Author Topic: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011  (Read 11310 times)

Offline Autos_Editor

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Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« on: March 24, 2011, 04:05:11 am »


Though more expensive to maintain than mainstream cars, ''if you love to drive, the extra cost will be worth it,' says Chris Chase.

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Offline Gardiner Westbound

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2011, 06:14:10 am »
German cars are wonderful driving machines with handsome cabins, but you have to be very brave, rich or stupid to own one. Buggy electronics, miserable reliability and parts and labor prices halfway to the moon mean lots of time in the repair garage and gobs of money for non-warranty maintenance and fixing. For rational buyers one is way too many.

BMWs come equipped with run-flat tires, no spare tire and jack. Run-flats are short lived, 16,000 kilometers is about all you can expect, and two to five times more costly than standard tires which cannot be substituted. They are hard riding, unrepairable, and must be replaced in pairs. A punctured run-flat will shred after 80 kilometers often ruining the expensive special rim. Few tire stores stock them meaning ripoff car dealer prices, and you could be stranded far from help looking for somebody to deal with them. Winter tires are generally unavailable. Find a car from an alternate manufacturer who isn't foisting this miserly scheme on buyers.
"When you invent a better mousetrap the mice tend to get smarter." - Willie Gingrich

Offline tortoise

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011, 08:01:17 am »
Did BMW steal your first born?


My in-law owns 2 BMW's.  And 05 330 xi and a X3 2.5.  The X3 has over 80,000 miles on it and has been reasonably reliable.  In the states CPO (which is what he buys) cars come with free maintenance and he claims it's one of the cheapest car he's owned. 

There's definitely something special to the way the 3-series drives.

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Offline Winterpeg

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2011, 08:12:26 am »
German cars are wonderful driving machines with handsome cabins, but you have to be very brave, rich or stupid to own one. Buggy electronics, miserable reliability and parts and labor prices halfway to the moon mean lots of time in the repair garage and gobs of money for non-warranty maintenance and fixing. For rational buyers one is way too many.

BMWs come equipped with run-flat tires, no spare tire and jack. Run-flats are short lived, 16,000 kilometers is about all you can expect, and two to five times more costly than standard tires which cannot be substituted. They are hard riding, unrepairable, and must be replaced in pairs. A punctured run-flat will shred after 80 kilometers often ruining the expensive special rim. Few tire stores stock them meaning ripoff car dealer prices, and you could be stranded far from help looking for somebody to deal with them. Winter tires are generally unavailable. Find a car from an alternate manufacturer who isn't foisting this miserly scheme on buyers.







Right on, right on, right on.    :iagree:


Have Car......Will Travel

Offline Winterpeg

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2011, 08:26:55 am »
Did BMW steal your first born?


My in-law owns 2 BMW's.  And 05 330 xi and a X3 2.5.  The X3 has over 80,000 miles on it and has been reasonably reliable.  In the states CPO (which is what he buys) cars come with free maintenance and he claims it's one of the cheapest car he's owned. 

There's definitely something special to the way the 3-series drives.






"Reasonably" reliable ?!?!........that's like saying my Echo sedan is "reasonably" sporty to drive....................ah which....which it is most definitly not.   ;)
And yes BMW did steal........Fluffy my poor pussycat....meOW!!!!     ;)



Offline tpl

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 08:35:45 am »
When my 2003 3 series was   3 yrs old the dealer wanted it for potential CPO and therefore to sell me a 2006.

I didn't go for it.    Run flat tires.  No engine dipstick and imho not as good looking as the E46.   AND the "trade in" was not good as a dark green 330xi with tan leather  was not the black on black or black on silver which sold well and.... I had a manual transmission... a definite nono.


I just don't get run flat tires in Canada.  In Europe with a BMW dealer every 200 km or so then maybe.   It was ( is?) possible to buy a 5-series mini spare that fitted the E9x cars and a jacking kit from the 5-er.   Don't know whether that is still available.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 08:38:36 am by tpl »
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Offline AP

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 08:42:57 am »
German cars are wonderful driving machines with handsome cabins, but you have to be very brave, rich or stupid to own one. Buggy electronics, miserable reliability and parts and labor prices halfway to the moon mean lots of time in the repair garage and gobs of money for non-warranty maintenance and fixing. For rational buyers one is way too many.

BMWs come equipped with run-flat tires, no spare tire and jack. Run-flats are short lived, 16,000 kilometers is about all you can expect, and two to five times more costly than standard tires which cannot be substituted. They are hard riding, unrepairable, and must be replaced in pairs. A punctured run-flat will shred after 80 kilometers often ruining the expensive special rim. Few tire stores stock them meaning ripoff car dealer prices, and you could be stranded far from help looking for somebody to deal with them. Winter tires are generally unavailable. Find a car from an alternate manufacturer who isn't foisting this miserly scheme on buyers.

