The car magazines call the 3 Series the World's best all around car, and the car that does everything well. But when I test drove three different 328s, I was disappointed.
I felt just as much engine vibration on the steering wheel as I do on my 2004 Ford Taurus, and when accelerating briskly from a stop using the automatic transmission, the rough shift at about 20 mph felt just like my Taurus.
The ride was too rough for the poor roads I have to drive on for my daily commute. Then for one of the test drives I had hurt my shoulder, and it was hard for me to turn the steering wheel. And power steering (I guess that is what Active Steering is) is not available on a 328.
And the two coffee cup holders were weird flip out things in front of the passenger seat that looked liked they would break right away if you tried using them. My friend has quite functional coffe cup holder on his 3 Series that is a few of years older.
Then my fried asked what I expected for reliability, and I said in four years my Taurus has required no repairs, he paused and said, "You're not going to be happy in a BMW." I guess I'm just not a sports sedan kind of guy.
Try a late 90's 3 series. You'l be surprised (as long as it's a nice one)
Try a E82 125 coupe. You'll love it and have your faith in BMW build quality restored. To compare a Ford Taurus with any BMW is like comparing a toad with Cinderella. The E82 coupes (not the convertibles, nor the E87 hatchbacks) are BMW's response to justified criticism about build quality, styling and performance. The E82 coupes (125 and 135) are sensational.
"To compare a Ford Taurus with any BMW is like comparing a toad with Cinderella."
After spending ten years driving Tauruses, I was tired of them. I promised myself that my next new car would not have an automatic transmission with an annoying lag in shifting at about 20 mph when accelerating briskly from a stop. Not racing, but just like in you're in a bit of a hurry to get somewhere. So I was quite disappointed to find on a three different test drives that 2008 328i was no better in that regard. It ruined the whole thing for me, even though everything else is obviously much better.
I guess a true car enthusiast would get the manual transmission and have a great time driving the 328.
Consumer Reports said the 3 series has a "smooth" automatic transmission. I can't understand how they missed this.
I also experience the lag from the 128 (or 125 - same motor as the 328), but there does seem to be two modes of driving. If I accelerate slowly then the pickup has some lag and seems a bit docile. However if I plant it immediately, it takes off like a jackrabbit. The response is related to how you drive and the car does not mind being thrashed. I find it very responsive. Germans take car design and building very seriously as evidenced by the quality of these cars.
Apologise about the Cinderella comment, but I just do not like anything about the Taurus. If Ford continues to build cars to the same standards as they have from their European stables (Mondeo, Focus, Fiesta etc.) then I believe they will have a bright future (also, the new Falcon FG series in Australia/New Zealand is an outstanding car).
Hi there, I've been through your comments, I am as well one disappointed BMW owner. I thought this was the car of my dreams, in which I will enjoy a smooth ride with no rattles no noise etc.. However, The ride is extremely rough, and the car is really tight when I bought it I saw it larger, maybe because I was just impressed, and rattles are there from the doors, maybe from the dashboard, I don't know, even the dealer could not trace them. I owned a Toyota Corolla for 5 years, I still have it. Now with 86000 kms, never replaced a screw so far... One more thing about BMWs, no storage places to even store your CDs, your tissues box or to put even your wallet in.. I am with only 7,000 Kms now (she is still a baby) but I am considering seriously to replace it with a four wheeler.. any suggestions?
Shame about you not being able to enjoy the car too much. Especially since it's still basically a new car. I have a 95 328, I think they built them pretty well back then. You can't feel any vibration if you put your hand on the dashboard. And there are no squeaks or rattles either. Everything, except my mpg gauge, still works. Obviously the 90's ones are now cheap and starting to look dated. So not everyone's cup of tea.
Another person who thought they were getting a smooth ride when buying a Beemer. BMW's are SUPPOSED to ride rough. They're designed that way to increase performance and handling. They'll outperform any American vehicle on a twisty road, but they don't wrap you in comfort. If it's not the car for you, sell it and buy yourself a Buick. That's nice and floaty. But good luck staying on the road around a tight corner at a speed higher than 20 MPH.
I kept my 3 series for 12 months, quite simply it was overrated!
I was forced to accept the BMW as a company car and I hated long journeys as it was very a uncomfortable and unpleasant place to spend any length of time.
I can't understand the hype regarding BMW, my colleagues feel much the same about theirs too.
Can somebody please enlighten me as to the meaning of this somewhat patronising comment? Why on earth would BMW die hard fans blame an owner of a new BMW for the quality of the vehicle, and why precisely, should the owner "keep that in mind?"
Are you trying to say that realistic and grounded people will find BMW poor, but BMW die-hards will claim BMW's are excellent and blame the owner for any problems, because if that's what he/she is trying to insinuate, then let me tell you something...
Alongside Mercedes-Benz, BMW are the best quality you can buy. Keep that in mind.
"Alongside Mercedes-Benz, BMW are the best quality you can buy. Keep that in mind."
Well, if that isn't a misleading statement written by a BMW fanboy, I don't know what is. The E90-generation cars seem to be fraught with mechanical and electronic issues, such as oil burning and bad sensors throughout. Read the comments from real owners on other sites.
Please, don't try and convince us that Germans make the best cars. Those days are over. Japan (Lexus, etc.) has been leading the way for 20 years - and they're about to be overtaken by South Korea. Even J.D. Power surveys of European consumers rate Honda above Audi and BMW.
The previous poster is wrong and misleading - claiming Japanese reliability over BMW?! And Korean (WTF)
Here is the reality from the 2008/09 surveys...
Lifted from Autotrader UK.
BMW 3 Series is UK’s most reliable car
10 November 2008.
Mine was so bad, I got a refund from the dealer after three months (and the second flywheel failure).
I love my 2008 318iSE as a car, but the reliability observations tally with my own experiences. Coil failures, suspension bush failures, soft paint, easily marked interior trim, transmission whine; you name it, I've had it.
If this is the best quality out there, Heaven help us all.
A lovely car, which drives better than pretty much anything at the same money, but anyone who thinks the BMW badge gets them a superior level of engineering integrity and bulletproof reliability, is frankly living in the past. 10 years ago, perhaps, but not any more.
The E90 3 series and its derivatives don't seem to be as well put together as their predecessors. In confidential off the record conversations I have had with service department staff from more than one dealership, the consensus seems to be that these models drive well, but are rather fragile.
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