Used 2018 BMW 3 Series Wagon

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
List Price Estimate
$18,710 - $21,426

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

The 2018 BMW 3 Series should make the short list for shoppers seeking a compact luxury sport sedan. Whether enjoying its blend of features and refinement or pushing its smooth power and sharp handling to the limit, you'll be impressed.

Today's 3 Series advances the heritage that BMW established decades ago when it practically invented the compact luxury car. The 3 Series is 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 other automakers from trying.

In either sedan or wagon style, the 3 Series makes few compromises. It's a truly fantastic all-rounder with no significant flaws — it's simultaneously comfortable and sporty, small without being confining, and offers fuel-efficient and powerful engines. There's a 3 Series for seemingly every flavor. Fuel economy a priority? The diesel-powered 3 Series achieves 36 mpg combined. Need maximum cargo space? The 3 Series wagon offers 53 cubic feet of room. Just want to test the waters of BMW ownership? The base model 320i, while sparsely equipped for a luxury sedan, offers the model's hallmark balance and performance for a reasonable price.

It's true that the current generation of the 3 Series is getting a bit dated, and newer rivals might hold an advantage in stylistic appeal. Overall, though, the 3 Series is still one of the best.

Notably, we picked the 2018 BMW 3 Series as one of Edmunds' Best All-Wheel-Drive Sedans for this year.

Notably, we picked the 2018 BMW 3 Series as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

2018 BMW 3 Series models

The 2018 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 most affordable way into a 3 Series, but it lacks many standard and optional creature comforts. It 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 LED headlights, power-adjustable front sport seats, power-folding and heated side mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, paddle shifters for automatic transmission-equipped models, driver-seat memory settings and split-folding rear seatbacks.

The 328d and 330e sedans come similarly equipped. Both 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), 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 package.

There are several option packages for the 2018 3 Series. In our opinion, the main ones to look out for are the Premium and the Executive since they further equip the 3 Series with a host of desirable convenience and tech-oriented extras. The Premium package, for example, adds heated front seats, a head-up display, a navigation system, a 8.5-inch display screen and BMW's Remote Services (can lock and unlock doors or find car in a parking lot via smartphone app). The Executive package adds adaptive LED headlights, side- and top-view parking cameras, and upgraded leather upholstery.

Other popular picks include the Track Handling package (improves handling and steering) and the Driving Assistance package that adds 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 turbo inline-4 | 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. A rearview camera also now comes on every 3 Series. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's 330i.

Driving

The BMW 3 Series's 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interior

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 still leave a bit to be desired. Small-item storage is hard to come by. Still a strong effort overall.

Ease of use

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

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

The driver's 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

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. But backseat elbow and shoulder room do feel tight on the door side.

Visibility

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. (Note: A rearview camera now comes with the 2018 3 Series.)

Quality

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

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

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

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

Child safety seat accommodation

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

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

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

Apple CarPlay is a stand-alone option. There's no Android Auto integration yet. Wireless charging is available, but only as a stand-alone option that first requires purchasing the Premium package (which also adds a Wi-Fi hotspot and enhanced Bluetooth).

Driver aids

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

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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 BMW 3 Series.

Most helpful consumer reviews

Still a Terrific Family Cruiser
Sheldon B.,05/01/2018
330i xDrive 4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Thinking of getting an CUV? This is a more satisfying alternative for anyone who enjoys driving. The M Sport version is quick, and the the steering & suspension can be adjusted to "just right" firm in sport mode. Plenty of room and fantastic on the open road. It was a great choice for our family, and capable of taking all four of us and all of our week-long luggage (and food) up to and all around the mountains.

Features & Specs

MPG
30 city / 40 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Diesel
180 hp @ 4000 rpm
MPG
23 city / 33 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
248 hp @ 5200 rpm
See all Used 2018 BMW 3 Series Wagon features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the 3 Series models:

Driving Assistance Package
This 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 a blind spot, followed by steering wheel vibration if you attempt to change lanes.
Side and Top View Camera
Offers a 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 2018 BMW 3 Series

Used 2018 BMW 3 Series Wagon Overview

The Used 2018 BMW 3 Series Wagon is offered in the following styles: 328d xDrive 4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 8A), and 330i xDrive 4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 BMW 3 Series Wagon?

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Should I lease or buy a 2018 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