I've been a member of the BMWCCA for more than ten years now. This is my 7th three series. M package, rear wheel drive manual 6speed, Power Kit so 320 HP. Noticed and felt engine noise since 68k miles. thought it might be the flywheel and clutch. Replaced at $3,000. Not the issue Dealership did a compression test, said it needs a new engine. $18,000! BMW will cover 50% because it's out of warranty. I provided all oil change docs. BMW wanted to see oil changes at least every 15k. I averaged every 7,500 miles. Never auto crossed or tracked. Commuter car, 42 year old father of four. Not laying down patches or beating on the car. My take, don't buy a turbo model. Too much stress on the engine components. Never own one of these out of warranty, you're asking for trouble. Fuel pump was replaced under warranty (common issue), water pump was on my dime. Hardly reliable, worst car I've ever owned. Beast on the highway? at 4.3 0-60 yes. Sad to say it, I'm a Bimmer guy through and through but that's it for me. BMW corporate said they wouldn't make a repair coverage decision until they knew for sure what the problem was. I wanted the dealership to drop the oil pan to definitively diagnose the issue so I could tell BMW NA what was wrong. After the compression test all of a sudden the dealership clammed up like it was a cover up? The dealership would not go any further. They told the manufacturer that it needed a new engine without ever dropping the oil pan and taking a peek. Didn't make sense. I still want to have an independent garage take a look so maybe I can get some video or pics and post them. Forget about BMW customer service. I got someone on the line outsourced from India. If you must buy a BMW again never own one out of warranty! Unless your buying a fixer upper for a couple of grand. I traded it in on a new Silverado burying the negative equity of the Bimmer into the truck payment. Tough pill to swollow Good luck!
I have a 2011 335xi, I was so in love with this car when I got it but since the warranty has expired, I am falling out of love. My left headlight is drooping, my steering wheel is squeaking, and my fuel mileage is dropping-14mpg in the city! And the car is warm, I think the temp sensor or something is going bad. My car died on me in the middle of a busy road when the water pump died, then 2 months later it started to smoke-resulting from 2 engine gasket seals that needed to be replaced. I wish I had purchased an extended warranty, these repairs were over $2500 dollars.
As a first time owner of a BMW, the car has great performance and handling. If you are looking for a car that has best in class handling this car is for you. I test drove the competition, Lexus, Mercedes, Infinity and Audi nothing compares to the BMW. It has a quiet interior and no rattles or other annoying noises. If you have kids which I do the back seats have enough room and comfort for a day trip. I selected Premium Package, cold weather package and Xenon adaptive headlights. I passed on the Navigation system, it is not worth the extra 2k in my opinion. I think there are plenty of navigation choices with today's smartphones.
Replaced my 2010 BMW 5 Series. Was concerned about the smaller vehicle. The 5 Series is a great car, the 3 series is an amazing driver's car. Had several 3 series through the 90s all fun to drive. BMW still finds a way to cut costs; small and annoying things. Turn signal in 2010 5 series had a three blink feature with one-touch, not in the 3, just a feature I became accustom to. No folding rear seat, apparently an option. No rear camera; strange miss from a company that claims active and passive safety. Al-in-all just a blast to drive. Comfortable, gas mileage not too good. Been getting 24MPG highway.
The 3-series varies immensely according to which model you get and extras you purchase. I have a 335i xdrive with sports package that includes sports bucket seats, steptronic shifting paddles on the steering wheel, thicker steering wheel, tightened suspension. Other features are garage door opener, shadowline, sunroof, drop down rear seats, xenon head lights. First impressions from styling is always up to to driver but I feel the clean look has a mature look to it. It has the a classy look with a monster of an engine that you would never know by the look. Interior the car has clean lines with quality materials. The wood accent is nice. The feel of the dash is good and gives of no glare which is great for driving. The layout of the cluster does take a little to get use to. The radio is sometimes confused for the heat and Ac. The directionals get a little to get use to as well as the cruise. Radio is good quality not great but the interaction with my cell phone works well. Comfort is bar none to any other. The sports seat hug you, in turns and are very comfortable on long drives. Like every car today you get a hundred different positions you can choose. The sports steering wheel is fat and so easy to hold. When sitting in the drivers seat you feel very comfortable. Rear seats are ample for two adults, tight with three. I run with two car seats and plenty of room. The trunk is deceivingly large but I suggest the pull down rear seats for runs to the hardware store. Very happy with the space in such a tight sports sedan. Engine and handling, there's a reason they say it's the ultimate driving experience. The inline six is smooth and powerful. It's smooth with the six gear transmission when you are driving other and want to take it easy. If you want to get on it, it has enough power to scare you and break a few laws. When in sports mode the gears are held a little longer and you can control shifting with the paddle shifters. I seldomly use the shifters while in sports mode but while on the highway in regular mode I will shift down to pass or change lanes. Once you get off the gas the car automatically shifts back into a higher gear. As far as handling the car is smooth on highways a little bumpy in the city due to the tightened suspension but if you get it into the mountains it is solid at high speeds around the corners. At times you'll surprise yourself how fast you take the corners with while feeling in total control. Reliability is a crap shoot, I've heard horror stories but the service by BMW is excellent. I drive an hour to Austin just to use them because they are worth the drive. Luckily I've had nothing but a few misfires. The car is 5 years old and turns heads were ever I go. It's tight, fast and comfortable. Every time I get into my car I smile and every time I get out I smile. My past cars have been Jeep Wrangler, VW golf, Nissan 300z, Hyndai Santa Fe, Infiniti FX35, Infiniti G35, BMW 328i and Acura MDX this is by far the best car I've ever owned maybe the best I've driven next to a Porsche 911. It's also 60k less than the Porsche and can fit my girls in the back. My wife feels like the car is too powerful and she doesn't feel comfortable driving it. She prefers the 328i which is more tame and is peppy if you want it. With the 335i the power is always there so you need to be aware when driving.