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BMW 3-Series Saloon consumer car reviews and road tests

BMW 3-Series Saloon

3.5 stars - average customer rating
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BMW 3-Series Saloon consumer reviews by year of make:1998 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 

BMW 3-Series Saloon consumer car reviews

Shawn Franklin, Norfolk

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d MSport 2012

1 star review

This is my 5th brand new 3 series and definitely the worst! My car is a 2013 M-Sport model which is fitted with leather as standard and came with so many wrinkles and creases It looks like they were in a car with 100,000 miles on the clock. I have been told by the dealer they are all like that so live with it. I also have a dangerous fault with the rear doors unlocking and opening on the own at 70mph after I had a software update. The dealer says because there are no faults codes there is nothing they can do! So don’t put any children in the back! The dealer has refused to take it back as they reckon there is nothing wrong with it, so this will be last BMW!

Responses to this review

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1973/13/contentsTake it to an independent to scan for codes.... record times it happens - James Brown from Essex

Search sale of gods act 1973 Take to an independent to scan for codes.... record times it happens - James Brown from Essex

Submitted: 2014-03-28 | ID: 93543

Michael, England

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d business edition 2009

2 star review

Let me first say I’ve owned a Fiat Bravo, a Citroen Saxo, a VW golf (1.6) and a Mazda 3 sport, all of which I’ve been happy with. I’ve always dreamed of owning a BMW since I was a boy and now having a job that pays, I hit a dealership with high hopes of the ultimate driving machine, and I have to say I feel like crying. I got the machine...a washing machine, as the noise and vibration from in the cab drives me mad! It’s my first diesel and I was told it takes some getting used to, but now the plastics in the the engine bay seem to want to join song. I can’t fault the car when driving on the motorway, even with the run flats (they’re not perfect but, I’ve a history of punctures so they may be useful?). However, around town I feel like I’m sitting in a pimped out tractor; the noise from the 320d is heart braking after wanting one for so long. I step out of my 320d and look at it, and if looks could kill I would have died 100 times already. It is one of the best looking cars on the road, but don’t be fooled by the badge and looks. The build of this car has me thinking about my Mazda 3 and the driving pleasure it gave me, even though it was 3 years old when I bought it and I had it for 3 years with no faults, not one. So anyway the moral to the story is it’s not what is on the outside it’s what’s on the inside that really matters, so don’t be too hasty or you may pay the ultimate price. I feel like I’ve been robbed! Shame on you Mr. BMW, you lack quality in all the right places and you stole my childhood dream car away from me, not to mention my money. I must mention this is 59 reg face lift model 4 out of 5 extras,leather and with 70k on the clock with full s/h from BMW. It was bought from BMW with warranty, so they had my trust from the get go, sadly my first and last. The price tag was £13,683 and I’ve had the car for just over two months now. I will look at anything but BMW next time.

Submitted: 2014-01-06 | ID: 36879

Paul Reed, Devon

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d 2010

2 star review

This is my third 3 series and may well prove to be my last. Alarm problems have left me and anyone who lives/works within 200m of the car totally fed up. It’s been into the dealers several times but the fault refuses to stay fixed. Compared with my previous beemers this car feels less well screwed together and in basic spec is lacking in any justification for the executive price tag. The car drives well and my only complaint is that 2 hours driving is about as much as my body will stand before the firm ride gets the better of me. Aside from this I have had a few bogus dash warning lights that clear when the car is turned off and back on again, an electrical problem with the wipers (no fun on the M4 in the pouring rain). Not good enough Mr BMW. Please please please get back to making cars that just get you around without any drama.

Submitted: 2013-05-18 | ID: 36878

Brian Murray, Buckinghamshire

BMW 3-Series Saloon 2012

3 star review

Words or warning. There are so many rattles in the car it’s hard to know which bit of of the dash or interior is making the noise. I opted for SatNav and traded down to standard cloth seats and they are utter rubbish. There is no support in them at all and I can now feel the metal frame of the seat while I drive. I have had the pads replaced and they have lasted maybe 2 months before just collapsing again. I had a BMW before this new one and the seats were firm and supportive, the new ones are a cost cutting job too far - poor show BMW. Pity since the car drives great, I just don’t like to sit in it any more.

Submitted: 2013-04-02 | ID: 36867

Roberto da Costa, South Africa

BMW 3-Series Saloon 330 d m\sport 2008

5 star review

I have the 330d m/sport 2008 model with 160kw motor which is all you need. Enjoyable on the long roads and very good on fuel consumption; I’m getting between 4.8 and 5.0l to a 100km on open roads. Ther is only one thing I dislike on the car, which is the run flat tyre system. I recently had a slashed tyre on the road and when I got to the tyre garage I had to replace two tyres due to them not being the same brand, but overall BMW is the best on the road for me thanks.

