Used 2009 BMW 3 Series Sedan Consumer Reviews - 64 Car Reviews | Edmunds

2009 BMW 3 Series Sedan Consumer Reviews

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Thinking of used 328xi? Read this one!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
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Exterior Design
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Reliability
By Paul M.
on

Vehicle

2009 BMW 3 Series Sedan 328i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)


Review

I wanted: stick-shift, black n'black, all-wheel drive, sharp-looking car. When you consider the options and the prices, the higher-mileage BMW was definitely the right combination of features for the right price...admittedly with quiet risks attached..? I read reviews, watched youtube videos, and kept my ears alert for advice from people with first-hand experience. I bought the car with about 95,000 miles from a rather 'out-of-the-way' (we'll call it) car lot. The combination of transmission, color, AWD, and year was very difficult to find - I would come back from test drives and someone else would be waiting. I ended up getting the car a state away (Ohio). I *assumed* I'd have to deal with the previous owner(s) not doing routine maintenance - and I assumed correctly. Before I get into what all happened and how I handled it, a short bit about me: electrical engineer with a life (so far) fixing my own cars. First issue was the radio. Decided on its own when to turn on or off...at first I thought the car was telling it to turn on and off, but after a far-to-lengthy analysis, I just replaced the radio (eBay, $300)...it has been fine ever since. A few months later, the car began one day to run as if the engine was missing a cylinder. I changed the spark plugs and all was well. Again a month or so later...changed all the coil packs. All good ever since (year+) (routine maintenance! did it myself; parts were about $200). Sometime between the plugs/coils and the next repair I'll talk about shortly was the passenger-side rear tail light - a row of LEDs went out. This caused the car to limit energy to the entire tail light, which made it look dim. $60 and two bolts and that was OK (apparently there may have been a recall; didn't bother). Also replaced the battery. It simply wouldn't hold a charge; $180 (big battery, did that myself too, routine maintenance!). Up until this point, I had no issues. The car is a joy to drive and those repairs weren't a huge deal to me, maybe because I am handy. The two profoundly irritating repairs were the blower motor for the heat/AC and the coolant pump. On one of the coldest days this winter (so far), I was out of town (Chicago) for a wedding. On my way home to Pittsburgh, the blower decided that it just didn't feel like turning on. It was something like 15-20*F. Fortunately, turning the air control to 'outside air' allowed the highway driving to keep me warm. When I got home, I pulled the blower motor out myself (a known issue, since then a recall has been issued), lubricated the motor shaft, and reinstalled it. All good so far. Once you get the hang of it, its not too bad of a job...maybe 1/2 hour if you have a new blower on-hand. Finally - the big one...the (electric) coolant pump. As an engineer, I understand the concept, but I think I would've kept a crucial engine component like this mechanical to prevent what happened...it died. On my birthday (4th of July), it proceeded to overheat (on one of the hottest days last year). This repair was something I was willing to do, however, the car was too low to the ground for me to efficiently do it (would've needed a lift). I broke down and spent the $1,000 and all was well...for a minute. Every once in awhile, the car informs me of a low coolant level...I assume a small leak somewhere (these cars have crap coolant systems, known fact)...so I will look into it when it isn't winter anymore. At the moment, it's fine. So - would I buy another one? YES. Shifts like a dream, rides like a dream, the AWD is fantastic in wet/snowy conditions. Gas mileage is OK (around 20mpg mixed conditions; I drive more aggressively, probably due to the stick-shift). For some reason, when pumping gas, the fuel pump clicks off before it's full. After a half tank, it takes a little while giving it fuel between clicks of the pump. Slightly annoying, but not the end of the world. Seat heaters are awesome in the winter. Engine is a fantastic mechanical masterpiece...so balanced it sounds like a sports bike revving-up. The controls and gauges are the usual beautiful red - easy on the eyes at night, everything is in a logical place and generally intuitive. The cup holders are irritating if your cup doesn't have a lid (and sometimes even if your drink is full and does have a lid), but whatever. Overall, if you do what you should do to a car and you diagnose problems properly and fix the easy ones, it hasn't been a bad car at all. It's a joy to drive, and I love that it's the one I walk up to in the parking lot...the thing is gorgeous...keep up the maintenance and have a little money aside when that coolant pump/blower motor goes bad. All-and-all I gave it a 4/5 across the board...dings for the radio, coolant pump, and blower motor. I can't comment on dealerships because I haven't gone to any (the hours are not conducive to my 9-5). It's exciting to drive and I love an exciting car!


