BMW 3-Series Coupe Road Test (2004)

BMW 320 Cd SE Coupe
80%

BMW 3 Series Review

BMW 3-Series Coupe ReviewBMW 3-Series Coupe Review  | Part TwoBMW 3-Series Coupe Review  | Part ThreeBMW 3-Series Coupe Review  | Part FourBMW 3-Series Coupe Review  | Part FiveBMW 3-Series Coupe Review  | Part SixBMW 3-Series Coupe Review  | Part Seven

BMW's reputation as a prestige manufacturer is justified as I felt special driving the 3 Series and was certainly sorry to see it go

What We Disliked
  • Stumped - Nothing to dislike
What We'd Like To See
  • Auto-dimming wing mirrors - Working in conjunction with the standard anti-dazzle rear view mirror
Build Quality

As you would expect of BMW the build quality is excellent and there were no intrusive rattles to contend with. The materials used are of a very high standard and should prove durable in the long term.

Value For Money

This is an interesting question - You couldn't describe the BMW 320Cd SE Coupe as cheap and some of its rivals would certainly be less expensive to buy and may seem better value for money. However, you have to look at other aspects of car ownership such as residual and resale values. High residual values are generated by a number of factors that almost make a car's initial purchase price irrelevant. The 3 Series Coupe has always been popular and demand often outstrips supply for both the new and used market. The impressive fuel consumption of 43.5 mpg (combined figure) should also be taken into account.

BMW have announced (22/10/03) that all new diesel 3 Series BMW's come with a free service and maintenance package which is valid for five years or 60,000 miles. While linked to BMW's three year unlimited mileage warranty maintenance costs are kept to a minimum. Service Inclusive is fully transferable if the car is sold - which can only further enhance resale values.

Conclusion

Well I assume you are wondering if a diesel powered BMW can live up to BMW's bold statement that its cars are 'the ultimate driving machine'. Well the answer is - it does not disappoint. Both the performance and fuel economy were superb and the handling was near perfect. The car generated a lot of interest during my time with it and appeals to a broad range of people from private buyers to fleet customers.

BMW's reputation as a prestige manufacturer is justified as I felt special driving the 3 Series and was certainly sorry to see it go. It also raises the question: why would you want a petrol car when you can have the economy of a diesel combined with the performance of petrol car?

7 June 2004 Melanie Carter
BMW 3-Series Coupe ReviewBMW 3-Series Coupe Review  | Part TwoBMW 3-Series Coupe Review  | Part ThreeBMW 3-Series Coupe Review  | Part FourBMW 3-Series Coupe Review  | Part FiveBMW 3-Series Coupe Review  | Part SixBMW 3-Series Coupe Review  | Part Seven
BMW 3 Series Road Test Data
Model ReviewedBMW 320Cd SE Coupe
  
Body Type3-Door Coupe
ColourBlack Sapphire Metallic
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph8.8 Seconds
Top Speed 137 mph
  
Transmission6-Speed Manual
  
Fuel TypeDiesel
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban35.8 mpg
Extra Urban62.8 mpg
Combined49.6 mpg
  
Insurance Group14
Euro NCAP Rating4
Warranty3-year/Unlimited Mileage
6-year/Unlimited Mileage Anti-Corrosion Guarantee
3-year BMW Emergency Service
Price (when tested on the 07/06/04)OTR £24,310

Car tested £27,005

Includes the following options:

Metallic Paint £495
BMW 6 Disc CD Changer £250
Electric Drivers Seat With Memory Function £1100
BMW Business CD £100
Electric Folding Mirrors £190
Star Spoke 119, 8J x 17
Alloy Wheels £560

The information contained within this BMW 3 Series review may have changed since publication on the 7 June 2004. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local BMW dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2017