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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   21 3-Series, 4.3 months of data per 3-Series, average 4500 miles

* Small sample size.
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2013 BMW 3-Series 4dr 68 3-Series 4drs, 9.1 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 9300 miles17
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 BMW 3-Series 2dr   18 3-Series 2drs, 9.6 months of data per 3-Series 2dr, average 14700 miles

* Small sample size.
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2012 BMW 3-Series 4dr 26 3-Series 4drs, 8.7 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 16300 miles

First year for F30 3-Series sedan.
48
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 BMW M3   20 M3s, 9.6 months of data per M3, average 27100 miles

* Small sample size.
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2011 BMW 335 35 335s, 7.5 months of data per 335, average 28800 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
27
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 BMW 328 103 328s, 8.4 months of data per 328, average 30200 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
28
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 BMW 335   11 335s, 8.3 months of data per 335, average 35800 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2010 BMW 328 32 328s, 7.6 months of data per 328, average 43700 miles69
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 BMW M3   17 M3s, 8.9 months of data per M3, average 33700 miles

* Small sample size.
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2009 BMW 335 28 335s, 9.0 months of data per 335, average 46000 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. 335i might have a common problem with the fuel injectors.
33
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 BMW 328 50 328s, 9.5 months of data per 328, average 45700 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. 335i might have a common problem with the fuel injectors.
48
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 BMW M3 27 M3s, 9.7 months of data per M3, average 37200 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
27
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 BMW 335 51 335s, 8.6 months of data per 335, average 55600 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
77
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 BMW 328 45 328s, 8.6 months of data per 328, average 63700 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
84
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 BMW 335 55 335s, 8.7 months of data per 335, average 68600 miles60
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 BMW 328 62 328s, 9.0 months of data per 328, average 69100 miles84
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2006 BMW 3-Series 2dr   18 3-Series 2drs, 10.7 months of data per 3-Series 2dr, average 65200 miles

* Small sample size.
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2006 BMW 3-Series 4dr 79 3-Series 4drs, 8.7 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 86000 miles

First year for the E90 4-door.
68
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2005 BMW M3   11 M3s, 10.6 months of data per M3, average 65700 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2005 BMW 3-Series 34 3-Series, 8.7 months of data per 3-Series, average 91700 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
81
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2004 BMW M3   15 M3s, 10.6 months of data per M3, average 85900 miles

* Small sample size.
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2004 BMW 3-Series 57 3-Series, 9.2 months of data per 3-Series, average 102600 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
119
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2003 BMW 3-Series 35 3-Series, 9.7 months of data per 3-Series, average 99700 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
138
100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2002 BMW M3   11 M3s, 9.9 months of data per M3, average 81700 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2002 BMW 3-Series 35 3-Series, 9.8 months of data per 3-Series, average 113400 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
112
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2001 BMW 3-Series 45 3-Series, 9.2 months of data per 3-Series, average 132600 miles73
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2001 BMW Z3 25 Z3s, 11.6 months of data per Z3, average 78800 miles

Like other sports cars, low average odometer reading.
58
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2000 BMW 3-Series 32 3-Series, 7.6 months of data per 3-Series, average 141300 miles93
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2000 BMW Z3 27 Z3s, 9.4 months of data per Z3, average 87600 miles

Like other sports cars, low average odometer reading.
38
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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1999 BMW 3-Series - E46   10 3-Series - E46s, 10.1 months of data per 3-Series - E46, average 164000 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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1999 BMW Z3   11 Z3s, 11.2 months of data per Z3, average 105000 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 BMW 3-Series Reliability and Durability

Reliability and Durability of the BMW 3-Series: 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 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 turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Historically, reliable
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 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.
2007 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
No problems after 3 years
2007 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Been superb to date
Reliability and Durability of the BMW 3-Series: 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 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
2008 2dr Hardtop conv. turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Possibly expensive repair track record when 4-year warranty end
2008 4dr Wagon 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Average is not good enough for a $40K+ car.

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What Our Members Are Saying about BMW Z3 Reliability and Durability

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