The 5 Most Reliable BMW 3 Series Models You Can Buy

Hey you. Come over here. I got a secret,

yeah you, come on over, I got a secret for

you. Come here closer, do you want to know

what the most reliable 3-series BMW is?

I'm gonna share that with you right now.

Okay everybody, we're gonna review my top

picks for most reliable 3-series BMWs

today that money can buy. Now generally

as a rule let's get to this, there's

certain things you want to avoid for

sure without even talking about specific

models to buy, certain things you want to

avoid in the 3-series marketplace, v8

motors, SMG transmissions, DCT

transmissions, all wheel drive systems,

turbos, those are all things that add

complexity to an engine and

unfortunately a lot of the modern F30

and F80 engines have numbers of

features and as a result the F30 and F80

cars ,they're still fairly new, so it's

kind of hard to judge them right now, but

they themselves may have a lot of issues

as time goes on, so as a rule I'm not

saying don't buy the F30 and F80

series of 3-series. That's the newest

stuff. Basically what I am saying though,

if you're going to buy them, make sure

you get the latest and the greatest, then

hopefully you have some warranty, you're

satisfied with the service history, and

that overall the miles are reasonable,

after all these are the latest from the

brand and they can't all be bad. It's

just that time will tell which ones are

weaker than other ones. So as a rule if

you want the later cars, don't

necessarily feel free to shy away from

them, I'm just going to give you what I

know as the most reliable three series

BMWs. Now let's go on another thing that

you want to be watching out for, our

transmissions. So you've got to

understand that BMW has used different

variations General Motors or ZF

transmissions along the way. ZF is the

primary used transmissions throughout

the series, they still use them today in

many or more

capacities, as an example the new m5, but

they use ZF transmissions way back in

lauded the 3-series cars in the 80's, 90's,

and such and you've got to understand

that they are actually very robust. So as

a rule they shift well, they work well,

and if well-maintained, are very, very


That being said an automatic

transmission is not a bad choice in busy

cities and stop-and-go traffic, but at

the end of the day a manual transmission

is always the more sporting touch, as

well there's less moving parts, so likely

you're gonna have less issues in the

long run with a manual gearbox. It's just

generally more fun that way, so before we

get into our list of the top five

choices that I have for you, you make

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like and I'd love to hear your comments

down below. So let's get moving, the first

choice of most reliable, we'll start with

the oldest most reliable 3-series BMW

goes to the e36 325i, and that is

equipped with a manual gearbox, so that

run would be in the 1991 to 1995 years,

and was actually a very sporting car in

its day. Still to this day it has a very

spunky engine with a hundred and eighty

nine horsepower in a manual gearbox, this

car was guaranteed to provide lots of

fun. Now some of you guys might ask what

about the 328 that came later, well no

the 328 was actually a different engine

type, and actually had issues with high

sulfur content, would tend to eat away on

the NICUs aligners that you found in the

328 cars and because of that NICUs all

started eating away from high

sulfur content back in those earlier

years, that's why I would primarily

recommend a 325. It was relatively

bulletproof and you didn't have those

issues, it was actually a different

generation of engine than the 328, and I

would be more than satisfied with a

hundred and eighty nine horsepower

provided. So my second choice goes to the

e46 330i, 330CI, or even better the 330 ZHP

which is the the extra performance

oriented car that they actually BMW

bumped up the power a wee bit, and added

a whole bunch of track rated suspension

bits and pieces, as well or some

cosmetics like spoiler up

grades and things, but in essence it was

an upgraded 330ci and the zhp package

was a really, really nice performance

version. That being said, we're

really essentially talking about

reliability and the 330 had the 3 liter

inline 6 engine that was more or less

the same as what you found in the 325 of

the same generation, which was the m54

motor that shared the same bore as the

325, but had an increased stroke over the

325, and therefore created a wee bit more

power up from the 189 you had. Now it had

225 horsepower. So my third choice in

terms of top reliability for three

series BMWs goes to the e46 325i, as you

can tell, but the XI you'll notice the XI

on there, that's the all-wheel-drive

version I would probably be without that

unless you really need the all-wheel

drive or CI or any of those variations

of the 325, which also uses the basic

engine architecture that you found in

the 330 and it's the m54. The reason I

say this is the most reliable, is because

it's the tried and true, the silky smooth

inline 6 engine that BMW is so well

known for,

in this guys in the 325 in the e46

variation, it produces a hundred and

eighty nine horsepower again, same from

you would find in a e36, but again just in

a slightly newer skin, but that 325

engine was one of the most reliable BMWs

ever produced, and when you coupled that

with a manual gearbox, there was almost

nothing you needed to worry about, other

than standard maintenance. Yeah you could

still have water pump, so you could have

leaky valve cover gaskets, I mean those

aren't necessarily uncommon tasks for

any BMW, but really that was about all

you had to worry about, everything else

was pretty basic, the car was fun to

drive, and it just kept on going, and they

had such a strong reputation, and were

very, very popular for many many years. So

my fourth favorite and most reliable

3-series BMW, again that silky smooth

inline 6, goes to the e90 328i, this

time the 325 is actually still

a great engine,

but because the 328 now uses the same

engine setup as the basic 330, which is

the m52 engine, and it has been vastly

improved upon over the previous 328, it's

actually based on the previous

generation 330 in the e46, the new n52

has proven to be far more reliable than

the previous 328 engine. It's as good as

anything the 325s or the 330s from the

46, and this time it produced about 231

horsepower and about 200 foot-pounds

of torque, and again there's a common

theme here, straight-6 engine by BMW,

buttery smooth, super reliable. And so the

fifth choice for the most reliable

3-series BMW goes to the e90 330i, that

shares the same n52 engine as you find

in the 328, the difference is some slight

fine-tuning. This engine of course N52

as a rule took advantage of some

upgrades from exhaust tuning, DME tuning,

as well as intake manifold is upgraded

from the previous generations of 330, and

325. That's how they extracted more power,

but now the 330 in the 90 produced up to

268 horsepower, and they produce these

cars in 2005 to about 2013, so that would

to me would be the most, the newest

version, of a reliable silky smooth

inline six BMW that money can buy, with

performance in mind of course. Don't

forget after that BMW all of a sudden

started adopting turbochargers and went

with smaller engines, as you saw a

previous review idea of a newer 330, it

actually had a turbocharged inline-4,

again yet to be verified or proven how

reliable they are, time will tell, so

that's my top 5 most reliable BMWs, the

common theme here, you have to understand

everybody, is they were all inline sixes.

That truly is BMWs benchmark engine

series. So hope everybody enjoyed

that video,

please make sure if you

haven't already subscribed, make sure you

d,o as well don't forget to check the

most unreliable 3-series BMW, a previous

video I just recently posted. Don't

forget to check that one out, so if you

don't want one of these cars, just make

sure you don't fall into the trap of one

of those other cars, unless you're

prepared to spend the cash. So thanks

again everybody for coming out. I'm glad

you watched the video, I hope to see on the

next one, and we'll see you real soon

everybody. Bye bye.