The BMW brand rightly holds a level prestige that goes – with the possible exception of Mercedes – way beyond that of other marques, so it is perfectly understandable that one may want a to purchase a BMW. However, choosing the right model to suit can be a difficult decision, especially when living in the United Kingdom where there is a large family of BMW vehicles.

This is especially true when one compares models like the 3 Series and 5 Series Touring, cars that many times share the same engine and have very similar specifications and options, just different sizes.

One might consider a test driving both models to assess each car’s advantages and disadvantages, but the standard showroom test drive only lasts a mere 10-15 minutes (in the UK), and it would arguably be very difficult to fully assess each car’s strengths and weaknesses in this time.

With this in mind, it would be very wise to consider hiring one or both models for at least a few days to decipher whether which one is the right model for you.

For those of you in the UK, there are options to extensively drive a BMW before the purchase. One option is the BMW car hire from where many models come with different engines and specifications.

Here are some things to consider before buying a BMW, in order to asses if it matches your lifestyle and requirements:


The 3 and 5 Series are fitted with similarly luxurious trim with fully adjustable electric seats and steering columns as standard so there are no issues there. Where the difference lies is mainly in the increased legroom of the 5 Series due to the fact that is a full 16 cm longer than the 3 Series. The 5 Series is noticeably roomier. It is also quieter due in part to the self-levelling suspension system. Some have said that the 5 Series is a better family car and that it is better for long journeys. It would perhaps be advisable to try a 3 Series to see if it provides enough comfort before buying a 5 Series, while saving money.


The 5 Series is in nearly £7000 more expensive than the 3 Series, a fact which has faced criticism for not being justified by the enlarged wheels and self-leveling suspension. However, if price is not an issue and the aforementioned comfort level is a main priority, then the 5 Series may be the right car to choose.

Due its lighter weight, the 3 Series is actually sportier and more agile than its bigger brother, although of course the 5 Series is no slouch. So if this is a primarily factor in your buying decision, then take note of the acceleration times and assess if this is an important point in your daily driving.