The 330i is a harmonious blend of sportiness and luxury, one of the best all-around packages available. Power, agility, and excellent dynamic control make it fun to drive, while a quiet cabin, well-contoured front seats, and a composed ride contribute to a comfortable driving experience.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
NA
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
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2015
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2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags standard, available in rear from 2000. Head protection air bags standard from 2000. ESC standard from 2001.
Road Test
The 330i is a harmonious blend of sportiness and luxury, one of the best all-around packages available. Power, agility, and excellent dynamic control make it fun to drive, while a quiet cabin, well-contoured front seats, and a composed ride contribute to a comfortable driving experience.
Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
convertible
coupe
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 5-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 6 (170 hp)
  • 2.8-liter 6 (193 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2000 BMW 3 Series owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

"Front end ball joints were worn and had to replace. Could not do an alignment with it and was tearing up the front tires"

Kent W., NC (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"they went bad. both sides in a couple months"

Larry C., OR (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i Unsure)

"needed new bushings"

Anonymous, CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"Lower control arms needed to be replaced. Bushings needed to be replaced along with them"

Anonymous, WA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i Unsure)

"The control arm bushings failed. We replaced them ourselves - it was not very difficult"

Anonymous, HI (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci Unsure)
Power steering leaks

"Power steering pump failed and had to be replaced"

Patrick N., WI (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"Rear passenger side shock was worn after only 50K miles, was very disappointing for such a car"

Kent W., NC (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"The 328 was bottoming out on bumps...mostly due to age"

Anonymous, TX (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"Replaced all shocks, struts. Rear springs fractured, required replacement"

Anonymous, OH (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"Had to replace rear shocks"

Anonymous, FL (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"Had to replace rear struts at only 50K miles, though car was 14 years old and garaged"

Anonymous, NC (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci 2.5-L 6 Cyl)
Springs or torsion bars

"Rear springs broke no apparent reason. Wife's car, used in town only and no heavy hauling. also top quit working broken line"

Sharon E., IL (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i Unsure)

"I replaced all the springs , because of alignment problems"

Anonymous, VT (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Replaced control arm bracket & bushing"

J O., CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

"Because of a short in the system, we were unable to reset the clock"

Anonymous, FL (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci 2.5-L 6 Cyl)
Gauges

"oil engine light"

Henri S., CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"Because of a short in the wiring, the oil warning light kept coming on although there was no problem with the oil"

Anonymous, FL (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"LED light has burned out on the passenger side has burned out which cost #1,300 to repair on the the drivers side last year"

Garrett R., DC (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i Unsure)

"the tail light goes on and off due to a glitch somewhere in the wiring that we can not find! have replaced socket, bulbs, etc.... checked wiring"

Anonymous, NY (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i Unsure)

"Due to the age and mileage of the car, I think many of the electrical contacts have corroded within wire harnesses for the brake lights, back up lights and interior lighting. Brake lights will often give a false dash-indicator reading showing that they've failed when they actually have not. Conversely, they have failed without the dashboard indication. They are quite difficult to trouble-shoot and remedy"

Pete O., CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)
Interior lights

"Certain lights, for example in the front passenger footwell, and warning lights in the dash do not work part of the time. The BMW dealer estimate to repair (replace) an electronic module to cure this was $1,000, so I have elected to not make this re"

Anonymous, FL (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"Intermittently does not recognize unlock/lock signal"

Pete O., CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"After a couple of weeks away, I returned and keyless entry would not work. I tried to unlock the door with the manual key and that did not work either. So I had to take a different car. Next day, I tried keyless entry and it worked"

Anonymous, NC (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"Often doors do not open on first try. Infrequently all the windows rolled down on their own"

Jack S., CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)
Warning lights

"Various warning lights come on intermittently"

Greg O., TN (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"Major Engine problem, resulting in overheating. Transmission light coming on. DSC light always on"

Anonymous, FL (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

"A/C stopped cooling and I only mention it because the cost to fix was high"

Anonymous, CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i Unsure)

"compressor failed"

Anonymous, TX (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i Unsure)
Automatic climate control

"The climate control system has been experiencing progressive failure. The fault is electronic in nature rather than mechanical. This complaint is made despite the age / miles b/c several known defects are reported in this generation of 3 series"

Carole Z., MI (2000 BMW 3 Series 328Ci 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"Final stage resistor failure and burning of adjacent wiring"

Pete O., CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"there are TWO fans that cool the engine and provide heat/AC. One went last summer, one this winter. Both are expensive to replace. But the car IS 14 years old.. stuff wears out"

Anonymous, NY (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i Unsure)
Evaporator

"Evaporator developed a leak. BMW dealer wants $2500 to replace, I did not get it repaired"

Anonymous, TN (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci 2.5-L 6 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

"The refrigerant leaked again this year. Leaked Last year but I didn't get it fixed after the refill emptied. Last fixed leak about five years ago"

Anonymous, NJ (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i Unsure)

"Due to living in the deep south, we use our a/c almost 10 months of the year so the coolant is used up. This was the 2nd time in 2 yrs it needed refreshed"

Anonymous, TX (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"My understanding is that there is a leak. But I was told that fixing the leak would require newer parts that would likely tax the rest of the cooling system and require additional repairs. The work -around is to just recharge the freon but the leak"

Anonymous, DE (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i Unsure)

"Had to remove the entire dash to gain access"

David B., OH (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"There is a very slow coolant leak that will cost $2,200 to fix"

