We've just sold our E90 320 SE petrol (2005), so time for a review. Our car had upgrade 18" alloys which gave it very good looks and grip. The tyres were all Bridgestone runflat and the ride was sporty but comfortable I'd say. I always find the balance and steering of BMWs excellent, but this has been the best yet. Especially the steering; I find it hard to imagine how steering could get any better than this. The car was also very good on the motorway - 90mph with 3 kids and wife felt very safe. The W204 Mercedes 320 SPORT (2008) which replaced the E90 handles well, but the steering is not as good.
Ownership has been very positive. The paintwork when polished was excellent and the car had a number of useful features like reversing sensors (great), cruise control and cool LED lights under the door handles so you can see them in the dark - my wife loved those. The only minor negative was a small oil leak on the rocker cover which meant oil would sometimes drip onto the exhaust manifold (smelly). Also, the clutch was a bit poor until the engine warmed up - apparently a common problem.
Petrol usage wasn't great, but this is a 2 lire petrol. You could get 40mpg on a run, but around town it's more like 30mpg. The car had plenty of pulling power, especially low and midrange. There wasn't a great deal of top end power, but my car is an M3, so maybe I'm being unfair here. We bought our car for £6k, which I think is great value. The car still looks contemporary, so a cheap private plate could be used.
We liked our E90 a lot and was significantly better value than the C320 which replaced it at £12K.
BMW E90 320 [petrol]
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1 January 2013
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