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2008 BMW 3 Series

Overview
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2008 BMW 3 Series Review

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Now in its fifth generation, BMW's 3 Series carries on as one of the world's premier driving machines. Both Sedan and Sports Wagon variants received a major engine upgrade last year, changing the familiar 325 and 330 name badges to 328 and 335, with the later receiving a twin-turbocharged engine. Even the more affordable members of the family -- rear-wheel-drive 328i Sedan and Sports Wagon and all-wheel-drive 328xi Sedan and Sports Wagon -- offer an impressive roster of comfort and convenience touches in addition to their crisply-tuned suspension packages, standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), powerful anti-lock brakes (ABS) and handling characteristics that continue to win rave reviews from driving fans everywhere.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're a genuine driving enthusiast who still believes that there's just something special about German automotive engineering, virtually any selection from the 328i and 328xi menu could be just what you're looking for. Even at its entry level, the 3 Series package provides an engaging mix of character, quality and performance.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you prefer a suspension tuned more towards ride comfort than control, want a rear seat with lots of legroom or need a spacious trunk, the 3 Series may be less attractive than some of its European or Japanese competitors -- although the Sports Wagon does offer impressive cargo room even with the rear seat up. BMW's iDrive integrated controller that's included with the optional navigation system also has been criticized for its unnecessary complexity.

What's New for 2008

Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters are available on models equipped with the six-speed STEPTRONIC transmission and Sport Package. The 328 models receive new 16-inch alloy wheels and chrome-tipped exhaust pipes, while HD radio is made available across the line.

Driving the 3 Series

Driving Impressions True to tradition, even the entry-level 3 Series offers a full measure of BMW's legendary driving DNA. Fortified with abundant power and torque, both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive variants, in either...

body style and with either transmission, are plenty fast from zero to 60 mph and easily capable of coping with any kind of traffic situation. There's a precise feel to the steering and the well-sorted suspension provides exceptional confidence through even the most challenging corners. While some may find the ride a tad too taut -- particularly when fitted with the optional Sport Package -- we think the handling advantages more than offset any minor comfort tradeoff. BMW's excellent xDrive all-wheel-drive system also makes dealing with inclement weather considerably less stressful.

Start-off Assistant
Order a 3 Series with a manual transmission and you'll enjoy the benefits of this subtle but effective helper that automatically applies the brakes for a few seconds whenever you're stopped on a hill to help prevent the car from rolling backwards while you engage first gear.

Optional Active Steering
This high-tech adjunct to the standard power steering varies the effective turning ratio to correspond with vehicle velocity, making it easier to maneuver at low speeds while enhancing stability under freeway cruising conditions.

2008 BMW 3 Series Details
Interior

Although slightly roomier than any of its predecessors, the 2008 BMW 3 Series remains a compact sedan that provides better accommodations in its firm but comfortably supportive front bucket seats than in the rear bench -- where six-footers are apt to feel a bit confined. The clean, elegant look is highlighted by standard leatherette upholstery set off by Burl Walnut, Poplar Natural Wood or aluminum trim. Legible white-on-black instruments and a multifunction steering wheel on a tilt and telescoping column reinforce its driver-centric character, while models fitted with the optional navigation package get an alternative "double-wave" dash to accommodate the central video display.

Exterior

A relatively long wheelbase coupled with short front and rear overhangs, plus a slight wedge shape, gives the compact 3 Series a dynamic flair that reflects common styling cues with the larger 5 Series and 7 Series, elements that are further reinforced by the signature twin-kidney grilles. Unique headlamp and taillight treatments help define the 3 Series' character, and the 17- and 18-inch wheels that are part of the optional Sport Package impart an even more aggressive stance than the standard 16-inch alloy rims. All 3 Series models are fitted with extended-mobility run-flat tires, so no spare is included.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In keeping with its performance heritage, the 2008 BMW 3 Series emphasizes precise handling by augmenting its well-tuned suspension with the comprehensive Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. DSC interfaces with the car's powerful anti-lock brakes (ABS) as well as with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) on rear-wheel-drive models or Hill Descent Control (HDC) on all-wheel-drive vehicles. In addition to the expected power assists, the 3 Series offers numerous comfort and convenience touches, including cruise control, 10-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system and a single (Sedans) or dual (Sports Wagons) power moonroof. All models feature run-flat tires, dual front and front-side airbags plus BMW's front- and rear-seat Head Protection System (HPS).

