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 5 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

"It's a driving machine."

Anonymous, PA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Wonderful sound from the naturally aspirated inline 6. 5 second zero to 60 times and great handling round out the package. These cars are becoming very affordable. Even a 17 year old may be able to put their hands on one. With the performance potential, I'm not sure they should......"

John M., FL (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Nothing handles like a BMW!"

Anonymous, GA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"This is a fun car to drive. The acceleration is good in sport mode."

Michael B., IN (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"The BMW 325xi drives exceptionally well. With handling in most all driving conditions excellent. When your actually moving faster than you feel you are, you know this is a great ride!"

Curtis G., UT (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"It was love at first test drive. I compared it with other luxury, small, sporty cars--Lexus, Mercedes, etc., and decided that the BMW was truly "the ultimate driving machine.""

Barbara H., TX (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Great car, fun to drive, plenty of power and great handling."

Anonymous, CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Smooth and very much fun to drive."

Anonymous, TN (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Excellent acceleration and handling both in summer time and winter time"

Markku M., MN (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Handles very well & well balances"

Anonymous, CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Good ride."

Anonymous, CO (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"great road feel and handling"

Michael M., CO (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Perfect"

Hunter S., VA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Awesome handling and accelerating"

Anonymous, WA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"The car'r ride is a bit like a buckboard. I attribute that mostly to the low profile tires. It is also very low to the ground as a good sports car should be and grips the road very well."

Anonymous, CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Power is decent. It could be better, but it also gets fantastic gas milage, so Ill take what it gives."

Ken C., AZ (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"The car drives like it's on rails. 0-60 in 5.6 seconds. Silky SMOOTH transmission. The E46 3 series is the last of it's kind made by BMW. Though unofficially, it's a classic, or at the very least, a highly sought after collectible vehicle. I've never enjoyed driving a car more."

Anonymous, CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Great looks, fantastic performance with manual transmission and performance package offered on 330i."

Jeffrey C., CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"The acceleration and handling is better than any car I have owned."

Anonymous, TN (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Acceleration with my 325i is adequate. Handling is excellent."

Paul G., CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Even though the car is getting older it styling and handling continue to be first rate. Holds the road in hills and has plenty of acceleration for all my needs."

Kenneth F., CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Perfect driving machine. Smoothest transmission ever owned. And fast and a joy to drive"

Anonymous, KS (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"In addition to having superb sports care like handling on good pavement, it is absolutely awesome in snow and ice. It handles at least as well as my full-sized four wheel drive pickup."

Anonymous, MN (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"I bought my first e46 wagon new in 2000, so I have owned a similar model for more than 17 years. My current 2004 model was purchased used in 2007 with 25,000 miles on the clock. It is not quick by current standards, but with the sport package & the upgraded suspension it is a joy to drive on both back roads & highways. I recently replaced the 5 speed manual with a 6 sped manual which added an overdrive gear which has improved both its touring capabilities & its gas mileage. On my drive to the We..."

Lloyd S., DC (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"This IS the ultimate driving machine! I have loved this car. It's time to buy a new one. I'd buy a 3-series BMW but think I want an SUV next time."

Anonymous, CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Bet handling car I've ever owned."

Anonymous, IA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"It's fabulous! This is the only car I've ever order and I still love everything about it. I know it won't last forever and that makes me sad."

ANNE P., MI (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"My 330ci comes standard with M suspension which is a gold standard for passenger cars and significantly better than factory usual suspension."

JACK D., FL (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Compared to my 2013 twin turbo the pickup is a little slow but once it starts going the engine purrs and you could easily hit 120 and only feel elation. I owned this car 9 years before buying another so obviously it didn't detract from my overall satisfaction, but I am a car keeper not a seller. It is a 335 with a straight 6 with plenty of power so wish it would ZOOM off the mark!"

DONNA L., FL (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Excellent handling and braking! Good steering feedback!"

BRIAN M., CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Silky Smooth acceleration across the entire powerband"

ERIC C., VA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Loved the 2004 for the same reasons I gave for the 2007 model. That's why we bought another in 2007."

LESLIE N., ON (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"The ride is a little bit harsh. The acceleration is great. But if you accelerate too much, it returns poor gas mileage."

HENRY F., CO (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"accelerates very well and continues to handle very well"

MICHAEL S., VA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"nice acceleration and turn handling"

DEREK K., CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"It has the same responsive handling of the 2005 330i, but the 5-speed manual transmission appears to be geared toward hauling heavy loads. It has great pick-up, but it could use a 6th gear for highway driving. BMW did add 6-speed manual transmissions for the wagons a couple years after the 2004 model year."

Anonymous, OH (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Excellent responsiveness. Same as when new."

Anonymous, MD (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"It is a fun car to drive. The handing is very good."

