2003 BMW 3 Series Review | Edmunds.com

2003 BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 184 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2003 BMW 3 Series

  • If you've got the bucks, this is unequivocally the best car in the entry-luxury category.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Luxurious, powerful, exceptional road manners, available all-wheel drive for sedan and wagon.

  • Cons

    Pricey for its market segment, limited rear-seat space and cargo capacity.

  • What's New for 2003

    For 2003, BMW will finally offer a DVD-based navigation system -- meaning that you won't have to give up an in-dash CD player if you opt…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (439 total reviews)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Just keeps getting better!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 3 Series 330Ci Rwd 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 5M)

I have owned 4 of these 3 series convertibles since 1989 as despite test driving and buying other brands (porsche/Merc/Jag) I keep going back to the 3 series convertible with the straight 6 motor. This car is always a joy to drive, fun and fast and with a tremendous engine sound. My current car a tiptronic 3 ltr is now 8 years old and still runsa like new, is cheap to service and at speed is very nimble unlike modern heavy cars. I keep saying to myself I should trade the car but then I get back in the 3, drop the roof and immediatley start smiling. BMW got it right with this car, it will remain a classic.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Great to drive but poor

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 3 Series 330i Rwd 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)

This was my first and probably last BMW due to very poor reliability. It has consumed at least a quart of oil between changes since I got got the car- mechanics cannot figure out why (compression is good). AM radio reception is very poor. Side view mirrors started to corrode and turn brown after just a few years. The diver side window got un-hinged after 6 years. AC stopped working after 7 years. Rear light ground line is undersized and burns out (now a recall). Key re-chargeable battery dies and key has to be replaced for $500. Windshield wiper fluid container leaked and had to be replaced after 8 years. Plus many other more expected wear/tear and maintenance problems.

Scott's e46 - ultimate driving...

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 3 Series 330i Rwd 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)

I've been a BMW guy for a few years. I have 3 of them, all purchased with at least 70K miles on them, so I got them pretty cheap. Started with '97 540i sport, then '02 M5, and recently added '03 330ci sport. With so many fun cars to drive, it's tough to decide which one I want to use each day. Most often choose the 330. Why? It's just so darn fun to drive on the twisty roads in SW Wisconsin (where I live). M5 has incredible power and comfort, but the 330 just seems to know where I want to put it in every corner, and its plenty fast. With 3 cars to share the miles, I haven't been forced to fix much; I do most of the required maint myself and use local Indy for rest.

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2003 BMW 3 Series Review

What's New for 2003

For 2003, BMW will finally offer a DVD-based navigation system -- meaning that you won't have to give up an in-dash CD player if you opt for the nav system. Other changes include a standard front armrest for all 325 models, as well as a rear center headrest for all sedans and wagons. Additionally, all wagons will come with a moonroof. In terms of options, the Premium Package for all 325s now includes automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers, and the Sport Package for the 330xi includes double-spoke alloy wheels and run-flat tires.

Talk About The 2003 3 Series

2003 BMW 3 Series Discussions See all Started By

I recently purchased a 2003 325i BMW. I have a -1250 Inspection light being displayed and a service engine soon light displayed. The car has 28000 miles on it. Do I take it to a local shop or to the ?...

I am looking at buying a used 3 series that I will have for about 1-2 years before going to a 5 series. Having heated debate with family whether 2000 5 speed convertible w/ 119,000 miles (priced at a...

Which of these is better buy, 1999 M3 2dr or 2001 330ci? I have seen that a used 1999 m3 can cost as much as nearly a 2002 or 2003 BMW 330ci. Thats pretty interesting despite that fact that the M3 is?...