2002 BMW 3 Series 325i 2.5 straight 6
Good all rounder
Within a month of receiving it (it's a Japanese import), the air conditioning unit failed - common fault apparently on cars coming from Japan. Replaced under warranty, which was fortunate as it required an entire dashboard removal at enormous cost.
Trip computer didn't work when got it, switch broken, small cost of change at BMW garage ($50 or so).
Tiptronic box occasionally showed a warning light on the dash. BMW did something with it attached to a computer, and it stopped. The box itself always performed fine.
The extortionate cost of European cars in NZ means that a 325i "Highline" from 2002 is a flash vehicle, despite being almost 10 years old. For the equivalent cost, you'd be looking at a 4 year old 335i in the UK.
Saloon car, Highline odd Japanese spec, similar to UK/NZ "SE", but has bigger 7 spoke alloys, electric seats, heated seats, Tiptronic, 10 speaker stereo, wood trim, leather and ski bag. Possibly some additional extras from the original dealer. No cruise control, parking sensors or multi-function wheel though.
The car is very smooth to drive, not especially economical, but acceptable. Quick when pushed (unsure if this is the 192bhp version in Europe, or the 184bhp version from the US), and very comfortable and well specified. I test drove a 2009 Holden Commodore SV6, and a new Subaru Legacy Estate, and the BMW still feels tighter and better put together. Great handling too, and still looks good.
Recommend people to find a similar one. The only thing I would add is a 330i offers a lot more performance for little more to buy second hand (and the same economy); or the 320i offers only slightly lower performance, and tends to be a fair bit cheaper... I'd also probably prefer no wood (looks tacky) and cloth seats (oddly feel classier on BMW, not sure why, maybe it's just me...)
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st October, 2012
Ummmm, are you kidding, extortionate cost of European cars in New Zealand? They are cheap to buy and run. Maybe not fifteen years ago, but now BMW's, Audi's, Volvo's and so on are really popular over here. I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but it is the truth, and to be honest nobody in New Zealand does really think that a ten year old BMW is a classy car or anything. They are just your normal everyday car.