BMW 3-Series Real World MPG

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
Share your actual 3-series MPG with other owners here.


  • chaslewis2004chaslewis2004 Member Posts: 3
    The 325i (auto) I test drove today said 22-29 mpg on the window sticker. By contrast, the 650 next to it said 18-26, with it's big V8. How 'bout some real-world input from the 3-series owners?
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWMember Posts: 3,371
    I'm getting 28.3 mpg in mixed (mostly city) use, which I'm exceedingly happy with.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesMember Posts: 9,361
    325i RWD, manual transmission - 25-ish in the city, a minimum of 30 on the highway.
  • dl7265dl7265 Member Posts: 1,381
    11K miles . 11 months. 25.8 MPG with average speed of 37 mph. 60/40 driving cycle.

  • davidd3davidd3 Member Posts: 582
    2006 330i auto 12k miles. Averaging 25mpg in mixed but mostly highway driving in a rather hilly area. Gets low 30s on long highway drives.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Member Posts: 6,249
    330i, mostly highway miles in europe - 23 mpg averaging 100+ with runs above 140 for extended periods. Not bad given how hard the engine's working at those speeds.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 210,322
    '05 E46 330i convertible....

    7K miles.... 22.9 MPG lifetime average in commuting/suburban driving..

    I don't get to drive it a lot... But, at steady 70 MPH speeds, it is around 29-30 MPG... Probably 15-18 MPG on grocery runs..

    Edmunds Price Checker
    Edmunds Lease Calculator
    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • puckwizardpuckwizard Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 325i which i bought new, i have been averaging ~27-30 mpg in mixed-to-highway driving since i bought it. Very happy with the gas mileage.
  • mtbmwmtbmw Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2006 BMW 325xi. For the first 4000 miles, I have been averaging 19-27 MPG. I am using nothing but premium gasoline. I wish it was better, but the car is so great that I can live with it right now.
  • jjdowjjdow Member Posts: 20
    No way
  • jjdowjjdow Member Posts: 20
    I've had 2 short highway trips from 27-28 at avg. speed 65-70. If you want to keep your highway mileage over 30, find a nice straight road and put the cruise on 65-70 max.

    In town, well under 20 without any agressive driving as I respect the breakin period so far. I'll post again later.

    Dont get me wrong, 28 on the hway is awesome! I love this car. We were going 90 today on I10 and when I told my wife and 12 yr old... they did not believe me. Smooth and quiet!
  • benitocellinibenitocellini Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 330 ci, automatic with 225 h.p. It gets 18-19 mpg in city driving, including a DC commute,and 29 on the highway at 80+mpg (30 with the a/c off).
  • gerapaugerapau Member Posts: 211
    Have a 2006 325i with manual and get about 18-20MPG in the city and about 32-34MPG on the highway. Recently drove 600 miles with a fairly big Thule box on the roof averaging 75MPH and got about 30MPG. I can consistently get about 34-35MPG on the highway if I keep it at about 55MPH. My last car was an SUV so I am very happy with this mileage.
  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusMember Posts: 13,561
    I've got the 330i. I get about 20 MPG in all city...23-24 MPG in mixed driving. Get about 30 MPG (cruise set on 80 MPH) on all highway.
    2022 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring
  • pattiluvpattiluv Member Posts: 9
    I am getting about 12-14 mpg in the city, 16 - 19 on freeways. I am at 2000 miles now and the lifetime average is 16 mpg. (The EPA sticker says 19 - 27.) It's so strange to drive a car and get, like, 14 mpg, when I was really looking forward to getting in the 20's around town!

    I am disappointed to say the least. Would love to hear about other's experiences. New and after break-in. And how long was break-in?

    I am at about 60-65% of what to expect. There seems to be little I can do.

    I wish I had known this before I bought a new car sight unseen -- in my state, you sign away your rights to return the car before you drive you car off the lot. I special ordered my car through a broker. The same problem would apply to any car where you could not test for mileage on the spot before purchase, however.

    It's an agreement you have to sign, here in Cal., called, "there is no cooling off period", ie you cannot return your car even if you discover something like I did, seriously to your dislike immediately after purchase.