Optional Equipment

Key single extras include a six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission, eight-way power front seats with driver memory, corner-following Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Comfort Access keyless entry and start, distance-maintaining Active Cruise Control, Active Power Steering that varies effort and ratio with vehicle speed, a navigation system with real-time traffic information and iDrive integrated multifunction controller, Dakota Leather upholstery, Logic7 Sound System, HD radio and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The Cold Weather Package includes headlamp washers and heated front seats, while a Premium Package brings leather plus a subscription to BMW Assist that includes real-time help and concierge service at the push of a button. The Sport Package nets tauter suspension, sport seats and 17-inch wheels and tires.

Under the Hood

Although the 328i and 335i share the same 3.0-liter engine displacement, how BMW tweaks each engine makes all the difference in the world. In the 328 models, an ultra-smooth 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine makes a respectable 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. In the 335, twin turbochargers up the output to 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Another welcome touch is BMW's sophisticated Double VANOS variable valve-timing system that bolsters low- and mid-range responsiveness while helping make the engine even more efficient.

3.0-liter in-line 6
230 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
200 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 (Sedan, manual, 2WD), 19/28 (Sedan, automatic, 2WD), 17/27 (Sports Wagon, manual, 2WD), 18/27 (Sports Wagon, automatic, 2WD), 17/25 (AWD)

3.0-liter in-line 6 twin-turbocharged
300 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1400-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 (manual, 2WD), 17/26 (automatic, 2WD), 16/25 (manual, 4WD), 17/25 (automatic, 4WD)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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2008 BMW 3 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 1055 Ratings for the 2006 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

I love driving this car!

By on Sunday, July 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "I paid a fair price because I shopped around."

Cons: "Love driving in the BMW 328i. No complaints!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Hi,I rented a 328i BMW on a trip out of the country.I drove around for over a week in the car . I fell in love with driving the BMW 328i.I loved driving it so much I bought one when I came home.I studied up on the BMW for months before buying one.I don't want to give the impression of jumping into buying one because I studied up on the BMW 328i model and read too many reviews to count.I couldn't be any happier with the deal I made for my awesome car.I can tell you the most important thing was to buy extended coverage plan.Everyone I read about said they were happy with the car except the people who had no coverage and had to pay out of pocket.It may cost more but the car is worth every penny.People who wrote their reviews about their BMW 328i helped me to decide to buy my BMW 328i.The most things that were negative about the car from others in reviews were trunk room being kind of small and back seat is kind of small for three adults.Hope this information helps you to decide in your car purchase.Take care."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Consumer Reports was correct

By on Saturday, July 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "engine, handling"

Cons: "cup holders, rear visibility when backing up"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I bought this car because it was only one of two cars from any brand that had all wheel drive for winter driving in NH, enough room for wife, kid, 2 large dogs & luggage and a manual transmission. CR described he car as an excellent vehicle except for the cup holders and rear visibility. No one can say enough nice things about the inline 3 liter engine. The only reason for a more powerful engine is the inability to drive a manual transmission. Unfortunately 2011 is the last year the xDrive wagon could be ordered with a manual transmission."

Tons of fun to drive

By on Monday, July 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, fast, poor mans M3, head turner"

Cons: "No spare"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've had the pleasure of having this car for 2 years. This car drives great - it's very sporty. It has great pull in any gear. I have the coupe. It's tight to get into the back but once your back there, there is plenty of leg room. I with there was more room in the trunk for a spare...I guess all sports cars these days are going with run flats so they don't need spares."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Will not let you down!!

By on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my 20009 BMW 328i. I have owned this car for 3 years and have not had any trouble with it. It drives awesome. Smooth ride and handles like a dream. Quick and responsiveness are a definite plus! Gas mileage has been great compared to heavy SUVs I have owned in the past. BMW is definitely the ultimate driving machine. This car will not disappoint!!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Horrible gas mileage

By on Monday, July 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great handling"

Cons: "Bad Gas mileage, harsh ride, front bumper scrapes"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"Very harsh ride over our potholed roads. Terrible City mileage 16, HWY only 22. Radio fidelity is poor."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

best car I ever owned

By on Sunday, July 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "classic design with thoughtful amenities"

Cons: "depreciation need comfort of a four door"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"First ever trouble free vehicle in almost six years. Only cost was an oil change after the fourth year maintenance expired."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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