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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

320d SE Auto

reviewed by Jonathan Pickard on 13 July 2018
5
Overall rating
5
How it drives
5
Fuel economy
5
Running costs
4
Cost of maintenance and repairs
5
Experience at the garage or specialist
4
How practical it is
5
How you rate the manufacturer
5
Overall reliability

Best car I’ve ever owned

I have owned lots of cars over 20+ years of driving (from Renaults - Skoda - Fords - Vauxhalls - Peugeot - Hondas to Hyundais, Land Rovers and even VW/Audis, Porsche and Mercedes) and have to say that this BMW has completely blown me away.

I’ll be honest, before purchasing this car I was worried. I wasn’t really a BMW fan. But (thanks to being persuaded by a good friend who likes his BMs) I emptied my wallet and got the keys to my first (and not last) BMW.

I covered huge distances in the years I owned this car (taking the car from 35.000 to 237.000 before selling it). It was a taxi as part of my fleet of cars in my family run taxi business.

So then, what went wrong in that time you may ask? Well not much. The first issue I remember was replacing the shockers at around 180.000 miles, then at 205.000 I got the springs replaced and finally at 230.000 miles I had a new inter cooler and crank shaft pully put on - not bad for such a high mileage car.

Other than that all that was done to the car was regular servicing at my local BMW Specialist and new light bulbs, battery and windscreen and fluids.

In the years I had the car it achieved an average of 52.1 mpg - excellent for a car from 2003 and many newer cars close family/friends and my wife and kids have owned - whether petrol or diesel have struggled to come anywhere close to that.

The driving experience is excellent steering is nicely weighted as youd expect from a BMW and all the controls just perfect.
The interior (although not the most interesting) is beautifully built, with everything still feeling solid at 200k+ miles and all the controls are nicely positioned (dont need to take your eyes off the road to change something). Seats are extremely comfortable, not quite Mercedes comfort in all honesty but damn near close and worth it for the superior driving position - love heated seats as well.

My only criticism of this car is no standard folding rear seats. And this means it isn’t the most practical car ever.

Since this e46 I have owned lots of other BMWs, all of which have been faultless. This 2003 320d made me go from not really liking BMW to making me love them.

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4
reviewed by Anonymous on 7 April 2018
5
reviewed by Anthony Cope on 3 November 2017
4
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5
reviewed by gleadam on 3 October 2016
5
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3
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4
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1
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5
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4
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4
reviewed by AJPM on 6 June 2013
5
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5
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3
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4
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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

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