2003 BMW 3 Series Review

Pros & Cons

  • Luxurious, powerful, exceptional road manners, available all-wheel drive for sedan and wagon.
  • Pricey for its market segment, limited rear-seat space and cargo capacity.
List Price Range
$3,500 - $5,995

Used 3 Series for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

2003 BMW 3 Series appraisal values can range from $641 - $2,459.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

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

2003 Highlights

For 2003, BMW will finally offer a DVD-based navigation system -- meaning that you won't have to give up an in-dash CD player if you opt for the nav system. Other changes include a standard front armrest for all 325 models, as well as a rear center headrest for all sedans and wagons. Additionally, all wagons will come with a moonroof. In terms of options, the Premium Package for all 325s now includes automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers, and the Sport Package for the 330xi includes double-spoke alloy wheels and run-flat tires.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2003 BMW 3 Series.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

A4 = 325xi ?!
beckernj,10/26/2002
325xi AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)
I was interested in a compact all-wheel drive sports sedan and test drove both Audi A4s (1.8 and 3.0) and the BMW 325xi. I do not understand how people can say these cars are equivalent. There is no comparison! I may have been biased by the enthusiasm of the BMW salesperson as compared to the Audi salesperson for their respective vehicles, but in my opinion the BMW blew the Audi away. I thought the BMW handled better, accelerated more smoothly, was more solidly constructed, and overall was more fun to drive. Even after driving the 3.0 A4 I still preferred the 325xi.
Wanted a Bimmah, Never looking Back
liquidarthur2@yahoo.com,01/17/2016
325i Rwd 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)
I bought my 2003 BMW 325I in 2013. At ten years old and 140,000 miles I knew it was a little bit of a risk, but you can pick these up for the same price you'd pay for a Civic in similar condition. BMW or Civic? Come on, no brainer. Fortunately I have a lot of tools and am very mechanically inclined, so I can do all of my own work. I've had to change the water pump, cooling hoses, window motors, and a few little things. With a good internet search and a little ingenuity none of it is a big deal at all. If you plan to pay a dealership for this kind of little stuff, forget it. It's well worth a little work here and there to have a car with a buttery smooth straight 6, and absolutely impeccable handling. Three years later I still enjoy driving it. Sometimes I go to the store in the middle of the night and get my lady some ice cream, really just because I want to drive somewhere. No more Hondayotas in my driveway. They're laughable after driving what is truly the ultimate driving machine. Mine just hit 170k with no current issues at all. I'll get 200+ smiling the whole way. I will warn, however, if you're buying a used one, the maintenance and care that has gone into it previously is of the utmost importance! Check it, double check it, do your research and then check it again!
You get what to pay for
M Perez,08/22/2015
325i Rwd 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)
Let's face it, if you buy a +10 years old car it will need some attention. BMW's are known for being very good machines as long as you take good care of them, they are not cheap to maintain, but (as the title says) you get what you pay for. If you expect to drive a boat like this with a low budget, do yourself a favor, go buy a Toyota. On the other way, If you are handy enough to make some DIY it's the perfect car for you, if you don't have the time/ skills/ place but still want to drive one, find a reputable independent shop that specializes in BMW instead of taking it to a stealership and you'll save some money. It's not a car you can take to Pep Boy's and have it fixed for cheap; you'll end up paying more and losing time. It's worth pay some extra and get it fixed right the first time. Being that said it's a great car, it has 50/50 weight distribution, a traction control that actually works, great handling, acceleration, brakes and a powerful and simple engine. The electronics have their days, sometimes a few things tend to fail (remember, it's a +10 years old car) but nothing that'll leave you on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. The car itself has a level of comfort and security that most base and mid line cars don't have nowadays (heated seats, one touch in the 4 windows, automatic windshield wipers and headlights, rear ventilated discs, lecture lights on the front and back, remote window open and closing). I could sell mine now and buy a new Civic, but I'd be losing comfort, security and the pleasure of driving. You can buy one for cheap, but you are advised they are not cheap to keep running.
15 years old, still good as new and a great drive!
bogmailer,04/24/2013
330Ci Rwd 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
I have owned 4 of these 3 series convertibles since 1989 as despite test driving and buying other brands (porsche/Merc/Jag) I keep going back to the 3 series convertible with the straight 6 motor. This car is always a joy to drive, fun and fast and with a tremendous engine sound. My current car a tiptronic 3 ltr is now 15 years old and still runs like new, is cheap to service and at speed is very nimble unlike modern heavy cars. I keep saying to myself I should trade the car but then I get back in the 3, drop the roof and immediatley start smiling. BMW got it right with this car, it will remain a classic. 2018. I love it, amazing ownership experience 15 years on.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2003 BMW 3 Series

Used 2003 BMW 3 Series Overview

The Used 2003 BMW 3 Series is offered in the following submodels: 3 Series Sedan, 3 Series Coupe, 3 Series Convertible, 3 Series Wagon. Available styles include 325i Rwd 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M), 325xi AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M), 330i Rwd 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M), 330Ci Rwd 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 5M), 325Ci Rwd 2dr Convertible (2.5L 6cyl 5M), 330xi AWD 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M), 330Ci Rwd 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 5M), 325Ci Rwd 2dr Coupe (2.5L 6cyl 5M), 325xi AWD 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M), 330i Rwd 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M), 325i Rwd 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M), and 330xi AWD 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M). Pre-owned BMW 3 Series models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine or a 3.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 225 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2003 BMW 3 Series comes with rear wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual. The Used 2003 BMW 3 Series comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2003 BMW 3 Series?

Price comparisons for Used 2003 BMW 3 Series trim styles:

  • The Used 2003 BMW 3 Series 325xi is priced between $3,500 and$5,995 with odometer readings between 110109 and201955 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2003 BMW 3 Serieses are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2003 BMW 3 Series for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2003 3 Serieses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $3,500 and mileage as low as 110109 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2003 BMW 3 Series.

Can't find a used 2003 BMW 3 Seriess you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used BMW 3 Series for sale - 6 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $20,116.

Find a used BMW for sale - 3 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $17,389.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW 3 Series for sale - 1 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $23,848.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW for sale - 5 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $13,577.

Should I lease or buy a 2003 BMW 3 Series?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out BMW lease specials
Check out BMW 3 Series lease specials