In automatic mode, it shifts like some robot is working the clutch for you. The sport wagons add space and versatility and the only way we could tell we weren't driving a sedan was to glance into the rear view mirror; it's taut. M3 models offer a Sequential Manual Gearbox that you'll either love or hate. The M3 is the best high-performance car on the market that isn't a total exotic. When the car is unlocked, the rear hatch can be opened by touching the electric release above the license plate; or just the rear glass can be opened by pressing a button under the rear wiper.
Subtle changes to the design of the 3 Series sedans and sport wagons for 2002 freshened their appearance with redesigned front fascias, front and rear bumpers, grilles, headlamps, tail lamps, hoods, and fenders. Run-flat tires are an option on 330 models with an upgraded Tire Pressure Monitor for 2003. The optional bi-xenon lights include low and high beams; the outer lamps provide high-intensity discharge illumination on low and high beams, while the inner lamps augment the high beams with halogen lighting. Sounded awful when we started it and thought we would still continue and we drove about a block if that and turned around. Window controls are located on the center console, requiring a glance down to open or close a windows. Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
Came from Muskegon all excited and was disappointed when we got there and took for a ride. They seemed like decent people. Sedans add a center rear head restraint as standard equipment. The convertible, well, do you have to ask? A titanium finish is used around the instrument panel, console, and doors. Each of them is dynamically outstanding, a highly refined machine that corners, accelerates, and stops swiftly.
All-wheel drive offers winter capability to a car not noted for that and is equipped with a more sophisticated Dynamic Stability Control system. The trunk is small, and the trunk opening is even smaller. Both top out at an electronically limited 128 mph. The rear windows in the Coupe are power operated, but it's almost an affectation, because they only open by flaring out a few inches at the back, as if to let stale air out, not fresh air in. Steptronic can be useful and entertaining. If price is an issue, then don't hesitate to choose the 325i.
Available steering wheel audio controls work well and add convenience. Also optional are 18-inch wheels and tires. The convertible offers little in the way of trunk space. The flip down armrest, standard for 2003, is a bit in the way when shifting and unattractive shallow cup holders in the center console seem like an afterthought. Their blend of luxury and sports and their high levels of quality makes living with them joyful as well.
Introduced for model year 1999, the sedan was the first of this latest generation of 3 Series cars; it shares its styling and most of its body work with the sport wagon. The 10-way power seats that come with the optional Sport Package are superb, adding more side bolstering for winding roads, and slide-out thigh support. Small selection to buy from, but the cars they do have seen to be in great shape and fair priced. The 325i sedan is a terrific car and you may never miss the power of the 330i. The roofline is long and gracefully integrated into the short rear deck.
The back seat in the sedans is roomy enough for two adults during a night on the town, but it's not as roomy as some of the other cars in its class. The 3 Series cars are not class leaders when it comes to moving cargo, either. Automatic climate control and a microfilter ventilation system are standard. Auto-leveling of the bi-xenon lamps is included. All are based on the same chassis and all ride on the same 107.
Similar to the theme set by the new 7 Series, the headlamps now tilt up at the trailing edges of the wraparounds rather than tilting down as they have traditionally. Rear side-impact airbags are optional. The 3 Series cars are superb. Genuine myrtle wood inserts are optional. Two engines are available, both inline six-cylinder engines. As the 3 Series nomenclature indicates, 325 models get a 2. The stick has a great feel and it responds like a manual with similar or better performance.
Bi-xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps offer much better visibility on stormy nights, but sometimes annoy other drivers. Audio and speed controls on the steering wheel work well and add convenience. The shifter uses longer throws than in a sports car, but it's a precise movement befitting a world-class sports sedan. If rear cabin space is a top priority, you can find more for your money elsewhere. If driving satisfaction is top priority, one of the 3 Series models should top your shopping list.