2005 BMW 3 Series 325i F1 SMG 2.5 liters from Mexico


Great handling, acceleration and build quality


When the car was merely 1 year old, it developed an electrical problem: if I closed the car with the remote control, the car would open all the windows and the roof and when driving, suddenly, only 1st and 2nd gear would be available; it is the SMG model. I took it to the dealer, and they couldn't find the cause of the problem until after 1 month of having the car.

The dealer has been the worst experience I had in automotive problems. They changed my steering wheel for an old use one! I have even sent letters to BMW headquarters in Germany for this dishonest and terrible service, but they did nothing.

I had to go to Mercedes to do my services, luckily they accepted me. The alarm doesn't function, every time I close the car, the alarm pops up.

Now the siren doesn't work, only the lights, and recently, the car lost its battery charge.

I have just put some new tyres: BfGoddrich TKW Sport.

Those are the only things that have gone wrong with my car. Otherwise, it is a fantastic, well built automobile.

General Comments:

This is a very pleasant car to drive. It accelerates wonderfully. The SMG transmission is fantastic, and it really takes the best out of the engine. It accelerates very well. I have proven that the 3251 F1 SMG is even faster than the automatic 330i, as well as the Focus ST. Both cars have far more HPS, and not only in acceleration, but in final speed. The handling is very good, but if the tyres are not perfect it can become tricky, even more so than in other cars I know of.

You have to get used to the SMG tranny and it isn't for everyone. I would discourage most people from getting this transmission, unless you are very much oriented towards speed. In the city it is terrible to drive the SMG. If the car is cold, it will be too brutal. If you want to park in a small place, you'd better have the manual brake in your hand, if you want to prevent small crashes. And, after some city driving it even gets unadjusted, so you have to take it to be serviced, and they will adjust it very quickly with a computer.

The car is very well finished and no doubt it is solidly built; although, I prefer the sound of the Mercedes doors when closing, than the back doors of these Bimmers. The materials don't show any age at all.

The car is a little too low, so, the front fender cover might get stuck with some parking bumps.

Overall: great car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st June, 2010

2005 BMW 3 Series 325i Touring 2.5 litre from North America


Beautiful; a fantastic ride with serious mechanical problems


To begin, the transmission constantly popped out of 3rd gear. This would occur at approx. 60 km/h, when you took your foot off of the gas pedal and were coasting, with the load on the engine. At first it would quietly come out and you would only know something is wrong when you hit the accelerator and nothing happened. Eventually, it started to pop out with force (if you hand was nearby, you would get and hear a strong, loud slap) as well as rattle loudly.

I suggested to the dealer to look at the gearing/teeth that physically hold the shift lever in third, but they decided to replace the transmission in its entirety.

Well, th transmission was replaced and now car turns off while driving (i.e., cruising at 100 - 120 km/h), as well as turns off when accelerating hard (at 5500 RPM and then continuously on/off at 6500 RPM). The battery light turns on, cruise control (if applicable) turns off and the car seems to jump-start itself, due to the fact that it is still moving. Thank goodness it's a manual transmission otherwise starting would be a far more dangerous situation.

Currently (Sept. 6, 2007) the car has been in with dealer garage for 30 days, with no resolution. *Expert* from BMW looked at it and could offer no concrete explanation or fix for the vehicle. Right now it is going through a 7-step plan of repairs to see if this solves the problem. We are currently at Step 5; Replacing the Cam Shaft.

Recent items replaced on this car include: new (well, refurbished) transmission at 54,000 km, numerous engine computers, numerous wiring harnesses, and now a new cam shaft.

Other problems discovered during diagnosis of the car include fuel travelling up the fuel rails and spilling over into the engine and injectors spraying the wrong way (?!?).

General Comments:

This car was my dream car. European sport wagon by a "single malt" manufacturer that handles like a dream and goes like a bat out of hell when pushed. What more could you ask for (well, great fuel economy would be nice, but that's it!).

Besides a few annoyances (early factory tire wear, center console fan going, stereo cutting out) I was planning on owning this car for many years to come. At this point, I am 90 days shy of 3 years and feel that I can no longer consider this car safe to drive. A real shame considering the investment and the reputation of the brand.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th September, 2007

27th Jul 2011, 13:43

Are you sure it was not involved in an accident? With so many problems, it looks to be a BMW from another planet. I have a BMW 320i, and I can say it's the best car I've ever driven. It has 95K and still drives like new. Before buying it, I read a lot of reviews, and nobody complained so much.. Are you sure your car is a BMW?