BMW 3 Series Leasing Guide | Car Leasing Guru

BMW 3 Series Leasing Guide (2019-)

The BMW 3 Series is now a company car staple.

The perfect blend of (subjective) styling, specification, engines, options, standard equipment and that “premium factor” makes them very desirable. Tie it all together with some great ownership costs and strong Residual Values and you have the whole package.

All of those intricate details do make it quite hard for consumers to know exactly which models to go for; which is where we come in.

We’ve analysed the entire BMW 3 Series Saloon line-up and provided you with the best overall choice, plus a number of other models that might be better suited to your particular circumstances.

We’ll show you how we came to our decision in the ‘Total Lease Cost‘ section below, with a working example so you can do your own research as well.

We’ve also provided a handy chart so you can visualise everything in one place.

Analysis – The Best Overall Choice

We’ve determined that the 320i M Sport 4dr Step Auto is the best BMW 3 Series Saloon you can lease today. We gave this model a 10/10 Car Leasing Guru score which is the highest possible score we provide. Click here to find out how our scoring system works

This model also has one of the smallest percentage of lists we’ve ever seen (16.8%). In layman’s terms, this means you’ll be paying around 16.8% of the cars total value, which is incredible when you combine it with the total lease cost below.

Over the course of a 2 year, 10,000 mile per annum lease you would pay on average £5,918.

Analysis – The Best Alternative Choice

If you don’t want the petrol model,  our system calculates that the diesel equivalent 320d M Sport 4dr Step Auto is the best alternative.

This model has a percent of list of 17.3%.

Total Lease Cost over 2 years @ 10,000 miles per annum is £6,600.


There are four specifications to choose from in the BMW 3 Series range. The base model ‘SE’ up to the ‘M Sport Plus’. The ‘M Sport’ models easily offer the best value for money when looking at the entire range.

The ‘SE‘ model gets:

  • 17″ alloys
  • LED headlights
  • ambient lighting
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • rear camera
  • folding mirrors
  • sport leather steering wheel
  • 8.8″ infotainment display

The ‘Sport‘ model everything the SE gets, PLUS:

  • 18″ alloys
  • exhaust in black chrome
  • door sill in an aluminium finisher
  • leather sports seats
  • heated seats

The ‘M Sport‘ gets everything the Sport gets, PLUS:

  • 18″ alloys (different style to the Sport)
  • M Aerodynamics package
  • 12.3″ digital cockpit
  • M Sport sill
  • 10.25″ central instrument display
  • M Sport brakes with blue callipers
  • M leather steering wheel
  • interior trim in aluminium

The ‘M Sport Plus‘ gets everything the M Sport gets, PLUS:

  • 19″ alloys
  • BMW individual paintwork
  • BMW gloss shadow line
  • black mirror caps
  • M Sport differential
  • sun-protective glass
  • BMW individual aluminium interior trim
  • M Sport braking system
  • Adaptive M suspension
  • M seat belts
  • M rear spoiler

Total Lease Costs

Our analysis has isolated two very specific models that we recommend. However, there are many other models to choose from in the 3 Series range.

Below is a chart that shows you the total lease cost for a few other models in the 3 series line-up. The terms and mileages are generic based on popular searches online, but if you require specific monthly pricing for your own circumstances, then please use the price guide on the homepage, and we’ll tell you what you should be paying per month.

Mileage is calculated per annum. 36m 20k = 36-month lease, with a total end mileage of 60,000.

BMW 3 Series Total Lease Cost

On The Road Prices (OTR)

BMW 3 Series Prices

Car Leasing Guru Score

Analysis – Working Example (No 1)

*Based on the ‘Total Lease Cost’ graph for a 24-month lease @ 10,000 miles.

On The Road Prices

320i M Sport 4dr Step Auto          | £35,240

320d M Sport 4dr Step Auto          | £38,060

Difference between the OTR prices | £2,820

Total Lease Costs

320i M Sport 4dr Step Auto               | £5,918

320d M Sport 4dr Step Auto               | £6,600

Difference between Total Lease Cost  | £682

Let me explain.

BMW themselves charge £2,820 extra for the privilege of leasing a diesel model.

There are two trains of thought here…

One, you pick the petrol model because it has the cheapest overall lease cost, Or two, you pay an additional £682 over two years for the diesel variant. (Works out to an extra £28.41 per calendar month).

The point here is that you may think in a lot of cases that you’ll be paying more overall because a vehicle is more expensive to buy at retail (£2,820 more in the case of the diesel). The numbers here prove that it’s not the case, and you can actually get a vehicle that’s more expensive, for a small proportion of the actual cost of the vehicle (£682).

Analysis – Working Example (No 2)

On The Road Price

330i M Sport 4dr Step Auto                  | £39,020

330d M Sport 4dr Step Auto                 | £40,980

Difference in the On The Road Price     | £1,960

Next, we’ll look at how much you would pay over a 2-year lease, doing 10,000 miles a year. Use our charts as reference.

Total Lease Costs

330i M Sport 4dr Step Auto                                      | £7,545

330d M Sport 4dr Step Auto                                    | £7,530

Difference in the Total Lease Cost (over 2 years)  | £15

Monthly payment: £15 / 24 months = 62.5 pence

What this tells us is that there is an OTR price difference of £1,960 between the two vehicles, but you would actually be spending an additional £15 over the course of the lease. Sounds mental, doesn’t it?

The 330d holds a lot more value in the used market compared with the 330i. Why? probably a multitude of answers, but I imagine torque, power and economy are more desirable on the 330 engines. That, combined with 330d desirability in the used market is directly reflected by a higher RV for any 330d models.

This is why Car Leasing Guru exists, so we can show you exactly where to save money, and the value you get. It is also why we recommend the 320i M Sport 4dr Step Auto overall. You save so much more money just by having a petrol engine.

Thank You!

This is just some basic analysis that will hopefully help you understand the value of a BMW 3 Series lease a little better.

At Car Leasing Guru, we do not review vehicles, we look objectively in terms of overall value for money. Use our free pricing system on the homepage, and we’ll tell you exactly what you should be paying to lease a BMW 3 Series. We take an independent and impartial view of the market to show you what is fair.

2020 BMW 3 Series Car Lease Comparison | Leasing Guide

The Car Leasing Guru Team