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. Meanwhile, the quiet cabin, well-contoured front seats and composed ride contribute to a comfortable driving experience.
Alerts
There are 10 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"Excellent driving and handling ability. Quiet and comfortable"

Anonymous, NY (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Underpowered. Especially with A/C on."

Anonymous, MD (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Acceleration is very smooth and enjoyable, engine makes a very nice noise during acceleration. Handling is crisp and predictable with minimal body roll."

ALEX H., WA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Handling is great"

PAUL C., MA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"It is really fun to drive. It hasn't lost any of it's power"

SUSAN M., CA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Excelent handling & driving"

MILTON H., FL (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"The E46 M3 is regarded now as one of the best BMWs of all time did to its strong performance yet it does not have or need a turbo to boost power. The steering give accurate road feel much better than the newer BMWs with electric steering which are vague and do not give feedback to the driver. I have been a Driver of BMWs for 45 years. This M3 is one of best of all time."

Anonymous, FL (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"I always look forward to driving this car."

Anonymous, CA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"A very nice car, that drives well. Would purchase again."

Anonymous, CO (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Performance and handling make this a really fun car to drive."

JEFFREY K., WA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Best handling car I've ever owned. Steering feel is excellent. The engine is excellent with solid power throughout the RPM range."

Anonymous, VA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"it has more than sufficient acceleration and its handling is fine."

Edward M., CA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"great acceleration, smooth handling, does curves very well, good breaks, good turning radius, steering wheel touch is excellent."

Anonymous, NV (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"It’s a BMW. It’s incredibly fun to drive. Handles like it’s on rails. Fantastic acceleration. Love the stick shift."

Anonymous, CA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"The handling, even in extreme weather is great. It is pretty quick off the line."

Anonymous, GA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"I love driving my M3"

John N., AZ (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"It's getting old & does not have the safety features as the new ones,"

Anonymous, CO (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"I love the vehicles acceleration and sound"

Morris B., CA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Sharp acceleration and braking."

Mark H., CA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Excellent after all these years. Tight and quiet"

Yvonne C., WA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Drive handling is very good"

Anonymous, VA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Outstanding handling, great acceleration"

Anonymous, OK (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Corners on rails. Love the cat. Generally use it three months of the year"

John S., ON (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"This BMW handles great. very responsive. The acceleration is great as well."

Scott G., SC (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Great car to drive. Nimble and fast."

Anonymous, TN (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Fast,Fun,and reasonable with regards to upkeep.(not inexpensive by any standard,but reasonable)non-dealer repairs and maintenance."

Anonymous, SC (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"It was withstood the test of time. Fun to drive."

Anonymous, NY (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"This car feels completely and utterly connected to the road. Phenomenal steering feel - the entire driving experience inspires confidence."

Aaron H., AK (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Very good acceleration, superb handling."

Anonymous, OK (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"My 3 Series drives even more crisply and accelerates in a very satisfying manner than my 5 series. The smaller size and weight make it more responsive. Very fun ride."

Anonymous, ME (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Love the fun and acceleration of a manual shift car. It's a BMW. Driving it is fun!!"

Anonymous, CA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Handling"

Anonymous, AZ (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Fun to drive"

David B., MD (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Best car I've ever driven. Good road feel. Good acceleration and control. Overall, great on a nice summer day with the top down o. A twisty windy road. Doesn't get any better!"

Anonymous, VA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"It has strong acceleration considering the engine displacement. It handles very well too."

Miguel C., PR (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"It is still even after all of these years fun to handle and great in bad weather."

Donna M., MA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Handling with a 5 speed manual--good combination."

Don D., MD (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Great handling, grips the road!"

Anonymous, VA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Even today, 16 years after purchasing, my 330i handles and accelerates like when it was new. The steering response is instant and communicative and a pleasure to drive, unlike the latest 328i, which has NO steering feel."

Anonymous, CA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"The true driver's car. I'll miss it when I finally put it down this year."

Anonymous, UT (2002 BMW 3 Series)

Comfort

Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"The seats are very comfortable, and heated seats are a plus. Bolstering in the seats is very good, especially for spirited driving. Road noise is noticeable above 65 MPH. Climate control can be frustrating (No "off" button, defrost mode seems to only function on full blast, when using automatic AC in a hot car that's been parked it seems to run at full blast for longer than necessary)."

ALEX H., WA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Fun to be in. Great driving machine Great front seats. Too tight rear seats--knee room"

Anonymous, NV (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"For a 16 year old car, the seats have held up well. The ride is very stable, thanks to the all wheel drive."

Anonymous, GA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"I don't like driving this vehicle for long distances. The driver seat gets very uncomfortable."

James D., MD (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Compared to other cars I have driven or in which I have been a passenger, it is the most comfortable. Except for electric vehicles, it is the most quiet."

Anonymous, CA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Most particularly the color and the ride."

Anonymous, CO (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"This car has the sport seats which are very supportive, specially when cornering hard. The car is a little noisy inside. The ride is not that bad considering this is a sport sedan."

Miguel C., PR (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Seats feel like a cockpit."

Anonymous, TN (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Rough ride and somewhat noisy at times."

Anonymous, MD (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Good firm leather seats but back seats and the "bump" in the middle are uncomfortable for long road trips."

Altaf S., QC (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"We bought this standard transmission all wheel drive version with 168,000 miles for a fairly modest price., With a little service and a little lubricant on the door seals to quiet the squeaks, we have a very smooth riding, powerful, and fairly quiet car that is a blast to drive and wades snow very nicely."

David C., IL (2002 BMW 3 Series)

Value

Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Repairs on non drive train components are too frequent and too costly."

Anonymous, CO (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"I always had my car serviced at dealer. Once beyond warranty, costs of repairs were overpriced."

Anonymous, NY (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"I've owned this vehicle for 10 years and have 170,000 miles on it. It still looks and runs great."

JACOB S., IL (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Car has held up well. I haven't needed a lot of additional maintenance other than the required routine maintenance until the last few years."

Michael K., RI (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"it is a great ride but with the sport suspension a bit stiff. its always been great on the road. Steering is very stiff at low speeds."

Edward M., CA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Minimal service issues"

Mark H., CA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Solidly built car!"

Anonymous, VA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Great build. Always ready for a firm , responsive ddriving experience."

Don D., MD (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Throughout its life to date, this vehicle has experienced 3 failures of its window operating systems, 1 failure of its alternating system, 2 failures within its audio systems and numerous small item failures in addition. This is not a reliable vehicle."

Anonymous, GA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Reliable, superb handling for the money. Joy to drive."

Anonymous, OK (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"We've had few troubles except with power window mechanisms which have broken 5-6 times in the last 15 years: shoddy parts"

Anonymous, OH (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"Very sporty car with few problems"

R F., CA (2002 BMW 3 Series)

Styling

How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"The interior of the car is disintegrating. Cloth covering ceiling wrinkled. Leather-like material peeling everywhere. Plastic covers to compartments broken. Audio speaker molding broken causing speakers to fall inside of door."

Anonymous, FL (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"The E-46 M 3 series is very bold yet classic and does not look out of date even though it is 15 years old this October."

Anonymous, FL (2002 BMW 3 Series)

"It just looks good."

JACOB S., IL (2002 BMW 3 Series)
Change Vehicle