2006 BMW 3 Series Review | Edmunds.com

2006 BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 215 hp @ 6250 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 BMW 3 Series

  • Improving upon the ultimate driving machine benchmark, the 2006 BMW 3 Series is unequivocally the best car in the entry-luxury category.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Still the standard when it comes to perfectly sorted vehicle dynamics, high-quality interior materials, wide range of configurations to suit any style, available all-wheel drive for sedan and wagon.

  • Cons

    Still costs more than most of its competitors, lacking in interior storage space.

  • What's New for 2006

    The BMW 3 Series sedan and wagon have been completely redesigned for 2006. Major highlights include new features, more powerful engines, a slightly larger interior and the incorporation of BMW's latest exterior styling elements. The 3 Series coupe and convertible are unchanged this year but will eventually move over to the new platform being used for the sedan and wagon; expect to see a new hardtop convertible for the 2008 model year.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (431 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Great driving car

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Vehicle: 2006 BMW 3 Series 325i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

We thoroughly enjoy our 2006 BMW 325i sedan. Ours has a sport package, which includes larger wheels (looks nice), sport steering wheel, but most important is the sport seats. Dual power seats with power side bolsters and manual seat bottom extenders. Compared to our 2009 328i (Premium - no sport), the seats on the '06 are so much better. The ride comfort isn't as good as the '09, but it's still good for a performance sedan. The fit and finish is still good, materials are very well made and have held up well. Paint still looks good, except for the repainted bumpers from a parking lot ding (factory paint is so much better than a body shop repair). Overall, we're very happy!




Suburb driving machine

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Vehicle: 2006 BMW 3 Series 330xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

The way this car pulls, brakes and handles is nothing short of perfection. After having this car in the shop (for water damage that was my fault) I got a 2010 Passat rental. I am glad I did as it just made me appreciate the performance of this BMW all the more. One major flaw though is that all the wiring is beneath the floor carpeting and the panels actually lead the water to the electrical wiring and modules (super poor design). So when I left my windows open and it rained, it fried my electrical wiring and burnt a hole in my carpet ($6000 bill). ***So make sure you get quality rubber mats to keep rain and snow from penetrating the carpet from your shoes or windows open when it rains.



6 of 19 people found this review helpful

Would not purchase another bmw

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Vehicle: 2006 BMW 3 Series 325i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

In 2006 I purchase a new 325I. Have own many different type of cars and none have disappointed like this 2006 325I. Here is the history of the money pit; In 2006 I purchase a new 325I. The bad; head replaced, valve cover-broken bolts, door handle sticking, water pump, rear window replaced because of faulty defogger grid , rear windows sometime work, starter motor, ignition coils, less than 90k on my car. No more than a money pit. The Good; fun to drive.



11 of 11 people found this review helpful

The life of your car

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Vehicle: 2006 BMW 3 Series 330xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I've never read so many poor reviews on a vehicle that was the World Car of the Year for 2006 (its first year of production). I used to be a BMW service employee at Bill Jacobs BMW of Naperville. I saw countless '06 325i's and 330i's. Shockingly, the customers who performed recommended services at the right times rarely had complaints regarding the 3's reliability, and since returned to buy newer models. BMW's aren't made to be run into the ground by drivers who have zero regard for taking care of their car. I've loyally taken care of my car. It's 8 years old with 82,000 miles and all I've replaced unexpectedly is a taillight bulb. Take care of your cars, you'll be amazed at the difference.



6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Buy beware (bmw's are lemons)

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Vehicle: 2006 BMW 3 Series 325i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

My BMW is a maintenance night mare. I absolutely hate my car b/c it is as reliable as the wind. The craftsman ship of the 3 series is poor at best. My car started to pour not leak oil at around 59,000 miles. The entire cooling system failed at 90,000 miles. The car is a big money pit. The electric water pump on the car costs around 600 dollars and the thermostat is 150 at a discounted auto parts store. I paid 1200 at a indy shop to get the starter replaced. BMW is nothing but an over priced piece of junk.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Fun to drive but frequent

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Vehicle: 2006 BMW 3 Series 325i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I purchased this 325i new in Oct. 2005 as a 2006 model. High on fun to drive meter but too many serious repairs. The car was great until about 75K miles. From 75k to 129k ignition coil failures, head bolt replacements, chipping paint, window motor failure, radio LED failure and sticky door handles. However I still love the car but not inclined to purchase another. I also had a 94 325 and a 97 525 which had less electronics but were more reliable.



Full 2006 BMW 3 Series Review

What's New for 2006

The BMW 3 Series sedan and wagon have been completely redesigned for 2006. Major highlights include new features, more powerful engines, a slightly larger interior and the incorporation of BMW's latest exterior styling elements. The 3 Series coupe and convertible are unchanged this year but will eventually move over to the new platform being used for the sedan and wagon; expect to see a new hardtop convertible for the 2008 model year.