    I love my car in every other way. But I feel like either I was not informed of what's true about these cars, in general, or my car is an exception. At this point, I am not sure which is the case.

    In either case, personally, with what I have gone through, I would not buy a new car again, because I have learned that i have no recourse -- apparently BMW can make a car with any mileage they wish and not be legally accountable!

    Each time, I have to figure out when I want to make a trip, it's going to cost me 30 to 40 percent more in gas than I thought.

    I wish I knew what I could do. Any suggestions? Ideas would be gratefully received.

  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    Fuel consumption is very dependent on both traffic conditions and driving technique. That said, I'd still think that your 330ci should be getting 18-20 mpg in town and 25+ mpg on the open road- even if it's an automatic. Are you calculating fuel consumption at each fill-up or are you relying on the on-board computer? I would keep a log book or spreadsheet to document the fuel consumption. Are your tires inflated to the pressures indicated on the door jamb placard? Is the wheel alignment within factory specifications? If the car checks out OK, I'd still want to wait until your 330ci reaches @10,000 miles to see how the engine break-in affects the fuel economy- you HAVE been following the owners manual break-in procedure, correct? Some BMWs will pick up a couple of mpg(or more) once the engine is fully broken in.
  • pattiluvpattiluv Member Posts: 9
    HI, I am willing to take a driver's lesson. Tho I must say, I am a normal driver, in my opinion. How that is going to add 5 to 10 mpg to make me in normal range seems a little far fetched. And yes I did get everything checked out.

    SO thanks for your ideas...I do appreciate...

    It is unfortunate that BMW told me they refuse to stand by the car they produced.

    Would I buy a BMW again? Yes! Do i *love* my car? Yes. a new one? not a new car...especially a new BMW, never again. Wait ten thousand miles? And then what? What if then it isn't right? They've already told me they aren't going to do anyting about it.

    I have heard there are other cars out there, 330s,with this problem. I am wondering if this is an issue that goes far beyond just me?

    When I've asked the dealer and the manufacturer how many mpg the car should get, they say, they don't know. Now, do YOU believe that? I don't.

    All I can say? I would never buy a new car, especially one where I could not check the mileage first hand again, first. THere is no one to protect you or me as consumers.

    Thank you for your suggestions. I remain open minded for more ideas. Plain out of them over here and willing to try anything. I hate having to do math every time I want to take a road trip.

    Apparently you have no recourse if you get something way off the mark. A warrantee doesn't do it.

    Still would love to know what others are getting....

  • pattiluvpattiluv Member Posts: 9
    ps-- I am keeping a log... gas in, miles in and out... average miles is about 16 mpg. Exactly what it says on my nav system: lifetime mpg of 16 mpg!

    Although it is interesting to watch how the mileage counter does change when you drive, ie accelerate, decelerate, etc... .there are actually three mileage counters in my car... even one on the control panel! So I can see very well what happens every time I step on the gas, coast, brake, etc... I get a driving lesson just driving in my car on gas mileage!

    And I do mostly freeway.
  • tropestropes Member Posts: 6
    In town commuting, I get 20-22 mpg. Keep a "higher than what you would think" psi in the tires around 40psi), it makes at least a 2 gallon difference. In the winter, I get a couple less, either from gas or lower pressure in the tires for better grip. I drive all-season Michelins.
    Just finished a trip to San Diego from Colorado Springs. Interstate driving along with some city. With four in the car and luggage, with air on, and normally at about 80mph on Interstates, I got 28mpg for the 1,300 miles.
  • fdg07fdg07 Member Posts: 14
    Hey pattiluv, I have a GREAT suggestion for you, its called the "turbonator" it ads like 30 hp to ur car and save up to 31% more gas on ur car!!!go to and try it!( i think thats the sight)Oh yeah and the best thing bout it is that it is only 70 bucks and maintanance free!! :)
  • potemkinpotemkin Member Posts: 195
    Let's not even joke about the "turbonator". It's a worthless piece of rodent excrement. (Can I say that?)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    yes if you say it politely. :P
  • keanhookeanhoo Member Posts: 3
    2006 325i AT, ~15k miles, 21~24MPG with trip of ~30 miles daily mixed local and highway drive. But I know I can get >30MPG on a long trip drive. :D
  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    When I've asked the dealer and the manufacturer how many mpg the car should get, they say, they don't know. Now, do YOU believe that? I don't.

