2017 BMW 3 Series Review

2017 BMW 3 Series
List price range
$16,500 - $39,995
2017 BMW 3 Series

Pros & Cons

  • Balances sharp handling with a ride quality that won't beat you up
  • Engine choices offer power, smoothness and fuel efficiency
  • Interior is upscale and spacious, with logical, easy-to-use controls
  • Base 320i model offers limited feature availability
  • Storage for small personal items is limited

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Which 3 Series does Edmunds recommend?

If cost is no obstacle, we'd take a 340i with the Technology package. It's got a dreamy smooth six-cylinder engine, an elegant, advanced infotainment system and, for good measure, a wonderful sound system. That said, the 330i packs good punch from its turbo four-cylinder and delivers many desirable features when equipped with the Tech and/or Premium bundles. If driver aids and safety are a top priority, also check the boxes for the Driver Assistance or Driver Assistance Plus packages.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

The 2017 BMW 3 Series should be near the top of the list for shoppers wanting a compact luxury sport sedan. Whether enjoying its blend of features and refinement or putting its smooth optional engine to the test, you'll be impressed. It runs in a crowded class, but the 3 Series is one of the best.

BMW practically invented the compact luxury car decades ago, and today's 3 Series advances that heritage. It's the best-selling car in its class, and for good reason. Few can match its artful blend of performance and refinement, though that doesn't stop them from trying. In either sedan or wagon style, the 3 Series makes few compromises. It's simultaneously comfortable and sporty, compact without being confining, and its engines are fuel-efficient and powerful. It's a truly fantastic all-rounder with no significant flaws.

Notably, we picked the 2017 BMW 3 Series as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

2017 BMW 3 Series models

The 2017 BMW 3 Series is available in sedan and wagon body styles. (The 3 Series Gran Turismo hatchback is reviewed separately, as are coupe and convertible models collectively known as the BMW 4 Series.) Sedans come in 320i, 328d, 330i, 330e and 340i trim levels with standard rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive (called xDrive) is optional on all but the 330e plug-in hybrid. The wagon is available only in 330i xDrive and 328d xDrive trims. The 320i is the cheapest way into a 3 Series, but it lacks many standard and optional creature comforts. Best to start at the 330i.

The 320i starts with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (180 horsepower, 200 pound-feet of torque) and a choice of a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard feature highlights include 17-inch wheels, remote locking and unlocking, push-button start, automatic wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, premium vinyl upholstery, BMW Assist emergency telematics, Bluetooth connectivity, the iDrive infotainment interface, a 6.5-inch display and a nine-speaker sound system.

The 330i has a more powerful 2.0-liter engine (248 hp, 258 lb-ft of torque) as well as power-adjustable front sport seats, power-folding and heated side mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, paddle shifters for automatic transmission-equipped models, driver-seat memory functions and split-folding rear seatbacks.

The 328d and 330e sedans come similarly equipped. Both also use a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired only to the eight-speed automatic, but the 328d engine uses diesel fuel and generates 180 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The 330e engine takes conventional gasoline but is augmented by an electric motor for a combined 248 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.

The 328d and 330i wagons are equipped like the sedans and also come with a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, a power liftgate and the eight-speed automatic transmission.

Finally, the 340i sedan has a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine (320 hp and 330 lb-ft), the contents of the Premium package (see below), LED headlights, keyless entry and ignition, a sunroof and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system (optional on most other models). The M Sport package (see below) is also standard, but its contents can be replaced by those from the Sport or Luxury packages.

There are several option packages for the 2017 3 Series. In our opinion, the main ones to look out for are Premium and Technology as they further equip the 3 Series with a host of desirable convenience and tech-oriented extras. Other popular picks include the Track Handling package (improves handling) and the two Driver Assistance packages that add many advanced driver safety aids.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 BMW 328i xDrive sedan (2.0L 4-cyl. turbo; AWD; 8-speed automatic). NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the 328i has received some revisions, chief among them a new name (now 330i) and a boost of 8 horsepower and 3 pound-feet of torque. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's 330i.

Driving

5.0
The 2017 BMW 3 Series' turbocharged engines are typically overachievers, and the eight-speed automatic is always on point with exquisitely curated shifts. Handling is excellent despite generous suspension travel to improve ride comfort. A great performer.

Acceleration

4.0
Other than the 320i, which is expectedly slow given its 180 hp, acceleration is strong. We've tested a bunch of 3 Series models, and all have impressed. In our tests, a 340i xDrive sprinted from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. Expect the 330i to take about 5.5 seconds.