Submitted: 2013-02-04 | ID: 36866

David Atkinson, Yorkshire

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d Sport 2012

5 star review

I was a a little suprised to read the mixed reviews on the different BMW’s. I have a 320d Sport six speed manual with standard suspension. The car is used on mixed roads and for towing our 1250Kg caravan. I find the engine course under load when towing, but otherwise it is very quiet. I used to use a 140 Diesel Golf and it was equally loud under the same conditions. The BMW has an excellent gearbox and the engine has sufficent torque to give the car outstanding performance. The ride in the 320d is identical to that of the Golf’s. The BMW has a much more engaging drive. it is clear the front wheels are not having to drive the car. This means you can enjoy the feel of the road through the steering wheel. The built quality is very good the car has no rattles or squeaks and the shunt lines are equal. Everything feels built to last and the finish both inside and out is to a high standard. The car is economical on diesel. I average 38mpg towing and 54.2 mpg solo. The reason the solo mpg is low is due to the fact the car is a dream to drive. My car has the five year service plan and I think if you intend keeping the car this is an essential and good value option at £350. My Sport is in black sapphire with sun protection glass and it looks a treat in bright sunshine. In conclusion the BMW 320d Sport with a service pack is a car I would recommend to anyone and my only regret is I wish I had bought one years ago.

Submitted: 2013-02-01 | ID: 36865

Simon Hooker, Essex

BMW 3-Series Saloon 323i saloon 1998

5 star review

I have had this car for 14 years. Yes, the dealer service and repair costs are high (I am doing some of my own now - there are plenty of web sites for DIY mechanics and parts), but it is such a peach to drive, now the depreciation is virtually flat. I can get 34 mpg (the engine can adapt to higher octane, I use Shell V-power) and that is still using the occasionally full-throttle acceleration. The 6 cylinder has the flexibility to go in 3rd gear from walking pace to exceeding the motorway limit with revs to spare. The front discs lasted until 88,000 miles, which is pretty good. When I keep looking around for what I will replace it with I find the only possibility to match the performance at a sensible price is a motorcycle. I have my eye on a Honda VFR1200FD (a DSG, semi-automatic V4 motorbike).

Responses to this review

I think your post sums the 3 up Simon. It was a nice car back in the day and if you can afford the fuel the 6 cylinder petrol was a nice engine. I averaged 50k miles a year in my 3 and driving it became a chore. It was a great car for a sub 50 mile blast but 500 miles of motorway relegated it from peach to prune. Previous posts about run flats and i-drive are fair comment and my 320d had sanitized handling and an oil burner that ran out of revs when I was trying to enjoy myself. It was no ultimate driving machine and some electrical gremlins did their best to drive me mad but it did a good job of getting me around and earning me some money in the process. Enjoy your 3 and think long and hard before buying a later one - Steve Parker from Herefordshire

Submitted: 2012-08-29 | ID: 36871

Steve Parker, Herefordshire

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d 2009

2 star review

I bought mine new on the basis that it should prove reliable over the high milages I cover and that, given it was my own money invested in the thing, the depreciation would be kind to me. To be fair the car never let me down and the local BMW dealer has always been helpful and the quality of their work has been good. On the down side the basic spec of the car offered less than I wanted so, like many others, I ticked off several "extras" and ended up with a car costing just over 30% more than the base price. Having just traded the car I was dissapointed with the residual when measured against the total purchase price so I would stick with a more basic spec if I bought another. Running costs have been a little more than I expected with fuel usage higher than BMW suggest and some serious maintenance bills as the milage has accumulated. Overall though the car has been a good tool with reasonable driving dynamics, but the jokes about sales reps, bling and drug dealing combined with the general inability of the thing to make me actually enjoy it in the way I have with previous cars left me wanting to try something else. My advice to anyone considering a 3 would be don’t get taken in by the badge or the "ultimate driving machine" tag and accept the BMW for what it is - a good tool. And stay away from the extras unless your employer is footing the bill!

