Used BMW 3-Series Saloon (2005 - 2011) Safety & Reliability

Review by David Ross on
Last Updated: 16 Feb 2011
The fifth-generation BMW 3 Series combines a high-quality cabin and decent equipment levels with the best drive among 'executive' saloon alternatives. Its rivals, including the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4, have struggled to match the BMW’s driving dynamics.
4.5 out of 5



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  • Adult Occupant Rating

    5 out of 5
  • Child Protection Rating

    4 out of 5
  • Pedestrian Test Rating

    1 out of 5

BMW 3 Series safety is extremely good. Run-flat tyres help the driver stay in control of the car if there's a punctures and the 3 Series can run for 150 miles at up to 50mph with a 'flat'. Six airbags are standard, including twin front and side airbags plus full-length head airbags while Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) which includes traction control is also included.

Six-cylinder models are offered with DSC+, which adds additional features such as Brake Standby, which primes the brakes when it detects the driver suddenly lifting off the throttle and Hill Start Assist which holds manual versions on a gradient allowing the driver to pull away without rolling backwards.

4 out of 5


BMW 3 Series reliability isn't a problem. The previous 3 Series models score well in reliability surveys and we expect the latest model to fare just as well.

Car check problem points


No problems reported.


No problems reported.


No problems reported.