This Is The Best 3 Series Touring To Lease

The Best BMW 3 Series Touring To Lease Is:

The 320d M Sport 5dr Step Auto

The Best Alternative 3 Series Touring Is:

The 320i M Sport 5dr Step Auto (The petrol version of the above)

What We Do

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 this car. We take an independent and impartial view of the market to show you what is fair.

Why BMW?

Brand – Market position and perception vs its peers like the Audi A4, Mercedes C Class or Volvo V60. Reasonably competitive pricing also helps, but also the strong residual values (RV) that go with it. The 3 Series Touring is basically all things to all people, it’s all the car you could ever need in the real world.

BMW M Sport models always command a bit of a premium in the 2nd hand market, as they are always seen as the “sportier” models outside the performance-driven dedicated M models, such as the M2, M3, M4 etc. thus making lease or ownership cost-effective over the course of its lifecycle, as they are more desirable in terms of their overall price.

We gave the 320d M Sport 5dr Step Auto the maximum 10 / 10 in terms of value for money compared with other models in the range. This number is a pure mathematical equation, not our personal opinion.

So if you are searching for BMW 3 Series Touring car leasing deals, cheap car leasing, or just general car leasing comparison, the 320d M Sport 5dr Step Auto is the best one to go for in terms of overall value for money.

We’ve only selected 8 models that we would actually recommend in this analysis, hence the limited number of options we’ve provided you. There are many more BMW 3 Series Touring models to pick from, but those are less favourable in terms of their overall value at the end of a lease, thus making them more expensive.

See below for a detailed breakdown:

Car Leasing Guru Score

The Car Leasing Guru scoring system is based on the overall value a particular vehicle offers.

We do not single out specific terms and mileages, instead, we concentrate on the entirety of a lease over multiple terms and mileages to create an overall score.

This score is converted into a meaningful number between 0 and 10 so that you can better understand which vehicle offers the best value. I’ve included the definition for the category the BMW 3 Series Touring sits in, as it got a 10 overall. A very rare score!

9.0 to 10:

Unbelievable – Incredible value for money. Often high spec, high list price, small monthly payments. Insane, you should definitely look into leasing one of these! Any vehicle with a 9.0 and above should be added to your shortlist.

Examples include:

  • Audi A4 Avant – 40 TFSI Black Edition 5dr S Tronic (Score: 9.1)
  • BMW 3 Series Touring – 320i M Sport Shadow Edition 5dr (Score: 9.8)
  • Kia Sportage Diesel Estate – 1.6CRDi ISG GT-Line 5dr (Score: 9.0)
  • Volvo XC60 Diesel Estate – 2.0 D4 Momentum 5dr AWD Geartronic (Score: 9.1)

See other scores here:

BMW 3 Series Touring:

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There are four specifications to choose from in the 3 Series Touring 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
  • automatic tailgate

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

Looking For The Cheapest Lease

Generally, we will always look for the smallest amount you would pay over the course of the lease, at the same time we will also look at how much value the cheapest lease actually offers you.

There is no point in Car Leasing Guru suggesting the cheapest possible lease if all you get is a steering wheel and a windscreen, especially when you might be able to pay £10 per month extra and get a significant increase in the specification, exterior design, engine performance or economy. In this instance that’s why we’ve picked the M Sport model. It offers the most ‘value for money’ in our opinion.

On The Road (OTR) Price

There are a lot of different On The Road (OTR) prices that cover every spectrum of the BMW 3 Series Touring lineup, but we are only looking for the absolute cream of the crop, which is why we have concentrated on the best models in the range in terms of value for money.

You can see the OTR prices for the models below.

3 Series Touring Prices

Value For Money

Remember, at Car Leasing Guru we do not review vehicles, we look at value for money.

The cheapest diesel model we’ve selected costs; £37,870. This is the 320d M Sport 5dr.

Let’s see where we can get more for our money, and not spend an obscene amount more for the privilege.

The car we personally endorse is the 320d M Sport 5dr Step Auto; which costs £39,560.

There is a £1,690 difference between the two vehicles from the manufacturer’s list price.

Ok, well what does that mean?

It means that you may be looking at the vehicle we’ve recommended and thought that you will have to pay £1,690 over the course of a lease in order to get that vehicle.

That’s incorrect.

You pay a proportion of that value. The more desirable the items in the vehicle, the more value is assigned to those items in the 2nd hand market.

The automatic gearbox on the M Sport models holds (proportionally) a lot more value than you would otherwise think it would do. In this particular example, I’m going to blow your mind and show you that you will be paying CONSIDERABLY LESS than the equivalent manual model.

The point here is that you may think that you’ll be paying more overall because the vehicle is more expensive to buy, but I will prove that is 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.

