces and in a variety of conditions. It is available on the M340d and M340i.

BMW also offer their EfficientDynamics Plus technology. This was designed by BMW as a strategy to minimise fuel consumption and CO2 emissions emitted by their models. The technology minimises fuel consumption and CO2 emissions without impacting handling or performance. For those who prioritise fuel economy and lowering their emissions, a model marked with EfficientDynamics Plus is an excellent option.

Engines and official MPG

Please refer to the table below for a comprehensive list of engines and their official MPG figures.

2012 - 2019

Engine Official NEDC MPG
316d 60.1–62.8 mpg
316d Automatic 61.4–64.2 mpg
316i 47.9 mpg
316i Automatic 47.9 mpg
318d 61.4–64.2 mpg
318d Automatic 61.4–64.2 mpg
318i 45.6 mpg
318i Automatic 47.1 mpg
320d 58.9–64.2 mpg
320d Automatic 60.1–64.2 mpg
320d EfficientDynamics 62.8–68.9 mpg
320d EfficientDynamics Automatic 61.4–68.9 mpg
320d xDrive 57.6–62.8 mpg
320d xDrive Automatic 54.3–60.1 mpg
320i 43.5–47.9 mpg
320i Automatic 47.1–48.7 mpg
320i EfficientDynamics 53.3 mpg
320i EfficientDynamics Automatic 52.3 mpg
320i xDrive 41.5–42.8 mpg
320i xDrive Automatic 43.5–46.3 mpg
325d 57.6 mpg
325d Automatic 61.4 mpg
328i 44.1 mpg
328i Automatic 44.8 mpg
330d 57.6 mpg
330d Automatic 51.4–56.5 mpg
330d xDrive 54.3 mpg
330d xDrive Automatic 48.7–53.3 mpg
330e 134.5 mpg
330i 43.5 mpg
330i Automatic 46.3–48.7 mpg
335d 52.3 mpg
335d xDrive Automatic 45.6 mpg
335i 35.8 mpg
335i Automatic 39.2 mpg
340i 36.7 mpg
340i Automatic 38.2 mpg
ActiveHybrid 47.1–47.9 mpg
ActiveHybrid 3 47.9 mpg

2019 - onwards

Engine Official NEDC MPG Official WLTP MPG
318d - 57.6–62.8 mpg
318d Automatic - 54.3–55.4 mpg
318d MHEV Automatic - 57.6–62.8 mpg
318i Automatic - 44.1 mpg
320d 62.8–64.2 mpg 55.4–57.6 mpg
320d Automatic 65.7–67.3 mpg 54.3–55.4 mpg
320d MHEV Automatic - 56.5–61.4 mpg
320d MHEV xDrive Automatic - 54.3–57.6 mpg
320d xDrive Automatic 61.4–62.8 mpg 51.4–52.3 mpg
320i Automatic - 41.5–44.1 mpg
320i MHEV xDrive Automatic - 42.2 mpg
330d Automatic - 47.9 mpg
330d MHEV Automatic - 54.3–56.5 mpg
330d MHEV xDrive Automatic - 51.4–53.3 mpg
330d xDrive Automatic - 51.4 mpg
330e - 201.8–217.3 mpg
330i Automatic 47.9 mpg 41.5–43.5 mpg
340i - 34.9 mpg
M340d xDrive - 36.7–46.3 mpg

Features you can expect in a BMW 3 Series


BMW 3 Series interior front seats and cockpit

The BMW 3 Series set the standard for a compact saloon that offers generous space inside. Newer versions have a longer wheelbase than the Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Therefore, there is more room for passengers in the back to relax. It is best suited to two adults in the back on long journeys, but the middle seat can fit in an adult too. As the middle seat can fold down, the two passengers in the back can share a padded armrest for added comfort. Ambient lighting in the cabin is standard across the 3 Series range.

There’s plenty of storage space to help keep the cabin clutter-free. A large glove box, a cubby under the centre armrest and partitioned door bins are included. These will easily stow drinks, snacks, chargers, tissues and other essentials for longer journeys. Acoustic glazing minimises road noise, adding to the relaxing ride experience. For driver comfort, the 3 Series can also come with 14-way front heated seats. For driver convenience, the model has an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and steering wheel-mounted multimedia controls.


BMW 3 Series infotainment screen displaying media menu

Upfront, a large screen houses most apps you need for the drive. This includes the inbuilt sat nav for the music and entertainment. It keeps the dashboard neat and simple and is controlled via touch or the iDrive dial.

