Used 2001 BMW 3 Series Wagon Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2001 BMW 3 Series Wagon - Consumer Reviews

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This car is like a needy but beautiful girlfriend
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Colin
on

Vehicle

2001 BMW 3 Series Wagon 325i Rwd 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M)


Review

Seriously. This car needs attention. Do not buy it if you are not willing to give it attention. I'm not sure if I can make that any clearer. I purchased this car as a graduation present to myself with money that I had saved up working throughout high school when I graduated in 2011. My dad and I are both car nerds. I wanted something that was sporty and had a manual transmission and wasn't your typical Mustang etc. I settled on this car after finding a 2001 Sedan with the manual with ~63k on it. I will admit that the first ~20k miles were somewhat rough. We probably spent an additional $2-3k catching up on some maintenance that the previous owner had neglected to do, and the dreaded Check Engine light did come on more than I would have liked. Honestly, the vast majority of those repairs were things like oxygen sensors where we could've just fixed it ourselves and have been done with it. This car really isn't terribly hard to work on. I am no mechanic, but I've fixed quite a few things on this car, and it's saved me a ton of money. If you don't feel comfortable fixing it yourself find a good independent shop in your area. The dealer will screw you out the butt when it comes to repair costs. I will say that the car has never left me stranded, and that's not something you can say about a 2001 Mercedes. Trust me. Like I said earlier. The car needs attention. Make sure to change its fluids and keep a watch out for weird noises, smells, and drivetrain peculiarities (read driveability issues). Doing this will eliminate over half of the possible repair scenarios people have described in these reviews. I'm quite positive that the majority of those leaving negative reviews bought an older BMW expecting it to be just as great on maintenance as a Honda. It is not a Honda; however, if you take care of this car, it will take care of you. Over the last 40k miles or so the only money I have put into this car is consumables (oil, tires, spark plugs, etc), an ignition coil ($75), power steering hoses (~$250), and a dirty injector. I would also like to point out that I would get the manual if I were looking to purchase another one of these, as there are a lot of complaints related to the automatic. The stick is way more fun, it makes the car quicker to 60 (by a full second!), and it's pretty bulletproof. Nuff said. Now to the part about this girlfriend being beautiful, and I'm not just talking about this car's good looks. This car is THE BEST car when it comes to driving. Not even a modern BMW rivals the steering feel and handling these old E46's have. With the manual transmission this car is sublime. The 330i is comfortable, it's powerful, it handles, and it's relatively quiet. It's not a drag car, but it is amazingly well balanced and fun to drive. Relatively good gas mileage too. In short, this car is so much fun. Sure, the interior plastics do have a tendency to be brittle after 15 years of sitting in the sun. Sure, parts are more expensive than parts for a Civic. And sure, there are cheaper cars to buy. What there aren't are better driving cars. I've had mine for four years and 60k miles, and the only car I would dream of getting rid of it for is an M3.


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German Junk
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Joe
on

Vehicle

2001 BMW 3 Series Wagon 325i Rwd 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M)


Review

What a piece of junk! I couldn't get to town and back (10 miles) without having to work on it. Water kept disappearing from the radiator, Leaked oil, head lamps kept going out. Replaced the whole cooing system and sold it. New owner didn't even make it home and had cooling problems. He tells me the head gasket is blown although it had no water in oil or oil in water? Ran smooth and engine made good power. The car is over engineered. Why use a complemented cooing system with the crazy O rings when a hose and clamp work fine? Easy to see why Germany lost WW2. I will never own another.


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2001 Xi Wagon
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ARP
on

Vehicle

2001 BMW 3 Series Wagon 325xi AWD 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M)


Review

I just passed 245,000 miles and am still using the original clutch, AC compressor, starter, window motors, engine computers and most other parts. With proper maintenance it has been a great car. I average about $300 per month in maintenance but keep it in perfect condition which is far cheaper than buying another new car. At 150,000 the entire suspension was replaced, new brakes and tires. It was like a new car. Still uses no oil, changed every 10K.


Best Features

All wheel drive. Recently plowed a road that had 24" of new snow for about half a mile. Used it like a ram. I was surprised it worked.


Worst Features

Squeaky rear window, fixed only with the volume of the radio. Actually not too bad at all.


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Cheap Materials
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Stickwithpre1991BMW
on

Vehicle

2001 BMW 3 Series Wagon 325i Rwd 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M)


Review

My biggest complaint after wrapping up my 2 year-22k mile experience with this car is the CHEAP plastic, dye, wood, leather, and moleskin used on the interior. I take very good care of my cars with weekly cleaning, detailing. The interior on this car was literally falling apart. The dye was lifting off the plastic console pieces, arm rests on doors and other areas. The moleskin material on the windshield frame was wrinkling up. The sunroof slide was falling apart from Florida heat I think. I have owned 13 BMWs and I will certainly stick with the 1988-older 5 Series, 1991-older 3 series cars for build quality and enjoyment of owning. Not to mention they hold their value better vs. new models


Best Features

Good suspension/driving characteristic. Fairly good MPG, usually around 24 average city/hwy.


Worst Features

Use better quality material on interior and exterior trim. Fix the rusting problem with foot threshold area in rear door jambs. Watch for oil leaks, coolant system problems and interior quirks.


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2001 BMW 325i Sport Wagon
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By BimmerDrvr
on

Vehicle

2001 BMW 3 Series Wagon 325i Rwd 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M)


Review

My E46 wagon has 108k miles and is an automatic. I have owned Audi A4 and S4 wagons prior to this. The BMW has better interior leg room and cargo room than the audi. I just made a 1600 mile trip in the BMW and averaged 31.7 MPG at average 71.3 MPH. So far the BMW has only needed basic maintenance with the exception of window motor problems (warrantied) and the rear seatbelt stuck and won't work (out of warranty). The AC evaporator also needs replacement due to a leak, but has worked flawlessly since refilling with a leak stopper. Overall the BMW is a great touring car and safe family cruiser.


Best Features

Front/rear leg room and rear cargo room. Comfortable seating for long trips. Rear seatbelt design and tethering straps are great for car seats. Easy to work on for a do-it-yourselfer with a Bentley manual. Online forums make troubleshooting easy and save you a ton of money!


Worst Features

Better leather quality. Sunroof sliding panel is cheap and gets stuck.


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