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BMW 3-Series vs. BMW Z3 Reliability Comparisons

You won't find BMW 3-Series or BMW Z3 reliability information like this anywhere else. Actual repair frequencies, not just vague dots, to make it clear how much the BMW 3-Series and the BMW Z3 truly differ in reliability.

These stats are promptly updated four times a year, to much more closely track BMW 3-Series and BMW Z3 reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the BMW 3-Series and the BMW Z3 were a year ago, when the cars were a year younger and had 12,000 fewer miles on them. Only TrueDelta tells you how reliable the BMW 3-Series and the BMW Z3 have been recently.

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Year Make/Model Repair Frequencysuccessful repair trips per 100 cars per year Compared to all models for the same year  
2014 BMW 3-Series 37 3-Series, 5.1 months of data per 3-Series, average 5100 miles

Includes 4-Series.
32
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2013 BMW 3-Series 4dr 72 3-Series 4drs, 9.5 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 11400 miles24
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 BMW 3-Series 2dr   15 3-Series 2drs, 10.9 months of data per 3-Series 2dr, average 17100 miles

* Small sample size.
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* Small sample size.
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2012 BMW 3-Series 4dr 29 3-Series 4drs, 8.5 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 18400 miles

First year for F30 3-Series sedan.
49
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2011 BMW M3   22 M3s, 9.2 months of data per M3, average 29300 miles

* Small sample size.
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* Small sample size.
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2011 BMW 328 103 328s, 8.5 months of data per 328, average 32500 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
36
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2011 BMW 335 39 335s, 7.5 months of data per 335, average 31000 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
37
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2010 BMW 328 31 328s, 7.5 months of data per 328, average 47500 miles

A year ago the 2009 was spiking. End of warranty affect?
78
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2010 BMW 335   12 335s, 8.8 months of data per 335, average 36600 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2009 BMW 335 27 335s, 9.1 months of data per 335, average 46500 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. 335i might have a common problem with the fuel injectors.
39
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 BMW 328 51 328s, 9.7 months of data per 328, average 47800 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. 335i might have a common problem with the fuel injectors.
49
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 BMW M3   17 M3s, 8.4 months of data per M3, average 36100 miles

* Small sample size.
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2008 BMW M3 28 M3s, 9.3 months of data per M3, average 39500 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Spiking, possibly because CPO warranty ending.
42
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2008 BMW 328 42 328s, 8.4 months of data per 328, average 66300 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Spiking, possibly because CPO warranty ending.
96
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2008 BMW 335 49 335s, 8.9 months of data per 335, average 58100 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Spiking, possibly because CPO warranty ending.
96
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2007 BMW 335 50 335s, 9.7 months of data per 335, average 71900 miles57
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 BMW 328 60 328s, 9.2 months of data per 328, average 71000 miles80
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2006 BMW 3-Series 2dr   18 3-Series 2drs, 10.2 months of data per 3-Series 2dr, average 66100 miles

* Small sample size.
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2006 BMW 3-Series 4dr 74 3-Series 4drs, 8.5 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 90200 miles

First year for the E90 4-door.
78
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2005 BMW M3   11 M3s, 10.5 months of data per M3, average 69500 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2005 BMW 3-Series 29 3-Series, 9.1 months of data per 3-Series, average 90600 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
64
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2004 BMW M3   14 M3s, 10.7 months of data per M3, average 90400 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2004 BMW 3-Series 59 3-Series, 8.6 months of data per 3-Series, average 105500 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
119
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2003 BMW 3-Series 37 3-Series, 8.6 months of data per 3-Series, average 102700 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
131
100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2002 BMW M3   12 M3s, 9.1 months of data per M3, average 88300 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2002 BMW 3-Series 34 3-Series, 9.5 months of data per 3-Series, average 113600 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
96
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2001 BMW 3-Series 46 3-Series, 8.8 months of data per 3-Series, average 133000 miles66
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2001 BMW Z3 27 Z3s, 11.1 months of data per Z3, average 81300 miles

Like other sports cars, low average odometer reading.
48
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2000 BMW 3-Series 33 3-Series, 7.2 months of data per 3-Series, average 140900 miles95
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2000 BMW Z3 28 Z3s, 8.6 months of data per Z3, average 82300 miles

