Other BMW 3-Series (2005 - 2013) models:

BMW 2009 3-Series M3

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In their own words

Best handling car I've owned in the dry, too lairy in wet weather. First class customer service as well. Buy an approved used - this car has the ability to bankrupt you quick if you get unlucky (throttle actuator, engine bearings both known issues). I was disappointed by the lack of torque; yes it sounds lovely and yes you have to work the engine to get the best out of it but it still isn't *that quick* despite what the figures may suggest, and it doesn't feel exciting to drive - the DCT worsens that. I've only had it 6 months and I'm bored of it. The ride is lovely, the interior is ok (not Audi standard but still nice), looks good and goes ridiculous speeds at the top end (that you can never use in the UK). On the downside the paint is way too soft (scuffs if you wipe off a bird dropping using quick detailer - seriously), the car hasn't been reliable (3 faults in 6 months), the iDrive interface is horrible (touchscreen BMW, seriously - entering a postcode by turning a click wheel is time consuming and distracting), voice control interface is poor, and the fact they make you pay for a snap in to use the car aerial for your phone is a rip off. DCT is uninvolving and in auto mode frequently selects the wrong gear which has nearly caused a few accidents. For someone who has never owned a real fast driver's car the M3 will no doubt excite and thrill, but it was an (expensive) disappointment for me and I'm swapping to the new Focus RS which, whilst badge snobs may snigger, is ultimately a much more rewarding (and cheaper) car to drive, with a better voice control and entertainment system than the BMW. Yes it's not all swanky looking and sophisticated but if I wanted a poser's car I'd have bought an S5.

How reliable do you find the car?

Washer jets blocked and gearbox fault within first 3 weeks. Software update fixed gearbox, washer jets common issue apparently. Manifold pressure sensor failed after 6 months. These also suffer actuator failure typically around 20k miles. Worrying for such an expensive vehicle.

Does the car do everything you expected it to do?

Came from a quick car wanting something equally quick but a little more refined. The BMW is too refined, power delivery isn't fierce enough and the setup process to get the drive you want is irritatingly fiddly. You can tell it's designed more for people who want to brag to their mates down the pub that they have a fast car rather than for someone who intends to drive it like one as it reverts to grandad settings every time you start the car (infuriating). Yes it has an M button (which exposes more settings you can't have by default) but my point is I shouldn't have to press it in the first place.
  • How they rated it

  • Reliability: 3 out of 5 3.0
  • Meets Expectations: 2 out of 5 2.0
  • Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 3.0
  • 400AndRising recommends this car

About their car

  • Fuel type Petrol
  • When purchased January 2016
  • Condition when bought Used
  • Current Mileage 21,000 miles
  • Average MPG 18 mpg