Submitted: 2012-08-29 | ID: 36870

Iain W, Argyllshire

BMW 3-Series Saloon M sport 320d Auto 2008

4 star review

I somewhat disagree with the tagging of iPhone, Rolex and the likes. I am a 27 year old farmers son who greatly enjoys owning my new BMW 320d Auto Msport Saloon, (my 2nd, may I add). I don’t need the car as an accessory or fashion statement so I thinks that’s a bit rude. Maybe you would prefer a volkswagon golf? Still German but suitable for the older generation and great for manoeuvring in the supermarket car park, or outside the post office. After owing 3 BMW’s and a BMW Mini cooper S, I will definitely be buying a BMW again.

Submitted: 2012-06-17 | ID: 36869

David, Ireland

BMW 3-Series Saloon 318 2003

2 star review

I bought it used and it pulled to the left, but was told that this was ’just the tracking’. Well several trips back to the original garage later to fix ’just the tracking’ resulted in no improvement at all. After several months of not being able to take my eyes of the road,  as when I change the channel on the mediocre radio, the car tramlines towards the ditch evertime. So I took it to the BMW garage and was told ’only BMW can track BMW’s properly’ by the arrogant salesman. So I waited while they fixed it. Several hours later I was informed they had inspected underneath the car, but could see nothing wrong. They had done the tracking twice, but the car still did it and they couldn’t explain why. "That will be 240 euro thanks very much." I partially solved the issue myself by having different tyre pressures on each side. Now I have time to select a radio station if I don’t take my eyes off the road for more than 20 seconds. There are warning lights constantly coming on, even when nothing is wrong like a blown bulb that still works fine. Oh, and the car turned the engine off (and the power steering) when it detected a ’fault’ just when I was heading for a bend at 60mph. I ended up in someones drive with a dead car! The fault was in fact a faulty sensor! Never again!

Submitted: 2012-03-28 | ID: 36868

Clare Glasgow, England

BMW 3-Series Saloon 2011

5 star review

It was the best car we’ve ever had, it was amazing especially with the speed :) Sad to get rid :(

Submitted: 2011-11-21 | ID: 36875

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Have your say!

Martin, England

BMW 3-Series Saloon 330d 2004

5 star review

My BMW 330d is the best car I have ever driven, there is so much torque now that I have installed a performance chip. It Originally had 406nm of torque, but now this has been increased to 496nm!! It’s an absolutely amazing machine and economy hasn’t been compromised at all! I would recommend this whole heartedly. I have covered at least 30,000mls with this setup and I am very impressed indeed! I love this car so much. I borrow a new shape 320d from time to time and it’s not a patch on mine. I always long for mine back.

Responses to this review

Check your insurance if you have re-chipped the car! - Simon Hooker from Essex

Submitted: 2011-10-17 | ID: 36876

B K, Berkshire

BMW 3-Series Saloon 330D Sport 2004

5 star review

Absolutely perfect car. I bought the car second hand from a BMW dealer. The car has 30k on the clock when I bought it in 2006 and now close to 140k. Still has so much power and a joy to drive. With all cars, it’s a must that you keep up with servicing. The people that have had problems with this car I’m afraid have bought the odd lemon BMW.

Submitted: 2011-08-30 | ID: 36874

Mark Ollier, Devon

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320i 2005

2 star review

Since buying this second hand from private owner, who I knew, at around 60K I have had a lot of problems. It has now done 70K! The major problem (apart from a continual squeak from the back seat area) has been that the cam motor, combined with the electrics, making the car go into safe mode where you cannot drive over 2500 revs. I have had some cars in my time and this now ranks as the worst and most expensive I have ever owned. Worse than a Rover. For example you can drive a couple of journeys in the day with no problems. However, on the third journey the orange engine light flashes up and speed is restricted. To think I was going to motor down to the south of France - fat chance! Paddock Motors Exeter, have been excellent and friendly as always, but I feel as if I have been beaten up by my dream car. It has been in and out of their garage for a month and it has been expensive in other ways too.

Submitted: 2011-08-03 | ID: 36873

Dave Edwards, Sussex

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d M Sport Edition 2008

5 star review

My car have been great over the last year. This is my second 320d, in 3 years. My first had less options that I did not consider ie. rear seats folding down - I bought a picture from Ikea and had to take it back. My new car has leather manual seats that are comfortable. Space is acceptable, drive is excellent. The average mpg on a commute is 55mpg. I have achieved 62mpg for a tank of fuel giving me 840 miles between fills. With 177bhp, power is one of the best for its engine size. Runflats can be firm on country roads but as someone who has had a puncture in them, the car was always controllable and safe. This car is one of the safest on road with the function in telematics, it will call for help and send location from GPS for example if the airbag goes off in an impact without any input from anyone. This is in the iDrive. A lot of bad points in the iDrive 5 digit postcode only lack of POI. Low tax band and good MPG. 20,000-ish between service and a nice looking car. Engine noise is low in cabin and never seen smoke in headlights of cars behind me, like many diesels.

