2008 BMW 3 Series Reviews from UK and Ireland

2008 BMW 3 Series 320d M Sport 2.0 turbo diesel

Model year2007
Year of manufacture2008
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo diesel Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired100000 miles
Most recent distance108000 miles
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

A decent all round car

Faults:

The plastic intercooler return pipe came loose from the intercooler, resulting in oil covering everything under the bonnet.

General Comments:

So far, apart from the intercooler issue (fixed for a few £), the car has been faultless.

For an M Sport with run flats, it is firm but comfortable.

The handling is brilliant, very safe in the dry, and much more manageable in the wet than BMW's of old.

The 177bhp engine pulls well for a 2 litre diesel, but it's no rocket ship in the real world. 0 - 60 can be achieved in just under 8 seconds, which I've tried and apparently it will run on to 143mph.

This car's best attribute has to be its MPG figure, which even though at an average for me of 44.8 MPG, still less than the claimed 58.9 MPG average, is excellent, especially when you consider the 0-60 and top speed.

The cabin is a great place to be; black leather seats, iDrive and aluminum trim in places all make it a pleasant place to be.

Plenty of space in the boot too, even if the boot hatch is a little on the small side and the rear seats don't fold down.

Overall the car has exceeded expectations in some areas, and not been what I was expecting in others.

I would recommend one if you're looking, but there are lots on the market so take your time, choose wisely, and don't get ripped off just because it says BMW on the bonnet.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th January, 2013

2008 BMW 3 Series 318i SE 2.0 petrol

Year of manufacture2008
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.0 petrol Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired11 miles
Most recent distance45000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

Nice package, ruined by poor reliability

Faults:

Clonking from front suspension at 16,000 miles.

Misfire (coil pack) at 24,000 miles, and again at 43,000 miles.

Drivers side bonnet catch difficult to engage from new.

Intermittent erratic idle (never fixed).

Rainwater entering the passenger foot well from a door seal at 40,000 miles.

General Comments:

Beautiful car in many ways, but the reliability has been unacceptable for a car of this price and so-called quality.

The 318i uses a detuned version of the 2.0 engine from the 320i, and isn't exactly a ball of fire, but if you work it hard, it goes reasonably well. It's very smooth and eager to rev, and there's a noticeable pick up in both pull and response past 3500 RPM, which makes it worth using the revs.

The gearbox isn't as sweet as BMWs of old, with a slightly stiff feel to it, which hasn't really got better with miles. There's also quite a whine on 2nd gear, which has been there from new. BMW tell me this is normal.

Handling is lovely. The balance of the car in fast corners is a joy, and the steering, while being slightly artificial in feel like most electric PAS systems, is beautifully accurate, fast, and has no free play or slack.

Equipment on this SE is pretty good. Dual zone climate, parking sensors, cruise control, CD/radio with aux input for the iPod, electric folding mirrors and 17" alloys. No bluetooth as standard though, which is a disappointment.

The interior overall though is a great place to be. Materials, with the exception of the easily marked plastic "aluminium" trim, are all of high quality, and the standard of construction is flawless. Great seats and driving position too.

Biggest gripe is reliability, which frankly is appalling on a car of this price. Lots of problems, which Google suggests are well known and frequent on this model. Thankfully the dealers are good and helpful, although there's often a 2 week wait for a courtesy car.

I've also never known a car with such soft, easily marked paint. It looks very secondhand at 3 years old, despite regular washing and polishing, and never being subjected to an automatic car wash. The slightest thing seems to leave a scratch or a chip behind.

This is a company car, but if I'd spent my own money, I would have to say the reliability and quality problems would definitely take the shine off owning it. BMWs are not what they used to be in quality and reliability terms, by a long way.

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

Review Date: 27th September, 2011

2008 BMW 3 Series SE 2.0

Year of manufacture2008
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired21 miles
Most recent distance1050 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

Good handling, but disappointing overall due to build quality

General Comments:

Having had my new 3-series for a month now, one thing I cannot doubt is that the handling and drivability are top notch.

For a car this size, it is impressive and feels better than the Golf GT I had previously, as the ride is also much smoother.

However, every time I drive it, I can't help but feel disappointed with the build quality. Rattles and squeaks seem to be produced from every corner of the cabin, and for a car that is supposedly built to the highest standards, it doesn't really feel much better than a company Vectra I drove a few months ago.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th June, 2008

18th Aug 2008, 03:26

Bimmer die-hards will blame you for this poor quality. Real world people will admit these short comings. Keep that in mind.

17th Sep 2008, 21:25

I am a BMW die hard but do share the original reviewer's comments about the quality of BMW's latest offerings.

The current line up just does not feel as well built as the previous generation models, with noticeable cost cutting readily apparent in terms of trim materials.

Personal experience with a new 120d and various other models obtained as courtesy cars while this was in to be fixed on numerous occasions also tend to confirm this concern.

Average review marks: 6.7 / 10, based on 3 reviews