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      05-11-2005, 04:22 PM   #1
ace008
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BMW 3 Series Maintenance and Reliability?

I am in the market for a new 330i, but my parents are saying BMWs are very expensive to fix and maintain. They are telling me I should go for a Japanese car like the Lexus IS350 since they hardly have any problems. Are bimmers really that hard to maintain? For those of you that have owned e46s, have you had any problems with it? I really want the e90, but am not sure of the reliability.
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      05-11-2005, 04:27 PM   #2
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Everybody feel free to chime in and help him out on his question (but we all know that 330 will rock the IS350 ), but here's also a brief thread with some e46 reliability comments.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...light=reliable
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      05-11-2005, 04:43 PM   #3
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yeah, though choice, as the new IS will have over 300hp and 275 ft/lb of torque and a cheaper price.
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      05-11-2005, 04:45 PM   #4
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is the new is350 priced like a g35?
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      05-11-2005, 04:54 PM   #5
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I don't think pricing info on the IS350 has come out yet.
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      05-11-2005, 04:54 PM   #6
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well rumors have it that a fully loaded IS350 (active steering, Mark Levison, laser cruise control, navi, etc) will be around 42k. Starting should be about 36k. I am thinking if I do the euro delivery, the bmw would be a better deal. So far, I have heard nothing but great reviews from the e90. I went to the dealership this past weekend and checked out the new e90 and fell in love with it. I was origianlly set on an IS350, but after seeing the e90, i'm not so sure. But some people told me to steer away from BMW because its so expensive to service and has many electrical issues. Is that true?
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      05-11-2005, 05:06 PM   #7
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Lexus isn't in the same class as BMW. When I tested the IS last winter, the Salesman (Santa Monica Lexus) Told me I was being too hard on the car. When I said this is how I drive my BMW, he said "This is not a BMW, it's a luxury car".

So, there you have it.

Horsepower, in my opinion, is irrelavant. If you are solely impressed by Torque and horsepower, Check out the new Corvette.
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      05-11-2005, 05:13 PM   #8
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Yeah, I know that the e90 is very impressive, only thing that worries me now is the maintanance. Is it really that bad?
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      05-11-2005, 05:22 PM   #9
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My impression of BMW (and other German makers) is that the quality and reliability of the cars has been good recently, but not as great as they were once known to be. If you're looking for the hightest quality and reliability, I think almost everyone will tell your best bet will be a Japanese maker like Lexus or Acura.

If you're looking at this purchase from a value perspective also (bang for the buck), you cannot beat the Japanese cars in this class, like the Infiniti G35, Acura TL, and the upcoming 2006 Lexus IS 250 or 350 when looking at features, HP/Torque, roominess, standard amenities and other spec sheet items per dollar.

However, I don't want to unintentionally raise the ire of all the BMWheads on this forum, so I will say that besides the structural reasons that German luxury manufacturers are more expensive (to a reasonably significant degree) than a "comparably" outfitted competitor from a Japanese luxury manufacturer, there is also a premium in the venerability of the name behind it. Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus are only a few years old, though they've really made a reputation for themselves in the short time they've had. But the German makers like BMW and Mercedes Benz have a much longer and storied history. Whether that is worth a premium is up to you.

Also, BMW's have a long-standing reputation as the "ultimate driving machine", for good reason. So to answer you original post, I would say that both BMW and Lexus have very good quality standards and reputations for reliability. Though taking a census of many, many owners of a 2006 e90 and a 2006 IS over the next few years, I would expect on average more problems to surface on the e90 than the IS. However, if you happen to unfortunately end up with a car from either that has an inherently significant mechanical problem, it's going to be expensive. Period.

Really, I have full confidence in the new e90 in terms of reliability and quality of build. So, I wouldn't expect a e90 to be service much more than a 2006 IS over the next few years. The parts for a BMW might be more expensive than parts for a Lexus, but that would apply to all vehicles across each manufacturer. So when you ask, "is it really that bad", I never thought maintenance and reliability was that bad to begin with.

Also, someone had mentioned test driving an IS in an above post. The previous IS wasn't in the same class as the 3 series, but the new one will be.