Braking

5.0
The brake pedal has no bite to speak of, and that's a compliment. It's progressive and never abrupt. In panic stops from 60 mph, a 328i xDrive needed just 113 feet to halt, despite wearing less grippy all-season tires. A 340i xDrive was at 118 feet. Either way, it's outstanding.

Steering

4.5
The current 3 Series' steering feels more synthetic than past iterations, but it's still a job well done. Words like "telepathic" may no longer apply, but there's gratifying responsiveness and accuracy.

Handling

4.5
The supple ride attests to BMW's focus on luxury, but a true sport sedan lies beneath. The harder you push a 3 Series, the better it feels. The optional M Sport lowered suspension increases athleticism without a stiffer ride penalty. Retains a sense of refined performance that sets it apart.

Drivability

5.0
Always-on turbo torque means great flexibility in daily driving; there's no need to downshift if you want some oomph. The transmission is expertly programmed, always shifting with grace and precision. The auto stop-start system stays off if you turn it off.

Comfort

5.0
BMW has made comfort a top priority lately, and the 3 Series is a case in point. From its absorbent ride to its remarkably quiet interior at highway speeds, it meets luxury buyers' expectations across the board. You needn't care about sportiness to enjoy this car.

Seat comfort

5.0
The front seats find a nice middle ground between plushness and snug support. The side bolsters are modestly sized but should suffice for most. There's an ample range of adjustments. The armrests are nicely placed and padded.

Ride comfort

5.0
The 3 Series has a lot of suspension travel for a performance car, giving it very good shock-absorption capability. Older 3 Series tended to ride firmly, but this one has true luxury-grade compliance yet still feels sporty.

Noise & vibration

4.5
BMW now pipes in a pleasant, throaty synthetic soundtrack through the speakers that you'd never guess was fake. It's quiet while cruising, however, as is the cabin in general, impressively so.

Climate control

4.5
You'll have to spend a little bit of time familiarizing yourself with the climate control buttons, but overall it works very well. The ability to vary the upper air vent temperature independent of the floor vents remains a BMW hallmark. Ventilated seats aren't available on the 3 Series, though.

Interior

4.5
The 3 Series interior offers an attractive yet restrained design and a sensible control layout with familiar BMW ergonomics. The rear passenger space is better than ever but may yet leave a bit to be desired. Small item storage is hard to come by. Still, a strong effort overall.

Ease of use

4.5
Most buttons and stalks are well-placed. The cruise control buttons on the wheel are particularly intuitive. The iDrive controller is complex, but there's a logic to it that becomes second nature. The Tech package includes a wider and better 8.8-inch screen.

Getting in/getting out

4.0
The short doors facilitate access in tight spaces. You can't fall down into this sport sedan as you would into a sports car; seat height is where it should be. The front seatbacks can impede rear access a bit if taller folks are up front.

Driving position

5.0
The driver seat offers a lot of adjustment range in the up-down and fore-aft directions, and the telescoping steering wheel pulls back far enough for even the tallest of drivers. Once situated, the mirrors, gauges and controls all feel close at hand.

Roominess

4.0
The front seats have abundant head- and legroom. The backseat legroom is generous, too, and even our 6-foot-2-inch tester had enough headroom back there. But backseat elbow and shoulder room do feel tight on the door side.

Visibility

4.5
Visibility is excellent all around, thanks to reasonably thin pillars and plenty of glass. We applaud BMW for maintaining these traits over time. But a rearview camera and parking sensors should be standard at this price, not optional.

Quality

5.0
Quality materials abound, including real metal inlays on the dashboard and the center console. The sun visors feel flimsy, though, and do not slide for extended side-window coverage. Buttons, knobs and levers feel solid and precise.

Utility

4.5
The wagon offers max versatility with 53 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The sedan gets handy 40/20/40-split folding rear seats, except for 320i, which offers them as optional. Multiple bike, board, boat racks and carriers are available from BMW Accessories.

Small-item storage

3.5
The 3 Series continues to suffer from a shortage of bins or cubbies for phones and other small items. All four doors have decent-sized pockets, though, and there are two front and two rear cupholders.

Cargo space

3.5
The trunk measures an above-average 13 cubic feet, and rear seatbacks fold forward via trunk-mounted levers. The wagon offers 53 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Child safety seat accommodation

5.0
Any of the three rear seat positions can be used. Removable plastic covers provide easy access to the lower LATCH anchors, and the three top tether mounts are very easy to get at via covers that hinge upward. There's enough room to fit a rear-facing safety seat without much trouble.

