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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.

Take the TrueDelta survey on your car and get free access to all of the data on this page. Click here to get started!
Members can see an exclusive preview of our most recent results.
See reliability results for all Sedans, Wagons, and 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  
2014 BMW 3-Series 58 3-Series, 5.9 months of data per 3-Series, average 6000 miles

Includes 4-Series.
28
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2013 BMW 3-Series 4dr 75 3-Series 4drs, 9.7 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 14100 miles20
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2013 Nissan LEAF 40 LEAFs, 8.9 months of data per LEAF, average 8500 miles

Better lately. Earlier common problem with battery charging systrem.
34
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 BMW 3-Series 2dr and wagon   15 3-Series 2dr and wagons, 10.8 months of data per 3-Series 2dr and wagon, average 19900 miles

* Small sample size.
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* Small sample size.
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2012 BMW 3-Series sedan 29 3-Series sedans, 8.2 months of data per 3-Series sedan, average 20400 miles

First year for F30 3-Series sedan.
46
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2012 Nissan LEAF 45 LEAFs, 10.6 months of data per LEAF, average 19400 miles30
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 BMW M3   21 M3s, 9.3 months of data per M3, average 32600 miles

* Small sample size.
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* Small sample size.
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2011 BMW 335 43 335s, 8.1 months of data per 335, average 35700 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
38
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2011 BMW 328 105 328s, 8.5 months of data per 328, average 34500 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
46
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2011 Nissan LEAF 64 LEAFs, 9.6 months of data per LEAF, average 29700 miles20
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2010 BMW 328   23 328s, 9.8 months of data per 328, average 49900 miles

* Small sample size.
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2010 BMW 335   14 335s, 9.1 months of data per 335, average 44100 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2009 BMW 335 26 335s, 9.2 months of data per 335, average 47500 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
35
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 BMW 328 48 328s, 9.8 months of data per 328, average 50300 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
41
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 BMW M3   14 M3s, 9.9 months of data per M3, average 38200 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2008 BMW M3 27 M3s, 9.7 months of data per M3, average 41500 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Non-M repair frequency spiking, possibly because CPO warranty ending.
50
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2008 BMW 335 47 335s, 9.4 months of data per 335, average 59900 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Non-M repair frequency spiking, possibly because CPO warranty ending.
95
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2008 BMW 328 38 328s, 9.2 months of data per 328, average 67900 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Non-M repair frequency spiking, possibly because CPO warranty ending.
96
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2007 BMW 335 50 335s, 9.5 months of data per 335, average 75400 miles61
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 BMW 328 54 328s, 10.1 months of data per 328, average 73200 miles68
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2006 BMW 3-Series 2dr   19 3-Series 2drs, 9.9 months of data per 3-Series 2dr, average 67400 miles

* Small sample size.
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* Small sample size.
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2006 BMW 3-Series 4dr 69 3-Series 4drs, 9.0 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 91600 miles

First year for the E90 4-door.
79
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2005 BMW M3   13 M3s, 9.2 months of data per M3, average 70200 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2005 BMW 3-Series 27 3-Series, 8.8 months of data per 3-Series, average 90800 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
61
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2004 BMW M3   14 M3s, 9.9 months of data per M3, average 95500 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2004 BMW 3-Series 61 3-Series, 9.0 months of data per 3-Series, average 106200 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
87
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2003 BMW M3   10 M3s, 7.5 months of data per M3, average 77200 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2003 BMW 3-Series 33 3-Series, 9.0 months of data per 3-Series, average 103900 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
125
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2002 BMW M3   13 M3s, 8.8 months of data per M3, average 97600 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2002 BMW 3-Series 35 3-Series, 9.4 months of data per 3-Series, average 118500 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
88
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2001 BMW 3-Series 43 3-Series, 9.0 months of data per 3-Series, average 140100 miles84
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2000 BMW 3-Series 29 3-Series, 7.7 months of data per 3-Series, average 140100 miles97
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Nissan LEAF

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What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF Reliability and Durability: 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.
Nissan LEAF Reliability and Durability: 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.
 

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

BMW 3-Series Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2012 4dr Sedan turbocharged 240hp 2.0L I4
8-speed shiftable automatic RWD
I traded in a 2005 BMW with 92,000 miles on it, if the realiability of the old one is any indication to the experience I hope to have with the 2012, then I have little to nothing to worry about.
2008 2dr Coupe 414-horsepower 4.0L V8
7-speed automated manual RWD
Not yet tested to a full extent on my M3 under review, bust as previous BMW owner I enjoyed minimal component failures after many years of ownership.
2008 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed manual RWD
The car has a BETTER THAN AVERAGE frequency of repair record with Consumer Reports.
2008 2dr Coupe 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
History is promising.
2008 2dr Hardtop conv. turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Have owned this car for 5 years; have had two replacement high pressure fuel pumps; replaced steering rack; new turbo gaskets (both turbos); replaced articulating hard top cables - all in the first 3 years and all under warranty! Nothing has gone wrong in the past two years so perhaps this was relatively new model growing pains.
2008 2dr Hardtop conv. turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Have owned this car for 5 years; have had two replacement high pressure fuel pumps; replaced steering rack; new turbo gaskets (both turbos); replaced articulating hard top cables - all in the first 3 years and all under warranty! Nothing has gone wrong in the past two years so perhaps this was relatively new model growing pains.
2008 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Historically, reliable
2007 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
No problems after 3 years
2007 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Been superb to date
2007 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
This vehicle has a great performance record.
BMW 3-Series Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2011 2dr Hardtop conv. 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Glovebox won't open.
2010 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
I'm a little nervous about repair costs and frequency. I keep reading about 4-figure repair bills, but there are others who say they've done well with just normal maintenance. Consumer Reports gives the 2010 328i a lot of red dots which is a goo
2009 4dr Sedan turbocharged 265hp 3.0L I6 Diesel
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Always a glitch or two.
2009 4dr Sedan 414-horsepower 4.0L V8
6-speed manual RWD
More prone to breakdowns than the Japanese competition.
2009 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Fuel pump, oil cooler, and run flat tire issues on the 335i turned me off. Will likely be covered by warranty, but met multiple people who had week long+ repairs for these issues. After warranty, 1,200+ for each of these issues is apparently common.
2008 2dr Coupe 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Historically, these cars have had their share of electronic gremlins.
2008 4dr Wagon 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Poorer reputation than Lexus based on internet research. Stock run flat tires have short life and rough ride. Lack of spare limits options
2008 2dr Hardtop conv. turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Possibly expensive repair track record when 4-year warranty end
2008 4dr Wagon 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Average is not good enough for a $40K+ car.
2008 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed manual RWD
not as reliable