Best 3.. year?

Well, let me qualify this a little better. What is the best year for any 3 series for the least problems (as far as complaints on the NHTSA website) AND owner satisfaction? Also, it needs to be NO older than 15
years old AND have an automatic transmission (because of a disabled driver).
ALL comments are appreciated.
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I would have to say 2003 and newer.
I am on my 4th BMW, currently have a 2003 330CIC convertible with 30k miles. Not one issue thus far.
My previous cars, 2001 325ci, 1997 M3, and 98 540I all were problematic. However, none of them left me stranded on the road. Just anooying electrical issues and oxygen sensors.
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"" wrote: > I would have to say 2003 and newer. > > I am on my 4th BMW, currently have a 2003 330CIC convertible > with 30k > miles. Not one issue thus far. > > My previous cars, 2001 325ci, 1997 M3, and 98 540I all were > problematic. However, none of them left me stranded on the > road. Just > anooying electrical issues and oxygen sensors.
I looked up your model (actually the 330CI and 330XI) on the NHTSA website and found that you were correct. It had only ONE complaint (having to do with tires)! I am amazed. However, the 330I had 13 complaints mostly concerning stalling that can’t be fixed. Do you know anything about that? What is the difference between the 330 CIC and the 330I? When I looked up the 2004 model, the story changed. It had numerous complaints of serious problems with the transmission when cold and stalling problems. It also back referenced the 2003 model year.
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Consumer Reports says 2002. That's all you need to know.

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I wish it were that simple. Unfortunatley, in 2002, the 3 series had more service bulletins than any other year.
Although I think cunsumer reports is an excellent source, it takes a few years after the model year to really know everything about the car.
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The stalling issue you mentioned I never experienced at all. Of course I am in San Diego where the weather is mostly mild. Two of my previous bimmers were in Dallas where it gets much colder and hotter. The battery life was also notibly shorter.
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