Technology

4.5
The standard 6.5-inch iDrive display is adequate, but the 8.8-inch screen is the true luxury touch. The iDrive system is easy to use with straightforward menus, crisp graphics and quick processing. The controller touchpad can be used to handwrite inputs using your finger.

Audio & navigation

5.0
The standard audio system is nice; the optional 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround system is even better. This latest iteration of BMW's iDrive is well sorted, with a main touchpad control knob surrounded by a simple button array.

Smartphone integration

4.0
BMW Apps offers connectivity for select smartphone apps but comes optional with the Technology package. Apple CarPlay is a stand-alone option. There's no Android Auto integration yet.

Driver aids

4.5
A full suite of driver aids, including a rearview camera, parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, is available. They work well, but you've got to pay for them.

Voice control

3.5
Voice controls seem clunky and hard to work, but a longer press and hold breaks through to our paired smartphone's Siri voice command structure, which is excellent. It's nice to have this feature because smartphone operating systems do this better.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall4.5 / 5
Driving5.0
Comfort5.0
Interior4.5
Utility4.5
Technology4.5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 BMW 3 Series.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Awesome
Dorothy G,01/05/2017
320i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
This is my second 320ix BMW and I love them. They hug the road, pick-up is remarkable, the interior is roomy and the design is the best around, but of course design is subjective. I like the smooth flowing lines of the interior and the classic outside shape. Road noise factor is pretty good but I wish it was better, I like a quiet ride. I like the AWD so I can get around in the snow and ice. Option packages are good but I think a bit pricey. I do wish it took "regular" grade gas and not mid grade for obvious reasons.
A great looking, driving, safe, and economical car
Dan O,03/15/2017
330e iPerformance 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A)
I really love the looks, driving, and performance of this car. Mileage is 45-55 mpg with the hybrid system. I can drive to and from work on total electric power never using any gas. Initially, the hybrid system had some issues,but all fixed with software updates. Also with very cold weather (below 30F) hybrid drive sometimes won't allow total electric driving. Also, the total range of electric driving decreases in cold weather.
330e Model to be Avoided, here's why......
Crafty,01/10/2018
330e iPerformance 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A)
!!AVOID THIS MODEL!!! - Backstory : Based on a good amount of research it was hard to deny the overall positive press this model was getting. I had a 2012 528i that was out of warranty and have had BMW’s since my early 20's so when the lease incentives hit bargain basement levels, I jumped in. Sadly, I should have remembered a life preserver. Month 1 - 2 weeks out of service - hybrid battery/charging system warning Month 2 - 2 weeks out of service - hybrid battery/charging system warning Month 3 - 2 days out of service - hybrid battery/cold weather use warning. So, 2.2 months, over a month out of service total. Great start to my ownership experience. However, it gets worse. We have had very cold temperatures over the last two weeks, even for where I live in Richmond, VA. Days and nights well below freezing. I get that batteries don’t retain full charge in cold weather, but this one was only charging about 80% max and depleted even that very quickly...that is...when it actually allowed for electric operation. You see, what they don’t tell you is that the fully battery operation is not available in lower temperatures! Yep, that’s right. So, for all you who, like me, thought you could pretty much commute via full battery, well....guess what, ya can’t when it is cold out! Sad part is, this is considered normal according to my dealership. What burns my ass up even more is that a warning light stays lit on your dash and on your Nav screen to remind you that you paid $$$$ for a system you can’t use. Other things they don’t tell you - - - This is a 320e at best. You are going to deplete your battery relatively quickly (14 miles max in full electric mode) and once depleted, guess what? You aren’t running on 248 advertised horsepower, you are running on 180....with several hundred pounds on top of a similar 320i model! Battery regeneration isn’t enough for spirited driving or even multiple full throttle launches back to back! So, BMW has pulled the wool over my eyes, just don’t let it do the same to you. Other things I have found out by myself - - - $575 for side window sun shades? WTH? They are MANUAL! $2650 for Blind Spot/Lane Departure/and Frontal Impact Warning and a front/rear parking camera/sensor system with around view camera? Have they lost their MINDS?!? Worse yet, all you are paying for is warning lights and a shake of the steering wheel! Ridiculous and a waste of money unless you live urban and park on the street. So, as of this writing BMW USA has contacted me because they know that the cold driving issues (no full electric power) are an issue along with the horsepower claims. It should say 248 MAX hp, because it is rare that you have it to use. I have asked them to take it back. A little over two months of disappointment.
This car rocks -- if you spec it right!
Grimmer1968,12/04/2016
330i xDrive SULEV 4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
This is an update of our review from a year and a half ago. This is the best car we've ever had. We've been driving our 2017 330i x-drive wagon, with M-Sport package and (importantly) adaptive suspension, for about 13,000 miles. (Note that the 2017 and '18 models are almost identical.) It's a sheer pleasure. First, the wagon looks gorgeous and is very distinctive -- almost unique --with its Estoril Blue color and Coral Red interior. The 250 hp G-48 engine purrs along with a pleasant sound is very fast and, combined with the 8-speed auto transmission, is consistent over the whole range of speeds. At 90 mph the car is smooth and rock-steady. The ride is a nice balance between comfortable and firm. The safety tech and version 5.0 infotainment features are state-of-the-art. What really brings it all together from a handling and comfort standpoint is the adaptive suspension, which is a no-brainer at $1000. You won't find another compact wagon nearly this good, and virtually no cross-overs and SUVs -- including BMW;s -- compare with the looks and handling. It's a terrific road trip car as when we toured Nova Scotia. It is rock-solid, comfortable, agile and "planted" with the X-Drive. Also, it's quite rare or even unique in our configuration. You will see very few 330i wagons on the road and almost none in the more rakish-looking M-Sport package. Why get a BMW crossover that looks like every other crossover on the highway? Remember that every inch of added height in an SUV or cross-over diminishes handling. This car is pretty expensive but worth it.