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When is a BMW a FoRD?
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
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Build Quality
Reliability
By John Kain
on

Vehicle

2009 BMW 3 Series Sedan 328i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)


Review

When it's Fixed or Repaired Daily. The litany of problems with this "luxury" car dictates that you have to have access to a second car. Factor that into the cost of ownership. Things that never went wrong over the course of owning several Toyotas for hundreds of thousands of miles routinely crop up on this car. A true lemon. And of course the cost of repair fully justifies the BMW "Break My Wallet" sobriquet. The headlight switch fell out of the dashboard. Running lights cost almost $300 to replace. The worthless adaptive lighting broke and the estimate to repair and realign the headlights is thousand of $. The windshield gasket is cracking and has to be replaced. I've had the engine gasket replaced TWICE, each over $1,000. Windshield wipers cost $55 at the dealer - they're not available at auto repair stores. The engine oil and coolant fluid have to be topped off regularly. Oh, and the hood release doesn't work, so the car has to be taken to a mechanic for those simple maintenance tasks. The gas tank closure broke. And don't even get started on the run-flat tires. I order extras now because I know the winter pothole season will ruin one or two tires, and last year a rim, too. Buy this car to look at, and to show your neighbors that you can afford a "luxury" car, but don't buy it for reliable transportation. Unless you're married to an expert mechanic.


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Not a good used car
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Performance
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By Levi
on

Vehicle

2009 BMW 3 Series Sedan 328i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)


Review

Two years ago I bought my second BMW E90 mostly because my first one was so reliable and i wanted AWD. I bought a 2009 bmw 328i xdrive (sulev) with 120,000 miles on it. The car ran and drove great for about 4 months until it started to fall apart. I mostly drive only highway miles. First problem, happened while driving on the highway. The lines in the gas tank went out, I had no idea that this could happen!! $1700 for a new tank and labor. Second problem, three separate times I have had a run flat tire just go flat on the highway! $300 each, and you can not drive on these when they are flat!!. Third problem, the valve cover gasket started leaking a lot $400. Fourth problem, blower motor went out in the dead of winter, $250. Third and current problem, the car is currently in the shop because while driving down the highway a very loud grinding noise and an extreme wobble coming from transfer case or transmission, not sure yet what it is. its not going to be cheap im sure. On going problem, I have found that all sulev BMW's do is a loud lifter or lifters taping loudly. I love BMW's and my last one was great but after this one im probably done with them.


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Ignore the Bad Bimmer Reviews - A Lot To Enjoy
43 of 44 people found this review helpful
Performance
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Build Quality
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By D Needles
on

Vehicle

2009 BMW 3 Series Sedan 328i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)


Review

By the way, if you are going to buy the car, it's Bimmer. The other spelling is for motorcycles.

I've read the negative reviews. High maintenance costs, rock hard RFTs, suspension issues, blah, blah.....Here's my story.

Bought my 328xi black beauty with 34K for about half of the original cost. Have now owned it for 2 yrs. No major repair issues. I have a local BMW (not dealership) do most of my maintenance well below the dealer prices. I do the oil changes and plan to replace the front brakes next month. Most of what I learned about how to work on my Bimmer I got off YouTube. Trust me, you can do some of the basics or more if you care to.

RFTs? I want them. Won't see me changing a tire on the Interstate one late night. And I had a flat with one, drove it 50 miles going 50 MPH to a Costco, no damage to the rim. I replaced the OEMs with Bridgestone DriveGuard RFTs and they have been great. Much better than the OEMs. Got 25K miles on them and plenty of tread left.

Suspension issues? Yeah, it does on occasion "boom" when I hit a med sized pothole, but no damage to the car. I figure you given up something for the superior handling and overall driving experience. I see one coming, I go around it. No problem.

There is nothing like driving a well-cared for BMW, black-on-black, on a bright summer day. It's artwork in motion.


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Major Issues
17 of 20 people found this review helpful
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By Disappointed
on

Vehicle

2009 BMW 3 Series Sedan 328i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)


Review

Bought a 2009 328xi with certified warranty. Under warranty the engine fan needing replacement, the rear light assembly and the air conditioning unit. My warranty expired in March 2015. It is now September 2015 and I took my car in for an oil change and front brakes and they are now telling me my front differential needs repaired and I have a cracked valve cover. Mind you my car just turned 60k.
These are all major repairs for a car that is basically 5 years old and very low miles. I am so beside myself that 6 mos after the warranty I have more large ticket items at the tune of $3k. to repair?
I will probably never buy another BMW as I have vehicles over 15 years old at home that have never had to have major work or major repair bills. I took the car down to see what the trade in value is and its only $12k after paying $32k for it 5 years ago. Wow!


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