Last edited by RedStripe; 05-11-2005 at 05:29 PM.
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      05-11-2005, 05:56 PM   #10
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I think that is a very fair and well-stated appraisal from RedStripe. The only thing I would add is that I've test-driven a number of Japanese cars that have excellent specs, get good reviews, and are uncontestably high quality products....but, when I actually go sit in them and drive them I come away disappointed. A lot of the value in a car like a BMW, and some other European cars, has to do with overall driving dynamics and refinement as well as intangibles (just the way it feels somehow.) I have test driven the G35 and Acura TL in the last year or so and they were nice cars but just didn't have that feeling of coming together. The driving dynamics were clearly inferior in my opinion. Although they had more horsepower, they felt like they were doing less with it. This reminds me of old American cars that were way more powerful than foreign cars but couldn't outperform them in most cases.

On the reliability side, Mercedes has had some bad initial quality problems in the last few years--often due to electronics problems. BMW had some rough spots with electronics with the 7 series and I think also the 5 series (probably are some owners on this board that can address this better than me.) I think BMW quality is good but I agree with RedStripe that Lexus will have better initial quality. But, it will also be less interesting and inspiring to drive.
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      05-11-2005, 06:07 PM   #11
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how many little problems have you guys experienced in your 3 series? and were they expensive to fix? For example, I bought a 2000 toyota celica gt-s, and I have not have a single problem in 5 years of driving it. And it gets driven pretty wild at times. Can I expect the same quality from a BMW?
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      05-11-2005, 06:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace008
... I bought a 2000 toyota celica gt-s, and I have not have a single problem in 5 years of driving it. And it gets driven pretty wild at times. Can I expect the same quality from a BMW?
I would/I am.
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      05-11-2005, 07:17 PM   #13
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I never had a problem with my 2002 BMW 325i. Never.
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      05-11-2005, 07:27 PM   #14
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The IS300 was not without problems. If you look at IS300.net's forum, you'll see what kind of problems they bitched about. When I was looking at the E46 vs. IS300, I thought that the savings wasn't going to be worth it. Why? The IS300 also had it's share of problems. Also, with the car not being nearly as exciting as the BMW, well...what the heck is the point. I would have been buying a car that wouldn't have been as satisfying, AND it would have had it's own annoying and well-known (among IS300 owners) problems. So, I figured forget the IS300. Will the IS350 be different? I don't really care. I can't imagine that when I sit behind the wheel that I'll find it to be as satisfying as a BMW.
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      05-11-2005, 07:28 PM   #15
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I've had my '02 325 for 3 years. I've been back to the dealer a total of FOUR times:

1. I had problems with a squeaky sunroof, which I took in and they fixed.- No Charge

2. First service interval /oil change- no charge

3. Car felt a little sluggish , I took it in and they replaced the O2 sensor. - No charge.

4.Second service interval/ oil change (plus they replaced my rear break pads and resurfaced rotors)- No charge.


Maybe I got a pretty good car, but I'm totally sold on BMW quality.
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      05-11-2005, 09:37 PM   #16
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Just remeber this is BMW you get the free service to 50K miles as the IS350 where you will be paying for your service. I was in the same boat as you in either getting the 330i and the IS350, but since the IS350 is not out yet it made my choice easier.
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      05-11-2005, 10:07 PM   #17
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Drove my 1999 E46 for 3.5 years with no problems.
Drove my 2002 X5 for 3.4 years and only had to take it in once to get a newer update for the NAV.
Have driven the Mini Cooper for 2.5 years now and have taken it in 6 times to get the damn tire pressure monitor fixed, my guess is that the dealer didn't have a clue on how to fix it properly the first, second... etc. time.

You also have to consider the luck factor.
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      05-11-2005, 10:15 PM   #18
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i have to agree with roburado that japanese cars, although highly reliable, don't have the proper driving dynamics or the aesthetic feel.

I've driven several lexus and Infiniti vehicles and have left dealerships disappointed. I drove a new Infiniti M45 last week and although the interior quality was quite nice, the handling wasn't that great, and the center console was cluttered with many, many buttons. The wood was quite amazing, i have to admit. The reverse camera is really cool.

The thing that drives me nuts about Japanese cars are the way they lay out text on the buttons of controls. Everything seems to be really wordy, exhibit different font sizes, and there's just too much of it. The M45 has a shitload of buttons and something that looks like the iDrive controller.

