Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

BMW 3-series E46 (1998 - 2005)

5
reviewed by Duncan Gafney on 18 August 2020
5
reviewed by Anonymous on 10 November 2018
5
reviewed by jim edgar on 18 July 2018
5
reviewed by Jonathan Pickard on 13 July 2018
4
reviewed by Anonymous on 7 April 2018
5
reviewed by Anthony Cope on 3 November 2017
4
reviewed by Jonathan Wells on 29 November 2016
5
reviewed by gleadam on 3 October 2016
5
reviewed by De Sisti on 21 February 2016
3
reviewed by pbirl on 7 February 2015
4
reviewed by enfield007 on 28 August 2014
1
reviewed by richalbin on 5 June 2014
5
reviewed by jm1 on 9 December 2013
4
reviewed by smartweasel on 29 October 2013
4
reviewed by AJPM on 6 June 2013
5
reviewed by Will Green on 20 April 2013
5

BMW 330D touring sport (204bhp)

reviewed by Tom S-S on 21 January 2013
5
Overall rating
5
How it drives
5
Fuel economy
5
Running costs
5
Cost of maintenance and repairs
5
Experience at the garage or specialist
5
How practical it is
5
How you rate the manufacturer
5
Overall reliability

Excellent long distance cruiser and the best E46 built by far

I spent a long time looking for the perfect 3 series touring and had been looking for a 320d sport touring with sat nav bluetooth etc which had been privately owned and had had the warranty extended beyond the third year indicating a discerning driver.

My 330d came up for sale in December 2007 and ticked all the boxes above. It had covered 92,000 miles and other than a couple of alternator bushes and three glow plugs had been extremely reliable transport for its previous owner a sales rep who travelled between the Midlands and Holland twice a month.

On purchase it needed the front control arm bushes doing and the guibo rubber bush between the propshaft and gearbox. These I replaced at about 100,000 miles.

The first year of ownership saw pretty reliable service with a couple of things being replaced under warranty a part in the aircon went wrong and the cd changer.

In early 2009 the front shocks went wrong and were replaced by an independent along with a faulty wheel speed sensor. The only time I have visited an independent and I do regret it!!

Since then I have only visited Stratstone BMW and it is a testament to how long the car has lasted.

I have averaged well over 20,000 miles between services the last was at 154,700 and the next will fall at just about bang on 180,000 miles - I do a lot of motorway mileage and do not thrash her but it is pretty exceptional. Also now having been "run in" she is using only about 1 litre of oil between services.

April 2010 (130,000 miles) saw the biggest service following the failure of the crankshaft pulley that drives the air con etc it is basically rubber and it had disintegrated - thankfully due to the design it allowed me to drive the car as the power steering and alternator still ran but it was not a cheap fix and really is a "service item". I also had to replace the control arm bushes for the third time - (twice under warranty). I had got rid of the 18 inch wheels prior to this third failure and touch wood since then they have worn a lot better. This service came to near to £1,800 and they did quote for well over another £1,500 of work which I opted not to do including new shocks (again) I argued that the leaking was from when they had gone wrong the year before and they have not been mentioned since. The other large item they wanted to do was the rear brake pipes up over the tank and rear subframe. I opted to sort these myself and spent an afternoon on my back rubbing them down with emery paper and rust killing them and then waxoyling them - no mention of them since but I expect one day they will need doing!!

I read up about the breather for the turbo and had it replaced with the vortex type it had the bog roll one in.

Since the last service which was just routine the only problem I have had was for two sensor failures bringing the tally since buying the car to four (I think). The last one was a pressure sensor in the brake master system that confused the traction control and ABS and was quite easily sorted.

April 2011 after a trip to the Alps and the Netherlands I returned to the UK with a severely warped brake disc and a occasionally sticking caliper (fine if I didn't use the brakes too much!). This proved an expensive fix new discs and a caliper and pads. I fear it is going again and will be having words with Stratstone!!

Brewing up to this service I think I might need a glow plug or two doing, the thermostat changing and the EGR valve decoking (again - I've done it myself once before) and possibly a power steering pipe changing - there's a slight weep.

The only other thing I think the car might be suffering from is a crack to exhaust manifold which is made from pressed steel and is widely reported to be a failure - will be getting them to check this as it could well be an explanation for the reduced performance and increased soot levels and noiser tick over and slight dieselly smell on start up.

I do have a bet with a mate that she'll make 250,000 - she's still on the original clutch, gearbox, turbo, radiator and injectors so there are one or two things to keep an eye on but I'm confident she will make it!

Overall I am very happy with it and it is getting more economical - 38mpg over the last 50,000 miles and regularly getting over 40mpg at the moment.



The 2012 MOT was uneventful

This year's MOT

Report as offensive

3
reviewed by pieeater on 28 December 2012
4
reviewed by maddicksman on 28 October 2012
2
reviewed by 320touring on 17 July 2012
2
reviewed by 320touring on 17 July 2012
2
reviewed by ploddit on 28 May 2012
3
reviewed by RupertRocks on 17 October 2011
3
reviewed by RupertRocks on 17 October 2011
4
reviewed by 01884* on 22 March 2011
5
reviewed by fady on 18 August 2010

Write your review

About this car

Top speed-
0-60-
Power-

Just reviewed...

5
submitted by Anonymous
4
submitted by Surrey59
5
submitted by Anonymous