I've owned 7 BMW's, 3-E46s and have only learned recently that all E46s had a Class Action law suit for a defective frame build. I just bought my 323ci 6 months ago & after an inspection was told my frame is cracked and in need of repair. BMW initially told me they weren't going to offer any assistance until I mentioned litigation and now they are "determining" what they'll do if anything beyond what I was told thus far. I bought this car because I know the 3-series very well and have come to depend on BMW's brand but NEVER would've bought the car, without a detailed frame inspection at least, had I known about this immense problem. The Repair is about DOUBLE what the car is worth.
Style, build, reliability (except for frame care), driving experience.
Better Customer Care & Disclosure about the problem to any prospective buyers.
The Frame issue is a known issue at this point although there's little on the internet about it unless you know what to look for. All VINs should be associated with a frame warning which should be reflected on Carfaxs etc.
I am coming up on 11 years (145K miles) with this vehicle. I am still impressed every time I get in (shared with the wife). This car is fun to drive, is spirited enough and gets nearly 30 MPG around town. Never have had any reliability issues (still has the original plugs and clutch). I still like the way it looks and I'll drive it until ...
Love the car. This car has way too many repairs. Transmission problems 5000, windows 350 cooling system 1600 sensors 300+ cracked head 4000 and on and on. This car is so unreliable? The reviews are either great car or terrible car. What is their problem? They just can't make the car 100% ??
I originally owned this car. With Sport Package. I gave it Michelin Pilot sport tires. Do oil change every 7k miles and had the engine opened up to seal a leak, the repair man said it is darn clean engine at 130k miles now. Learn to fix and replace some parts yourself and the car is reliably solid.
The cars loves high RPM. At 5rpm, it feels hungry for more.
We all have our priorities and I like to spend my money on cars. You won't find another car which has this level of luxury & handling combined. The resale value is low which is why people like me can afford it. M52 engines have one big problem, around 100k kms you will need to replace all the parts used by the cooling system. Otherwise you'll be making lots of trips over the next year or 10k kms. If you love BMWs' combination of luxury & handling then you wouldn't mind spending money on cars.
Great car to drive fast & hard. Standard Ci springs are hard but they handle potholes good. What I love the most is the sound of the high revving M52 engine and how it's made to accelerate fast at high rpm & speed.
When cornering fast the front outside corner hops up & down. The interior has lots of squeaks around the bottom of door or the back. Road & tyre noise is louder than expected, would try better tyres. Not enough torque at low end ie 0kph to 50kph or under 3000rpm.