Used BMW 3 Series: Specifications and Equipment

15th Dec 2015

The BMW 3 Series is, in many ways, a living legend. No ordinary saloon, the pedigree of the 3 Series stretches back over 40 years to the original E21. Now in its sixth iteration, the BMW 3 Series F30 has been in production since 2012 in Saloon, Touring and GT variants. Remaining as relevant today as it ever was, it still leads the class when it comes to driving dynamics and inimitable involvement.

Then there's the sharp styling, with a sleek sporting profile and the signature Hofmeister kink lending bold edge to a practical family car. Of course, it has the measure of luxury too, with even the SE model better equipped than most rivals. It's no wonder that the 3 Series continues to be a bestseller across the UK.

Thanks to the varied range of model types, trim levels and engines, there is a used BMW 3 Series to suit every buyer. Company or private buyer, here we provide you with the information you need to buy with confidence. Our used buying guide gives you all the information on available trim levels for the F30 3 Series, in addition to the full engine range and what each unit has to offer:
Black BMW 3 Series driving on the road.

Key used BMW 3 Series trim levels


One of the most popular trim levels available on the pre-owned market, standard equipment on the SE line is extremely generous.  One the outside, 17-inch alloy wheels and front fog lights lend a premium look, with practical additions such as rain-sensing windscreen wipers and rear parking sensors. 

Inside, the SE gets dual-zone air conditioning, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear-lever, and cruise control. Of course it also features the much-lauded BMW iDrive system, which allows you to control multimedia settings such as Bluetooth and DAB radio from the 6.5 inch touchscreen. New for the BMW F30 3 Series, stop/start is a standard feature.

Efficient Dynamics

The BMW 3 Series EfficientDynamics model shares its specification with the SE model, but instead utilises smaller 16 inch alloy wheels to improve efficiency. The 3 Series also features tweaked gear ratios and adds an ECO PRO driving mode to give the 3 Series superb fuel consumption figures.

Blue BMW 3 Series headlights.

Upgrade to BMW 3 Series Sport trim to add a dynamic edge to both the interior and exterior of the 3 Series. Another popular trim, notable additions include the distinctive 17 inch twin-spoke alloy wheels and black trim to the wing mirrors and surrounds.

The inside receives similar upgrades, with sports seats and sports leather steering wheel, in addition to automatic dual-zone air conditioning. The gloss black dashboard receives red highlights for added sporting feel. 


Setting the standard for opulence, the BMW 3 Series Luxury wants for very little. There is extensive use of Nappa leather throughout the cabin which makes the Luxury feel very special indeed. Full leather-trimmed seats are joined by a leather steering wheel and gear-lever. Premium touches make their way on to the outside too, 18 inch alloy wheels and chrome trim on the exhaust, grille and bumpers.

M Sport

One of the highest trim levels available on the BMW 3 Series, the M-Sport takes visual cues from the performance-based BMW M3. 18-inch M-Sport alloy wheels are joined by the M aerodynamic body styling kit, and lowered sport suspension which gives the M Sport a dynamic edge. Inside, the M Sport boasts a full leather interior in addition to equipment found on the SE trim.
BMW 3 Series interior.

Key used BMW 3 Series engines:

BMW 316i 1.6 litre petrol
Available Trims: ES, SE, Sport

Details: The BMW 316i engine is the lowest output model in the 3 Series range. As such, it is available with the entry-level ES trim, as well as with the SE and Sport. However, it remains popular thanks to good running costs and strong performance, which even in this guise commands a sub-ten second 0-60mph time. This engine is no longer available on new models.

BMW 320i 2.0 litre petrol
Available Trims: SE, Sport, Luxury, M Sport

Details: By far and away the most popular engine in the 3 Series range, the BMW 320i offers the performance which buyers expect. With 184bhp at its disposal, the 320i can reach 60mph in just 7.3 seconds, yet can achieved 44.1mpg on the combined cycle. It makes the most of the BMW's compliant chassis.

BMW 3 Series engine.
BMW 328i 2.0 litre petrol
Available Trims: SE, Sport, Luxury, M Sport

Details: Offering the same economy as the 320i, the BMW 328i boasts enhanced performance figures for those looking for that little bit extra. A less common used find, but an ideal engine for those who want blistering pace without going for the full M3 edition. 

BMW 318d
2.0 litre diesel
Available Trims: SE, Sport, Luxury, M Sport

Details: The BMW 318 offers a good blend of performance and economy, with 62mpg on the combined cycle. This particular engine is available on most models a serves as a good entry point in to the BMW 3 Series diesel range.
White BMW 3 Series parked.
BMW 320d 2.0 litre diesel
Available Trims: SE, Efficient Dynamics, Sport, M Sport

Details: A mainstay in the BMW 3 Series range, the BMW 320d is by far and away the most popular engine for the BMW 3 Series, and it's easy to see why. The engine is capable of reaching 60mph in just 7.5 seconds, and makes the most of the BMW's dynamic brilliance. Plus, with economy in excess of 60mpg on the combined cycle, it is a strong contender for a company car. Its green credentials can be enhanced by opting for the Efficient Dynamics trim, which thanks to various Eco-orientated technologies can achieve an impressive 68.9mpg.

BMW 330d
2.0 litre diesel
Available Trims: SE, Efficient Dynamics, Luxury, M Sport

Details: For those looking at a diesel engine with the scales tipped towards performance, the BMW 330d is another popular option. It has the performance to embarrass many sports cars, with only marginal shortfalls in economy over the 320d.
Rear view of the black BMW 3 Series.

Extras to keep an eye out for:

Split folding rear seats: A useful addition, split folding rear seats are not always standard on the 3 Series. Worth keeping an eye out for if you often require an extended load area.

Media Package: Used BMW 3 Series models with the Media Package include satellite navigation, which is a popular feature amongst many drivers.

Parking Package: Those who value added practicality any want to look out for models with the parking package, which adds a reversing camera and park assist, which can steer the car in to a parking space itself.

BMW X Drive:

BMW 3 Series xDrive* models are sought after in the used market because of the added capability which the system brings to the 3 Series. xDrive is an intelligent all-wheel drive system which adapts the to the road conditions outside, making it ideally suited to the winter months. With unprecedented traction all year round, it makes the perfect partner to the 3 Series.

*xDrive is available on the 320i, 320d, 330d and 335d.
If you feel like the BMW 3 Series might be the right vehicle for you, then visit our used car pages to browse our used BMW range or any of our other 25,000 pre-owned cars.