2003 BMW 3 Series Review | Edmunds.com

2003 BMW 3 Series

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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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 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.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 18
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



11 year old bmw 330xi

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Vehicle: 2003 BMW 3 Series 330xi AWD 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I bought this car almost 5 years ago with 88K miles on it. Because of where I worked for 2 years car now has little over 200K. With proper maintenance, changing oil when light comes on after turning off key, I have had virtually NO problems with this car. It runs like the day it came off the showroom floor. You guys saying poor reliability or have tons of repair work on it - did a poor job of inspecting the car before you bought it. The place where I bought the car from took care of every little thing and I had it worked on, at his expense, at two different places, one of which was BMW. I absolutely love my car.



8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Honest down to earth review

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 3 Series 325xi AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)

Let me be the first to say buying a BMW out of warranty is a risk, that being said if done properly it's one of the best deals out there. If you have the ability to do your own work, the upkeep isn't that bad at all. I rebuilt the entire front end suspension for $600 (chances are you will have to do this as well, it's a consequence of the suspension design) where a mechanic would have charged over 2k. The 325xi is a slug to be honest, it's heavy and not the best on gas. Oddly though, I have great fun with the car and enjoy being in it very much. Great in snow, very safe, sharp looking, and if you have a level head easy to work on and find parts for without paying dealer prices.




Horrible gas mileage: convertible -

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Vehicle: 2003 BMW 3 Series 325Ci Rwd 2dr Convertible (2.5L 6cyl 5M)

I did all my research before buying the 2003 a few months back. I thought it would give me good gas mileage; but it is the worse I have ever had. I average 14.3-15.3 mpg. I thought it would be at least 20, 21. I would not have bought if I knew it would be this bad. I have new tires, tune-up, oil change, runs good. So there should be no reason why I'm getting such bad mileage. I like the way the car looks and drives, but sits kind of low to the ground. A bit hard to get in and out of. The convertible top works perfectly and I use often. It costs me $80 to fill up ($4.25 gallon); I work from home and just drive near home to get groceries, bank and take my dog to the park.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Just keeps getting better!

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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.



9 of 9 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.



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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.

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Talk About The 2003 3 Series

2003 BMW 3 Series Discussions See all Started By

Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
04-08-2014
2003 BMW Z4 Road Test The folks in Bavaria have had quite a run over the last decade. The entry-level 3 Series is selling better than ever, and is still the acknowledged car to beat in the entry luxur...


03newbie
03newbie
11-24-2006
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 ?...


bdeangelis
bdeangelis
10-06-2011
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...



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