2003 BMW 3 Series Reviews - Page 2 of 7

2003 BMW 3 Series 330i 3.0 from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 3.0 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance59000 miles
Previous carToyota Celica

Summary:

Don't get the manual transmission

Faults:

Navigation system had to be replaced when the car was 1 month old.

General Comments:

This car has a manual transmission, and has the most difficult clutch I have ever encountered in any car. It's practically undrivable for anyone who isn't used to it, even if you are familiar with driving manual. I installed a clutch stop to reduce the clutch travel, which makes it marginally easier, and also had the clutch control valve eliminated by a mechanic, which also helps, but it remains hypersensitive and very difficult to control. The clutch travel is nonlinear and unstable - in other words, it tends to "pop" back up when released.

Also, the parking brake has no holding power, and the dealership says it can't be adjusted.

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

Review Date: 10th May, 2011

11th May 2011, 08:59

I am sorry, that doesn't ring right with me. Search the Bimmer forums and heavens, don't take it to that dealer of yours. I bet there are reasonable solutions for your car's issues.

11th May 2011, 14:55

Agree with the first comment. The BMW has one of the sweetest clutch actions around, and park brakes can be adjusted, unless the mechanism is worn, in which case it is a simple job to renew.

26th Oct 2011, 12:32

BMW hydraulic clutches generally aren’t that easy to use compared to other makes, but unless you’re just not used to a manual, they’re not that bad. Remove the clutch delay valve and bleed any air out of the system, and it’ll be fine – if you want even more feel, install a braided clutch line.

2003 BMW 3 Series 330ci 3.0 straight six from Australia and New Zealand

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 3.0 straight six Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance64000 miles
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Faults:

M/sport seats are very supportive and very comfortable, but a little hard (with sport suspension).

Auto a bit sluggish into 2nd - revs and gas going nowhere!

With 17" wheels, it's quieter than most 18"s, puts it very low, handles very good, and looks so cool. Must be careful of the front spoiler.

A very good all round car, with good build quality.

A driver's car, hence most have a few miles on the clock. These BMW engines produce more horsepower per cub/ltr than most, and with better results per horsepower as well.

I feel safe and in control driving this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th June, 2010

2003 BMW 3 Series 330i 4 dr sedan 3.0 from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 3.0 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired66000 kilometres
Most recent distance160000 kilometres
Previous carAudi A4

Summary:

Everyone should own a BMW at least once in their life!

Faults:

Other than preventative maintenance, nothing has gone wrong with the car.

General Comments:

Hands down, best car I've ever owned!!! Words cannot express the dynamics of this truly amazing automobile.

I would like to have a fleet of them! Drive one, and you'll see why!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2010

25th May 2010, 20:05

I must say I agree. In fact I have 2, an E46 320 and a E82 125 and they are my 4th and 5th BMWs. The 125 has the same 3 litre engine as your 330. My first BMW was a superb E36 318, but it was underpowered. The 320 is my city commuter hack, which it does brilliantly. I am tempted to change it for a 330, but I think our crowded city streets would make it unsafe for my aggressive driving style. The 320 tones me down a bit.

It is not all good however, as BMW have had their problem cars. The E87 and the E90 cars were not widely applauded, so stay away from them. Also the Spartenburg plant seems to make many cars with quality problems, particularly the X5 and the baby whale X6. Not so many quality problems with cars from the German and South African plants. The big advantage BMW now have is that Chris Bangle no longer is the chief designer. I cannot see myself without at least 1 BMW in future.

2003 BMW 3 Series 330i SE 3.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 3.0 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired29000 miles
Most recent distance36600 miles
Previous carAudi A3

Summary:

A fast and capable saloon

Faults:

Slight oil leak from the rear differential at 36,000.

Front lower arm bushes replaced at 35,000, as the old ones were worn and it wouldn't have passed its MOT.

Front brake pads changed because old ones were squeaking at 29,000 (even though they were fine)

General Comments:

This car is almost the perfect all-rounder for those seeking a car with more "go" than most. The 3.0 straight six engine is both smooth and fast, but beware the latter will dent fuel economy quite dramatically if you press on.

Having driven more focused sports cars in the past (Audi A3 3.2 & BMW M3) I first found the handling of the 330i SE a little loose, almost wobbly. However, having driven the car over a number of miles, I got used to it and it was nice not to feel every single bump in the road (as you do with BMW's sport models). Having also owned a 325i Sport, I actually found the handling of the SE much much better.

It is not the most economical car, but not bad for a 3.0. Only now fuel prices are so high am I beginning to question the economy and may trade down (a sad day).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th April, 2010

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 25 reviews