24/05/2006 was my first review. Now with over 20,000 miles on the clock I thought it worth an update. I got 19,000 miles before the first oil service costing £140. Most of my original comments still stand, I do still love the car, a few little creaky rattles have developed in the dash which is annoying, but lets cut to the chase and talk run-flat tyres. Warm temperatures and new tyres and all seemed well if a bit firm, winter and 10,000 miles plus and it all falls apart. Tram lining, skipping on bumps round bends, harsher noisier ride, so different to the summer and the test drive experience. Also outside edge wear, pretty common with these tyres, scrapped the front tyres before 15,000 miles. Alignment and tracking OK. BMW customer services say no problem with the run-flat tyre technology, I must not keeping tyre pressures maintained, I know that I do. Standard tyres fitted 2nd January 2007 and an instant transformation, tram lining and skipping gone, ride better and still sporty. Very slight under damping in some conditions and a tiny bit less grip are the consequences, but overall much more involving and consistent to drive now. BMW need to wake up to the fact that these tyres do not perform consistently and that run-flat tyre supply unreliability leaves you ordering tyres days or weeks in advance of when you need them which is no good if you have a puncture and a 30-150 mile range to get replacement.
Up to 17000miles. No faults! 4300miles till 1st service.Rear tyres have abouut 2000miles left, fronts fine. Just averaged 40mpg on roofboxed 3000 mile euro trip at 82mph.Have just superchipped to 280 bhp. Fabulously fast and now averages 41.5mpg! save yourself thousands off a 335d and have the benefit of 6 speed manual too. Don't think the rear tyres will last long now. Best allround car in the world? definate 10 out of 10.
The new 3 Series Touring is a good car, but rather cramped and expensive.
It is certainly prettier in the estate version than the very dull saloon. The interior is mediocre. The seats gave me a sore back after 70 miles.
My car, a 325i with panoramic sunroof, suffered from dreadful noise with the roof open-surely BMW should have addressed this problem.
Fuel economy - mainly on holiday in the Highlands - averaged 22 mpg: ghastly for a small car.
It is poorly-equipped - should you not expect satellite navigation on a £30,000 car?
Boot space is not much better than many saloons.
My Edinburgh dealer's service department offers poor service - a concern given the reliability problems of BMW.
On the positive side, it has good but not great-handling, looks very pretty (in black metallic at least) and has a lovely smooth engine. The automatic gearbox is very good.
Overall, it's a disappointment - it's a good car which drives well, but which is expensive and unremarkable for the price. I was very glad to get back to my X5.
This is my first BMW and I have to say it has more then lived up to my expectations. I have now covered 10,000 miles in six months with not a single problem. I was still not sure on the looks of the car right up to the day I took delivery, but it grows on you the longer you live with it.
BMW's rear-wheel-drive is amazing - I can not believe that a family estate with non-sport suspension can handle better than many so-called sports cars.
The engine is lovely, and has much more power and refinement than the Pumpe-Duse diesel units found in Volkswagen and Audi cars. In terms of fuel economy, I have seen 55mpg on a trip to france, with an average of 44 mpg, but it could be better on urban runs (33mpg approx) but have been told the performance and mileage gets better around the 12,000 to 16,000 mile mark.
The six speed gearbox is very smooth and a joy to use, as is the steering, which gives plenty of feedback.
As for the rest of the car, build quality is every bit as good as my previous A4. Interior space is up on the A4 as is everything else (apart from styling) and the driving position is spot on. Leather sport seats are well worth having, as are the sports steering wheel and xenon lights.
To sum up, there is no way I would go back to a front-wheel-drive car. If you rate yourself as a driver rather than a motorist but have to chose a family car, it does not need to be boring. You can have sports car performance and handling and still be Mr or Mrs Sensible.
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