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 All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 255 hp @ 6600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/26 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 (38 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


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.



10 of 10 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.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Read before you purchase

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

Pros: Performance, drive experience Cons: Reliability, cost to own. Either lease this car or make sure you can afford to be late to work - to drop it off at the repair shop a few times a year. Read the common issues on the web from most BMW owners. - Water Pump, Shift Display unit (sport mode), engine coils, cylinder head (known issue), bushings, differential, tensioner pulley and on and on. Issues so common, I sent BMW corp the web links and they paid for the repairs. Car is not worth the trouble. Due diligence and experience has dissolved any brand affinity I have for BMW. Good luck with the techs -if the computer doesnt show them what's wrong they have to rely on trial and error



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

It's great, when it works

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

My husband had this car built in Germany to U.S. specs. It is his pride and joy, & has lived up to his expectations as far as the driving experience. We live in PA and the car performs great on narrow, winding roads in all conditions - though the suspension is WAY too tight for Pittsburgh potholes. Unfortunately it is constantly in the shop, & repairs are not cheap. My husband travels a lot & has been stranded multiple times, and been towed multiple times. He was stranded for two weeks when the steering lock went, but usually it is the tires - one FELL OFF about a month ago on the freeway. My advice - don't try this without a 100K warranty. And don't expect it to reliably get you anywhere




Defective key

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

I have a 2006 330xi with 24,000 miles. Paid about $400 for Comfort Access. Engine should start with push button with key in my pocket. Key stopped working. Clearly defective. Won’t work with key in dashboard slot or with new battery. Dealer wants new key for $480. No wear and tear involved. Customer relations won’t replace defective key at no charge. This is clearly technology gone mad.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Ultimate drive

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

I purchased a fully loaded 330xi with the sport package in 2006. It is a blast to drive! I've topped out at 130mph and it felt like normal highway speed...quiet and smooth. High speed turns and winding roads are a blast. This car loves to race and is extremely comfortable at all speeds. Yes, you will feel the road, that's why it's a sports car...that's why it is fun! If you want a softer ride, do not get the sport package. It is made to be driven and I hit 100mph+ whenever I can on an open stretch of highway. Four years of trouble free ownership thus far. Only problem was the electronic steering wheel lock which was fixed quickly under warranty. BMW is the best car I've ever owned.



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

Read more about the 2006 BMW 3 Series

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs