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.
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 bought my 2000 coupe with very low mileage (33k) from the dealer. It previously had one owner. I love the drive, the comfort, and the feel of a BMW. But, beware! In one year I've been back to the dealer for a failed alternator, rotors, brakes, tires, a/c failure, moldings are loose etc. I've spent close to 3k in one year just on upkeep and I've heard it only gets worse. If you really want a BMW, just lease it so everything is covered, otherwise, you will be incurring lots of debt. If you doubt, ask mechanics at different body shops and they will share their experiences.
I bought this new and I only have 31K on the car now. I have the 5 speed and it is fun to drive, brakes well, handles excellent with the sport package. Gas Mileage is quite good at 25 city/hwy mix and 31 hwy. It still looks nice too. The problem is reliability. Some problems fixed under warranty but others I had to pay out of pocket. Also strange failure of the intake cam sensor which causes the car to stall at a stop. That was $300. Now the interior trim around the passenger door is falling downward. I guess I have to glue it back or something. None of the problems I had were atypical or surprising to the mechanics. If you buy one, expect extra maintenance cost as part of the deal
Good power, acceleration, braking, handling, solid feeling.
Needs better electrical system and engineering of the accessories. I'm switching to an infiniti or lexus. I've had japanese cars before and only standard routine maintenance was needed. The german engineering is more myth than reality.