Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW 3 Series VS 2015 Honda Accord Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 BMW 3 Series

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2015 Honda Accord

Safety Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan’s optional front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The 3 Series Sedan offers optional City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Accord Sedan has a collision warning system without the crash-mitigating brake feature, which could reduce stopping distances.

The 3 Series Sedan offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Accord Sedan only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The 3 Series Sedan has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the Accord Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the BMW 3 Series Sedan is safer than the Honda Accord Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

Accord Sedan



4 Stars

4 Stars



5 Stars

4 Stars




Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

115 lbs.

163 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

47 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

174/298 lbs.

535/546 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the BMW 3 Series Sedan is safer than the Honda Accord Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

Accord Sedan

Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

184 lbs.

395 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

64 G’s

72 G’s

Hip Force

688 lbs.

765 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

49 G’s

Hip Force

513 lbs.

819 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Accord Sedan’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The 3 Series Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Accord Sedan’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Sedan for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Accord Sedan.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 3 Series Sedan has a standard 900-amp battery. The Accord Sedan’s 550-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the 3 Series Sedan is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 3 Series Sedan’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Accord Sedan’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan has more powerful engines than the Accord Sedan:



320i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

180 HP

200 lbs.-ft.

328i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

255 lbs.-ft.

335i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

ActiveHybrid 3 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

335 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

Accord Sedan 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

185 HP

181 lbs.-ft.

Accord Sedan Sport 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

189 HP

182 lbs.-ft.

Accord Sedan EX-L V6/Touring 3.5 SOHC V6

278 HP

252 lbs.-ft.

The 3 Series Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 99 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 181) than the Accord Sedan’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The 3 Series Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 98 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 182) than the Accord Sedan Sport’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The 3 Series Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 28 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 252) than the Accord Sedan EX-L V6/Touring’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW 3 Series Sedan is faster than the Honda Accord Sedan (automatics tested):



Accord Sedan

Accord Sedan Sport

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

5.5 sec

7.7 sec

7.7 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.6 sec


12.5 sec


Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

14.1 sec

16 sec

16 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 328d RWD gets better fuel mileage than the Accord Sedan CVT (32 city/45 hwy vs. 27 city/36 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 320i RWD Auto 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (180 HP) gets better fuel mileage than the Accord Sedan EX-L V6/Touring V6 (24 city/36 hwy vs. 21 city/34 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sedan’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 3 Series Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the 3 Series Sedan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Accord Sedan:



Accord Sedan LX

Accord Sedan Sport/EX/EX-L/Touring

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

11.1 inches

11.5 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13 inches

11.1 inches

11.1 inches

The 3 Series Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Accord Sedan are solid, not vented.

The 3 Series Sedan stops much shorter than the Accord Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

Accord Sedan

80 to 0 MPH

214 feet

223 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

164 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

150 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the 3 Series Sedan has larger standard tires than the Accord Sedan (225/50R17 vs. 205/65R16).

The 3 Series Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Accord Sedan LX’s standard 65 series tires. The 3 Series Sedan’s optional 225/40R19 front and 255/35R19 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Accord Sedan Sport’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 3 Series Sedan has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Accord Sedan LX. The 3 Series Sedan’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Accord Sedan Sport.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 3 Series Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Accord Sedan’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 3 Series Sedan’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the Accord Sedan (110.6 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The 3 Series Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.9% to 50.1%) than the Accord Sedan’s (59% to 41%). This gives the 3 Series Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The 320i handles at .92 G’s, while the Accord Sedan EX-L pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 335i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.8 seconds quicker than the Accord Sedan EX-L (25.6 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 3 Series Sedan’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Accord Sedan Sport’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan is 8.9 inches shorter than the Accord Sedan, making the 3 Series Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the 328i is quieter than the Accord Sedan EX-L:

3 Series Sedan

Accord Sedan

At idle

40 dB

43 dB


71 dB

81 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan has 1.2 inches more front headroom and .2 inches more rear headroom than the Accord Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 3 Series Sedan easier. The 3 Series Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Accord Sedan’s liftover is 27.8 inches.

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the 3 Series Sedan’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Accord Sedan’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

The 3 Series Sedan’s optional folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Accord Sedan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 3 Series Sedan’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers an available heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the 3 Series Sedan and the Accord Sedan have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the 3 Series Sedan is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Accord Sedan prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The 3 Series Sedan’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Accord Sedan’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Accord Sedan EX/EX-L/Touring’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

The 3 Series Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Accord Sedan’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 3 Series Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 3 Series Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 3 Series Sedan offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 3 Series Sedan also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The 3 Series Sedan’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Accord Sedan EX/EX-L/Touring.

When the 3 Series Sedan is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Accord Sedan’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 3 Series Sedan offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Accord Sedan offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the Accord Sedan offer available heated front seats. The 3 Series Sedan also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Accord Sedan.

On extremely cold Winter days, the 3 Series Sedan’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i)’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Accord Sedan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 3 Series Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Accord Sedan because it costs $810 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the 3 Series Sedan than the Accord Sedan, including $101 less for a starter and $24 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The BMW 3 Series Sedan has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

3 Series Sedan

Accord Sedan

Consumer Reports® Recommends



Car Book “Best Bet”



The 3 Series was selected by Automobile Magazine as their 2006 Car of the Year. The Accord has never been chosen.

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