24th Feb 2003, 14:13

You are joking about getting little extra's with your BMW, everything is a cost option and well over priced, still nice cars if they didn't have such bad driver image.

22nd May 2003, 11:24

I have come from a 320D (2001 model) to an Audi A4 2.5TDI. I did like the BMW, but it cannot really touch the Audi for interior quality or exterior look / presence. The A4 is beautifully put together whereas in parts the Beemer feels a bit basic and spartan. Also, if I recall correctly everything except the most basic kit is an expensive option on the 3 series. Having had both cars I would have to say the A4 is a much better all round package - and better value. It cannot match the BMW for steering feel and the smile factor on a twisty road, but elsewhere it is ahead.

8th Jun 2003, 17:09

I would say the image is actually the biggest negative of what is probably a pleasant, nicely finished and very capable car.

Image-wise, the 3 series is the new Ford Sierra. Regularly seen being driven flat out along lane 3 of the motorway by cheap suited salesmen with fake Rolex watches, tailgating anyone who dares venture into its path in a frenzy of main beam flashing, and visible by the hundreds on any 40 mile motorway journey.

Like I said, the 3 series is probably a cracking car, but the image is probably the best reason NOT to buy one.

23rd Dec 2004, 10:24

"Nothing else will give you the same performance and economy in the same package at any price level."

I'm sorry, but what a load of tripe!

25th Oct 2005, 14:21

In a recent Which? report, Ford came out towards the top (beaten only by some of the Japanese marques), and the Focus also came out top in the ADAC reliability survey in Germany last year. I wouldn't normally mention this in a BMW review, but the chap above asked the question. League tables do exist, but they don't necessarily show the results you might expect.

Mercedes did appallingly in both the Which? report and the Top Gear survey last year! VW/Audi didn't fare too well either. I believe BMW are one of the best of the "premium" brands, but they are still less reliable and more prone to faults than far cheaper cars.

5th Dec 2005, 16:39

My 320 d se is excellent. I will agree that the boot space is akward sometimes, and it does take a while to demist. However the only reason that it does not have a heated front screen is due to ford holding the cards!!! I get 49mpg out of mine (i have checked) nearly 700miles to a full tank. Mid range power is excellent.

27th Feb 2006, 15:27

As a very satisfied diesel mondeo owner, I felt I had to comment about the heating elements comment in this review. Ford's standard QuickClear windscreen is a brilliant gadget (especially in winter) which I would now not be without. The heating elements are so barely visible, it is not reasonable to suggest that they impare vision at all! My girlfriend drove the mondeo for over 6 months before she even noticed the elements were there! I was reading this review because I was considering taking the plunge to a BMW later this year, but I'm starting to feel that it's the little touches like this that are *missing* from these so-called premium marques.

17th Jul 2006, 15:38

Two colleagues at work have 320d's, and both have suffered turbo failures (snapped shafts) - one at 80k and the other at just 55k. Both cars were meticulously maintained from new by BMW dealers, and both were cared for by their respective keepers.

In both cases, BMW were on the case and had the cars sorted in no time at all. You cannot fault the way this company looks after its customers. However, they were very cagey when asked how common this problem is and what causes it, but one dealer tech let on that some revised firmware should prevent it reoccurring and something to do with harmonic resonance causing metal fatigue. Surely this "upgrade" should be happening as a matter of course, not just when the turbo pops.

Despite the excellent support, surely it would be preferable for such an expensive car not to have such major failures at such relatively small mileages. It does make a bit of a mockery of the whole "German engineering" thing when the £12,000 Focus diesels we have on our fleet get mercilessly abused by junior reps, or beaten to death as pool cars, often skip services, yet never fail to rack up 100-120,000 miles with any more than one or two trivial faults to report.

I would expect more from BMW.

3rd Sep 2006, 03:54

I have experiences the same with BMW 320D Turbo. My car came out on the end of 2004.

Merely 40k she has made and turbo stated giving problem.

BMW service center has to change the turbo.

I am very surprised by BMW engineering expensive Euro 25K.

18th Sep 2006, 13:07

My last car was a Focus TDCL and it had done 185,000 miles when I sold it, I've now got a 320DSE and the Turbo has gone at 110,000 miles, I'm very disappointed after consulting the dealers who say this is a regular fault. Come on BMW get your act together.

8th Jun 2007, 04:44

I too had a Turbo fail at 78k this is an extremely common fault with 320d 2001-2003 and there are other common problems such as the air flow meter and fuel pumps. I would personally no buy one or these early face lift 320ds and stick to petrol - the turbo failure can easily cost £1.5K+ to repair.

20th Feb 2008, 15:19

I have a 2002 320 diesel SE; It's a fantastic car. But like my old 318i the passinger air bag light comes on when a passinger sits in. It is now telling me I have a back light out when there isn't. Is this a common fault or am I just unlucky?

20th Feb 2008, 18:43

I have a newer model and this common. It is just the connector that sometimes fails. Mine did the same thing and all I had to do was secure the connector and it has worked since then. You have yourself a very fine car...Don't worry just common. Check your connectors at the main cover and see, there is one that is not making good contact.

21st Feb 2008, 15:13

Thanks for that, That's reassuring, would this have anything to do with the light out indicator.

9th Apr 2008, 16:05

Can anyone advise me on what I have been told is a common problem? The door handle on my 320d se will not open as the cable has apparently come off on the inside. Is there anything I can do to stop this happening? The garage has had it twice now, and it's a bit irritating to say the least.

12th May 2010, 14:43

I have BMW 320d SE. I noticed some oil leaks, I took my car to BMW, and I have been told that the turbo has gone, and needs replacing at cost of 3k. Can anyone tell me if this the truth?


21st May 2010, 19:30

I have a 2002 320d BMW. I have gone through 2 turbos on this car, costing a lot of money. And at present my car is in the garage AGAIN with yet more turbo trouble on the 3rd one. BMW were no help at all. Will never buy another BMW again.