2003 BMW 3 Series Consumer Review: Honest Down To Earth Review

2003 BMW 3 Series - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

448 Total Reviews

325xi Sedan (2.5L 6-cyl. AWD 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
21 of 24 people found this review helpful
Honest Down To Earth Review
By c_macleod on


2003 BMW 3 Series 325xi AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)


Let me be the first to say buying a BMW out of warranty is a risk, that being said if done properly it's one of the best deals out there. If you have the ability to do your own work, the upkeep isn't that bad at all. I rebuilt the entire front end suspension for $600 (chances are you will have to do this as well, it's a consequence of the suspension design) where a mechanic would have charged over 2k. The 325xi is a slug to be honest, it's heavy and not the best on gas. Oddly though, I have great fun with the car and enjoy being in it very much. Great in snow, very safe, sharp looking, and if you have a level head easy to work on and find parts for without paying dealer prices.

Best Features

BMW is very clever with the little things they add that are easy to over look. For example, the driver's door will not lock if it's open whether you're trying to push the lock down manually, or with the remote. When closed, the door locks perfectly. Ever been locked out of your car? it sucks, BMW solved this problem. Between the large trunk, full size spare, ski-bag, built in roof rack mounting points, and spacious interior, this car is a jack of all trades and can tackle most of whatever is thrown at it. But by far the best feature is the AWD. With assisted break and torque transfer to different wheels depending on the traction read by the car, this thing is unstoppable in poor conditions.

Worst Features

Not the best mileage as mentioned, definitely an area for improvement on BMW's end, however it is comparable to AWD competitor cars of its time. Suspension design provides VERY smooth ride, however after 30-40k, the car will need new control arms, bushings, and maybe tierods and strut hats. However this is definitely a DIY job and when doing it, use a Meyle or Lemforder kit, both these companies are BMW part suppliers and you'll get the oem part, it just isn't stamped with the BMW logo, meaning it's MUCH cheaper. This car cannot be run on a stingy budget, when something goes wrong you NEED to fix it. If this is an issue go buy a Honda. This is a higher end car and needs to be treated as such
Recommend (21) (3)

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