Great car - but probably overhyped.
By BR on
2004 BMW 3 Series 330i Rwd 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M)
This is a great car and deservedly a benchmark for the class, but don't blindly drink the BMW kool-aid. Overall I'm very happy with my purchase after a little over a year. There are faster, plusher, and overtly sportier cars, but really very few that do everything as well as the 330 does. As long as it stays reliable, I'll be a happy owner. Keep your expectations in check though as in 80% of everyday driving, many of the qualities of a 330 are pretty subtle improvements over the competition and even down-market vehicles. The superior handling, performance, ride often are most noticed by their absence when you're driving a different car...
Exterior styling - to my eye much better executed than the newer e90 models. Simplicity - no overwrought techno-glitz to muck up the driving experience. Handling - sharp without a harsh ride in the daily commute. Highway fuel economy - just shy of 30 under a modest right foot.
The auto (in any mode) isn't slow - but it's just not very fast. City fuel economy - 16-19 depending on how aggressively driven. Back seat - quite snug. This is most definitely a compact car. Trunk - see above. Avoid the fold-down rear seat - it creaks and rattles.