2002 BMW 3 Series 325 M Sport convertible from UK and Ireland

Faults:

Failed to start (one occasion).

Front bushes worn (general wear and tear).

General Comments:

Equipment in the car is to a very high level; electric heated seats, climate control, auto anti dazzle mirror, rear park sensors, multi function steering wheel, cruise control, electric roof etc.

Not much room for those unfortunate enough to be in the rear of the car, but if they are in the rear I guess they are not as important as those in the front (I'm joking).

The back end is very light when pushed; it's stepped out on me a couple of times in the wet.

Ride is fairly comfortable, as best 18 inch wheels with low profile tyres, can be.

The car is relatively fast, but it's never going to set the world on fire; it's a heavy convertible with an auto gearbox.

Fuel consumption is averaging 26.7 MPG (not that I am counting).

Obviously best when the roof is down, turns into a different car when the sun is out. In the dry it handles extremely well and has a sure-footedness that is difficult to find in a lot of other cars. The car still looks good and is always commented on about how nice it is. Orient blue metallic with black leather and blue hood; a nice combination to my mind.

In general, the car is well built, has a good level of equipment, good standard ICE, smooth gearbox, relatively quick, nice tone to the engine, slightly thirsty, but be careful in the wet, the difference in performance from dry to wet is almost staggering.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th December, 2013

2002 BMW 3 Series 330i 3.0 I6 from North America

Summary:

The Ultimate Driving Machine at what cost?

Faults:

Cooling system.

Alternator.

window regulators.

Accessory belts, tensioners, & pulleys.

Valve cover gasket.

Crankcase ventilation system.

DISA valve.

Cracked lower intake boot.

Oil filter housing gasket leak.

General Comments:

This car drives and handles great. It goes exactly where you tell it to go. Chassis, transmission, and engine all work very well: very smooth with great feedback to the driver. In short, it is the indeed the ultimate driving machine, though this comes at the expense of everything else -- reliability, practicality, etc...

Unless you're a gear head or you're willing to pay for all the requisite repairs and maintenance, unload the car at around 50K miles.

The cooling system is a huge issue -- plastic idlers for the belts and plastic parts throughout the cooling system can fail catastrophically at any point after 50K miles.

In my view, many of the failures are inexcusable. All these items should have a design life of at least 10 years/100K miles. BMW could easily attain this standard if they selected better materials.

I still like the car, even if some of its flaws are inexcusable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2013

2002 BMW 3 Series 325i 2.5L petrol from North America

Summary:

Fun, reliable and reasonably priced

Faults:

Suspension bushings had to be replaced, and the interior is showing signs of plastic discoloration.

Sunroof rails jammed.

General Comments:

The car is nimble and mostly reliable. I've driven it between the east and west coasts of the USA six times, and only had to have suspension bearing replaced, and it still runs great as a daily driver.

Super fun on mountain roads, but unstable in snow and ice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th January, 2013

2002 BMW 3 Series 325i 2.5 straight 6 from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Good all rounder

Faults:

Within a month of receiving it (it's a Japanese import), the air conditioning unit failed - common fault apparently on cars coming from Japan. Replaced under warranty, which was fortunate as it required an entire dashboard removal at enormous cost.

Trip computer didn't work when got it, switch broken, small cost of change at BMW garage ($50 or so).

Tiptronic box occasionally showed a warning light on the dash. BMW did something with it attached to a computer, and it stopped. The box itself always performed fine.

General Comments:

The extortionate cost of European cars in NZ means that a 325i "Highline" from 2002 is a flash vehicle, despite being almost 10 years old. For the equivalent cost, you'd be looking at a 4 year old 335i in the UK.

Saloon car, Highline odd Japanese spec, similar to UK/NZ "SE", but has bigger 7 spoke alloys, electric seats, heated seats, Tiptronic, 10 speaker stereo, wood trim, leather and ski bag. Possibly some additional extras from the original dealer. No cruise control, parking sensors or multi-function wheel though.

The car is very smooth to drive, not especially economical, but acceptable. Quick when pushed (unsure if this is the 192bhp version in Europe, or the 184bhp version from the US), and very comfortable and well specified. I test drove a 2009 Holden Commodore SV6, and a new Subaru Legacy Estate, and the BMW still feels tighter and better put together. Great handling too, and still looks good.

Recommend people to find a similar one. The only thing I would add is a 330i offers a lot more performance for little more to buy second hand (and the same economy); or the 320i offers only slightly lower performance, and tends to be a fair bit cheaper... I'd also probably prefer no wood (looks tacky) and cloth seats (oddly feel classier on BMW, not sure why, maybe it's just me...)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st October, 2012

4th Oct 2012, 06:09

Ummmm, are you kidding, extortionate cost of European cars in New Zealand? They are cheap to buy and run. Maybe not fifteen years ago, but now BMW's, Audi's, Volvo's and so on are really popular over here. I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but it is the truth, and to be honest nobody in New Zealand does really think that a ten year old BMW is a classy car or anything. They are just your normal everyday car.