Submitted: 2011-05-19 | ID: 36864

Henry L, United States of America

BMW 3-Series Saloon 335xi 2007

3 star review

This was my second bimmer and it had a lot of power, really outstanding handling and was fun to drive. The only thing I don’t like is the run flat tires cost a lot to replace.

Submitted: 2011-03-30 | ID: 36863

John Carmichael, Scotland

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d 2010

3 star review

A good car on most fronts but not quite fantastic. Drives well with good balance and road holding and just enough power and torque to make it fun if not exhilarating. I’m happy with it but there is no doubt that the run-flat tires make for a choppy ride and the interior is a bit dreary. I’m happy with it and will keep it for a while but every time I see a Jaguar XF I wonder if I made the right choice...

Submitted: 2011-03-25 | ID: 36862

J K, Wiltshire

BMW 3-Series Saloon 318SE 2011

4 star review

Good all round motor, classy looks, solid build and over 40mpg on the motorway. Comfortable on long trips.

Submitted: 2011-02-23 | ID: 36858

John B, Surrey

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d Exclusive 2011

1 star review

Had the car for 1 month now. The diesel engine is unbelievably noisy at tickover. There is a stop/start system which is a fuel saving measure but I suspect that this is also designed to save the occupants from the horrendous crescendo of noise coming from under the bonnet. The run-flat tyres are also very vocal unless travelling over a particulary smooth section of tarmac. The wind noise kicks in at about 60mph and the combination of engine, road and wind noise makes for a very tiring time behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the poor standard stereo lacks the guts to drown out the cacophony of external sounds. I do like the heated seats though!

Responses to this review

I cannot believe what has been said. This car is one of the better oil burners on the market. The 318d is just as good as the 320d, it’s not noisy and is a pleasure to drive - Peter Roberts from Kent

Couldn’t agree more with the original author, rarely have I driven a more overrated piece of old tut that the 320 Efficient Dynamics. I’ll give it its due, it is good on fuel and it does handle well at high speeds and round twisty lanes but of course that’s down to the hard suspension which causes issues when driving on bumpy roads. Now for the bad stuff: Horrible engine note, sounds like a low powered tractor vibration through the transmission at tickover. Gear stick is literally shaking itself to pieces. Unnecessarily sharp clutch, I’ve stalled this car in the 10 months I’ve owned it more than all the cars I’ve owned over the past 10 years. Poor gear change and ratios. Clunky gearbox is simply substandard compared to its rivals (Insignia and Mondeo), I know the gear ratios are for fuel economy however scant consolation when you constantly have to change from 2nd to 3rd and back again when travelling at low speeds in town traffic. Drab interior, If you’re going to give me a brushed aluminium interior at least give me brushed aluminium and not aluminium coloured plastic. The seats, I didn’t go for the £1,100 leather seats (thought I’d spent enough on it already at £31k!), however had I known they were going to get the material from the bottom of a sofa companies reject bin I might have broken the bank and gone for leather! Stop/Start feature, I hate it, thought I wouldn’t mind it but I hate it, I’d like to turn it off permanently, oh dear I can’t...got to remember to press the button every time I get in the car. Interior space, smaller than its rivals, you can’t get three people in the back comfortably. Boot, it’s a saloon, nowhere near as handy as a hatchback. Rear wheel drive, I’ll pay for that when the snow comes. Overall, it would get two stars for me, it’s my first 3-Series and it will be my last, never again BMW... - Neil Shakespeare from England

Submitted: 2011-02-12 | ID: 36859

Tony Harris, Sussex

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d se 2005

3 star review

My wife has recently purchased a 55 plate BMW 320d se, the first problem was the overflow pipe on the fuel tank split and caused a fuel leak. The next problem is still ongoing, the car steering follows all the ruts in the road the steering has been realigned and two new tyres have been fitted to the front of the car but the problem still exists.

Submitted: 2011-01-28 | ID: 36857

Richard Maher, Ireland

BMW 3-Series Saloon 316d es 2010

5 star review

40k miles in my first year with this car and I can honestly say that the car is excellent, lovely to drive, economical and reliable. Certainly will buy another one.