Well put.

I understand that BMWs do not even come with dipsticks for manually checking the oil.  Get the sense that BMW's business model is to increasingly gouge its uber image conscious consumer base for overpriced service?  I say no thanks. 

Offline OliverD

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2011, 08:44:40 am »
German cars are wonderful driving machines with handsome cabins, but you have to be very brave, rich or stupid to own one. Buggy electronics, miserable reliability and parts and labor prices halfway to the moon mean lots of time in the repair garage and gobs of money for non-warranty maintenance and fixing. For rational buyers one is way too many.

That's an absurd generalization. If you're buying a BMW out of warranty, the key is to find a good independent mechanic. That alone can save you a lot of money. Preventative maintenance is key as well. Furthermore, the E46 models are extremely reliable and very cheap to maintain. Certain E90 models are similar.

Some people are willing to pay more and deal with the inconvenience of having a less reliable car if it is car they really want and will enjoy. I'd rather pay $20k for an '07 328i than $25k for a '11 Mazda 3. $5k can go a long way in repairs and maintenance.

Quote
BMWs come equipped with run-flat tires, no spare tire and jack. Run-flats are short lived, 16,000 kilometers is about all you can expect, and two to five times more costly than standard tires which cannot be substituted. They are hard riding, unrepairable, and must be replaced in pairs. A punctured run-flat will shred after 80 kilometers often ruining the expensive special rim. Few tire stores stock them meaning ripoff car dealer prices, and you could be stranded far from help looking for somebody to deal with them. Winter tires are generally unavailable. Find a car from an alternate manufacturer who isn't foisting this miserly scheme on buyers.

16,000 kms? Yeah right. Maybe in some circumstances, but from what I've read most people can expect 35-50k.


Offline lebowski

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2011, 08:56:11 am »
Nice review. Like the article says, yeah, repairs and maintenance will cost more than average, but obviously you have to pay to play. Moreover, from lurking on various BMW forums, i get the impression the normally aspirated E90 3-series with MT has been relatively problem-free since it came out. It all depends on what you look for: forget about the turbo 335i for reliability -  if you stick to the tried-and true inline-6, a manual transmission, and ditch the run-flats, you'll likely have many years of trouble-free and enjoyable motoring. A few years down the road, I'm hoping I'll be able to upgrade to a 3-series MT wagon (preferably soccer-mom driven ;D)

Offline TopGun

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2011, 09:01:54 am »
I've test driven a 3 series on 3 separate occasions over 10 years - I always left the dealership wondering what all the fuss was about.  The recent BMW 3 series comparison drive event did little to change my perception.

IMO of course, none of the 3s I drove had the visceral appeal of the Miata, Mini, RX-8 where I left the dealership and said "I'm going to get me one of those".  Maybe it's the format...none of the cars I actually bought were 4 door sedans.

While the CPO M3 I drove last year had a great engine, I found the shifter only average...and the price not at all reflective of the driving fun I could find elsewhere for much less.

Offline MJMontreal

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2011, 09:08:53 am »
I don't see the point in owning such a car when speed limits on the autoroute are so low in Canada... you rarely use the potential of the motor. Why bother?

Offline lebowski

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2011, 09:20:41 am »
I've test driven a 3 series on 3 separate occasions over 10 years - I always left the dealership wondering what all the fuss was about.  The recent BMW 3 series comparison drive event did little to change my perception.

IMO of course, none of the 3s I drove had the visceral appeal of the Miata, Mini, RX-8 where I left the dealership and said "I'm going to get me one of those".  Maybe it's the format...none of the cars I actually bought were 4 door sedans.

While the CPO M3 I drove last year had a great engine, I found the shifter only average...and the price not at all reflective of the driving fun I could find elsewhere for much less.

If it was "visceral appeal" you were after, it's no surprise you found the 3-series underwhelming. It's a practical sedan that offers great driving feel, not a sports car.

Offline aaronk

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2011, 10:08:00 am »
I don't see the point in owning such a car when speed limits on the autoroute are so low in Canada... you rarely use the potential of the motor. Why bother?

It's not all about power, the 3-series is famous for it's balance and 50-50 weight distribution that makes corners a joy. The 323 and 325 models don't have excessive engines, so for those who want the control and luxury without absolute performance would likely go for these models. That's the nice thing about the 3-series, you really can get them as spicy as you want, all the way up to the wickedly fast M3. Available in both sedan and wagon, RWD or AWD and in auto or manual, there is a 3-series for everyone.

