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BMW 3-Series Compact 316ti SE 3d (03) (2003/03)

BMW 3-Series Compact 316ti SE 3d (03) (2003/03) - Owner Review

It's a big car, but still a compact/hatchback/coupe, so its not like driving a boat. Its loaded with gadgets and still has five seats and has parking sensors.

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Review submitted by
Joshua Roles on

BMW 3-Series Compact (01-04)


5 out of 5

What does this car say about you?
Being 20, it probably says that I look like a drug dealer or daddys bought it for me.I bought it myself and I feel its a reflection of my aspirations. Its mature and classy and conveys my small success - yeah its shallow, but so what?! I'd rather have my nine year old Bimmer than a new Punto/corsa/fiesta.

What do your friends / family / neighbours think of the car?
They all love it, the night i brought it home, my neighbour congratulated me and said I had good taste. All my friends think its amazing and of course my mum and dad are impressed with it.

Would you buy this car again and why?
Yes, I did fall for it when I bought it. I am totally under the BMW spell. I would probably get a 318ti SE or 320d SE instead of the 316ti SE for abit more power.

What are you likely to buy next?
I'll wait until the 2012 BMW 1series 3 door has passed its first or second birthday and then I'll start looking at second hand/nearly new similar spec models - and also once I have a well paid job!

Buying experience

5 out of 5

Type of dealer you bought from?

Did you buy this car new?

What price did you pay?

When did you buy the car?
January 2012

Did you get a good deal and why?
Yes, the car was up for just under £4000, Full servie history, 54,000 miles, and I have more options including leather seats than on some other SE's. I traded in my Corsa and ended up paying £2650 in total.

Is there any special reason why you bought this car?
I've always liked the BMW Compact as my aunt had one when they were brand new & I wanted more luxury, refinement and space as I previously had a Vauxhall Corsa SXI.

What was the dealer like?
Very friendly, and trusting. He handed me the keys, knowing I was a 20 year old lad and said "go enjoy yourself, just dont take it on the motorways".

Driving it

4 out of 5

What's it like to drive?
It's a cruising machine. It's my first BMW and its enough. It's smooth and capable of motorway driving. Its not overly fast however, but I wanted comfort, luxury and refinement so the 115bhp engine is perfect for me. It's easy to drive, and feels heavy but I feel reassured that its tough and solid. First gear can feel clunky, but thats common in E46's and some MINI's. The gear ratios are well proportioned, but does lack the extra boost on the motorway. But If I wanted a flying machine, I'd have bought an M3!

What's it like to park?
Easy! the rear parking sensors make parking hassle free. and the electric mirrors allow the alloys to be free of any marks!

Living with it

5 out of 5

Have you had any problems with the car?
The central locking went, something to do with a GM5 unit or something? but apparently its common on E45s, and the dealer helped me towards the cost of a new system from BMW.

What's most practical about your car?
It's a big car, but still a compact/hatchback/coupe, so its not like driving a boat. Its loaded with gadgets and still has five seats and has parking sensors.

Favourite gadget, option or accessory?
Cruise control is great for motorway stints, rear parking sensors keep my bumpers as they should, and thanks to the lovely person who ordered this car, I have leather seats and a wicked original Dolby surround system in it. oh, the six disc CD changer is also handy, along with the centre armrest and loads of storage space. This car is fantastic.

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