2003 BMW 3 Series - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 443 Total Reviews
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Good dream went bad
By paulbasden on 11/27/14 18:50 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

I bought a 2003 330i in August 2012 for $8,500. It drove well for 27 months. Then in November 2014 it blew a head gasket at 122K miles. Needs a new engine. I will not but a BMW again.
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11 year old BMW 330xi
By tazntwo1 on 08/01/14 07:57 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Honest Down To Earth Review
By c_macleod on 05/28/14 06:40 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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HORRIBLE GAS MILEAGE: Convertible - Automatic 2003 330Ci
By travelgal1 on 05/12/14 14:42 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Just keeps getting better!
By bogmailer on 04/24/13 13:19 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Great to drive but poor reliability
By a_tazmanian on 01/25/13 06:23 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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Scott's E46 - Ultimate Driving... period.
By scotte46 on 10/31/12 12:13 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Overall, not many problems
By snwbrd26 on 06/28/12 12:48 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I bought this car with 64k miles on it, and brought it in once for a 'check-up' around 80k and recently around 120k. I don't know if I've been lucky, but I have had hardly any problems with this car. There was a coolant leak the first time around, and this time was rear springs, valve cover oil leak, front breaks and rotors, with a full inspection (with my car being over 120k miles, I expected more). I had more problems with my VW. I have saved by changing my own oil (which is simpler than my VW was) and I've changed the window mechanism myself, which is easy if you take 3 mins to google how to change it. I love this car, and intend to run it to the ground. Yes, dealer costs are expensive.
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7 of 19 people found this review helpful
Will not own another BMW
By outdoorzdude on 01/22/12 17:44 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 BMW 3 Series 325i Rwd 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)

Review

Never own a BMW out of warranty. I sold my 2003 325i I purchased brand new and maintain impeccably for 150,000 highway miles, kept it 100k miles too long. It’s like they used to say about boats, “the happiest day, is the day you bought it and the day you sell it.” Though that is unfair to boats, as I have a 20 year old boat with a two-stoke Yamaha that has not given me one-tenth the problems this car has and judging from the online forums, I am not alone. Alternators, radiators, water pumps, valve cover gaskets, fuel pumps, window regulators, final stage resistors, seatbelt tensioners, the list goes on and on. Avoid these cars unless you like to work on high tech autos for fun.
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3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Fun to Drive, Not Fun to Fix
By afski786 on 01/13/12 12:43 PM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

I bought this car in March 2011 with 107,000 miles at the time. It's a great car to drive, and looks awesome. However, there have been several maintenance problems. First, when I bought it, it was missing the rain gutter on both sides. Getting those fixed was around $300. After a few months and 3000 miles, the starter went out and they also found the water pump needed replacing, both around $1,100. Then a few months later the thermostat, drive belts, CV Boots, and lower control arm busings needed to be fixed, $2400. Then the rain gutter clip broke, and finally the coolant tank, another $350. I wouldn't buy a BMW out of warranty; I thought they would be better mechanically but I was wrong
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