Features & Specs

MPG
23 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
248 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
23 city / 35 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
180 hp @ 5000 rpm
MPG
23 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
248 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Hybrid
N/A
See all Used 2017 BMW 3 Series features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the 3 Series models:

Active Driving Assistant
Camera-based system combines lane departure warning, forward collision warning, autonomous braking and pedestrian detection.
Active Blind-Spot Detection
Alerts you with in-mirror lights when a vehicle is in blind spot, followed by steering wheel vibration if you attempt to change lanes.
Side and Top View Camera
Offers top-down, 360-degree view of the car and surroundings to monitor approaching traffic and maneuver in tight spaces.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover9.5%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2017 BMW 3 Series
Used 2017 BMW 3 Series Overview

The Used 2017 BMW 3 Series is offered in the following submodels: 3 Series Sedan, 3 Series Wagon, 3 Series Hybrid, 3 Series Diesel. Available styles include 330i SULEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), 320i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), 330i xDrive SULEV 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), 330e iPerformance 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 8A), 340i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A), 320i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), 340i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A), 330i xDrive SULEV 4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), 328d xDrive 4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 8A), 328d 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 8A), and 328d xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2017 BMW 3 Series?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 BMW 3 Series trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 BMW 3 Series 330i xDrive SULEV is priced between $16,500 and$30,997 with odometer readings between 6267 and53571 miles.
  • The Used 2017 BMW 3 Series 320i xDrive is priced between $16,990 and$24,989 with odometer readings between 16945 and42490 miles.
  • The Used 2017 BMW 3 Series 340i xDrive is priced between $22,450 and$39,995 with odometer readings between 15183 and57457 miles.
  • The Used 2017 BMW 3 Series 330e iPerformance is priced between $22,000 and$26,945 with odometer readings between 22377 and35824 miles.
  • The Used 2017 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive is priced between $26,223 and$34,990 with odometer readings between 8900 and51320 miles.
  • The Used 2017 BMW 3 Series 330i SULEV is priced between $17,995 and$22,590 with odometer readings between 18582 and68101 miles.
  • The Used 2017 BMW 3 Series 340i is priced between $28,777 and$30,900 with odometer readings between 18453 and42171 miles.
  • The Used 2017 BMW 3 Series 320i is priced between $19,390 and$19,777 with odometer readings between 24808 and33988 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2017 BMW 3 Serieses are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 BMW 3 Series for sale near. There are currently 70 used and CPO 2017 3 Serieses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $16,500 and mileage as low as 6267 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2017 BMW 3 Series.

Can't find a used 2017 BMW 3 Seriess you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used BMW 3 Series for sale - 4 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $12,129.

Find a used BMW for sale - 3 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $10,600.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW 3 Series for sale - 5 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $25,534.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW for sale - 1 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $17,157.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 BMW 3 Series?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out BMW lease specials
Check out BMW 3 Series lease specials