Used 2001 BMW 3 Series Wagon

2001 BMW 3 Series
List price range

Pros

  • Luxurious, powerful, exceptional road manners, available all-wheel drive for sedan and wagon.

Cons

  • Pricey for their market segment, limited cargo capacity.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

If you've got the bucks, this is unequivocally the best sedan in the entry-luxury category.

vehicle overview

In typical BMW fashion, the 3 Series lineup is being introduced in stages. The first models to change were the sedans, followed by the coupes, the convertible, and the wagon. This allows BMW to maintain customer interest in their best-selling platform over the course of several years.

Sedan buyers can choose from an upgraded 2.5-liter inline six (models with this powerplant will now use the numerical designation of 325) that now makes 184 horsepower, or a new-for-2001 3.0-liter inline six (330 models). The latter engine, which debuted in the X5 3.0i, replaces the 2.8-liter engine across BMW's entire product line. Bumping horsepower and torque from the former engine's 193 and 206, respectively, to 225 and 214 in the 3.0-liter adds some noticeable punch to the 3 Series and helps keep it ahead of rivals like the Audi A4 and new Lexus IS 300.

Riding on the same platform, the 3 Series sedans, coupes and convertible receive a standard five-speed manual transmission, a sport-tuned suspension, and ventilated front and rear disc brakes. Two versions of the coupe are available: the 325Ci, with the aforementioned 2.5-liter inline six, and the 330Ci with the more powerful 3.0-liter engine, larger brakes and standard 17-inch wheels. The more powerful 330 coupe reaches 60 from zero in just 6.4 seconds and features a broad torque band. Both engines meet low-emission vehicle (LEV) standards. A five-speed Steptronic automanual transmission is available for those who don't want to shift their own gears.

Another new option for 2001 is all-wheel drive. Derived from the all-wheel-drive system found in the X5, "xi" models split 38 percent of the engine's power to the front wheels and 62 percent to the rear. The AWD package also includes a 0.7-inch increase in ride height and is available on both 325 and 330 sedans as well as the 325 wagon.

If you opt for the 325Ci convertible, you'll have to lower the top manually unless you pop the extra cash for the power top, but 330Ci consumers get this perk standard. All convertibles come with a glass rear window and rollover protection. Wagon buyers will appreciate the touring models standard roof rack and rear window wiper, but, as with the sedan, don't expect to carry full-sized adults in the backseat for long periods of time.

Safety equipment on all 3 Series models includes All-Season Traction (AST) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), along with dual front airbags, door-mounted side airbags and BMW's patented Head Protection System (HPS). New for 2001 is Dynamic Brake Control, which reinforces the driver's effort during emergency braking. Rear side airbags and xenon headlights remain optional.

With the arrival of all-wheel drive and more powerful inline six cylinders, only one 3 Series model still offers superior performance; the all-new M3.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 BMW 3 Series.

This car is like a needy but beautiful girlfriend
Colin, 9/1/2015
Seriously. This car needs attention. Do not buy it if you are not willing to give it attention. I'm not sure if I can make that any clearer. I purchased this car as a graduation present to myself with money that I had saved up working throughout high school when I graduated in 2011. My dad and I are both car nerds. I wanted something that was sporty and had a manual transmission and wasn't your typical Mustang etc. I settled on this car after finding a 2001 Sedan with the manual with ~63k on it. I will admit that the first ~20k miles were somewhat rough. We probably spent an additional $2-3k catching up on some maintenance that the previous owner had neglected to do, and the dreaded Check Engine light did come on more than I would have liked. Honestly, the vast majority of those repairs were things like oxygen sensors where we could've just fixed it ourselves and have been done with it. This car really isn't terribly hard to work on. I am no mechanic, but I've fixed quite a few things on this car, and it's saved me a ton of money. If you don't feel comfortable fixing it yourself find a good independent shop in your area. The dealer will screw you out the butt when it comes to repair costs. I will say that the car has never left me stranded, and that's not something you can say about a 2001 Mercedes. Trust me. Like I said earlier. The car needs attention. Make sure to change its fluids and keep a watch out for weird noises, smells, and drivetrain peculiarities (read driveability issues). Doing this will eliminate over half of the possible repair scenarios people have described in these reviews. I'm quite positive that the majority of those leaving negative reviews bought an older BMW expecting it to be just as great on maintenance as a Honda. It is not a Honda; however, if you take care of this car, it will take care of you. Over the last 40k miles or so the only money I have put into this car is consumables (oil, tires, spark plugs, etc), an ignition coil ($75), power steering hoses (~$250), and a dirty injector. I would also like to point out that I would get the manual if I were looking to purchase another one of these, as there are a lot of complaints related to the automatic. The stick is way more fun, it makes the car quicker to 60 (by a full second!), and it's pretty bulletproof. Nuff said. Now to the part about this girlfriend being beautiful, and I'm not just talking about this car's good looks. This car is THE BEST car when it comes to driving. Not even a modern BMW rivals the steering feel and handling these old E46's have. With the manual transmission this car is sublime. The 330i is comfortable, it's powerful, it handles, and it's relatively quiet. It's not a drag car, but it is amazingly well balanced and fun to drive. Relatively good gas mileage too. In short, this car is so much fun. Sure, the interior plastics do have a tendency to be brittle after 15 years of sitting in the sun. Sure, parts are more expensive than parts for a Civic. And sure, there are cheaper cars to buy. What there aren't are better driving cars. I've had mine for four years and 60k miles, and the only car I would dream of getting rid of it for is an M3.
It's a beast with feminan figure
Baryalai Arsala, 10/27/2015
If you know how to fix it, buy it; mechanics charge a lot.
2001 Xi Wagon
ARP, 5/2/2010
I just passed 245,000 miles and am still using the original clutch, AC compressor, starter, window motors, engine computers and most other parts. With proper maintenance it has been a great car. I average about $300 per month in maintenance but keep it in perfect condition which is far cheaper than buying another new car. At 150,000 the entire suspension was replaced, new brakes and tires. It was like a new car. Still uses no oil, changed every 10K.
Worth Every Dime
MotoMook, 5/31/2006
Having put 6-figures on both Hondas and Acuras, I was a "reluctant adopter" of the blue propeller. After my first 160,000 miles I cannot say enough about the fabled BMW experience. Not a rattle, timeless looks (IMHO) and the standard suspension splits the difference between firm and comfy brilliantly. The 6- banger is the smoothest ever and the "mere" 175 hp feels like a lot more. Durable? I hit a cow at 60 mph and drove my car home UNINJURED without ANY leaky fluids ($8000 damage). I swear by the 3 platform...
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Features & Specs

MPG
17 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
184 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
18 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
184 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2001 BMW 3 Series Wagon features & specs
More about the 2001 BMW 3 Series
Used 2001 BMW 3 Series Wagon Overview

The Used 2001 BMW 3 Series Wagon is offered in the following styles: 325xi AWD 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M), and 325i Rwd 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M).

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