    Actually, they are correct.

    Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer "guarantees" minimum mileage for any vehicle. (For that matter, neither does the EPA/DOE.) You need to accept the EPA estimate for what it is, merely an "estimate."

    In fact, the government fuel economy website says: "Most consumers will notice that their fuel economy differs from EPA's estimates. This can be caused by any of several factors related to driving conditions, driver behavior, vehicle maintenance, and fuel characteristics as explained here."

    More importantly, you should realize that BMW actually DOES give buyers a heads up that their expectations for mileage need to be kept in check. Look at the "technical data" information on the BMW website for the 2006 330ci in particular. It says clearly: "EPA est. mpg, city/highway. Your actual mileage will vary, depending upon speed, driving habits, trip length and driving conditions; actual mileage will most likely be lower." (I would be surprised if the same disclaimer weren't in the printed brochure, as well.)

    I'm sorry you are disappointed in your gas mileage. I hope your car's mileage improves over time. (I've had that experience to some extent with my BMW's and to a much greater extent with my Acura.) But please bear in mind, neither the government nor BMW knows EXACTLY how you drive or in EXACTLY what conditions, so neither can tell you EXACTLY what mileage to expect.
  • pekingrickpekingrick Member Posts: 2
    I've got a 2006 325i - the mileage during break-in was definitely low - but I now get 10km/L (approx 23 mpg) in stop-n-go hwy commuting to work - less with the a/c on. I have gotten a high of 15.1km/L (approx 35.1mpg) from Bakersfield to Long Beach (a distance of approx 200 km - about 121 miles. However, normal highway mileage averages 12.5 km/L (approx 29.8 mpg)- just as expected. I use cruise control regularly to keep my speed no higher than 10 km/h above the speed limit (otherwise I can - and will - get ticketed for speeding, and I'm old enough that I don't want to keep paying for traffic school and higher insurance rates).
  • dridmangdridmang Member Posts: 10
    Just bought a 2003 330 used with about 60k on it. I drive very conservatively and still get 15mpg in the city. My own calculations confirm what gets read on the on board computer. 15mpg seems very low for this car. Air filter is new and tire pressure is good. I have a feeling the previous owner didn't use synthetic oil on his last oil change. Not sure if that can affect gas mileage.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    I'm going to go out on a twig here and say that as bad as it might be that your car might not have synthetic oil in it, it is highly unlikely that your problem is the oil. Either way, get that oil out of there and put some Mobil 1 0W-40 or some German made Castrol Syntec 0W-30 in it.

    Now, about your mileage. It's bad, very bad. On my 2002 530i 5-Speed I never got less than 22 even when driving in heavy NYC metro traffic, and got more like 31 at a steady 75 on the highway. There are a couple of things that I'd do were I in your shoes (beyond getting new oil in it that is).

    1) Have the ODB-II system checked for any error codes. If some are found, have them fixed at either your local BMW dealership or at a good indy shop.
    2) If #1 bears no fruit, I'd have a cylinder leak down test performed on all six cylinders. If one or more test low, I'd have a bore-scope performed to see what is wrong (i.e. valves or cylinder walls/rings).
    3) Failing the above two, I'd have the engine control computer (OBC) reflashed with the latest firmware from your local BMW dealership.

    Let us know how you make out.

    Best Regards,
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Effect of oil type on gas mileage would be very minimal unless it were radically heavy oil.
  • absoluticabsolutic Member Posts: 29
    How long is a break-in period? I've had the car ('07 328i auto) for 6 days. The car came with a full gas tank and that averaged 14 mpg. But then I was trying DS and various manual shift options.