Submitted: 2011-01-25 | ID: 36856

Sandy Clarke, England

BMW 3-Series Saloon 318d 2010

1 star review

I had a new 318 on order. My Mondeo and Vectra had lots of standard items which I was a little irritated to have to pay extra for on the BMW; cruise control, lumbar support, 12v socket, decent radio. I waited patiently for a couple of months, then I received a confirmation that the car would be built and delivered in a few weeks time. I checked the confirmation and some of the ""extras" I had been forced to order were not on the confirmation. I had previous confirmation in writing twith the extras on. BMW dealer said any change to the spec. would mean deleting the whole order and placing a brand new order, oh and by the way the price has now gone up almost £1,000, and you will start again at the back of the queue!!! I told them to stuff it. BMW experience = very poor.

Submitted: 2011-01-08 | ID: 36855

Syd Taylor, Staffordshire

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d Efficient Dynamics saloon 2010

4 star review

Fleet of foot and frugal with the fuel, the new dynamic diesel from BMW is a package to please. A Beemer to have the fuel conscious beaming - and with more than ample punch to pacify the ’go-getters’. So much so, that Swift Steve, the superannuated boy racer from Shrewsbury was agog at the 142mph performance coupled with the frugality at the fuel pump. "Blow me down with a feather." He said. "In all my years of hot pedal motoring, I took it as gospel that performance came - quite naturally - with a hefty fuel premium. "I can’t believe this car motors as it does, with consumption levels I used to equate with an old 2CV that my French granny used to drive in Dordogne Street, Telford.". This 3 Series possesses blistering pace but won’t blister your fingers in reaching for the wallet. In fact you might find Incy Wincy Spider has been busy with the cobwebs between fill-ups - and the purchase price is sensible too, starting at £27,245. Continuing to draw comment, my friend and neighbour, Thomas Ratcliffe - well known as the inventor of the scowl - said "I see you’ve got one of those poseurs cars again." In reply I put it to him that such words from his lips were, indeed, a compliment. After all, how many people do you know Reader, who have a shrine to Albert Pierrepoint? I have to say that the only time he ever praised a vehicle I was testing was when I was putting a vintage Parisian tumbril through its paces. "Anyway Thomas" I said, shutting the door. "I’m not hanging about. I’ve got lots of miles to cover." The beauty of this BMW is the very reassuring sense that it’s a car made to be operated by real people in today’s world. You open the door and slip into an interior that’s as welcoming as a comfortable old pair of slippers - leather slippers, that is - for this is nothing if not a finely appointed car. The publicity boast about BMWs being ’drivers machines’ is not - as Horace Bachelor used to say (Younger readers should consult Uncle Bert for reference) - an ’idle boast’. The seat is comfortable, supportive and immediately familiar: in short, ’the business’. It’s only a matter of seconds before all the little adjustments are made and you’re sitting in perfect comfort: one is, so to speak, ’well mounted’. And while this particular model is not a fire-breathing charger, neither is it a plodder. It’s as swift as an arrow, as poised as a pyramid and just ’made’ for the road (even roads such as our shockingly maintained ones). It gets you from A to B and back again with such aplomb as to make you wish to start the journey all over again. And If ’drivers car’ means anything at all, it surely means the sort of car you don’t like getting out of. A word or two here about the technicalities: Efficient Dynamics includes ’start stop’, brake energy regeneration, lightweight engineering, low rolling resistance tyres, low friction fluids and active aerodynamics, plus six perfectly chosen gear ratios to give low rev. long leggedness. The 163bhp 2.0 litre 4 cylinder diesel, with its wizard flywheel to damp vibration, is a gem. Astonishingly frugal it may be (I averaged just under 61mpg but couldn’t reach the dizzy heights of 68.9mpg overall, which BMW claim) but it’s the amazingly low emission figures that will save the planet - almost a million times a mile! A mild exaggeration? Well I’ll leave that to future generations to answer - but the exhaust is so pure that road tax is just £35. An indicator of the splendid dynamic qualities is the ease with which twisty roads are accommodated with the poise and flair of a ballerina. Answering to the helm instantaneously, it has that balance that only rear-wheel drive can provide: after all, who wouldn’t prefer being pushed in the back rather than being yanked by the bib in the direction of the horizon. Even in today’s all too prevalent nose-to-tail crawling along so called ’tailbacks’ (slow torture is, perhaps, a preferable term) one is so pleasantly ensconced in the assiduously thought through cabin that it’s tempting to stretch out, reach for the Horlicks and watch an episode of ’Way Out West’ on the sat-nav screen. It’s a brilliant motor, this. It has dimensions aplenty to afford all the space necessary for true comfort and yet has the nimbleness of a compact sporting vehicle. There’s plenty of power for all but the most hot headed and plenty of glory for all but the megalomaniacs amongst us.

