2004 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 Estimate
$1,423 - $3,405

Used 3 Series for Sale
None for sale nearby. Instead:
See all for sale

cash graphic with confetti

Get More For Your Trade-In

2004 BMW 3 Series appraisal values can range from $754 - $2,836.
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.

2004 Highlights

A six-speed SMG (Sequential Manual Gearbox) transmission is now optional on select 3 Series models, while a five-speed Steptronic automatic is now offered with the 330i Performance Package. Rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights and hands-free wireless cell phone capability are now standard features on the sedan and wagon. There are new alloy wheel designs for the 325i, 325xi and 330xi Sport Package. All 330i sedans get a revised grille -- a new black grille instead of silver, with a lower grille combination of body color and black. All 3 Series coupes and convertibles receive a revised front fascia, plus new front and rear bumper contours, Adaptive headlamps and taillights and new designs for both the standard and optional wheels. Interior changes are limited to a revised climate control panel. Finally, Sirius Satellite Radio is now available as an accessory on all 3 Series models.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2004 BMW 3 Series.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Still going strong with 250K miles
C B,04/10/2016
325i Rwd 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)
Great car to own and drive. Yes, there will be repairs after 100k miles, but I got past 200K before having to replace the clutch. Most other repairs have been to structural parts - engine is just unbelievably superb. I drive in snow and mud, with pets, groceries, gear, etc. Gas mileage has been a solid combined 25 mpg for the life of the car. If you can find a used one, you could probably get a decade out of it and love every minute of driving it.
I'm trying and I can't find a flaw
330Ci Rwd 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)
I"m one of those guys. You know, the type that's incredibly picky about his cars and finds a few things that could be done better in every car he's owned. I've had a lot of great cars over the years but this is the BEST. I really can't think of anything I would change. It drives great, is incredibly comfortable, looks amazing, has great options and features, plenty of power, incredible handling and it's just flat out FUN. This is the first review i've ever given that hasn't been hyper critical.
RWD, 6spd and a backseat
Justin S.,08/14/2016
330Ci Rwd 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 6M)
My 2nd e46. I love them. Great steering feel and handling. Aside from a few weak links these cars are the total package. The perfect blend of luxury and performance. If you're not capable of working on it yourself you will need a good mechanic you trust to not charge you double just because of a name. A lot of the parts don't cost any more than other vehicles. Just keep it maintained. Mileage isn't great but that all depends on the weight of your right foot. I can manage 28 but usually average 20-21mpg. The car is very driver oriented. Not a lot of frills for this day and age but not lacking either. The proportions feel just right. The rear seats are cramped but this is a compact car, not a full size sedan. Tires go fast with the sport package because of the inability to rotate due to staggered sizes. The grip is worth it. Large capable brakes hold up well under heavy use. The engine is asleep before 3k but after that it's hard not to go to the limiter. Sport seats are great, good amount of bolstering and lumbar support. Overall, great looking cars that if maintained well will last forever. Great driver's car though this isn't a miata, it's still a blast to drive.
Best wagon I've ever owned - Hands down
325xi AWD 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M)
Purchased my wagon used from a local dealer after selling my Subaru Outback. I was turned off initially by the stiff steering, but now I am hooked with the "driving experience" this car gives - including the seemingly stiff steering. Being in Colorado, I experience many different driving conditions ranging from hot 100 degree dry days down to subzero and totally ice covered roads. This wagon has exceeded my expectations, and outperforms any of my previous Subaru's AWD systems. This car inspires confidence in any driving condition, and the attention to detail and level of engineering is outstanding.


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
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2004 BMW 3 Series

Used 2004 BMW 3 Series Overview

The Used 2004 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), 325Ci Rwd 2dr Coupe (2.5L 6cyl 5M), 330Ci Rwd 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M), 330Ci Rwd 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 6M), 325Ci Rwd 2dr Convertible (2.5L 6cyl 5M), 330xi AWD 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M), 330i Rwd 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M), 325xi AWD 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M), and 325i Rwd 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M). Pre-owned BMW 3 Series models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 184 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2004 BMW 3 Series comes with rear wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual. The Used 2004 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 2004 BMW 3 Series?

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 2004 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) 2004 BMW 3 Series for sale near. 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 2004 BMW 3 Series.

Can't find a used 2004 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 24 listings starting at $15,719.

Find a used BMW for sale - 8 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $12,213.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW 3 Series for sale - 11 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $10,107.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW for sale - 3 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $11,406.

Should I lease or buy a 2004 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