2001 BMW 3 Series 330i Rwd 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
5 minutes into a drive you understand why Car and Driver has put it on their 10 best list for 22 consecutive years.
Love love love the way it drives.
But it is the 2nd most unreliable vehicle I've owned, next to a Mercedes E320.
Water pump, vanos unit, idler pulley exploded on me, this sensor goes bad, that sensor goes bad, constant check engine lights, power steering leaks, and on, and on.
And it eats rear tires. The only saving grace is this car is very easy to work on for an average mechanic.
Yes, it really is.
I replaced the water pump in 1 hour and I have never replaced a water pump before. Non-dealer parts for non-M cars are reasonably priced too.
These assessment ratings are 100% spot-on.
Reliability is TERRIBLE!
And honestly, why do things like door trim pieces, various buttons, and interior materials go bad also???
TERRIBLE BUILD all the way around.
I have owned 5 other BMWs, all older models, that RULED!
SO reliable, well built tanks, with easy repair access engine bays, lasted forever.
Still have a 1980 320i and it has 279,000mi on it and still runs great!
Trim pieces just don't all of a sudden pop off
- because stuff ain't all made of plastic.
Almost like the new pieces are purposely made to self-destruct.
I can no longer recommend newer BMWs because everything is computerized, and needs a new sensor every five minutes, has random problems - like your reverse will just 'go out' whether 25K or 150K miles on the car...mine did.
Found out the probs AFTER buying it.
Doesn't seem to matter whether this model was babied or driven hard either.
caviat emptor for sure!!!
And to BMW - you now are in the lump with everyone else.
No more quality.
Keep you new cars.
I'm going to buy a 5 series mid 80s like my mom used to drive, and now daughter has.
They are great on gas, run like troopers, spacious inside, and really fairly modern considering the age - auto windows, locks, etc.
I will be free once again, gone will be the days of the constant "Check Engine" light, and a simple set of tools can fix most anything.