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Nissan LEAF vs. BMW 3-Series Reliability Comparisons

You won't find Nissan LEAF or BMW 3-Series reliability information like this anywhere else. Actual repair frequencies, not just vague dots, to make it clear how much the Nissan LEAF and the BMW 3-Series truly differ in reliability.

These stats are promptly updated four times a year, to much more closely track Nissan LEAF and BMW 3-Series reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Nissan LEAF and the BMW 3-Series were a year ago, when the cars were a year younger and had 12,000 fewer miles on them. Only TrueDelta tells you how reliable the Nissan LEAF and the BMW 3-Series have been recently.

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See reliability results for all Hatchbacks

See only powertrain and chassis results

Year Make/Model Repair Frequencysuccessful repair trips per 100 cars per year Compared to all models for the same year  
2013 BMW 3-Series 4dr 65 3-Series 4drs, 8.6 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 7800 miles21
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2013 Nissan LEAF 31 LEAFs, 4.8 months of data per LEAF, average 4600 miles

Repairs far more common than for earlier model years. Common problem with battery charging systrem.
49
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 BMW 3-Series 2dr   17 3-Series 2drs, 9.8 months of data per 3-Series 2dr, average 12200 miles

* Small sample size.
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* Small sample size.
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2012 BMW 3-Series 4dr   24 3-Series 4drs, 9.4 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 14500 miles

* Small sample size.
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or 24 3-Series 4drs, 9.4 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 14500 miles

* Small sample size.
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2012 Nissan LEAF 42 LEAFs, 9.6 months of data per LEAF, average 12400 miles6
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 BMW M3   18 M3s, 9.6 months of data per M3, average 23900 miles

* Small sample size.
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or 18 M3s, 9.6 months of data per M3, average 23900 miles

* Small sample size.
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2011 BMW 335 33 335s, 8.4 months of data per 335, average 26400 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
30
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2011 BMW 328 92 328s, 8.8 months of data per 328, average 27700 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
33
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2011 Nissan LEAF 70 LEAFs, 9.9 months of data per LEAF, average 22600 miles7
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2010 BMW 328 33 328s, 8.2 months of data per 328, average 41800 miles57
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2010 BMW 335   11 335s, 8.3 months of data per 335, average 33500 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2009 BMW M3   15 M3s, 10.3 months of data per M3, average 32600 miles

* Small sample size.
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* Small sample size.
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2009 BMW 328 49 328s, 9.8 months of data per 328, average 42900 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. 335i might have a common problem with the fuel injectors.
55
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 BMW 335 27 335s, 9.7 months of data per 335, average 45200 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. 335i might have a common problem with the fuel injectors.
64
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2008 BMW M3 29 M3s, 9.4 months of data per M3, average 34600 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
31
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2008 BMW 335 53 335s, 9.0 months of data per 335, average 53900 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
66
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2008 BMW 328 48 328s, 8.9 months of data per 328, average 58900 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
71
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2007 BMW 335 60 335s, 9.0 months of data per 335, average 65200 miles67
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2007 BMW 328 61 328s, 9.6 months of data per 328, average 67900 miles78
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2006 BMW 3-Series 2dr   19 3-Series 2drs, 9.6 months of data per 3-Series 2dr, average 62500 miles

* Small sample size.
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* Small sample size.
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2006 BMW 3-Series 4dr 88 3-Series 4drs, 8.7 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 82200 miles

First year for the E90 4-door.
57
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2005 BMW M3   13 M3s, 10.0 months of data per M3, average 65400 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2005 BMW 3-Series 36 3-Series, 8.8 months of data per 3-Series, average 91800 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
87
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2004 BMW M3   16 M3s, 10.6 months of data per M3, average 81700 miles

* Small sample size.
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2004 BMW 3-Series 55 3-Series, 9.5 months of data per 3-Series, average 101600 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
108
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2003 BMW M3   13 M3s, 7.3 months of data per M3, average 75600 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2003 BMW 3-Series 36 3-Series, 9.3 months of data per 3-Series, average 98300 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
108
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2002 BMW M3   11 M3s, 9.7 months of data per M3, average 79200 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2002 BMW 3-Series 39 3-Series, 8.8 months of data per 3-Series, average 113900 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
133
100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2001 BMW 3-Series 44 3-Series, 9.5 months of data per 3-Series, average 128100 miles95
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2000 BMW 3-Series 34 3-Series, 7.6 months of data per 3-Series, average 140500 miles102
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

1999 BMW 3-Series - E46   10 3-Series - E46s, 11.2 months of data per 3-Series - E46, average 162000 miles

* Very small sample size.
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or 10 3-Series - E46s, 11.2 months of data per 3-Series - E46, average 162000 miles

* Very small sample size.
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1998 BMW 3-Series / M3   12 3-Series / M3s, 5.4 months of data per 3-Series / M3, average 136900 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Nissan LEAF

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What Our Members Are Saying about Nissan LEAF Reliability and Durability

Reliability and Durability of the Nissan LEAF: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2011 4dr Hatch 107-horsepower Electric
1-speed automatic FWD
One of the advantages I was looking forward to, owning a Leaf, was the fact that the power train is so much simpler than a gas powered car. These are some of the parts in a gas powered car that can't go wrong with my all electric Leaf:

1) No gears/transmission to ever slip or go out, just a gearshift knob that is really just an electric switch, with no moving parts other than the switch itself.
2) No fuel pump/filter to need maintenance on.
3) No fuel injection or carborator to go out or have problems.
4) No air filters for the motor to replace.
5) No oil to change or oil filter to replace.
6) No radiator to repair. No coolant level to check.
7) No spark plugs, cap, rotor or points to replace or maintain
8) No belts, pullies or chains to break, wear or replace.
9) No engine overheating possible.
10) No catalytic converter to replace.
11) No muffler or exhaust system to replace/maintain.
12) The electric motor acts as a generator that slows the car down when I take my foot off the accelerator and it charges the battery as I coast to a stop. Also, the regenerative breaking means that the Leaf has a generator attached to one of the rear wheels that also slows the car down as I apply the breaks and that also charges the battery as I break to a stop. This regenerative breaking and electric motor generation means that I use less of the actual breaks on the car and this improves the lifespan of my break pads. I will change the break pads and rotors a lot less often than a normal gas powered car or even a hybrid.
Reliability and Durability of the Nissan LEAF: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2011 4dr Hatch 107-horsepower Electric
1-speed automatic FWD
The build quality was in line.

HOWEVER, what destroys this car as a purchase choice is one thing: The cutting corners and bad engineering decisions (political or otherwise) to make the car battery air cooled. This simply doesn't work very well in warmer climates.

The folks up in Seattle don't see this but where it gets above 95 degrees such as CALIF, TX, ARIZONA are the folks are starting to seeing this battery fade rapidly with pernament heat damage. Read about how to care for a LI-ON. We baby'ed this car battery for all the things we could, but the heat is getting it. This vehicle is edging toward being the orphaned 3rd car because it won't be long before it cannot do our simple 35 mile roundtrip commute. A very expensive loss for us.

Learn from this and DON"T BUY THIS CAR MODEL. Buy a Chevy Volt instead. We have that car too....and we fight over who drives it. It has a conservative approach...liquid battery management to keep the battery at its favorite temperature day and night, 24/7. That temperature is 70 degrees.

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What Our Members Are Saying about BMW 3-Series Reliability and Durability

None of our members have yet commented on the reliability and durability of the BMW 3-Series.

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