2001 BMW 3 Series 325i Sedan 2.5 in-line 6
A pleasure to drive
After 5 years of ownership, to cut a long story short I think it would suffice to say that this car is not as reliable or trouble-free like Japanese cars (although it is by no means far behind Japanese standards), but it is certainly more reliable than my previous Italian car!
Smooth, powerful yet economical 192bhp 6 cylinder engine. Overtaking and climbing steep hills are effortless, and yet the car averages a decent 27 mpg (Imperial) in normal mixed driving conditions. And the engine makes the right noise when revved - which it does happily.
The 5 speed automatic gearbox by and large shifts smoothly although of late, it can occasionally be a bit indecisive and very occasionally it suffers from shunting.
My pre-facelift E46 model's steering is a bit too light and 3.5 turns lock to lock is not sharp enough for me. The facelifted E46 model has an improved sharper steering.
This car has good ride and handling. The handling improved further when I installed the optional M-Technik sports suspension a year after I bought the car, but the ride quality with the said sport suspension can become a tad too firm on poor roads - Malaysian highways are excellent, but normal roads are awful, with huge potholes and horrible bumps.
This car is refined and soothing - perfect for long cruises.
As a person who is taller than 6 feet, I find this car quite spacious front and back.
Build quality is quite good (although the car is assembled in Malaysia and not made in Germany). After 5 years, there are no rattles as yet! The quality of materials used for the trim is within class standards, although some bits of the "soft-touch" (and therefore perceptibly more luxurious) trim didn't take normal day-to-day abuse well over the years.
Maintenance costs, by Malaysian standards, are a bit high, but that's OK as the car gives back a lot of driving pleasure in return.
It is a good sports sedan.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th June, 2006
So, what did go wrong with the car?
I think that is important to mention since you have had it for so long with a lot of mileage. Most reviews here are of brand new cars or new used cars, with no high mileage reports...
Nice review, BTW.
My mother-in-law has an 01, and the trans and engine have been rebuilt. Recently, the battery and alternator have been replaced. I believe the car has about 160k on it, and it has always driven pretty well. She does actually take good care of it, and I believe the engine issue was the fault of the dealership. Anyway, I personally think this car looks and drives great!