Introduction

The baby Bimmer has grown up for 2006. The sixth-generation 3 Series is slightly larger, heavier and faster than the previous 3, which was introduced in sedan form in 1999, followed by the coupes, the convertible and the wagon in 2000. An even better car overall, the 2006 BMW 3 Series has a bolder look, revised suspension and braking, more power and more interior space. BMW's infamous iDrive is now available in the 3 Series, but is thankfully optional (packaged with a navigation system), and the rest of the interior is a model of precision design.

For now, only the sedan and wagon benefit from the complete makeover. The 2006 3 Series coupe and convertible remain unchanged but will likely be merged into a single convertible model with a retractable hardtop design for the 2008 model year. The new 3 Series sedan is again badged as a 325 or 330, although both now use a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder. The 325 is rated at 215 hp, while the 330's engine comes with a three-stage induction system and different exhaust and powertrain software that result in 255 hp. The optional Active Steering system features a variable ratio that turns the front wheels to a greater degree relative to steering wheel movement at low speeds (such as parking lots and tight corners), and even countersteers if the stability control system senses a slide.

The 3 Series is BMW's top seller in the U.S., and for good reason -- endowed with world-class suspension, steering and brake components, these cars have an ability to communicate with their drivers that is unmatched in the entry-level luxury class and, indeed, unmatched by most cars at any price. Lest you think this adroit handling comes at the expense of ride quality, rest assured that BMW still realizes the importance of comfortable cruising. Whether you choose the standard suspension or the optional sport-tuned setup, you'll be able to go about your weekday routine without feeling that you've sacrificed ride comfort for the sake of weekend thrills. Overall, the BMW 3 Series cars tend to cost more than the competition, but if you go easy on the options, we think you'll find that the price of admission is well worth it.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The BMW 3 Series lineup includes the 325i and 330i sedans, the 325xi all-wheel-drive sedan and wagon, the 330xi all-wheel-drive sedan, and coupe and convertible versions of the 325Ci and 330Ci. Because the sedan and wagon are all-new designs, there are slight variations between them and the two-door coupe and convertible in regard to standard and optional equipment. Standard features on 325 models include automatic climate control, one-touch power windows, a power moonroof, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, a CD player and keyless entry. The 330 model adds upgraded wheels, a sport suspension and a Logic 7 premium sound system. Various options include a DVD-based navigation system with iDrive, adaptive xenon headlights, parking sensors, active cruise control, leather seating and active steering. The optional Performance Package includes tighter suspension tuning, performance tires, a higher speed limiter and sport seats.

Powertrains and Performance

The 325 sedan and wagon models are powered by a 3.0-liter inline six that makes 215 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. The 330 sedans have a higher-performance version of the same engine that generates 255 hp and 220 lb-ft of torque. BMW 325Ci coupes and convertibles have a 2.5-liter inline six that makes 184 horsepower and 175 pound-feet of torque, while the 330Ci's 3.0-liter engine generates 225 hp and 214 lb-ft of torque. Most 3 Series models come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. The exceptions are the 325Ci models, which have a five-speed. A six-speed automatic is optional for the sedans and wagon; the coupe and convertible's have a five-speed automatic. BMW's Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) is also available on select models. The 3 Series is typically rear-drive, though models with an "x" designation are all-wheel drive.

Safety

Most BMW 3 Series models include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control, dynamic brake control, front-seat-mounted side airbags and head curtain airbags for the front and rear. The sedan's and wagon's stability control system integrates several brake-related features, such as wiping the pads in the rain (wet brakes don't stop too well) and snugging the pads to the rotors when the driver lifts off the throttle, which increases brake responsiveness. In IIHS tests, the 3 Series earned a "Good" rating (the best possible) for its protection of occupants in front-offset and side-impact crashes. The NHTSA awarded the vehicle four out of five stars for front-impact safety and five stars for side-impact safety.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside BMW 3 Series sedans, drivers will find a restrained show of luxury, wherein the emphasis is on driver comfort and involvement, hence the supportive seats and clean analog gauges. Materials are high in quality and build quality is exceptional; indeed, even the standard leatherette upholstery looks and feels better than you would expect.

Driving Impressions

The BMW 3 Series never fails to impress us. Its world-class suspension, steering and brakes provide hours of entertainment on twisty two-lane highways -- beyond simply feeling rock-solid when hustled around turns, this car communicates with the driver in a manner that inspires confidence no matter what kind of driving you're doing. And you don't have to give up a comfortable ride to get this kind of athleticism.

Read our BMW 330i Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

Talk About The 2006 3 Series

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 18
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs