2004 BMW 3 Series 318ti Compact 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand


This car is like a moody teenager. Sometimes it's great and other times you just want to strangle it


Well, well, well...

Some kind of oil leak cost $1,000 to fix.

Leaked coolant cost $380 to fix.

And around an hour ago, it started steaming. Turns out something has gone wrong with that coolant thing again. I dropped it in at our mechanic (who is a family friend), and got a ride home.

General Comments:

This car is a beautiful smooth drive, nice to look at, and is very roomy. All the fittings seem to be of a very high quality.

I bought this vehicle because we were having a lot of issues with the Toyota Camry that we owned previously. This vehicle has given quite a bit of grief as well. I have a few friends with BMW's, and they have always raved on about how reliable they are. Unfortunately this one hasn't been too great.

Might be time to buy a Peugeot 206 or something. I think it is time to end my eight month relationship with BMW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd June, 2012

22nd Jun 2012, 20:21

Take it to a different mechanic, preferably one that specialises in European cars.

I've had my 318ti now for almost 2 years, got it at 65K, and now at 93K, the only problem I had was one of the coils early on, and nothing since.

A friend had their '94 320i from 2003 with 65K, traded it in this year at 145K for another BMW, never stranded them. Another bought a 320i against my advice with 129K, sold it at almost 200K and admitted they were neglectful of maintenance, still didn't give any problems.

Luck of the draw, sure, but take it to someone who fully understands the workings of the car. It may run on a similar principle as a Japanese or Australian car, but it's the little things that may get missed out by those unfamiliar with it.

2004 BMW 3 Series 330Xi 3.0 from Switzerland


Best car I've ever owned


I have had no problems with this car.

Sound system in the BMW does not come close to the Audi Bose sound.

General Comments:

This is by far the best car I have ever owned. I decided to change my Audi A6 3.0 TDi because it was sluggish in the city and not reactive. You have 2 second blanks when you press the accelerator, and then the turbo kicks in and you go flying. There is no in between. I also needed some cash, so figured I would go with a cheaper second hand car... well what a surprise.

The BMW 330 xi is by far the best car I have ever owned. It is nimble, agile in the city and has the perfect weight power balance. Once in the mountain passes, it is super fun, and the handling is fantastic.

The automatic gear box is great with no blank moments, very quick transmission. The motor sounds amazing and I still don't get bored of it. It has just the right amount of power to be fun, without becoming too tempting and dangerous. I have pushed the car hard in the mountain passes, and not once have I felt in danger.

I bought the car second hand, and the interior is surprisingly well kept. The seats are a kind of snake / scale like leather and it hasn't budged. I have seen a couple BMWs with the regular leather, and it doesn't age well.

It has a fantastic option, a button you press to manage the car when you are going downhill. It takes the car down at a walking pace and can handle the steepest iciest slopes, really unbelievable.

The 4 wheel drive is awesome!

I was never a BMW guy... but there is no going back from here. I collect old VWs and have never been very attached to my daily driver. I like my BMW more than my Beetle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th October, 2010

14th Sep 2012, 14:58

Well the coolant system is a known weak spot in some of those cars. There are some examples that reach beyond 120,000 miles on the same water pump, radiator etc, while most don't make it that far. BMW dealerships consider those parts to be maintenance items that should be changed every 40,000-50,000 miles, or every 4-5 years.

There are updated, more metal like parts for the cooling system, but the dealer only supplies and installs the OEM quick fail parts. The metal replacement parts are tricky because they are about twice as expensive, but usually last the life of the car into the upper 150,000 mile range, but some cheap metal alternatives are nothing but trouble, so most people just stick with dealer and replace the entire coolant system every so often.

And yes, these cars have to be repaired very properly, meaning that the pimple faced kid straight out of Bimmer school may have not a clue of what he/she is doing, but the experienced guy is busy fixing the 760LIs and 6 series Bimmers, so your car might end up as a test dummy for a newbie at a dealership, thus finding yourself having the same issue over and over.