Responses to this review

Yep. Mine time travels, answers the door and tells jokes as well. What BMW dealership didn’t you say you work for? - Paul Reed from Dorset

Submitted: 2010-10-30 | ID: 36853

Chris Lee, Oxfordshire

BMW 3-Series Saloon M3 sport 2010

1 star review

Like many here I was fooled by the advertising and the dream "the ultimate driving machine". Nothing could be further from the truth. I’d agree with many of the comments on here. And like others it’s my first and last BMW. I have never driven such a poorly speced over priced car. I’ve had the car a month, but am already talking to the dealer to get my old car back. That was an ’03 SAAB Aero, the two cars are incomparable in terms of comfort, quality and overall safety. I was really happy with my old car, So how can a premier manufacturer like BMW get so many things wrong, by not listening to the people its selling to? It’s a car with lots of bling and no show. It’s a car for guys who like to be seen in a car with an "image" Shame the car doesn’t deliver anything else, but the nice looks, The engine is gutless and lacking power. The interior is very disappointing, no driver comforts, No spilt rears seats, Passenger comfort is totally lacking. Nowhere to put anything, like maps or things. The seats are really uncomfortable even on short journeys, Thin, not really easily adjustable. I’m not very tall but end up nearly banging my head on the roof. No driver lumbar support. The Idrive totally does my head in. Catches your hands when you change gear, the Parking assist stays on even when you’ve finished reversing Should I go on? Am I impressed? No. Would I buy another? Definitely not. Would I recommend it to a friend? Never in a million years.

Responses to this review

You’re talking a load of cr*p, I bet you have never driven one - Steve Harlow from England

Sorry Steve Harlow but he’s right, the M3 is a great car to drive if you don’t mind having your back broken and being overcharged for the privilege, £35K of performance + 15K of image. I bet you’ve got an iPhone as well haven’t you? You must have, all the cool people have them, don’t worry about the fact you can get something just as good if not better for much less, but then you wouldn’t be cool now would you? - Neil Shakespeare from England

Steve is right, I do not believe you have ever driven one. And why would you spend all this money on a car unless you were totally in love with it. The M3 is an excellent car but perhaps not the one for you. You should have kept your Saab if you loved it - Peter Allen from England

Oh dear, here come the anti-iPhone, anti-BMW, anti-Rolex police again. It’s these people who consistently try to un-cool these great products with their "I’m so much cooler because I buy cheap imitations" attitude, but fail to realise that the other brands only become desirable due to their many years of hard work providing us with better products and new innovations. 9 times out of 10 these new cool people will still own own a touch screen phone - albeit a slower one - a poorly built Korean car, and they won’t have a watch because their copy i-phone has a clock on it. Oh and these people inevitably end up divorced due to being so, well, cool.. OH NO! I’ve written this on my i-pad, better go and get my typewriter out so I can be cool again! - Matthew Lancaster from England

I think you got the title wrong, no way would anyone ever think that a Saab, yes Saab, is comparable with an M3?!?!??! I hope you have got the title wrong and it wasn’t an M3, you would be an embarrassment to BMW and M3 legacy if you think it is low on power and comparable with a Saab Aero!!!!!!!!!!!!??? - from England

Submitted: 2010-09-27 | ID: 36847

James Carn, Essex

BMW 3-Series Saloon 330d 2006

3 star review

I bought it because of the reputation for speed, quality and economy. If you do the same.. be prepared to be sorely disappointed. The biggest problem with this car is the tiptronic gearbox called ’steptronic’ by BMW... IT WILL FAIL and YOU WILL BE SPENDING MINIMUM £1500 ON A REPLACEMENT. I have been unlucky enough to have 2 gearboxes fail on me.Tthe issue is the sealed for life fluid. BMW used to say that the gearbox fluid never needed to be replaced and sealed the gearboxes. when so many started to fail they changed this policy but have never accepted that they had a problem with the gearboxes. These gearboxes fail and if you were within warranty BMW might have helped. Most are too old now to be within a BMW warranty so it will fall on you to fork out the money. Dont take my word for it, just research on the internet. The problem is well known and widespread in the USA and owners there are taking BMW to court. Where my gearbox was reconned they said they are getting a regular supply of BMW diesel cars with failed steptronic boxes. Since owning this car I have spent over £4000 on repairs from aircon, suspension, gearbox, electrics, alarm, brakes, transmission. In contrast, during the same period my wife’s Citroen has had a bulb fail and nothing else... says it all really.

