2002 BMW 3 Series 330i Coupe 3.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Wonderful second hand buy



General Comments:

This is a seriously capable car.

It's quick, comfortable, well made and surprisingly economical.

I've recently bought my car - at <£6,000 I think it's great value.

I enjoy it in so many different ways - the understated looks, the feel of the high quality materials, the glorious sound of the engine, and the way it handles.

I'm getting 30 mpg on my daily commute - 15 miles each way on A roads. My best is 33 mpg from a full tank when I used half the tank for a long motorway trip.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th July, 2009

2002 BMW 3 Series 330d SE Steptronic 3.0L diesel from UK and Ireland


Love to drive it, hate how it is so unreliable


Gearbox failure at 110000.

Second gearbox failure again at 120000.

Both front lower arms failed.

Airbag warning light kept coming on. 3 trips to the dealer to fix. Finally soldering a joint.

Boot/trunk switch failed.

Transmission noise like driving over a cattle grid at 70mph. Dealer unable to fix.

Rear tyres replaced too often.

Windows failing.

Alarm gremlins. When activated lights flash but alarm doesn't sound.

General Comments:

Yes, a super car if only it was better made...

Watch out for front suspension wearing out.

Differential noises.

Brakes and pads wearing out super quickly.

Airbag wiring incorrectly fitted under seat, causing the airbag light to come on.

But worst of all, small plastic flaps in the inlet manifold braking off and being sucked into the cylinder and destroying the engine AND...

If you have a steptronic gearbox, start saving up for a bill of at least £1500 when the gearbox fails.. this isn't a maybe but a definite for most diesel autos.. I know cos it has happened to me... twice. If you don't believe me, just research on the Internet. Search BMW owners forums and these are common and expensive faults occurring to not just higher mileage cars like mine, but newish and low mileage cars..



Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd March, 2009

26th Mar 2009, 18:55

My gearbox is beginning to lose reverse. Heen told this is the first sign of the gearbox failing.

The man at the transmission reconditioning place said he is doing so many BMWs now and all doing the same thing.. steptronic gearbox starts to lose reverse or lose drive, then fails completely.

2002 BMW 3 Series 318Ci 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


A poor car with an unjustified image


Starter motor (under guarantee).

Rear wheel or differential bearing (~20,000 miles).

Ignition coils all changed by dealer free of charge (~30,000 miles).

Coil failure, (45,000 miles).

Interior mirror fell off windscreen, only fix is a new windscreen (60,000 miles).

Vacuum pump, resulting in no brakes (65,000 miles).

Drivers side electric window switch (70,000 miles).

Coil failure, (77,000 miles).

Coil failure, (78,000 miles).

Front suspension bushes, car failed National Car Test, (78,700 miles).

Bump stop rubbers front need to be replaced + gaiters over shock absorber rods front and rear.

Air-bag light on, seems to be a problem with the "wiring or sensor" on the passenger seat.

General Comments:

Excellent handling and comfortable to drive.

Not too bad on fuel on long journeys.

Jerky and hesitant on acceleration almost all the time.

Traction control too enthusiastic, this cuts the power just when you need it, i.e. pulling away

Reliability and cost of repair very disappointing.

My previous car, a Volvo S40 turbo, was a lot quicker and gave NO trouble over 90,000 miles, other than the battery, which was replaced under guarantee.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st July, 2008

8th Jul 2009, 17:44

Well I wrote the original piece so this is an update:

My 318Ci ran OK for the last 7000 miles, but now at 85,000 miles the timing "slipped" due to the camshaft tensioning system disintegrating, allowing the chain to go slack and jump teeth on the camshaft sprockets.

The camshaft chain tensioning system is plastic - just great!

The car is still under repair and it is unknown at present if any valves have been bent.

Repairs will cost a small fortune, and if I have bent valves, a big fortune.