2006 BMW 3 Series 325i 3.0 liter from North America


If you crave precise handling…. This is the car for you


My car is still under warranty, so I didn’t pay anything for the problems.

The only problem I've had so far in the past 5000 miles, is that in really cold weather, the steering wheel squeals (squeaks), and in cold weather the heater makes this whistling (chirping) noise. Took it to the dealer, and they said they fixed the steering problem by changing some kind of pulley (but the problem still exists, so I’m taking it back again). And for the heater noise, they said they couldn’t recreate it, but it is still there though.

Other than these two problems, I don’t have any complaints right now.

General Comments:

Coming from a Honda Accord, I felt a big difference in handling; the car handles like a dream at 20mph or at 120mph.

Suspension is very responsive and agile; this is due to the 50/50 weight ratio on the front and rear axles BMW introduced in its newer 3 Series.

The engine is smooth and the manual transmission is smoother. I have had an automatic transmission as a loaner car from BMW, it’s not as much fun as the manual transmission.

Interior materials are somewhat okay, and all the controls are in a reachable distance (I’m short 5’-6”). Compared to older 3-series, this one is bigger in size.

One thing I would say that I believe is kind of stingy on BMW’s part, if you spend $30,000+ USD on a car, you would expect some standard features in it. For example the rear seats doesn’t fold down (even my brother’s Base model 1996 Honda Civic’s seats folds down). And mine doesn’t have electronic seats either, all the cars I owned till today have had electronic seat adjusters. So things like these, which should have been standard in any car, BMW charges extra for those…

Overall I am pretty happy with the car, primarily because of its handling.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd February, 2010

2006 BMW 3 Series 325ci from North America


I'm disappointed


Had to replace brakes and rotors at 55k miles. Dealer said they replaced them at 30k, so why did I have to replace brakes after 25k miles? This is the only car I've ever owned with under 85k miles that I had brakes replaced twice.

General Comments:

I really enjoy driving it; it's very comfortable and has a lot of nice extra features. I don't care for the slow response in first gear; my Honda Civic did a better job off the line than my 3 series.

Also, the bluetooth phone set-up is not user-friendly at all. It will load your phone book, but you can't voice dial unless you manually enter them into the car's phone system. I finally bailed on it and have gone back to using a bluetooth headset in the car instead. What a waste of what could have been a very cool feature.

This car is on it's second set of brakes/rotors at 55k miles. I drive both normal highway and city; mostly commuting, so I don't understand why brakes/rotors wear out so quickly. I've owned other cars up to 85k without having to replace brakes.

After owning the car for 18 months, the windshield washer motor quit working. I live in Phoenix and although the warranty paid to have a new motor put in, I was shocked to hear the dealer tell me that the heat dried out the washer and caused the failure. I've lived in Phoenix for 30+ years and owned many cars here. This is the first washer failure I've ever experienced, so I'm very doubtful this was correct. Either that or the washers they're using are substandard.

Tires were a bit of a pain; they had to be special ordered along with the brake sensors. I know this is a luxury car, but they're not uncommon, so it seemed odd that these were not in stock.

This is my first BMW purchase and have to say that I'm disappointed that it's parts aren't built to last longer than what I experienced with a Honda Civic. I'm very tempted to sell it and go back to a Honda with a larger engine.

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

Review Date: 17th March, 2009

20th Mar 2009, 16:43

Take a look at the late e36 models instead, if you're having problems.

29th Jun 2014, 22:12

That's an obvious response when a Civic owner buys a BMW. It's never about buying; it's the affordability of maintaining them. You were upset and talked about brakes over and over, which is really a very minor thing. BMW's are the ultimate driving machine, and your review doesn't talk about anything but brakes. If you're not happy, buy the newer Civic. It'll help you to keep your money in the bank and sleep in peace at night.

30th Jun 2014, 20:22

What year was your Civic? Do they still have the asbestos brake pads? The brakes on my (admittedly lighter) 2001 316TI were done at about 95K km (59K mi), but unlike other cars I've had where the rotors started to warp or it shudders when you brake, these ones stayed constantly smooth up to the time the pads were down to 2mm evenly on all pads.

And you're right - a Civic will sprint faster than a BMW. But they run out of steam when you try to overtake on a mountain pass uphills at high speeds. German cars (I've had a few Audis too) are geared differently. My ones anyhow (not the powerful models) are fast, but not swift. They'll pull from 115 km/h to 140 km/h smartly without drama.

As for the tyres - they're probably run-flats, which are not as readily available.