I'm a BMWer for life, no doubts about it. I looked at the Benzes and just didn't like their consoles either, no matter how cool they look on the outside.

The reason i really like the E90 is because although the dash with iDrive looks really simple and elegant, it is actually well equipped with all the iDrive toys i want, including voice recognition, Nav, Bluetooth etc. I am a gadget guy, and if i can get a performance sedan with a bunch of gizmos, that just makes me really happy.
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      05-11-2005, 10:21 PM   #19
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BMW reliability

Quote:
Originally Posted by ace008
I am in the market for a new 330i, but my parents are saying BMWs are very expensive to fix and maintain. They are telling me I should go for a Japanese car like the Lexus IS350 since they hardly have any problems. Are bimmers really that hard to maintain? For those of you that have owned e46s, have you had any problems with it? I really want the e90, but am not sure of the reliability.
I took delivery of an E90 330i last Thursday. My 8th BMW. I have no complaints of reliabilitywith any of these vehicles, save one and they replaced it immediately. Having said that, the E90 has a 4 yr. 50K warrentee that even covers brakes, and I have no intension of owning or leasing ANY vehicle of this complexity unless it is under full warrentee!!

I'll also say this, as others have said previously, NO Japanesse car will withstand the punshment and abuse you can put a BMW through. These cars have been designed, engineered and build to be driven HARD all the time without complaint. NO Japanesse brand can claim that. My wife drives an Acura MDX which is a really great soccer mom suv, but it AIN'T no BMW!

The Japanesse build truly wonderful, reliable cars, but if you're looking at BMWs then you are obviously looking for something more than a "wonderful, reliable car". You're looking for a "Ride". And, my friend, there IS no other ride comparable to a BMW!
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      05-11-2005, 10:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmosblau
I've had my '02 325 for 3 years. I've been back to the dealer a total of FOUR times:

1. I had problems with a squeaky sunroof, which I took in and they fixed.- No Charge

2. First service interval /oil change- no charge

3. Car felt a little sluggish , I took it in and they replaced the O2 sensor. - No charge.

4.Second service interval/ oil change (plus they replaced my rear break pads and resurfaced rotors)- No charge.


Maybe I got a pretty good car, but I'm totally sold on BMW quality.
:rocks:

Same boat. Other than having to have the internal thermometer changed and a rear power window regulator replaced, nothing else has gone wrong with the car. I still say you cant beat the BMW warranty either. Previous to the current 02 325xi, we had a 00 323i and have spent a whopping $0.00 in repairs. Everything has been covered under warranty (oil changes, brakes, wiper blades, etc).
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      05-11-2005, 10:56 PM   #21
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I used to own a Grand Am GT (too boring and too unreliable), a Jetta VR6 (too unreliable), and then an Altima 2.5S (too boring). I've never driven a boring BMW. Only time will tell if any new model will be reliable. I think that some of the things that give a BMW its superior road feel and feedback make it inherently prone to having certain problems, whereas the Japanese manufacturers would design the same parts to give less road feel in a component that will last for the lifetime of the car.

If you are really that worried, if you are the original owner, you can get a factory-backed 6 year / 100,000 mile BMW warranty for ~$2800 (I think) if you shop around, and extend the prepaid maintenance plan to 100,000 miles or six years for $900 or so. You have until the four year / 50,000 mile expiration of the original warranty and maintenance plan to decide. Just before the warranty is up, take your car to an independent BMW mechanic, tell them your warranty is almost up, and pay for a full inspection. They will point out any items that need to be fixed under warranty--your BMW dealer will only fix them if you complain of a problem.

I agree wholeheartedly with the above posters' comments on Japanese attempts at sport sedans. I drove a G35, and it felt like a luxury sedan, not a sport sedan. My overwhelming impression was that my Mom would love one--and that's not a bad thing, for her. The new M35/45 is advertised as a luxury sedan, not a performance sedan, sport sedan, etc...
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      05-11-2005, 11:39 PM   #22
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Depends on you man...YES, the Lexus is more reliable...It is..Not much, but it is...But its not a BMW..Its a passion for most..(like me)...

Having know all the reliablility issues, go to your Lexus dealer, sit and drive in the car, and then go to the BMW dealer, and do the same thing..If you dont know right away whcih one you want, get the Lexus...
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