Launched in 2001, the BMW iDrive infotainment system offers an advanced experience. It features a diverse range of menus which operate a number of functions. These include cabin climate control settings and drive mode settings. The system also has telephone, messaging and e-mailing capabilities. The navigation system is voice-controlled. It was one of the first of its kind in the automotive industry. The BMW iDrive system has been hailed as a benchmark for infotainment systems across the sector.

In many newer models, the touchscreen is 14.9 inches. Some newer models also have a 12.3-inch digital dashboard display that you can customise with the information you want to see. DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard.

BMW has been generous with driving aids for the 3 Series. For added driver convenience there are front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera and adaptive cruise control. Adaptive cruise control will slow the 3 Series down automatically when the car in front slows.


BMW 3 Series infotainment screen displaying parking sensor and parking camera on screen

The BMW 3 Series achieved a five-star Euro NCAP rating. Achieveing an adult occupant score of 97% and a child occupant score of 87%. This closely rivals the Mercedes-Benz C Class’s 95% adult score and 89% child score. There are ten airbags throughout the cabin to help protect all occupants. Two ISOFIX points make it a practical choice for families who need to install car seats.

For safety assistance, the 3 Series offers automatic emergency braking that detects pedestrians as well as cars. There are also lane departure warnings, blind-spot warnings and traffic sign recognition. The Driving Assistant Professional package features on some used BMW 3 Series cars for sale. This includes lane-keeping assist, cross-traffic alert and priority warning features. In addition to the safety warning systems, the BMW 3 Series comes with an emergency call system. This system will alert the emergency services if it senses a collision has occurred.

Trims available on the BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series SE

The 3 Series SE is the entry-level trim for the range. It is available with petrol, diesel or hybrid engine options. The SE is fitted with automatic stop/start technology. Engine sizes typically range from 1.5 – 3.0 litres. The trim sits on 17-inch alloy wheels.

Mk6 BMW 3 Series SE models offer cloth upholstery and dual-zone climate control in the cabin. The steering wheel, handbrake and gear lever are upholstered with leather. For driver convenience, there are automatic lights and wipers and rear parking sensors. The SE has digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity for in-car entertainment needs. There is also a 6.5-inch colour display.

Mk7 SE versions added Extended LED head and front fog lights, and a reversing camera. The acoustic glazing on the windows was enhanced. The cabin gains coloured ambient lighting and three-zone climate control. Also adding an 8.8-inch digital instrument cluster with BMW Live Cockpit plus. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard.

BMW 3 Series Sport

The Sport is based on the SE trim but offers BMW Sport detailing. It is a mid-level trim in the range. The 3 Series Sport is available with petrol, diesel or hybrid engines. The Sport trim achieves anywhere from 42–143mpg depending on the engine you choose.

The Mk6 Sport comes with sporty fabric seats and a leather sports steering wheel. The handbrake and gear lever are also leather-upholstered. Red interior detailing also makes this version stand out. The driver gets adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors and dual-zone air conditioning. Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch infotainment screen and 17-inch double-spoke alloys.

The Mk7 Sport gets three-zone climate control and leather seats. The seats in the front are sports seats which have heating functionality. There is a three spoke multifunctional sports steering wheel. The steering wheel is upholstered in leather. Auto cruise control, auto lights and wipers are also featured for added driver convenience. There are front and rear parking sensors with a reversing camera to ensure ease of parking. The infotainment system is hosted on an 8.8-inch screen. This has DAB radio and USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard. The trim sits on 18-inch alloy wheels.

BMW 3 Series Sport Plus

Sport Plus Edition is the upgraded package of the Sport edition. The interior boasts all the same features as the Sport trim level. The main differences include Xenon headlights, a Harman Kardon sound system, and sun protective glass. This trim also has larger 19-inch alloy wheels.

BMW 3 Series M Sport

M Sport models offer the sportiest aesthetic and feel of the 3 Series range. They come with stiffened and lowered suspension. The M Sport is available with the choice of powerful petrol, diesel or hybrid engines. Fuel efficiency can range from 41.5 mpg to over 60.0 mpg depending on fuel type, engine size and transmission. BMW 3 Series M Sport has a more pronounced and aggressive body kit than others in the lineup. It comes with black roof lining. This trim also gets the M-Sport multifunctional leather steering wheel and front sports seats.

