2003 BMW 3 Series Sedan - Consumer Reviews

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3 of 3 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 Sedan 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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8 of 8 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 Sedan 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 Sedan 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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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Overall, not many problems
By snwbrd26 on 06/28/12 12:48 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 BMW 3 Series Sedan 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 Sedan 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 Sedan 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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5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I really loved this car
By gabriel2011 on 10/29/11 18:04 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I must say, this car was a complete joy to own and drive. This car is a great starter car but the repairs and maintenance can be a bit costly but overall it's a great car and very safe when it comes to accidents (trust me on that one).
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7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Well served. Best car ever
By parico on 08/02/11 14:22 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I bought the 325i manual brand new and I put 150K since then. I have never had any major problem in the past 8 years except regular maintenance cost witch sometimes gets costly. for the first 4 years I didn't pay a penny because it was covered under BMW maintenance package and after that I only did the oil change and scheduled maintenance. The trick is not to miss a service due date!! I love it and I'm not gonna replace it with anything else until it dies.
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2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Prepare to Spend
By subroo13 on 07/18/11 18:54 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I traded my Honda Accord for a BMW 325i. As long as the car was under warranty, everything - including a car wash was covered. But as soon as the warranty period expired, here are some of the problems that surfaced: 1. AC stopped working - $800 2. Seatbelt Sensor error - $300 3. Ignition Key stopped working - $800 Secondly, there is hardly any storage in the car. The only storage is the trunk. So if you are trading in your Japanese car, set your expectation right - be prepared to compromise on the space, and the overall reliability. German engineering is eloquent as far as the detail on aesthetics of the car. For a car with low maintenance and function, its always a Honda or a Toyota!
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Great car, until a few years down the line
By ngolds on 05/14/11 17:02 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

This is a great car until you wait a few years. Wen the car was 4 or 5, the troubles began. It wasn't until this year that the laundry list of problems was fixed. There was too much play in the shifter, both outlets didn't work, the key lock was broked and the remote wasn't receiving any charge from the ignition, the sunroof rail was warped, which meant it only opened a little bit, but still worked. Today everything but the sunroof is fixed. The repairs on this car have cost a lot, but it's a great car.
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