BMW 3-Series Most Popular Used Car

The BMW 3 Series is a compact sedan that the German automaker has manufactured since 1974. In the decades since the first one rolled off the line, the series has earned an impeccable reputation for its superb ride and overall value. The fifth generation, which BMW manufactured from 2005 to 2012, is currently among the most popular used cars in North America and throughout the world.


Perhaps the most significant reason for the ongoing popularity of the 3 Series is its reliability. Starting with 2005, the model has earned a 5 out of 5 reliability rating for the transmission, driveline, steering, suspension, brakes, starting, charging, all accessories and the heating and air conditioning system. The engine did not receive 5/5, but that is only due to a known minor issue with the original fuel injectors.


The 325i sedan boasts a 2.5L inline-6 front engine with double overhead cam, variable valve timing, a 84mm bore, 75mm stroke and a 10.5 compression ratio. With its multi-point fuel injection system, the 3 series produces 184 HP at 6,000 RPM. Its top speed is 155 mph, and it can reach 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds.


In the IIHS crash test, the 3 Series earned the highest possible overall rating. It also earned four and five out of five stars in most tests conducted by the NHSTA. More importantly, the series has performed well in the real world and exceeded expectations based on those tests.

Fuel Performance

The 3 Series has a 16.6-gallon fuel tank and uses unleaded fuel 91. The 2005 achieves a gas MPG of 29 on the highway and a gas MPG of 20 in the city. The newer models provide fuel performance above these marks.

Resale Value

The BMW 3 Series is a luxury car, and as such, includes a premium in the sticker price; fortunately, that premium all but dissipates in the first three years, which makes the car particularly appealing used. Beyond that premium, the 3 Series has excellent resale value, and Kelley Blue Book ranks it among the best sedans that generation in terms of that value.


The 3 Series is one of the most popular used cars because it is an excellent value without sacrificing the style, speed, superb ride and accessories that the modern driver demands.

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