Used BMW 3-Series Compact (2001 - 2004) Safety & Reliability

Review by Parkers on
Compact is the entry-level baby-Beemer. All the badge-kudos and fancy engineering, in a smaller and funkier package.

4 out of 5



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  • Adult Occupant Rating

    4 out of 5
  • Pedestrian Test Rating

    1 out of 5

Boasts six airbags as standard and a full compliment of electronic safety measures. Puts up a very good fight in the face of thieves who might otherwise find it a very tempting target.

4.5 out of 5


Excellent reliability in the main - occasional niggles (and very occasional serious engine problems) but unlikely to be anything that won't be quickly sorted by the dealer.

Car check problem points


Nose can pick up stone chips easily.


No major faults, but suspension issues have been reported. Needs full BMW service history.


Scratched or kerbed alloy wheels; accident damage; wiper motor; central locking mechanism.