Garrett R., DC (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i Unsure)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

"Car leaks water from front passenger area and drains to rear passenger footwell. Two attempts were made to fix the problem, but neither was succesful"

Anonymous, FL (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"Back door weather stripping failed on bottom of door and allowed water to enter on to the floor"

Patrick N., WI (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"my car was "certified" to have never been in an accident- I found out later- it WAS in an accident and I have had problems because of that ever since- the windshield is crooked, leaks, the whole car is crooked, leaky, the struts, rear end alignment"

Anonymous, NY (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"Radiator blown out - radiator, all hoses and thermostats, expansion tank replaced. Cost $1341"

Ed F., TN (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"In warmer climate of the South the weatherstripping has constantly fallen off"

Audrey O., VA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci Unsure)

"There is a rattle in the steering wheel at certain speeds"

Kevin Z., VA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen difficult to see

"LCD Display screen back light replacement for stereo, Climate control, and computer"

Anonymous, CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)
Display screen freezes up

"Service dep't cannot find reason for electrical fault. However, actual vehicle operation is not compromised. Radio and cruise control do not operate when problem occurs"

Anonymous, AR (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i Unsure)

"FM stations could not be received"

Anonymous, WA (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)
Speakers

"The speakers performance has diminished with age"

Greg O., TN (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"Needed replacing"

Anonymous, CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"secondary water pump failed twice in the past year"

Anonymous, CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"Oil filter housing mounts to top of engine and o-ring failed where the housing connects to engine"

Anonymous, FL (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"Nothing unexpected, gaskets are just getting old and need to be replaced"

Thomas T., CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"worn gaskets and cap"

Anonymous, VA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"repeated repairs on accessory belt; told they may need to replace with more expensive solution if it fails again"

Adam S., CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Alternator

"Alternator failed"

Anonymous, DE (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)
Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Alternator failed and that lead to premature battery failure"

Anonymous, DE (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"If you don't drive the vehicle for a few weeks it will drain the battery. Disconnect the battery before going on vacation"

Peter L., WA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i Unsure)
Coil

"We had to replace all the coils for each cylinder. That's all I know about it"

James W., CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Issues with trimming around windows deteriorating and to replace they have to take doors off and apart"

Anonymous, CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"Many of both the interior, and the exterior plastic and rubber moldings have become detached. The clips, or molded pins, which are supposed to hold them to the metal have failed"

David F., MD (2000 BMW 3 Series 328Ci Unsure)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"Continue issues with the roof lining coming down, trimming around windows deteriorating"

Anonymous, CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Despite regular washing and polishing, the clear coat has cracked and is fading badly"

Peter T., FL (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

"Water pump has a slow leak and I have to top off the coolant once every few weeks"

Kevin Z., VA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)
Radiator

"Replaced battery. upper coolant expansion tank, thermostat & housing"

J O., CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"radiator expansion tank failed"

Anonymous, GA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"Engine overheating"

Anonymous, FL (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

"O2 sensor failed, minor inconvenience"

Anonymous, MO (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"emission air pump failed resulting in a "Service engine soon" light"

Anonymous, GA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)
Fuel pump

"Vehicle has 2 fuel pumps. 1 failed, causing the 2nd pump to fail"

Anonymous, MO (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Convertible top

"The roof, which was replaced, does not correctly line up, when automatically retracting, hitting the framework, as it finishes retracting. Thus, it is NEVER used"

David F., MD (2000 BMW 3 Series 328Ci Unsure)
Locks and latches

"The driver side front door lock failed late at night in a parking lot and the key could not be removed from the lock when the remote failed. The car had to be towed to a repair shop where the next day a new lock was installed"

Peter T., FL (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)
Windows

"Window not going up/down has happened before on at least four other occasions"

Anonymous, TX (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Experiencing failure of the actual modules that control ABS and or traction control and or the main module. There are no mechanical faults. This vehicle and this generation of 3's has a history of weird electrical problems do to bad ground faults"

Carole Z., MI (2000 BMW 3 Series 328Ci 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"First year of this modelABS with ESC and failed. Replace parts specially imported from Germany - very expensive. This was found when rear of vehicle removed to replace broken/frozen bearings"

Anonymous, GA (2000 BMW 3 Series 328Ci 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"ABS sensor replacement. ABS warning light keeps coming on periodically"

Anonymous, NC (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

"At 70000 miles transmission would not go into reverse. Found broken parts in transmission during replacement. Similar problem found on many with this transmission model. BMW knows of problem but has not had a recall"

Charles P., NC (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

"supposedly this is a common problem for BMW 3 series this age and mileage"

Anonymous, TX (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"Second transmission in 5 years"

Anonymous, NC (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci Unsure)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

"After driving car for 30 minutes, light turns on for stability control"

Anonymous, CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i Unsure)
Driveshaft or axle

"Broke apart from the body rear passenger side"

Anonymous, CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 323Ci 2.8-L 6 Cyl)
Driveline vibration

"Car front vibrated excessively from side to side"

Anonymous, DE (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"tune up"

Anonymous, IL (2000 BMW 3 Series 328Ci 2.8-L 6 Cyl)

"Pump seal failed and transmission had to be pulled to fix"

Anonymous, FL (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

"It blew yesterday. I'm replacing it this weekend"

Stuart Y., CA (2000 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8-L 6 Cyl)
Cylinder head

"Fuel injection electronics failed and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, DE (2000 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5-L 6 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

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