A basic car, which looks good and is reasonably cheap to run
Oil leak from the gasket. Transmission shift was rough.
My 320i E90 BMW was an import from Japan, and it was German built.
It came to NZ in 2012, and I was the first NZ owner. It had 98000km on it when bought, and I wasn't surprised with an oil leak. Import grade was 4.5 out of 5, so it was very solid looking otherwise.
I have read few reviews, and saw people complaining about 320i being underpowered, which is true, but you buy this model knowing that you are aiming for the most basic car that the BMW 3 series produced. Hence I wasn't unhappy with the performance.
Fuel economy was great on open road (7L to 100km), and 11-12 litres around town, which is not too bad, but since I drive every week from Rotorua to Auckland and back (500km open road + 200 km city), open road economy was more important.
This model handles and drives great. I have owned 7 BMW’s over last 13 years, and I can only compare this with my 320i E36 sedan (1993), E36 325ci (1996 coupe), E46 sedan (1999) and E46 325ci (2000 coupe 2.5 litre).
Among all the 2 litre 3 Series I had, this is much nicer to drive, has improved handling, more cabin space, and a better front view. The rear view is poor, due to having a high headrest on the back seats and a smaller window. You do get a bit of road noise, but it’s slightly better than the E46, and lot better than an E36.
Performance wise, it can’t be compared with any other 6 cylinder 3 series model, full stop. But it does have more pull compared to previous models. Has enough power to cruise along open roads, so am happy.
Mine is in black with run flat tyres (saves the hassle from changing tyres when flat, but very expensive to replace when the treads are low). Mine came with auto headlights and an auto wiper, which works great.
What all the BMW owners need to be careful of, is that there is some rumour about BMW transmission fluid not needing changing, which is not true. Since mine was changing rough when bought – I did an auto transmission fluid change (it’s expensive – cost me about 1200 NZD), but now it drives heaps better than it was. I would have to do that one more time, as I did mine at 113k, hence the oil was extremely dirty and thick. Do make sure that it’s done by a proper garage where they know how do them. I was disappointed by BMW service, so ended up going to a Volvo garage, who did excellent job.
Otherwise, these engines are known to be bullet proof. The transmission of BMW’s has always been an issue, but I would assume the reason behind it could be people thinking they do not need any fluid change.
Overall, I'm happy so far, and it's very basic compared to the E60 5 series I had. Not many complicated computer issues.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th June, 2012