Used BMW 3 Series 2005 - 2012 review

Category: Executive car

Section: Advice for buyers

BMW 3 Series (05 - 12)
  • BMW 3 Series (05 - 12)
  • BMW 3 Series (05 - 12)
  • BMW 3 Series (05 - 12)
  • BMW 3 Series (05 - 12)
  • BMW 3 Series (05 - 12)
  • BMW 3 Series (05 - 12)
  • BMW 3 Series (05 - 12)
  • BMW 3 Series (05 - 12)
  • BMW 3 Series (05 - 12)
  • BMW 3 Series (05 - 12)

Advice for buyers

What should I look for in a used BMW 3 Series saloon?

One issue that plagued this generation of 3 Series all through its life was the rather firm ride on its run-flat tyres. It’s an issue that caused many owners to switch to conventional tyres, but that’s not a good plan, because there’s no space for a spare and you therefore have to deactivate the tyre pressure monitor. A better option is to swap for later-specification Bridgestone or Dunlop run-flat tyres, which had a more compliant sidewall.

Electrical issues are fairly common (hardly surprisingly as the 3 Series was becoming more complex at this time), so check that the slot-in key for the ignition goes in and out cleanly. Some owners would just yank the key out without pushing to release it first, damaging the ignition system.