Owners' Review

Choose a different review

BMW 3-Series Coupe 318 Ci 2d (03) (2003/53)

BMW 3-Series Coupe 318 Ci 2d (03) (2003/53) - Owner Review

The boot is very generous, I managed to fit an Ikea Armchair, some flat packed shelving units and bags with the rear seats folded down on one trip. Cabin space is also very good and 4 adults can sit fairly comfortably without too much issue at the back.
5

Want to know everything there is to know about this car? Then click on a link to see other car buying advice and help including car reviewscar valuations and cars for sale.

Review submitted by
Mahbub Khan on

BMW 3-Series Coupe 318 Ci 2d (03) (2003/53)

Summary

5 out of 5

What does this car say about you?
I am a big fan of a nice coupe, the E46 Sport, to me, is a timeless shape and even today looks fresh and modern even though the styling dates back to the 99-03 era. I think a car like this says that whoever is driving it appreciates a good balance between comfort and sporty handling in a very elegant looking car.

What do your friends / family / neighbours think of the car?
I have kept the car in better than showroom condition. That sounds like a bizarre thing to say and some may call it OCD but almost every book and cranny has been seen to to make sure dirt or corrosion doesn't exist during the weekly wash. My friends and family and new passengers are passing comment on the condition all the time. Even garage mechanics compliment the condition each time it's in for an MOT or service. My neighbours have long since stopped asking if I'm about to sell due to spending so long cleaning it on a Sunday!

Would you buy this car again and why?
I would have no hesitation about buying another E46 coupe again.In fact I am currently looking at the M3 version to upgrade to. The chassis is so nicely balanced that you feel what the car is doing between road and tyre and the steering wheel gives nice weghty feedback. Put good tyres on there and you're in for a treat. My only wish was more power now hence the M3 upgrade path.

What are you likely to buy next?
E46 M3, ideally a convertible to take in that raspy exhaust note at all opportunities.

Buying experience

4 out of 5

Type of dealer you bought from?
Independent

Did you buy this car new?
Used

What price did you pay?
£10,995

When did you buy the car?
June 2009

Did you get a good deal and why?
For the age, condition and mileage the price at the time seemed very reasonable especially as the car only had 1 other owner.

Is there any special reason why you bought this car?
A comfortable yet sporty handling coupe for motorway journeys.

What was the dealer like?
The dealer was a small local outfit in the area, they were well presented with a nice showroom although a small management office but it felt homely and staff were friendly.

Driving it

5 out of 5

What's it like to drive?
My car came specced in Sport trim which meant nicely bolstered sports seats and a nice chunky steering wheel as well as the wider tyres and lower suspension. These all helped give a very sporting feel to the car especially when driven on a winding country road. The E46 has an exceptional chassis set-up and will reward the driver. I found it a joy to drive through Hampshire A roads.

What's it like to park?
Rear parking sensors come as standard which helps at times as the coupe is quite long, but over-all visibility when parking is generally very good and the wing mirrors offer a good view of where the rear quarters are going. I have yet to curb an alloy parking it I will say this much!

Living with it

4 out of 5

Have you had any problems with the car?
Over the course of 5 years only the most common E46 faults have occurred such as the coilpack failing on 2 pistons, rear M-Tech suspension coils cracking, trailing arm bushes and ball joints needing replacing every few years to keep the ride quality and handling tidy. Mechanically the engine has been superb. A few maintenance bits to note, the timing chain and aux belt needed adjusting in the 5th year of ownership due to slack, nothing major and easily done during an MOT.

What's most practical about your car?
The boot is very generous, I managed to fit an Ikea Armchair, some flat packed shelving units and bags with the rear seats folded down on one trip. Cabin space is also very good and 4 adults can sit fairly comfortably without too much issue at the back.

Favourite gadget, option or accessory?
The Bi-Xenon headlights are really good, while not self directing based on steering angle, they still illuminate far with a wall of light that is crisp and clear on the darkest of roads. The optional shot shift weighted gear knob improves the manual gearbox feel too with shorter throws and a weighty feel.

Get an Insurance Quote

We've gathered the biggest companies on the market in one place to save you money.

Insurance group: 29