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.

General Comments:

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

4th Oct 2012, 06:09

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.

2002 BMW 3 Series 330d Touring 3.0 turbo diesel


Excellent blend of fun and practicality


Replaced or attended to under warranty:

Fuel pump pressure intermittently weak.

Turbo unit.

HVAC fan condenser.

Ongoing issues:

Tow ball interferes with parking sensors.

Intermittent rattle coming from driver's door area - can anyone out there help? It's been to the dealers a few times with no cure yet, and is the only issue that spoils this car

General Comments:

This is an almost perfect set of wheels for those who like driving coupled to an element of practicality.

While the 3 Touring is not the roomiest of estate cars, it gets the job done well enough, so long as you're not always moving house or doing furniture delivery as a living. For me, it has proven ideal transporting parts for an old car I am doing up as well, as lugging business signage around. The tailgate provides better access to the available load area than the rather narrow conventional boot opening on the four door and coupe models.

The previous owner specified it with almost every option - power moonroof, M sport kit (bringing with it 17" alloys and lowered suspension, sports seats, leather M steering wheel with audio and cruise control remotes), heated leather front seats, TV, climate control, rear park sensors and tow package, so it lacks only power seats, which I can readily do without.

The ride is a little compromised with the firmer M sports suspension and low profile 17" rubber, but it corners beautifully.

There have been a few problems, but these were resolved under the extended BMW warranty cover, which has now just run out. I am now on a wing and a prayer and undecided as to whether to continue enjoying the 330d or look around for something new/newer.

The biggest problem is what to eventually replace it with.

The current E91 3 Touring is a non-starter for me as it has challenging styling, and an ugly dash and interior to my eyes, so let's not go there.

BMW, you did a disservice by making the E46 too bloody good and dropped the baton with its replacement. Hopefully, the next generation 3 will pick up where the E46 left off.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 25th April, 2010

7th Aug 2010, 16:00

Can't disagree with your final words. The E46 320d was perfect. If they still made them, I'd buy another one!

8th Aug 2010, 08:46

Why is it that E46 owners always attempt to criticise the E90? The E90 is light years ahead of the dated E46, in both interior and exterior styling. Look at the I-Drive system for a start.

I have a 2007 E90, and would never want to step backwards to the E46..