A Mk7 gets three-zone climate control and heated seats keep all passengers comfortable. Auto cruise control, auto lights and wipers are added for driver convenience. There are front and rear parking sensors with a reversing camera to ensure ease of parking. The infotainment system is hosted on an upgraded 12.3-inch screen. This has DAB radio and USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard. The trim sits on 18-inch alloy wheels.

BMW 3 Series M Sport Pro Edition

M Sport Pro Edition is an upgraded version of the M Sport. It includes cosmetic upgrades to the exterior. Xenon headlights, sun protective glass and 19-inch alloy wheels come as standard on this upgrade. The interior boasts all the same features as the M-Sport trim but adds a Harman Kardon sound system.

BMW 3 Series M Sport Shadow Edition

An M Sport Shadow Edition offers the same as the M Sport in terms of features and technology. It adds additional distinct styling elements. These include the black Kidney Grille, black chrome tailpipe finishers and black headlight housing.

BMW 3 Series M340i

The M340i xDrive is the petrol-fuelled, turbocharged, four-wheel-drive 3 Series. Delivering 374 bhp from a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine and achieves 0 – 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. This model is quick off the mark and can outperform the M-Sport in terms of speed and torque. The M Sport Pro package comes as standard on this model.

BMW 3 Series M340d

Known as one of the fastest diesel-powered cars on the market, the M340d xDrive is the four-wheel-drive 3 Series. It can achieve 335 - 340 bhp from a 3.0-litre engine. Accelerating from 0 – 62 mph in 4.6 seconds. These models come with the M Sport Pro Pack as standard.

BMW 3 Series Luxury

This pack offers luxurious and executive interior upgrades. The Luxury pack is available on some used BMW 3 Series cars. You can expect premium comfort and style with leather seats coming as standard. Luxury wood and chrome styling elements are incorporated into the interior. Upgraded leather-upholstered seats also come as standard on 3 Series models with the Luxury pack.

BMW 3 Series EfficientDynamics Plus

Opting for 3 Series Models with EfficientDynamic Plus technology enhances fuel economy whilst minimising emissions. EfficientDynamic Plus technology also works without impacting performance. The technology works with the drive system and aerodynamics of the car to achieve effective energy management. In turn, this enhances engine efficiency and makes for an exceptional driving experience.

If you are looking to purchase or finance a second hand BMW 3 Series, Arnold Clark has a huge range of used BMW 3 Series cars for sale. Buy online safely with Click & Collect and home delivery options available or visit a branch today.

Search our stock of used BMW 3 Series cars for sale.

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Frequently asked questions

Q. How much does a used BMW 3 Series cost?

A. We have 179 used BMW 3 Series cars in stock ranging from £8498 to £57,898.

Q. How many MPG does the BMW 3 Series get?

A. The BMW 3 Series MPG varies from 38 mpg to 177 mpg.

Q. How much is car tax for a used BMW 3 Series?

A. The BMW 3 Series car tax ranges from free to £600 per year for the models in stock.

Q. What is the average mileage on a used BMW 3 Series?

A. The average mileage on a used BMW 3 Series in stock is 36160 miles.

Q. Which transmission options are available with the BMW 3 Series?

A. Currently in stock, the BMW 3 Series is available in Automatic, Manual.

Q. What different fuel types are available for the BMW 3 Series?

A. Of the BMW 3 Series used cars in stock, they are available in the following fuel types: Diesel, Diesel/Electric Hybrid, Electric, Petrol, Petrol/Electric Hybrid, Petrol/Plugin Elec Hybrid.

Q. What are the most popular engine sizes in the BMW 3 Series?

A. The most popular engine sizes in the BMW 3 Series we have in stock are 2.0 litres, 3.0 litres.

Q. What are the most popular colours in the BMW 3 Series range?

A. The BMW 3 Series is available in various colours. The most popular we have in stock are Grey, Blue, White

Q. Is the BMW 3 Series a good car?

A. Car & Driving rate the BMW 3 Series 4.14 stars (out of 5).

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Representative example
Monthly Payment £294.78
Deposit £249
Term (Months) 60
Cash Price £13998
Credit Amount £13749
Completion Fee £1
Total Amount Payable £17,936
Fixed Interest Rate 5.7%
Representative APR 10.9%
Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (308092) for general insurance and consumer credit purposes. We act as a credit broker sourcing credit to assist with your purchase from a carefully selected panel of lenders. Lenders will pay us a fee for these introductions (click here for details including our panel of lenders and disclosure statement). Offers subject to status, terms and conditions.
* MPG figures are obtained in laboratory testing and intended for comparisons between vehicles. Please be aware they’re not intended to represent real world efficiency.