1989 BMW 3 Series M-Tech 2.5


Real German quality car


Well had a problem with the car alarm, but it was a afterward installed component so nothing to do with the car. Nothing has gone wrong with this car yet.. only thing that is done with the car is oil change and spark plugs.

General Comments:

This car was a rocket the first days I had it.. previous car I had was a Opel Manta Gsi and I thought that car was fast, well try out a 325 it's quite a shock.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st March, 2004

2002 BMW 3 Series 320iA 2.2 liter six cylinder


Comfortable tourer for two people

General Comments:

One word: sound. The cabin is filled with an incredibly sporty sound of the straight six which is quite unlike the sound of a V6. Makes me grin everyone I make a decent acceleration. The noise level (of annoying noise) is very low. Tires (205/55/16) hum somewhat and wind noise comes into play in speeds in excess of 130 km/h.

The car is equipped with OEM sport suspension. It is 15mm lower than the standard, but ground clearance is still better than in most other German marques. The suspension is decently firm and becomes excellent when traveling in speeds above 150 km/h. Doesn't make your teeth clatter in the city either.

Automatic transmission takes some performance out of the small six. The transmission is better in 325 or 330 as they have loads more usable torque. It is still a decently quick car in normal traffic conditions, but you do need to use the throttle. I use the Steptronic hardly ever as it isn't like in a manual; even if you have the second gear engaged the throttle response is as slow as in D or SD-positions. The revs climb up to the allowed ~6300 rpm in all modes (kick-down) and the next gear is engaged despite manual mode. Very handy for overtaking.

The cabin is not very spacious. There is a huge difference between a 5-series and a 3-series especially in the width of the cabin. The former owner of the car only had the car for a few months as his bottom never really became comfortable with the seats (a 62-year old man). My bottom got used to the seats after three days. These are standard seats with cloth. Word of advice for people buying a 3-series; get the sport seats. They are at least as comfortable, but they have more adjustments to make you feel really, really good...

The ergonomics of the car are otherwise excellent for the driver. My previous car was an E36 Compact so I felt instantly comfortable with the layout of the "cockpit". Everything works like someone really thought about it and tested it afterwards. The ambiance in the cabin is different than in any other car. That's probably one reason BMW owners are so loyal to the brand. Not everyone likes the BMW cabin, mind you.

The back seats are comfortable, but the space is limited. My SO and I are not very tall so the rear leg space is ample, but not so behind someone taller than 180 cm.

The boot has ample space for the stuff of two people on holiday, but not for mom's, dad's, two kids' and granny's. For that you would buy a 5-series Touring anyway.

The running costs are somewhat high because of the six cylinder engine, but mostly due to the automatic. I get a mileage of around 10l/100 km (~28mls/gallon UK). This goes up about 20% in the city traffic and down about 20% in the longer journeys. The cost of insurance is not much different than that of my previous car (1.6l engine). The tires do cost somewhat more because they are 16" instead of the 15" in the 316i.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th October, 2003

11th Apr 2006, 20:42

Informative, useful and helpful review. I agree with all the comments made.

People who buy a BMW and appreciate the character of the brand don't seem to stop after the first one.

12th Apr 2006, 10:15

I've had five so far. Wouldn't buy any of the news ones as the 5, 6, 7 series are too big and the last good 3 series was the one this poster is writing about (E46 I believe).

Hoping some variation of the 1 series comes to America as that seems to represent what BMW was always about - small, light, and amazingly agile.

17th Apr 2006, 04:15

I agree, just cannot seem to get my head around the styling of the new E90 3 Series. I think BMW got it spot on with the E46.

26th Mar 2008, 03:32

Update after 59 000 kilometers (37 000 miles) :

What has gone wrong with the car:

- boot lid handle was completely corroded inside and replaced at a cost on 180 euros (of which half was the paint job). You might want to check yours to see if there is rust beneath the handle, early versions will scrape the paint and rust eventually follows

- brake pads replaced at 25 000 kms, front & rear

- AC gives out foul smell at times, disinfecting the system works only for a while; if AC is kept on at all times the smells are not noticeable

- steering column rattles infrequently, only heard because the car is very quiet otherwise...

The servicing has been done according to the maintenance indicator at 25 000, 43 000 and now at 59 000 kms. The maintenance comes basically every two years because of the low mileage.

As for winter tires we've been using Continental CVC3s and they make for a comfortable yet safe ride in the Nordic conditions. The summer tires need replacing and as the Goodyears have been lately rather harsh I'm looking for other brands.

All in all we've been very happy with the car. As the family grows we're adding roof racks and Thule box as the boot space is limited. No need to replace the car as the overall condition is still superb and trade-in values do not reflect the value of the car to us.

1982 BMW 3 Series 315 1.6


The BMW 315 is a reliable and cheap car and you can still feel the BMW quality


The rear "stabilization rubbers" was heavily worn at 236000 km.

The instrument panel has broken at several places.

The fuel consumption has become a bit too high (at 260000 km)

The seats are badly worn.

Rust below rear windows.

General Comments:

The car starts perfectly even when it was -25 degrees Celsius (-13 Fahrenheit)

It goes very smoothly on gravel roads. The suspension is very good.

Lack of 5th gear results in high rpm at higher speeds.

The car is very durable. It went many laps around a rally course and nothing broke.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st August, 2003

1982 BMW 3 Series 1.6




Rightmost front brake cylinder replaced and also all brake lines.

Brake master cylinder's rubber seals replaced.

Fuel line replaced and fuel tank leaks a bit.

Head gasket replaced and valves have been grind.

Front windshield replaced.

General Comments:

I like my little BMW, it might not be the finest and fastest, but it's mine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th September, 2002

1991 BMW 3 Series 316i E36


Go for the 320i, if you want more performance


Not much. Recently I had to change some minor suspension components, but apart from that I have had no problems whatsoever.

General Comments:

Excellent driveability, good looks, reliable, the best car I ever owned. Too small engine, though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2000

1982 BMW 3 Series E21 315 1.6 carb


Cheap teen cruiser


Doesn't start in winter. Lots of fixing. Bottom of the trunk was completely rusty. Wiper motor broke. Glovebox lock broke (also water in the glovebox after a rainy day).

General Comments:

Hard to find an E21 in a good condition. Generally the oldest BMW model on the road. Underrated. Cheap.

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

Review Date: 25th May, 2000