    The second tank now averages 18 mpg. My driving is 80city/20freeway with heavy stop-and-go and traffic jams everywhere I go (Los Angeles Area). I do hope this is not going to to be 14mpg City/30mpg Freeway. If I get 18mpg or higher average I will be extatic, as my last car ML350 averaged 12.5mpg, and JGC before it averaged 13. In fact I've never owned a car that averaged over 15mpg in Los Angeles. Hopefully this would be first. :))))
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well break-in is probably no more than 1,000 miles but improvement in fuel mileage---that's a good question---from reading various people's experiences, the average claim is that a car's fuel mileage can continue to improve up to 20,000 miles....and then, remain steady for a long time, and then, naturally, as the car ages, the fuel mileage will start to fall off again. Kinda like people! :P
  • absoluticabsolutic Member Posts: 29
    Well break-in is probably no more than 1,000 miles but improvement in fuel mileage---that's a good question---from reading various people's experiences, the average claim is that a car's fuel mileage can continue to improve up to 20,000 miles....and then, remain steady for a long time, and then, naturally, as the car ages, the fuel mileage will start to fall off again. Kinda like people!

    Kinda like people....I am sitting trying to decide whether my mileage remains steady or falling off again :confuse:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Wait til you hit 50...that's about 10 in car years and 7 in dog years :P
  • vegaszenvegaszen Member Posts: 3
    03 325
    I have always gotten the same 20mpg.
    I drive slow off the redlight and then I continue to very very very very fast speeds.
    I don't 0-60 quick, but I continue to excellerate.

    I think this milage is good and acceptable.
    paperwork says 21-29.
    my 07 335 that states 20-29 SHOULD get 19mpg.

    I gave up one mile per gallon for twin freakin' turbos~~~~!!!

    Perhaps those getting less mpg should examine their driving style; I really think it affect mpg.

  • absoluticabsolutic Member Posts: 29
    Well, I've had my 328i for just over 2 months and drove about 2100 miles. My ave mpg went from 14.7mpg to 15.1 mpg. Most of it is city driving or bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go traffic on LA Freeway. Nowhere near 20. If I somehow can get it to 16-17mpg I'd be extatic
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    Absolutic, make sure your tire pressure is set correctly and check it every 2 weeks. My 330xi is heavier than your car and I average 22 mpg (tank-to-tank) with 75% highway, no stop and go.

  • jtlajtla Member Posts: 386
    My 328i 6MT is about 1 month old. The on-board computer shows an average of 20 mpg for the 800 miles so far. I drive 80% city, 20% hwy. Occasionally I would sprint from stop lights, but never sit in traffic. When cruising at 65, the MPG gauge shows over 30 mpg. So, basically, my experience is on par with the EPA number that BMW claims. I am very happy with it and hope the number will get even better after the break in period (400 more miles to go).

    Absolutic, check the MPG gauge when you cruise on the highway -- maybe at night or on weekend. If it reads 30 or better, your car is just fine and traffic is to blame.
  • jeraldjerald Member Posts: 3
    My 2007 328 has 890 mi so far. 15mpg city, 20.1 highway. Very disappointing. My 2003 325 always got over 20 city and 28-30 highway. Can the 3 liter engine make that much differenc? no way.
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    All in good time. tank to tank, I get 22 mpg, about 75% Hwy. My 330xi has 19K miles now.

  • absoluticabsolutic Member Posts: 29
    jtla, my MPG gauge also show over 30 mpg on a freeway. It is just that I am rarely on freeway, I am in LA stop-and-go traffic to work and from work, daily grind, 15 miles to work, 15 miles back, that 15 miles take me 35-50 minutes on average. Or I can be parked on 405 freeway - I don't think that is going to improve my mileage. I am firmly at 15mpg. I do check my tire pressure - it is proper. I never believe the EPA figures. EPA figures are derived from all 1970s EPA tests where they put cars on treadmills in some hall, and then report the mileage to us. On my Jeep Grand Cherokee before I averaged 12.3 mpg, On my Mercedes ML350 I averaged 13 mpg, so 15mpg om my 2007 BMW 328i is quite an improvement (in my eyes).
  • mrmichaelwillmrmichaelwill Member Posts: 3
    Which model is that?

