2003 BMW 3 Series Reviews - Page 6 of 7

2003 BMW 3 Series 325I 2.5 from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.5 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.4 / 10
Distance when acquired2 miles
Most recent distance31000 miles
Previous carAcura MDX

Summary:

Simply Outstanding!

Faults:

1 small piece of trim fell off. This was fixed promptly by BMW. The radio started making a subtle buzzing sound. BMW replaced the radio and 3 speakers. The problem has been corrected.

General Comments:

Simply one of the finest most fun to drive automobiles I have come in contact with. The 4 year 50,000 complimentary service is top notch.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th March, 2005

2003 BMW 3 Series 320i 2.2 6 cylinder petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.2 6 cylinder petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired5 miles
Most recent distance36000 miles
Previous carLexus IS200

Summary:

Beautifully engineered car that's superb to drive

Faults:

No faults.

General Comments:

Great car to drive with superb quality interior and first class driving position.

Engine is very sweet, but lacks torque. Can be made to go pretty hard, but you have to really wring its neck. It really perks up over 5,000 RPM if you do so. That said, the car is not much quicker than my previous IS200 which is a mite irritating when Lexus were continuously panned for the IS being underpowered, and BMW are not for the 320i. It is quicker than the Lexus on paper, but doesn't feel it particularly on the road. Fuel economy plummets if you work it hard too, although it averages 32 mpg day to day.

Great handling and stacks of grip. Steering is a bit light. Superb traction when accelerating hard and a good, if slightly firm ride. Very thoroughly developed drivers car which is far more of a drivers car than the Audi A4 or Mercedes C-class which I test drove thoroughly at the time of purchase.

Dealer service is first class, but you pay for it. It's a great touch to get someone showing you the old parts and explaining why they changed them when you collect the car. The car is returned gleaming every time, and the work asked for is always completed to the letter. Not much to ask you might think, but we also have a (superb) Ford Focus as well, and Ford dealers cannot manage anything like it.

The BMW is wearing its miles well. Nothing squeaks or rattles, and there isn't a hint of wear and tear anywhere. Half an hour with a vacuum cleaner, a duster and some matt Armor All on a Sunday morning brings the interior up like new. Fantastic car overall. Just wish they weren't quite so common. I think I'll go for a 330 next time though - lots more grunt and similar economy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st March, 2005

17th Feb 2006, 15:56

Good review, thanks!

I'm deadlocked between a 320i or a 325i...the lack of torque in the 320i as you point out makes me lean towards the 2.5litre. Still uncertain what with high fuel costs and road tax etc.

2003 BMW 3 Series 325i 4 cylinders from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 4 cylinders Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired15 miles
Most recent distance15000 miles
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

A fun car to drive

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

This is my dad's car. When his nissan stanza broke down, he was looking for cheaper cars. But when his curiosity brought him to test drive this car, he had to buy it.

I ask him everyday to drive it, and when I finally did, I was stunned. I fell in love with it, I am looking for a same model, but 1991 or 1992. It is fast, has many good features, has great handling, and smells good. The only thing I do not like about BMW's is they are hard to get used to, due to all the feature's. But when you get used to it, you will find out why they call it the ultimate driving machine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th November, 2004

18th Nov 2007, 06:59

The 325i is an inline six.

2003 BMW 3 Series 330d 3.0 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.0 turbo diesel Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired4 miles
Most recent distance39000 miles
Previous carAudi A4

Summary:

Very pleased with it

Faults:

A couple of blown bulbs. Nothing else

General Comments:

Smooth, powerful engine which doesn't sound or feel diesel powered.

Flawlessly reliable and beautifully built and finished.

Brilliant attention to detail.

Iffy (overlight) steering but otherwise a fine handling car.

Attentive (albeit overpriced) dealer servicing.

Poor image with other road users, and now quite a common sight.

Superb all rounder. Recommended.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th May, 2004

2003 BMW 3 Series 320d Sport Touring 2.0 diesel from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.0 diesel Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.4 / 10
Distance when acquired10 miles
Most recent distance18000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

Pricey... but worth the cash

Faults:

The Clock stopped working at 7,000 miles requiring a replacement CD unit.

Cruise control failed at 9,000 miles due to a faulty clutch sensor. Both items covered under the Warranty.

Hard breaking on bumpy roads can put the car into a weave. I was told this was due to the wide front tyres?!

General Comments:

Performance wise it's unbelievable, 150 BHP with huge torque, fill her up for £45 and you'll get over 600 miles on a long run, approx 500-550 when driving hard. Can't see us buying another Petrol car after this one, what's the point!?

The 3 years/60 K fee servicing deal is a nice extra, but gutted to find out 2 months after buying, it got increased to 5 years / 60k.

V.Good handling and grip due to M-Tech set up and 18" 225/40 Fronts & 255/35 Rears.

The ASC can be a bit dodgy when you're trying to pull away quickly from a junction. The wheels start spinning, the brakes get applied, the revs bog and they guy bearing down on you soils his pants... I tend to turn it off in these situations and let the rears do the work they're supposed to. If you test drive one, try it, you'll see what I mean.

Top quality cabin without a hint a plackiness and well laid out. The Sports seats whilst very supportive & adjustable, can be a bit firm on a long journey.

A great car, but probably not ideal if you've got very young kids and lots of kit.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd March, 2004

1st Apr 2004, 10:15

I owned a 320d sport saloon 2003my and agree with most of the comments made. I however could not get used to the nervous twitching and lack of straight line stability on high speed B roads. Compare it with a 5 series and you'll see what I mean. If you're in the mood its great fun - move over Colin - but if you're not it's just plain hard work. My buddy thought I was crazy selling and he promptly went out a bought a 330i sport and now deeply regrets it. He dare not go over 90mph on a B road. Well lets face it you're not supposed to anyway are you. Maybe that is what BMW thought.

As for the engine I had mine chipped. WOW what a difference you are talking really really quick and its no bull when they say you get increased mpg. I recorded a 3mpg increase.

I am currently thinking of buying a 320d ES yes with 5 years service not 3 and with the smaller wheels I think it might be just right. I might have to be quick though before there are no traditional BMW designs left!!!

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