2000 BMW 3 Series 320i SE Touring 2.1 straight 6 petrol from UK and Ireland
A superb practical, reliable, sports car
Parking sensors, at least one sensor has failed.
Occupancy sensor in passenger seat
Handbrake needs adjusting
Possible failing resistor pack in the fan system.
What can I say about this car, well for starters it's probably the best car I've ever bought (& I've bought a few!).
I test drove it & fell in love with it, it has almost the correct balance of practicality, performance, economy, comfort & style.
Practicality: It isn't a large estate, it doesn't pretend to be one, but it is practical enough to house two large dogs in the back or 3 adults & two kids at a push. Not a serious load lugger, but like me, most people don't buy this car for that reason. It's far more practical than the saloon or coupe, but still less than other family estates - don't expect to be lugging any large bits of furniture in it!
Performance: Despite its name, the 320i SE touring has a 2.1L straight 6 petrol engine. This engine is extremely smooth and very powerful. Its 170bhp gives it a 0-60 time of 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 140mph. Essentially this means it's the best of both worlds, an extremely practical sports car. The front engine rear wheel drive completes the car & makes it a superb drive. This also means that handling is absolutely perfect, the car is perfectly balanced.
Economy: This does let it down slightly however, it isn't unexpected from a larger engined car. On average the car produces 27mpg on a 14 mile journey (both urban & suburban driving). On longer journeys the car managed 38mpg when driven carefully, 35 or less when pushed a bit.
Comfort: The car itself is very comfortable, the interior is a very nice place to be, if a little bland. It feels modern, quality plastics are used &, in my case, a wood finish trim is also in place. This exudes quality & completes the car. The seats are comfortable, if firm, but when cornering hard you will not find yourself falling out of them. I did find the seats less comfortable than my old Rover 45 & even my Freelander however, I actually had to stop because of the back pain caused. Admittedly this could be because I haven't found my best seating position yet, but I never had this problem with either my Rover or Land Rover.
Style: Well what can I say, it's a BMW & it's the last 3 series model before they got ugly. The front says sports car, the back says family man but somehow the package works. Touring models are a lot rarer than their saloon & coupe counterparts so hold their value better. While it doesn't look as good as either the coupe or the saloon, it does look fantastic as far as estates go. It's a handsome family sports estate.
It hasn't all been plain sailing though, I've had one or two problems.
The first of which is a failed parking sensor, not that I've ever needed them, but if it's there you want it to work.
Slightly more important is the occupancy sensor for the passenger seat, this has also failed recently. On the plus side, it is a simple fix.
The handbrake is also a bit loose & could do with tightening up.
Finally it also has a problem with the resistor pack for the fan, this is also a common (& easily fixable problem.
There are also a few rust bubbles & spots, but nothing too major.
All said and done though, the car is in near perfect condition for its age. The problems it does have are minor & easily fixed. It does everything expected of it & more.
What else could you ask for?
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th April, 2010