Anonymous, OR (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"I like the feel of a BMW"

Anonymous, NY (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Looks, handling style, roadability. This is a drivers car"

RICHARD W., MD (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"BMW is called the "ultimate driving machine" and it really does fit. The car is very easy to handle and will move very quickly when necessary. It really is a joy to drive."

Monika B., VA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Excellent. Driving experience is superior to new bmw I test drove"

Anonymous, VA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Fourteen years on and it's still a blast to drive. I regularly get compliments from passers-by. It's a nimble, sporty driving experience though not particularly comfortable. Still very quick acceleration with the original clutch and 6-speed manual transmission."

Jeffrey C., CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"After 14 years the acceleration, braking, handling, and ride of this car is still superb. It is a real pleasure to drive."

Anonymous, PA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Ride and Handling with the standard suspension is very good. Acceleration is adequate."

Paul G., CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"is a pleasure to drive this car ,quick picup,good feeling of the road,excellent respone,etc.etc."

Anonymous, FL (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"a great handling car"

Scott L., TN (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Great performance car, excellent acceleration and handling"

Sean B., OR (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"The best ride , a little rough, superb acceleration. Has M proformance package."

S A., WA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Overall the car is very fun to drive. Although I definitely want better acceleration."

Anonymous, WA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Love the quick acceleration and high redline ability of motor. Handling is superb albeit a bit firm on rough roads. Engine sounds great."

Alex O., IL (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"As long as I maintain the car, it keeps being fun to drive. That's a great plus in trying to get as many miles as possible out of it."

Melinda P., VA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Great car"

R W., OH (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Powerful engine accelerates well in merging traffic."

Steve N., CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Great driving experience. Performance features are among the best."

Jon S., NE (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Nothing drives like a BMW. Super in turns at all speeds! Acceleration smooth and quick!"

Jimmie C., NH (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"The car needs more rear seat room. Nobody fits in the back seat. I love this car would not not buy it again because of space."

Anonymous, OH (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Quick acceleration in traffic."

Anonymous, OH (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"My BMW wagon is equipped with the 2.5 liter 6, the sport suspension and a 6 speed manual transmission. It is very engaging to drive; reletively quick with a slick clutch & shifter. The sport suspension & Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires allow engaging interactions on twisty back roads. On road trips, I average 29 mpg."

Lloyd S., DC (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"requires a fair amount of work to get good performance from. Excellent handling."

Anonymous, BC (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Excellent acceleration and handling. Takes curves beautifully."

Anonymous, IL (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Great acceleration,good cornering"

Anonymous, CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"The acceleration is fantastic and handles beautifully. Move the steering wheel an you feel an instant, controlled response. Great handling car."

R H., NY (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Great handling and acceleration for a 14 year old car. As a wagon it even has good cornering but lacks the AWD handling on slick roads but still above the normal FWD car."

Anonymous, FL (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"The car has plenty of power but sometimes acceleration is a little slow to kick in. Once it kicks in, zoom. Handling is difficult because the steering wheel is hard to turn and after years of having alignments the car is still woefully out of alignment and jumps all over the road."

Donna L., FL (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Great handling. Excellent acceleration."

Anonymous, KY (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Car has a 5-speed manual transmission, and is a wagon. Gearing is a little different than the sedan version in that it is set up to shift into a higher gear at a lower speed. When pulling out to pass another vehicle, I seldom need to downshift first due to the higher RPMs the engine runs at."

G U., OH (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"taut great handling, acceleration, small turning radius; surprisingly practical since the rear seats fold down"

Anonymous, WA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Looks"

M D., NJ (2004 BMW 3 Series)

Comfort

Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Getting too old to get in and out of the car easily. Also the ride is getting too rough."

S S., NJ (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"well designed and confortable"

Michael M., CO (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Love this car and dread the day when I must part with it."

Hunter S., VA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"I loved my 2004 BMW 325XI, until two cylinders leaked compression. (A $12k+ fix by dealer). Though it is 13 years old but only has 80k miles on it. This problem, not the costs, came as a BIG surprise to me. Thus, I lost confidence in BMW."

Curtis G., UT (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Seats, noise, and ride are much better than average."

Paul G., CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Its a BMW... the Ultimate Driving Machine!"

Ken C., AZ (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Everything about the 2004 BMW 330i with ZHP package is extremely well done. I LOVE this car! I will be installing a pioneer system in this car shortly, which will give me all of the modern tech updates but leaves the me the naturally aspirated inline 6, hesitation free engine that made BMW a signiture vehicle. I don't plan to ever sell this car."

Anonymous, CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"The previous owner installed an exhaust system that is very, very loud, not just during acceleration, but also at cruising speeds. Also the wind noise at high speeds can be annoying--much more so that with my VW Jetta."