Submitted: 2010-06-06 | ID: 36842

Dan Davies, Surrey

BMW 3-Series Saloon 318i SE Edition 2007

2 star review

To sum up the car: OK, not offensive, the ultimate driving machine? Er, NO. My 1st BMW and I honestly can’t see what the fuss is all about. It does everything quite well but think i’ll try an Audi A4 when I change. This report is based on my opinion after a software problem was sorted out after 18 months from new. The car did not run properly from day 1: Hesitant / Poor running / Poor fuel economy, finally sorted out. BMW head office couldn’t care less, they must assume customers will return based on their cars, sorry mine’s not quite good enough to rush back to BMW. Not bitter just not very impressed. If you’re thinking of buying a 3 Series take it for a very long test drive to know what you are getting.

Submitted: 2009-12-07 | ID: 36846

Vincent Dolphin, Derbyshire

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320se 2008

1 star review

The most disappointing and expensive heap of trash I have ever had the missfortune of throwing money away on. Unlike the BMW advertising slogan ’the ultimate driving experience it definitely is not! At less than one year old and only covered 11,000 miles I found this ultimate driving machine to be a total disaster, from large water leaks into front passenger footwell and air conditioning that stank the cabin out (smells from aircon are not covered under BMW warranty) to mega engine problems including blown turbo charger, new diesel injectors and a new fuel injection computer. The clutch is very heavy and makes life misserable in heavy trafic, limited boot space with no split rear seat in the SE model unless you pay extra, the run flat tyres make for a hard ride and gear change is poor, in particular the reverse being hard to engage. I did not experience any pleasure driving this car as this was destroyed by so many faults and a dealership both locally and nationally that doesn’t give a damn!

Responses to this review

Totally with you mate, I’ve got the 320 Efficient Dynamics and it really is overrated and overpriced (by at least £5K in my opinion). I also have the issue with the reverse gear, however my problem is that I tend to engage it by accident occasionally when going for first - Neil Shakespeare from England

I’ve got the same car, 2008 320D SE - with the split rear seats option - which I’ve had from new. Only ever had two problems one of which eventually sorted itself out and that was the power steering occasionally didn’t operate when you started the car. After a restart or two it was OK. It hasn’t been a problem now for about three years. Making progress on snow is a different matter but perhaps we should keep a set of snow tyres for the winter like they do in the rest of the world. Oh, that reminds me, I’ve also had a set of tyres. If the odometer is correct I’ve averaged 54 mpg for the past 40,000 miles but I have to admit that I’ve never been over 100 mph except on a couple of occasions on the continent. Never had the slightest problem with finding the right gear but I have to confess that when the aircon is turned off there is a slight smell which is easily resolved by opening the window for a couple of seconds. I can’t really disagree with your feelings about the run flat tyres but that’s a problem of British roads rather than a tyre or suspension problem. Germans may not understand what your complaining about - Barry Price from Bedfordshire

Submitted: 2009-10-07 | ID: 36843

John Rowlands, Lancashire

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d 2005

3 star review

My first BMW and probably the last. The car is a good drive, economical and very good on long journeys. The interior has plenty of space but is fairly basic. During the last four years I have had problems with the run flat tyres as they cannot be repaired. I have had eleven in that time. Yes, eleven! That is with normal road driving and no off road activities. I may have just been unlucky but it has proved expensive. Additionally the turbo had to be replaced even though the car had been fully maintained by the dealer and was only four years old. The car feels like a Friday car in terms of reliability. Despite all of this I do enjoy driving it.

Submitted: 2009-06-26 | ID: 36891

James Thompson, Yorkshire

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320SE 2008

1 star review

This car has an amazing lack of class. Build quality is worse than anything I have driven previously by some margin and the infamous dealer network seem unwilling to cure any faults. I think I would actually choose a Vectra over this in hindsight.

Responses to this review

Can you please advise as to specific problems with the car? - from Middlesex

Submitted: 2009-05-08 | ID: 36889

Alan Bennett, Yorkshire

BMW 3-Series Saloon 330d M Sport 2008

5 star review

This is my first BMW after two Mercedes Benz cars. The first a SLK 230 and the second a C Class Coupe with a 2.5 litre V6 and 7 speed auto box. I absolutely adore the 330d M Sport. The ride, driving experience and performance are the best I have experienced to date and all this coupled with a good fuel economy as well. I particularly enjoy the driving experience which is spirited but controlled and above all else I feel involved and in control. This is my first diesel for over 10 years and it certainly does not sound or perform like one. If I have any reservations about the car it’s the run flat tyres and the difficulty I am having in getting hold of a set of replacement alloys and winter tyres. Suggestions anyone? Fortunately, the bad weather only lasts a short time. Roll on the better weather.

