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BMW 3-Series vs. BMW Z3 Reliability

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Results are for year ending December 31, 2015. Only successfully completed repairs are currently included in the analysis. Routine maintenance, most wear items, recalls, and problems fixed with just a reflash or warning light reset are not included.
Year Make/Model Repair Trips Per 100 Cars Compared to all models for the same year    
2015 BMW 3-Series / M3 27
30% 30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  78 3-Series / M3s, 7.4 months of data per 3-Series / M3, average 7400 miles

Includes 4-Series.

 

2014 BMW 3-Series 40
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  92 3-Series, 10.0 months of data per 3-Series, average 16900 miles

Includes 4-Series.

 

2013 BMW 3-Series 2dr   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  13 3-Series 2drs, 9.8 months of data per 3-Series 2dr, average 19600 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2013 BMW 3-Series 4dr 32
30% 30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  72 3-Series 4drs, 8.3 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 26800 miles

 

2012 BMW 3-Series 2dr and wagon   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  20 3-Series 2dr and wagons, 9.1 months of data per 3-Series 2dr and wagon, average 35100 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2012 BMW 3-Series sedan 67
80% 80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  32 3-Series sedans, 8.4 months of data per 3-Series sedan, average 36200 miles

First year for F30 3-Series sedan.

 

2011 BMW M3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  23 M3s, 9.6 months of data per M3, average 44900 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2011 BMW 328 48
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  114 328s, 9.8 months of data per 328, average 45900 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Common problem with the water pump in the 335i.
2011 BMW 335 71
80% 80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  40 335s, 8.9 months of data per 335, average 47700 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Common problem with the water pump in the 335i.

 

2010 BMW 328 72
70% 70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  27 328s, 8.6 months of data per 328, average 56100 miles

Small sample size for the 335i could at least partly explain very high reported repair frequency.
2010 BMW 335   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  13 335s, 9.2 months of data per 335, average 57100 miles

* Very small sample, members only.

 

2009 BMW M3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  11 M3s, 9.1 months of data per M3, average 39200 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2009 BMW 335 40
20% 20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  28 335s, 9.8 months of data per 335, average 63900 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
2009 BMW 328 66
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  44 328s, 9.1 months of data per 328, average 66100 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.

 

2008 BMW M3 45
30% 30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  29 M3s, 10.2 months of data per M3, average 51800 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Non-M repair frequency spiking, possibly because CPO warranty ending.
2008 BMW 328 85
70% 70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  29 328s, 9.3 months of data per 328, average 77700 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Non-M repair frequency spiking, possibly because CPO warranty ending.
2008 BMW 335 87
70% 70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  37 335s, 10.1 months of data per 335, average 73800 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Non-M repair frequency spiking, possibly because CPO warranty ending.

 

2007 BMW 328 79
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  57 328s, 9.1 months of data per 328, average 85800 miles
2007 BMW 335 91
70% 70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  46 335s, 9.7 months of data per 335, average 80600 miles

 

2006 BMW 3-Series 2dr   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  21 3-Series 2drs, 9.2 months of data per 3-Series 2dr, average 74200 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2006 BMW 3-Series 4dr 81
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  72 3-Series 4drs, 8.0 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 98100 miles

First year for the E90 4-door.

 

2005 BMW M3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  17 M3s, 9.4 months of data per M3, average 75900 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2005 BMW 3-Series 103
70% 70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  26 3-Series, 9.4 months of data per 3-Series, average 100300 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.

 

2004 BMW M3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  14 M3s, 9.6 months of data per M3, average 98400 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2004 BMW 3-Series 116
80% 80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  58 3-Series, 8.9 months of data per 3-Series, average 113000 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.

 

2003 BMW M3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  15 M3s, 8.9 months of data per M3, average 90900 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2003 BMW 3-Series 67
20% 20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  41 3-Series, 8.7 months of data per 3-Series, average 118700 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.

 

2002 BMW M3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  11 M3s, 8.5 months of data per M3, average 96200 miles

* Very small sample, members only.
2002 BMW 3-Series 102
60% 60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  38 3-Series, 8.9 months of data per 3-Series, average 122200 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.

 

2001 BMW 3-Series 95
50% 50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  34 3-Series, 9.3 months of data per 3-Series, average 148200 miles
2001 BMW Z3 49
0% 0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
[?] see reported repairs
  27 Z3s, 10.1 months of data per Z3, average 83000 miles

Like other sports cars, low average odometer reading.

 

2000 BMW 3-Series   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  23 3-Series, 4.8 months of data per 3-Series, average 137400 miles

* Small sample, members only.
2000 BMW Z3   small sample, members only   see reported repairs
  18 Z3s, 6.2 months of data per Z3, average 90900 miles

* Small sample, members only.

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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.

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.
2011 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
All things aside it boils down to reliability. I previously owned a 2009 335 (same color combo and options) and didnt have one issue. This one however: the water pump went last month @ under 50k miles, the fuel pump also went approx 2 months earlier, the VANOS bolts needed to be replaced, an oil leak after the dealer serviced the vehicle (and no they still charged me) and there was one more episode of limp at home mode which I don't recall. The plus side it's a cpo so the bulk cost nothing. The last few trips cost $50 plus tax a pop. I would not ever recommend anyone purchasing this car without the CPO warranty. example the water pump and labor hovers around a grand to replace. Wheels And Tires - the summer tires are especially prone to road damage. I replaced all 4 tires not due to wear but due to potholes and other hazards... To which any other normal car wouldnt have an issue...
2009 0 My car has been very reliable. I got a cerfited pre owned so all things a free at dealer. If you are buying one, then get a cpo one. well worth it.
2009 0 My car has been very reliable. I got a cerfited pre owned so all things a free at dealer. If you are buying one, then get a cpo one. well worth it.
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 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 2dr Coupe 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
History is promising.
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 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.
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
Small things keep breaking or failing. The engine and drivetrain are solid though.
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 4dr Sedan turbocharged 265hp 3.0L I6 Diesel
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Always a glitch or two.
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.
2008 4dr Wagon 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Average is not good enough for a $40K+ car.
2008 2dr Coupe 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Historically, these cars have had their share of electronic gremlins.
2008 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed manual RWD
not as reliable
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 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
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
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.