2001 BMW 3 Series 320ci 2.3L 6 cylinder from Australia and New Zealand
Bad example of a very well designed car
I bought a bad example (problems surfaced much later), so this is not representative of all BMW 320ci's:
2nd gear synchro would occasionally go (once every 1000kms or so), which would embarrassingly see me crunch my gears (for two months I had started to think that perhaps I lost my ability to drive a manual until I got myself another car).
The clutch has this RIDICULOUS "Clutch Delay Valve" made for people who are so smooth at using a clutch to smooth out the engagement. This, however, has the opposite effect if you are a smooth clutch engager. Fortunately, it is something you can remove and this improves things greatly.
My engine was burning 5L of oil a month or every 2500kms. Rings were on their way out - but the car did not blow any visible smoke...
Main pulley bearing was on its way out (not unreasonable for 175000kms).
Plastic radiator side tanks were leaking (can't expect too much for a radiator of this age).
Leather seats would wear fairly easily on the drivers door side.
Coupe doors are damn heavy when parked up a hill - it should have some stronger intermediate stoppers to help it prop open for a car of this class.
Handling was not as good as what I would have expected - steering is somewhat unresponsive, and the car did not feel as flat as I would have expected from a BMW (perhaps my shocks were on their way out).
Beautiful car. Very nicely put together. Beautiful interior. Nice range of colours in the range. Excellent materials, excellent design. Good thickness metal in the bodywork.
Engine (although only a 2.3L six) has a beautiful note - so smooth and deep.
Fuel economy was 7.5L/100km for intra/inter-suburban driving. Perhaps the fact that my particular car was an oil burner may have helped.
I would buy a better example in future if the opportunity presents itself.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th March, 2010