Take a look at the graph below. Look at the 1st column from the left; the 320d M Sport 5dr Step Auto. Now take a look at the 2nd column from the left; the 320d M Sport 5dr. Specifically, look at the numbers at the top of the graph for a 24-month lease @ 10,000. 

The ‘Step Auto’ model will cost you £6,883 over a 24-month lease, and the ‘Manual’ model will cost you £10,725. A £3,842 difference. £3,842 divided over 24 months is £160.08 per month less! This is where Car Leasing Guru shows you exactly where to save money, and the value you get. It is also why we recommend the 320d M Sport 5dr Step Auto. You save so much more money just by having an automatic gearbox.

FYI: Mileage is calculated per annum. 24 m 20k2 = 24 months @ 40,000 miles.

3 Series Touring Lease Cost

The Maths Bit

Let’s look at this in a different way. I’m going to select two other vehicles, but this time, they will both have the Step Auto gearbox. The 320d M Sport 5dr Step Auto from the 1st column, and the 318d M Sport 5dr Step Auto from the 3rd column (above) and you’ll be able to see how proportional “value” is assigned to that vehicle. You can do this same exercise for the other vehicles in our charts too as well. Try it yourself and you’ll be able to see how much more you can get for your money.

The only difference between these example models is the engine/BHP.

Example models:

On The Road Price

318d M Sport 5dr Step Auto | £38,260


320d M Sport 5dr Step Auto | £39,560

The difference in the On The Road Price = £1,300

Next, we’ll look at how much you would pay over a 2 year lease, doing 10,000 miles a year. (use graph above as a reference)

Total Lease Costs

318d M Sport 5dr Step Auto | £6,883


320d M Sport 5dr Step Auto | £11,389

The difference in the Total Lease Cost (over 2 years) = £4,506

Monthly payment: £4,506 / 24 months = £187.75

Lots of different numbers going on there, so let me explain.

What this tells us is that there is an OTR price difference of £1,300 between the two vehicles, but you would actually be spending an additional £4,506 LESS over the course of the lease. Sounds mental, doesn’t it?

The 320d holds more value in the used market compared with the 318d. It’s quite hard to isolate individual elements or combinations and assign “value” to them, but what we can say is that the combination of a Step Auto gearbox, M Sport Specification AND the 320d engine add more value than any other combination that BMW offer. Hence why you pay so much less over the course of a lease; the RV is disproportionally higher compared with other models.

The key is to pick a vehicle that has lots of meaningful specification, or a combination of meaningful specification.

Percentage Of List

The ‘percentage of list’ is the difference between the capital cost (OTR price) and the Residual Value (RV). This shows, at a glance, exactly where value is attributed as a percentage. The lower the number, the better the percentage of list. This is usually a good indication of “value for money”.

Looking at the percentages within the graph below, you can see that they run anywhere between 17-29% or so for a 2 year lease, up to 26-39% on a more realistic 3 year lease. This means you will be paying between 26% to 39% of the total value of that vehicle before you hand it back. You can pay substantially more depending on which model you pick if it is undesirable in the 2nd hand market…

Leasing companies normally don’t read the percentage of list in this way, they actually read it in the opposite way. They would say that the vehicle has 65% of its value left, not that someone would spend 35% of the vehicle’s value. This is because they want to know what the value of the vehicle is at the end of its lease and make any adjustments where necessary from a financial risk perspective. Just makes the calculation easier on their end.

The percentage can give you a good indication of “value” but it also needs to be double-checked against the ‘On The Road’ price. Otherwise, a Ferrari would look like good value for money if we didn’t double-check the overall price and only looked at the percentage of list…


*miles per annum (e.g. 24m / 20k = 40,000 miles)

Why The Difference In Price?

This is all to do with something called the Residual Value, or RV for short. This is a price that’s assigned to a vehicle at the end of its useable life. So from a leasing perspective, the end of its useable life is at the end of its term, because the leasing company is simply going to sell that vehicle, and it’s going to have another life with another customer. So the end of the useable life from a leasing perspective is essentially however long you lease that vehicle for, and they’re trying to understand the value at the end of the lease.

You will have to make the judgment on whether the 320d M Sport 5dr Step Auto model is worth it over the course of a 2 or 3 year lease compared with the rest of the line-up. For us, it is, but the decision rests with you.

Our Decision

Hopefully, the process outlined above gives you some indication on why we picked the 320d M Sport 5dr Step Auto over the other models.

It has the lowest percentage of list at 2 years (17.4%), and it also has the lowest overall cost over the course of a lease. If you pick a longer-term, the monthly payments would be less, because you are spreading the cost, but if you want to get the most value for money, then it is best to get the 320d M Sport 5dr Step Auto model.

Thank You!

This is just some basic analysis that will hopefully help you understand the value of a 2020 BMW 3 Series Touring lease a little better.

2020 BMW 3 Series Touring Car Leasing Comparison | Price Guide

The Car Leasing Guru Team