2003 BMW 3 Series Sports Coupe 325CI from UK and Ireland


Beautifully engineered and a victim of its own success


Alternator and Alloys replaced at 25,000 miles.

Power Steering pulley replaced 25,500 miles.

The car was squealing when cold and this was attributed to the alternator which was replaced under warranty.

When the car went in for a service, the alloys were replaced as they had started corroding on the inside. For a car that is only 2 and a half years old, that was quite shocking, but thank god for warranty or else I would be looking at repairing/replacing them, and the 18 inch alloys are not cheap.

A new noise appeared when the car was idling, and this was down to the power steering pulley, which was also replaced under warranty, and the car is working well right now.

The door handles tend to stick if you use a jet wash, as the grease in the handles gets washed away.

If you have a bit of a heavy right foot, it is not an economical car at all, and with Shell optimax being 101.9p per litre, it's a thirsty car and averages 20 - 25mpg (mainly city driving)

General Comments:

The car is very comfortable to drive and always feels safe and secure. The low profile tyres do give it a bit of a harsh ride on uneven tarmac, but that is more than compensated for by the handling.

Beautiful engine - sweet sounding and with loads of power, put your foot down in any gear and the acceleration is more than sufficient. It is obviously not in M3 standards, but driving sensibly it's perfectly fine.

The interior is showing its age, especially since I have driven the newer model, but the difference is when I see the car on the outside, my model, the E46 sports coupe is a beautiful car, the new one just does not give me the same visual satisfaction. As a piece of German engineering the new one is obviously better, but design wise, I can't say the same. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there will obviously be people who disagree.

After test driving an Audi S4, I think that will be my next purchase, as the new Beemer just does not tick all the boxes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st May, 2006

2nd Jan 2009, 09:53

You beat a man on a prancing horse? That hardly seems fair.

15th May 2010, 11:54

He means 'on the bonnet' i.e. a Porsche...

2003 BMW 3 Series 330d Sport Touring 2.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Brilliant family car and becoming affordable now

General Comments:

Bought from auction for UKP 14,000 (an entry level Mondeo / Vectra) and a heck of a car for the money.

Super smooth 204 bhp straight six diesel and six speed 'box give fantastic acceleration (0-60 in just over 7 seconds) and great economy (40-42 mpg) Worth seeking out the 03 on models with the 204 bhp engine over the older 185 bhp ones. Punchier and more refined.

Great handling, but you pay for it with a firm ride. Fun to throw about which is not something you'd normally say about a diesel estate car.

Lovely elegant interior with a very high standard of fit and finish. Seats a little disappointing on longer runs, but I've had far worse.

Car had been serviced 2,000 miles before I bought it, so too early to comment on dealer servicing.

Not the biggest estate, but fine for the dog and the weekly shopping. Rear legroom fine for children, but tight for adults. Suits us just fine at the moment.

As an all-rounder, I don't think a better car exists for the money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th April, 2006

2003 BMW 3 Series 330ci from North America


A great luxury coupe with timeless design


Absolutely nothing (Knock on wood)!!!

General Comments:

This is the classiest coupe design by BMW. Beautiful lines inside out, gorgeous from every angle.

The car has a perfect balance, does whatever you want it to do, on the road or on a track. Get the Dinan performance software, the dealer can download it into your car for $400, it will push your car from it's 129mph governor limit to a natural 155mph on track.

This car accelerates like a jet all the way to its top speed, very stable and quiet at high speed.

The manual clutch is not as easy to drive as the Acura or Hondas, takes a bit of practice to start off well.

The car at sea level is very fast, but at high elevations, for example around 8,000ft, it's a bit slow to react.

It's very comfortable on a road trip, I have taken it to Banff (Canada) from California, great fun to have this car on an open road or a mountain road, you'll never want to quit driving it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th January, 2006

28th May 2009, 09:52

I bought my 2003 330Ci sport pkg with 42000 miles and the car has 105678 now. The only major problem that I had with it was the sunroof cassette! Broke the cable that goes inside and it was super expensive to fix! Had to buy the entire cassette system new, too much!! Other than that, the car looks great and the performance still unbeatable! The BMW performance is really satisfying!!

I own before a 99 VW GTI, 2001 AUDI A4, 99 AUDI A6, 2001 VOLVO S40, 95 BMW 325I and a 2000 HONDA ACCORD. By far the most reliable and fun to drive has been the 330ci!! I will buy another BMW again... but this time I am going for an M series!! Looking at the 2007 M5!!