Cheap and fun performance
Water pump broke at 240000 km.
One ABS-sensor broke.
Brake disks worn out.
Radiator cracked at 290000 km.
Back suspension spring broken in both ends at 330000 km.
Back suspension dampers worn out at 240000 km.
And that's all. Incredible.
The European version is has its performance figures understated from BMW, guess they wanted people to buy the 328i instead. (And that probably why it's called 323i, although it's a 2.5l engine.)
BMW says 170hp and 0-100 kmh in 8.0 seconds. My own measurements indicate slightly above 180hp and 0-100 in around 7.1 seconds.
By far the most reliable and fun car I've owned. The previous owner even rang me up a couple of years later to ask if I wanted to sell it. His BMW 323i E46 (the next model) had a lot of faults. I must say I drive like a mad thief most of the time, and it's fantastic that almost nothing broke on it in all those years.
Cons: Hard to fit a stroller in the boot. That's why I had to sell it. Rust resistance is slightly below average. If equipped with anti spin, then it's a quite good car on snow, but it's a bit too "fun" if doesn't have that option. Insurance expensive here where I live.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st September, 2010