Like other sports cars, low average odometer reading.
35
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

1999 BMW 3-Series - E46   10 3-Series - E46s, 8.6 months of data per 3-Series - E46, average 168000 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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1999 BMW Z3   13 Z3s, 10.5 months of data per Z3, average 103000 miles

* Very small sample size.
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What People Are Saying about Reliability and the BMW 3-Series

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What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the BMW 3-Series

BMW 3-Series Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2012 4dr Sedan turbocharged 240hp 2.0L I4
8-speed shiftable automatic RWD
I traded in a 2005 BMW with 92,000 miles on it, if the realiability of the old one is any indication to the experience I hope to have with the 2012, then I have little to nothing to worry about.
2008 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Historically, reliable
2008 2dr Hardtop conv. turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Have owned this car for 5 years; have had two replacement high pressure fuel pumps; replaced steering rack; new turbo gaskets (both turbos); replaced articulating hard top cables - all in the first 3 years and all under warranty! Nothing has gone wrong in the past two years so perhaps this was relatively new model growing pains.
2008 2dr Coupe 414-horsepower 4.0L V8
7-speed automated manual RWD
Not yet tested to a full extent on my M3 under review, bust as previous BMW owner I enjoyed minimal component failures after many years of ownership.
2008 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed manual RWD
The car has a BETTER THAN AVERAGE frequency of repair record with Consumer Reports.
2008 2dr Coupe 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
History is promising.
2008 2dr Hardtop conv. turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Have owned this car for 5 years; have had two replacement high pressure fuel pumps; replaced steering rack; new turbo gaskets (both turbos); replaced articulating hard top cables - all in the first 3 years and all under warranty! Nothing has gone wrong in the past two years so perhaps this was relatively new model growing pains.
2007 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
This vehicle has a great performance record.
2007 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Tried & true technology
2007 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
The car is now one year old with 12,000 miles and there have been no issues what so ever - whether mechanical or interior/exterior. Never any issue with things working as they should.
BMW 3-Series Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2011 2dr Hardtop conv. 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Glovebox won't open.
2010 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
I'm a little nervous about repair costs and frequency. I keep reading about 4-figure repair bills, but there are others who say they've done well with just normal maintenance. Consumer Reports gives the 2010 328i a lot of red dots which is a goo
2009 4dr Sedan 414-horsepower 4.0L V8
6-speed manual RWD
More prone to breakdowns than the Japanese competition.
2009 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Fuel pump, oil cooler, and run flat tire issues on the 335i turned me off. Will likely be covered by warranty, but met multiple people who had week long+ repairs for these issues. After warranty, 1,200+ for each of these issues is apparently common.
2009 4dr Sedan turbocharged 265hp 3.0L I6 Diesel
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Always a glitch or two.
2008 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed manual RWD
not as reliable
2008 2dr Coupe 414-horsepower 4.0L V8
6-speed manual RWD
I have never had major problems with my BMW's, but I have never kept them out of warranty either. M cars are ridiculously expensive to repair. The only car company where the coolant is designed to outlast the radiator. When they break, they brea
2008 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Does not require explanation.
2008 2dr Coupe 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Historically, these cars have had their share of electronic gremlins.
2008 4dr Wagon 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Poorer reputation than Lexus based on internet research. Stock run flat tires have short life and rough ride. Lack of spare limits options
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the BMW Z3

BMW Z3 Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2000 2dr Convertible 193-horsepower 2.8L I6
4-speed automatic RWD
I got over a 150K miles and only minor items less then $500 dollars on repairs other then tires and brakes
2000 2dr Convertible 170-horsepower 2.5L I6
4-speed automatic RWD
Car of the year in 2000. Best Consumer Reports value for 5 years in a row for its class. Model Rating - Overall 4 stars Trim Rating - Overall 5 stars Appearance 5 stars Comfort 5 stars Performance 5 stars Reliability 5 stars
BMW Z3 Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2000 2dr Convertible 193-horsepower 2.8L I6
5-speed manual RWD
I experienced continued problems with the A/C system and the engine cooling system. Also, the rag top did not hold up well and developed a leak.