JOHN W., MA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Got too old to comfortably get in and out of the BMW"

S S., NJ (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Very comfortable and sporty ride even after 13 years of ownership"

ERIC C., VA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Seats - esp driver's - have many mechanical adjustments and positions, but the tight leather is hard as a rock and not great for long trips. Good for feeling the sport-tuned control of the car, but would opt for cloth and a bit more comfort if had a choice."

Anonymous, VA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Comfortable seats. Compliant ride on smooth roads. Silky smooth feel to car while driving."

Anonymous, CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"great seat heating and air conditioning"

DEREK K., CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"I have a 3 series wagon with manual transmission & sport package. The sport seats a firm & comfortable around town & on long journeys. Because it is a wagon, you get a bit more road noise, but it is not excessive. At 135,000 miles, I rebuilt the suspension with excellent results. It is compliant around town on our miserable road in DC & suburbs & fun to drive on twisty roads."

LLOYD S., DC (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"This is a drivers car. Great car!"

RICHARD W., MD (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Road noise level is high"

Anonymous, OR (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Clutch peddle has no height adjustment. Despite being a convertible it is remarkably quiet with the roof up."

Anonymous, CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"The seats in this older convertible have stood the test of time and still conform nicely to the driver with the ability to make multiple adjustments for comfort. Taller drivers might not have enough room. It is a convertible so it is a noisy car to drive."

Donna L., FL (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Love the car and its styling even though it's 14 years old, but because it's a coupe the 2 doors are very large and heavy for me to open (I'm a small woman). It's also hard for passengers to get into the back seat. But, I really like the coupe and rarely have more than 1 passenger, so back-seat passengers are less of an issue. I'm also conscious of the large door when parking because it might ding the car next to me."

Anonymous, AZ (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"smooth ride, low noise."

S A., WA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"The BMW is drives like a new vehicle after 14 years. It is very quiet with no rattles."

Eric C., VA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"driving experience is excellent- handling, steering, braking excellent"

Scott L., TN (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"I've driven a number of cars as they've approached 200,000 miles and beyond. Most develop rattles and buzzes and shakes, but that has been limited with this BMW, which makes it more pleasant to keep driving it - and I really appreciate that!"

Melinda P., VA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"My wagon is comfortable even on the miserable roads we drive on in our Nations Capitol. I have the sports suspension & seats which are comfortable & supportive."

Lloyd S., DC (2004 BMW 3 Series)

Value

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

What Owners Say

"I've own this car for 10 years and although I paid a premium for this car from the orginal qwner it does not hold its value anymore than any American car, ie, for chevy dodge etc."

JIMMIE C., NH (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Purchased this 12-year-old car and all electrics and accessories function correctly. The front seats both are comfortable for a 79" tall male."

CHRISTOPHER C., CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Station wagons are just as practical as the crossovers currently in vogue, with better fuel economy and performance."

V M., WV (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Parts are disgustingly expensive. Break an undersized headlight wire and you will have to buy a complete headlight at a cost of over $1,300.. So much of the electrical has undersized wires. No service manuals available to the public. The overall cars design is really backwards as far as servicing goes. BMW dealers and service are nothing short of thieves.."

Anonymous, CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"An excellent value in my opinion. I bought this car new for $41K. I'm at 127K miles with virtually no oil consumption. The inside of my tailpipe is as clean as a whistle. It costs me about $100/month to operate (averaged over past 7 years). The driving enjoyment factor is hard to put a price on but it means a lot to me."

JEFFREY C., CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"While the BMW was more money than other competitive models in 2004 still looks and rides like a new car thus making it more cost effective overall."

Eric C., VA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Great resale value"

Anonymous, CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

Styling

How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"One of the best bmw designs. Still get compliments."

Anonymous, MD (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"With the top down one of the most stylish cars around."

J M., NC (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"It's the same platform as the 2005 330i, but it's a wagon, and it's great for hauling walkers and wheelchairs."

Anonymous, OH (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"I keep this car in top condition - but it's not flawless. I regularly get compliments from strangers in parking lots and offers to buy it about once a month. It offers great looks, aggressive styling and features an exceptionally large interior considering its exterior dimensions. It will be a classic."

JEFFREY C., CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"I think this 2004 BMW 325Ci is more stylish than the current equivalent BMWs. I had a wind foil added to the trunk when I purchased the car. The addition gives the car a longer, more elegant profile."

FRANCES H., DC (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"Excellent European Sports Sedan look. Timeless classic. The car looks the way BMW intended it to look for a small sports sedan."

Anonymous, CA (2004 BMW 3 Series)

"My BMW is the touring - or wagon - model. It has a classic look and is at home in any situation."

MILES M., UT (2004 BMW 3 Series)

Would you buy this car again?

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BMW 3 Series
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Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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