Submitted: 2008-12-08 | ID: 36887

Rob Blacker, Buckinghamshire

BMW 3-Series Saloon 318 iSE 2006

5 star review

Bought the car new after a big discount, and free metallic paint. After owning 2 previous 3 series (E46), I initially didn’t like the car, but after a couple of months I have changed my mind. Its fantastic to drive, gripping the road extremely well, and very quiet. Around top 30 - early 40 to the gallon as well. Buy one!!

Submitted: 2008-11-10 | ID: 36886

Dave, Lancashire

BMW 3-Series Saloon 318i 2002

3 star review

Always wanted a BMW for last 15 years; got one eventually and was most disappointed. I would take my wife’s 1999 Focus TD if ever I had the choice as it was a much more pleasant drive. Nothing wrong with it; just unimpressive and far below what I thought it would be; half decent SE spec but had a 1980’s feel to it. I kept it 10 months and moved on to a VW Passat. If you are thinking of buying one look beyond the badge and compare it to more value for money brands.

Responses to this review

I have had a 3 series BMW SE 2001 2ltr for two years now and I am most impressed with the comfortable drive and the styling is great. The power is more than enough for the motorways in uk. Pulling power not that great but motorway power it’s a flyer!! Fuel consumption on long journeys is pretty good but lets it’s self down in town. The quality of these cars for the money is great. Solid as a rock!! - Carl Fama from Essex

Look mate - you bought the sh*ttest model going. Cheap skate, a 320d is better in every single way compared to that Focus - Upur a*se from England

Submitted: 2008-10-24 | ID: 36883

Diane, Sussex

BMW 3-Series Saloon 325i M Sport 2006

3 star review

This is my fourth BMW and the most disappointing. The handling is fantastic with plenty of power when you need it but the build quality has let the car down. The leather seats are very thin compared with previous models and it has worn badly on the drivers seat - not good for such an expensive option. The paint work has chipped easily and I have had to have the rear window replaced due to a faulty seal along with other minor problems. I feel that I have bought ’the runt of the litter’... Now it is time to sell and though I love the actual drive of the car (especially the positive feedback through the steering) I will be looking at the new Jaguar XF instead.

Submitted: 2008-08-14 | ID: 36888

Abigail Roberts, Wrexham

BMW 3-Series Saloon 2.0 diesel 2008

5 star review

When I found the 3 Series I found my dream. The enjoyment that I get from driving it is incredible. I look forward to driving in a way that I have never done before. Reliable and sexy, two reasons why it is better than my husband (only joking...). I get about 50mpg and reliability is as good as you would expect from BMW.

Submitted: 2008-05-01 | ID: 36882

Howard Kaye, Essex

BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d SE 2007

5 star review

Wow! Better than anything else I have ever driven. BMW quality means I have had no trouble with this one or the previous company car I had which was a 3-Series as well. Build quality, drive and performance are second to none and the residuals are great too.

Submitted: 2007-11-02 | ID: 36880

Damian Wynne, Somerset

BMW 3-Series Saloon BMW 3 Series 318d ES 2007

5 star review

Good solid car, handles beautifully. I’m hitting the 52mpg mark and am very pleased with the car’s performance. This is my third BMW and I don’t think it will be my last.

Submitted: 2007-08-07 | ID: 36881

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  • Pauline Jeffery's question has been answered: "Most BMW rear brakes are ’drum-in-hat’, that is there is a rear disc for the service brakes (i.e. foot brake) and inside that a drum for the parking b - Simon Hooker from Essex has submitted an answer to ID: 5233.' '..." (28/08/2012 12:22:06)
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Road tests

BMW 3-Series Saloon

320d EfficientDynamics Saloon - BMW’s ubiquitous 3 Series has been around now for an impressive 35 years. First launched as a 2-door saloon in 1975, the current, fifth-generation models launched in ’06 have been treated to some mid-term revisions, along with one new model that sets new standards for performance, CO2 emissions and [...]

Road Test Reports Says 5 star ratingFull Report
An image of the BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon

BMW 3-Series Saloon

320d - Recently facelifted, the 3-series is one of the best all-round cars on sale. Not only does it offer refinement and comfort by the bucketload, but it’s also blessed with the ability to morph into a pin-sharp sports saloon when you point it away from the motorway and in the direction of some twisty bi [...]

Road Test Reports Says 4.5 star ratingFull Report
An image of the BMW 3-Series Saloon 320d

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