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2004 BMW 3-Series Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Owner Pros and Cons by kenneth.e.a.swift

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Reviewed: 2004 BMW 3-Series

4dr Sedan 235-horsepower 3.0L I6 6-speed manual RWD

Why the 2004 BMW 3-Series?

Powertrain performance

BMW inline 6 cylinder engines are known for their smooth power delivery and this car was no exception. Able to pull and pull long after most cars would run out of power, the 235 HP always delivered more than the numbers would have you expect.

Exterior styling

Classic lines with thoughtful touches like rain gutters over the doors to stop water from running inside the vehicle interior during a storm were wonderful surprises.

Safety & braking

The vehicle had the solid feel of a single block of steel without any flexing or creaking. Additionally, the brakes were exceptionally strong and resistant to fading, especially during emergency stops.

Why Not the 2004 BMW 3-Series?

Reliability & durability

During the four years of ownership, the window regulators broke multiple times, causing the windows to "come off their tracks" and on one occasion fall into the door. Additionally, ignition coil failures at 20,000 miles were very disturbing.

Dealer practices

Only two of the 15 dealerships that I came into contact with during purchase and ownership impressed me with even a basic level of professionalism. The rest treated me and my car like an interruption to their day.

Rear seat room & comfort

The rear seats are really only useful for storing luggage or mounting child seats. The backs were concave and the inability to adjust them made it very painful for anyone above the age of 12 to ride back there.

Price or payments

The grouping of options into "packages" usually includes one item that you want and cannot get any other way with several other expensive things that you do not want, but cannot delete from your order (i.e. auto dimming mirrors with lumbar support).

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