    So far the posts here where 325i/328i/330i with mpg 20 to 30 average depending on city or highway use.

    I am currently pondering replacing my old battered 1997 Geo Prism with a nice 3-series BMW, but I am so used to getting 30mpg out of driving 15% city 85% highway without having to limit my desire for speed in any way (read: above 80 where traffic permits) that I wonder how much worse it would be with the stronger, newer and more expensive car... I don't want to be stuck behind hybrids just to be fuel efficient ;-)
  • incognito1incognito1 Member Posts: 13
    I have a 328 coupe. Disappointingly it gives me 20 mpg irrespective the TLC with which I drive it. Highway driving vs city driving hardly ever seems to make a difference. I hardly ever drive during the rush hours so most of my driving is on open roads and I still end up with such a low figure. Anybody else with a 328 coupe who is getting similar figures?

    Is this expected or should I take it in for an inspection?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    That sounds low. I'm assuming you have an automatic. Do you drive in sport mode? Are you measuring the gas mileage by the computer or gallons filled at the gas station? Maybe an ecu flash is needed? Is it fully broken in? Take it into BMW and see what they say.
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    I am assuming tire pressure is checked every 3 weeks and premium gasoline is your choice.

  • angecs29angecs29 Member Posts: 6
    Hi. I just purchased a 2000 328ci and the on-board computer is telling me I'm getting 5.9MPG. I know this isn't so just from driving it, but why would it be telling me this? Does it need to be reset? And how accurate are the on-board stats?
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,041
    I know this isn't so just from driving it, but why would it be telling me this?

    It could have been reset and then just driven around the dealer's lot.

    Does it need to be reset?


    And how accurate are the on-board stats?

    The actual fuel economy is @95% of the average OBC economy.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica
    Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i
    Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • absoluticabsolutic Member Posts: 29
    Ok since I posted about 8 months on this site about my gas mileage of 15-16 mpg on my 2007 328i, my mileage improved to 19 mpg! And that is with 90% stop-and-go city LA traffic. I am very happy about it. Actually the mileage suddenly became better after about 6,000 miles.

    My new problem is for the last month, my fuel gauge has been acting crazy. I would fill a tank of gas, and it would show accurate reading, and then, after about half-a-tank is gone, the gauge would just go to Zero or even less than Zero and it would indicate that I am out of gas! I ran to the gas station just to find out that I really have plenty of gas left and it is just a false reading. But it's been doing it lately. What could be the problem?
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,041
    What could be the problem?

    The E36(1992-1999) 3 Series cars had a similar issue. In that case the problem was caused by corrosion deposits on the fuel sending unit contacts within the gas tank. BMW cured the problem by introducing a replacement unit fitted with gold contacts that do not corrode. I solved the problem on my 1995 and 1998 3ers by using only Top Tier gasolines- which contain detergent properties that prevent the deposits from occuring. That said, since your car is still under warranty I'd simply return it to the dealer. If you want to attempt an interim fix, you could try adding a bottle of Techron to your fuel; it can't hurt and it may fix the problem temporarily.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica
    Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i
    Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • davidd3davidd3 Member Posts: 582
    2006 330i, non-sport.

    Put on nearly 11,000 miles in 2007 and averaged 24.34mpg in a mixture of roughly 2/3 highway 1/3 city driving. Best tank (mostly highway) returned 27.31mpg. Worst tank (mostly city) returned 21.17mpg. Use sports mode frequently in city driving.

    No question in my mind this car would get low 30s on a highway trip, and not just in the right lane at 55mph. I've seen what it's capable of on highway drives of 30 to 60 miles, at 70-80mph. I always have my on-board computer set to display the mpg.

    Quite pleased getting this kind of gas mileage from a sports sedan. The G35 I had before it averaged about 22mpg.
  • davidd3davidd3 Member Posts: 582
    Oh yeah, I should have mentioned that my car has an automatic transmission.
  • absoluticabsolutic Member Posts: 29
    Thank you roadburner, I have been using only the premium gas and I told the dealer about the problem, and it appears from the comments they did some diagnostics on it.
Sign In or Register to comment.