2001 BMW 3 Series 330Ci convertible 3.0 DOHC I6 from North America


Gorgeous, solid, fun-to-drive 4-place convertible


Nothing in last 7000 miles.

A week out in the rain caused some temporary misfiring; weak spark coil or wiring?

M-style 17 in alloy wheels were dinged up and out of round when purchased and had to be replaced to get good balance.

Front control arm bushings were destroyed with the wheels. Took me 6 mo to figure out what was loose in there. Previous owner must have ignored potholes.

General Comments:

This is a truly beautiful machine and perfect for someone who likes a roadster, but needs a back seat and trunk at times. It is fun just to look at with smooth lines and those big shiny brakes exposed by open alloy wheels. Small touches like the auto-leveling xenon headlamps, numerous courtesy lights, auto-dipping passenger side rear view mirror, outstandingly tight and well-designed convertible top that stows under a hinged panel, all make for a very special automobile.

It's a heavier, stiffer (with sport suspension) and more solid car than the small roadsters, or a Sebring. But it moves out smartly when asked, and corners with no body roll and perfectly neutral steering. All controls are moderately powered for excellent road feel. The brakes are the smoothest, lightest and most powerful I've ever encountered.

The simple gauges hark back to classic sports cars and the straight DOHC six sounds like a classic Jag or Healey, only better. Even the starter sounds unusually robust, like that of a truck engine. This car is so much fun it really will have you taking the long way home. These days, it is significant that this hot rod gets 22 mpg in town and 30 mpg on the highway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2008

26th Jan 2009, 21:12

One of the best cars I have owned next to my '76 2002 (which I bought for $7000 in '77 and sold 9 years later for $5000). I have mixed opinions on the auto, it is fun but I wish I had the manual, except of course that I probably would be dead now. I took a quick look at what might suffice as a new replacement car but just can't find the blend of design, finish, and compliments per mile (in the summer). Even the traction control is a blast. Just turn it off in the winter and.. wow, just like my old '68 Firebird going sideways!

2nd Jun 2009, 19:54

How is the car now? I'm thinking of purchasing an 01', I'm just wondering how the car is like 8 years from your purchase. And how many miles have you put on it? And what would you recommend looking at for this particular vehicle?

2001 BMW 3 Series 330 XI Touring from Spain


BMW, ultimate driving machine



General Comments:

Superb handling, loads of power and infinite grip. A bit thirsty if you have a heavy foot. Very elegant and looks great even if it is 6 years old.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st October, 2007

2001 BMW 3 Series 320 Diesel SE 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Good solid piece of German engineering


Electronics failure...

ABS, ASC & Brake warning lights have lit up.

Speedo & MPG Gauge has stopped working.

Fuel gauge is all over the place.

Trip computer (odometer, avg. MPG, avg. MPH stopped working.

As it all happened at the same time it suggests all problems are interconnected.

Gearbox gate is a little fiddly trying to locate 3rd gear sometimes.

General Comments:

I bought the car due to amount of motorway miles I do as a private owner the fuel costs can be very costly. It's a good motorway cruiser and pretty faultless in general.

The car still feels very tight so it doesn't feel like its done the mileage it has covered.

The seats are comfortable, but I could do with adjustable lumbar support for me.

It's a good chassis and deceptive at how well it handles on tight bends.

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

Review Date: 21st September, 2007

2001 BMW 3 Series 325i Sedan 2.5 in-line 6 from Malaysia


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!

General Comments:

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

25th May 2008, 04:23

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.

13th Dec 2009, 11:18

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!