They don’t make ‘em like they used to
By Ray in Northern VA on
2001 BMW 3 Series 330i Rwd 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
Technologies perfected since the Model-T break on this car, which casts a terrible pall on an otherwise great car. Some components are well-built. Most notable of these is the engine. Unfortunately everything around the engine tends to fizzle. The suspension is great, but I burned through “wear items” like ball joints and control arms in under 50k miles. You need a great repair shop to keep the car running well. Warranty is out, so we’re shopping.
Positives: handles extremely well, decent gas mileage on the highway, some high-quality components (like the engine block, frame, thicker sheet metal in doors, etc.), and availability of manual transmission.
Get the small things right. My light sockets melted (parking and tail), windshield wipers work 25 minutes, then need to rest, horn broke blaring until I pulled the fuse, endless list of sensors regularly go bad, climate control system, window regulators (all- some twice), gas cover release, etc.