A Guide to the BMW 3 Series in South Africa

BMW is already a well-established and trusted brand, and while inherent Germanic build quality and a focus on overall refinement have played an important role in terms of the brand’s growth, it prides itself in offering unrivalled dynamic ability and driver engagement throughout its ever-expanding portfolio.

BMW has registered more than 15 million sales globally over 47 years and seven generations to date, and its 3 Series sedan line-up is at the heart of its success.

A brief history of the BMW 3 Series

The 3 Series was introduced in 1975, with South African drivers gaining their first taste of it via the second-generation E30 model, produced at BMW's Rosslyn Plant outside of Pretoria from 1983. The E30 range would be highlighted in South Africa by iconic, market-specific derivatives like the 325is and 333i.

Under pressure from the increasing popularity of SUVs (including its raised-ride-height X3 cousin), the modern 3 Series package continues to offer impressive levels of executive sedan refinement, comfort and convenience in terms of efficiency and connectivity services.
The 2022 model refresh introduces BMW's latest-generation infotainment technologies, as well as the first-ever all-electric 3 Series derivative, the i3. Included in the newest iDrive system is the ability to perform over-the-air software updates, as well as integrate the brand's various online services.

Buying a BMW 3 Series

While the fact that there are also four-door versions of the brand's 4 Series coupé range available could cause some confusion, the latest generation 3 sedan is known by its internal codename, G20. As always, the range is topped by high-performance M3 derivatives. In South Africa, the M3 Competition model is available in either rear-wheel drive or comes fitted with the brand's xDrive all-wheel drive technology.

The entry point into the modern 3 Series family is a 318i derivative featuring a 115 kW 2.0-litre turbopetrol motor. This same engine is tuned to deliver 135 kW in the mid-tier 320i model. Arguably the pick of the range in terms of combining performance with efficiency is the 320d that boasts a claimed 0-100 km/h sprint time of under seven seconds, with an average fuel consumption of just 4.8 L/100 km.

Below the M3 Competition models is a 330i delivering 190 kW from its four-cylinder engine, and a M340i xDrive which features the brand's famous in-line six-cylinder powertrain.

Early adopters of offering customers a varied choice of cosmetic upgrades, even the entry-level 318i is available with a selection of M Performance styling packages to add a sense of presence to the final product.

BMW 318i

from R755 000

BMW 320i

from R820 000

BMW 320d

from R870 000

BMW 330i

from R940 000

BMW M340i xDrive

from R1 300 000

BMW M3 Competition

from R1 900 000

BMW M3 Competition xDrive

from R1 980 000


BMW South Africa insurance

BMW Financial Services offers a comprehensive bouquet of customised leasing, Vehicle Finance and Car Insurance packages. These are also offered via the dealership experience or the brand's various online platforms.

While no longer assembled in South Africa (replaced by the X3), the 3 Series remains a hugely popular model on both the new and pre-owned car scenes, thereby aiding resale values and parts availability.

Vehicle Make & ModelAverage Accepted PremiumMinimum Accepted Premium
BMW [3 SERIES] (F30) 320I M SPORT [F/L] A/T R 2,404 R 666
BMW [3 SERIES] (G20) 320I M SPORT A/T R 3,865 R 915
BMW [3 SERIES] (F30) 320I R 1,318 R 369
BMW [3 SERIES] (G20) 320D M SPORT A/T R 3,750 R 1,030
BMW [3 SERIES] (G20) 330I M SPORT A/T R 4,224 R 1,007
BMW [3 SERIES] (F30) 320I M SPORT A/T R 1,544 R 531
BMW [3 SERIES] (F30) 320D M SPORT [F/L] A/T R 2,285 R 625
BMW [3 SERIES] (G20) M340I XDRIVE A/T R 6,856 R 1,356
BMW [3 SERIES] (F30) 318I [F/L] A/T R 1,959 R 622
BMW [3 SERIES] (G20) 318I M SPORT A/T R 3,400 R 1,034
Insure your BMW 3 Series

BMW Warranty

As varied as BMW South Africa's dealership footprint is, the brand also offers customers the option of both online configuration and purchase. All 3 Series models are sold with a five-year/100 000 km that can either be opted out of on purchase or extended on request to cover 200 000 km. BMW's extensive roadside assistance programme is included and various service plans are available as well.

BMW South Africa offers an advanced driver training programme for its customers, a voucher for which is included with the purchase of any vehicle from its M-division portfolio – including the M3 Competition.

Source: BMW South Africa
Pricing accurate on date of publication

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.