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.

2006 BMW 3 Series 325xi 2.5 from North America


Owning this car is like having a supermodel as a GF. Too much maintenance, it's hardly worth it


I bought a 4-year extended warranty for the wheels/tires of the car. When BMW sent out a "service bulletin" (a fancy way to say "recall") on the tires about a year later, they didn't honor the extended warranty, which defeats the purpose of getting a warranty.

The onboard computer is also very finicky, I have had brought this to BMW service at least three times because it just won't start with a "red steering wheel lock" on the dashboard. Sad to say, but this is NOT an isolated problem (http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1038819). My dealer's service center is not a pain to deal with (so far), but they could not explain why it is happening; they would just "reset" the computer, hoping it would be OK.

I am getting rid of this car, not because it doesn't perform as advertised, but the reliability is questionable. It almost feels like that once the 4-year warranty expires, the headaches will start pouring in.

BMW USA is also not very helpful. After the pains I've gone through to own this beautiful machine, one would wonder how the company can survive with such arrogance.

General Comments:

Drives and handles like a dream. BMW designed the AWD in such a way that handling is not compromised. One should really get this car with a MANUAL TRANSMISSION, otherwise you will not going to get its full potential... and to be honest, the AT is very sluggish (this from driving the "loaner cars" when my car is in service).

The cabin design is OK but not GREAT. It's quite apparent that BMW had to cut corners for more profit margin (this is compared to the previous generation E46?)... oh I said "more profit margin", because the 3-series hasn't gone cheaper. ;-)

I know the new styling is love-it-or-hate-it... but I personally love the new design, it's an evolution in the right direction... that said, the designer (Chris Bangle) probably took his unique design a bit too far for the other models (the Z series is kinda over-the-top).

But, alas, having all that said ... it's not enough reason for me to keep the car... I believe owning the Ultimate Driving Machine need not suffer such compromise.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th March, 2009

6th Apr 2009, 10:13

Buy an e46, or a well maintained e36, you'll be pleased.

6th Feb 2010, 20:44

The E46 is the best built BWW ever. I have 2002 325xi. I've owned it 3 years now, and living in Canada, winter is just a joke for this car, plus I found a block heater original one for E46, now -45'C doesn't do anything to car...

The car is 8 years old, 180K on it, only one thing failed; thermostat, which is cost only $280 bucks.

I paid for this car 24k, brand new price was 58k... I love it and I'll keep it for 2 or 3 more years...