I'd love to look into a 2006-2007 as a used car, but I just can't justify the purchase and maintenance cost when I could get a newer VW Golf/GTI for much cheaper. BMW owners are scoffing right about now, but for those who can't afford the outright cost of a Bimmer but want some of that Germanic driving feel, VW's are an accessible alternative to at least some of what make BMW's the 'ultimate driving machine'.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 10:10:03 am by aaronk »

Offline lebowski

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2011, 10:34:38 am »
I don't see the point in owning such a car when speed limits on the autoroute are so low in Canada... you rarely use the potential of the motor. Why bother?

It's not all about power, the 3-series is famous for it's balance and 50-50 weight distribution that makes corners a joy. The 323 and 325 models don't have excessive engines, so for those who want the control and luxury without absolute performance would likely go for these models. That's the nice thing about the 3-series, you really can get them as spicy as you want, all the way up to the wickedly fast M3. Available in both sedan and wagon, RWD or AWD and in auto or manual, there is a 3-series for everyone.

I'd love to look into a 2006-2007 as a used car, but I just can't justify the purchase and maintenance cost when I could get a newer VW Golf/GTI for much cheaper. BMW owners are scoffing right about now, but for those who can't afford the outright cost of a Bimmer but want some of that Germanic driving feel, VW's are an accessible alternative to at least some of what make BMW's the 'ultimate driving machine'.

I drove a DSG-equipped GTI a few years ago and thought it was great. A lot of fun and a lot of car for the money, but VW reliability (or lack thereof) and pricey maintenance would kill the value proposition for me, at least if I were buying used.

Offline ovr50

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2011, 10:42:22 am »
One thing you have to admit - BMWs bring out strong feelings - both positive and negative.

Since I have owned 14 of them, and have the 15th on order, according to GWestbound I must be rich, brave or stupid....since I know I am not rich, and don't think I'm stupid, I must be very brave.

I am not going to respond to all the BMW-hate on here as ppl believe what they want to (even if they have never owned one, and in some cases never even driven one). I love the feel of them, no other make gives me that driving feel.

Carry on, folks.
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Offline Solstice2006

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2011, 10:46:25 am »
"Moreover, from lurking on various BMW forums, i get the impression the normally aspirated E90 3-series with MT has been relatively problem-free since it came out. It all depends on what you look for: forget about the turbo 335i for reliability -  if you stick to the tried-and true inline-6, a manual transmission, and ditch the run-flats, you'll likely have many years of trouble-free and enjoyable motoring"

So if the 323/325 series a fairly reliable, can the run-flats be exchanged with normal performance tires?

Have been considering a 3 series for sometime, not sure which generation to consider, the 2006-2011, or the one before that.  Only considering non-turbocharged models.

Thanks, I considered the review honest and fair.



Offline chrischasescars

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2011, 11:32:45 am »
"Moreover, from lurking on various BMW forums, i get the impression the normally aspirated E90 3-series with MT has been relatively problem-free since it came out. It all depends on what you look for: forget about the turbo 335i for reliability -  if you stick to the tried-and true inline-6, a manual transmission, and ditch the run-flats, you'll likely have many years of trouble-free and enjoyable motoring"

So if the 323/325 series a fairly reliable, can the run-flats be exchanged with normal performance tires?

Have been considering a 3 series for sometime, not sure which generation to consider, the 2006-2011, or the one before that.  Only considering non-turbocharged models.

Thanks, I considered the review honest and fair.

Have a browse of the forums I link to at the bottom of the article. Many owners ditch the run-flats for traditional tires. Run-flats have very stiff sidewalls, which makes for a hard ride and, from what I've read, though I'm no tire expert, there tends to be a higher chance of wheel damage from potholes etc. with run-flats. I do believe non-run-flats can be installed on the stock wheels, but again, don't take my word for it.
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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2011, 11:38:27 am »


.

Some people are willing to pay more and deal with the inconvenience of having a less reliable car if it is car they really want and will enjoy. I'd rather pay $20k for an '07 328i than $25k for a '11 Mazda 3. $5k can go a long way in repairs and maintenance.
[/quote]

$5k would cover one tune up and two oil changes, right ?
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Offline TopGun

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2011, 11:41:18 am »
.....
I do believe non-run-flats can be installed on the stock wheels, but again, don't take my word for it.

They can on the Mini, even though a service advisor at Budds once told me that wasn't possible.

Offline slalom

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: BMW 3 Series, 2006-2011
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2011, 11:44:47 am »
.....
I do believe non-run-flats can be installed on the stock wheels, but again, don't take my word for it.

They can on the Mini, even though a service advisor at Budds once told me that wasn't possible.

yes they can be... don't believe anything the dealer tells you (especially Budds)  ;D