Recall Alert: 2000-2006 BMW 3 Series

2000BMW3SeriesRecall

Vehicles Affected: About 574,000 model-year 2000-06 BMW 3 Series luxury cars manufactured between May 1999 and August 2006

The Problem: This is a voluntary expansion of a May 2013 recall of 42,000 3 Series cars to replace the passenger-side front airbag; the airbag inflator may deploy the device with too much pressure, causing a rupture and, possibly, serious injury to occupants. The problem is related to the massive recall involving several other automakers whose vehicles are equipped with airbags manufactured by Japan's Takata Corp., a worldwide supplier of airbags. BMW said this recall, which excludes the models recalled in the 2013 campaign, is precautionary. The automaker is unaware of any incidents involving related to this issue.

The Fix: BMW will notify owners by mail, and dealers will replace the passenger-side airbag module. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call BMW at 800-525-7417 or email customer.relations@bmwna.com for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | July 16, 2014 | Comments (1)

Cars.com's Top 10 Fun-to-Drive Fuel Sippers

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When I was 10, my dad set me and a go-kart loose in an abandoned parking lot, free to zip around the blacktop. At that age, you don't give a thought to how much gas costs; it's all about the fun. At this age, however, fuel economy is a big consideration when it comes to buying a car, but it doesn't have to trump the fun-to-drive factor.

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There are plenty of cars that offer both fun and fuel savings, from affordable subcompacts and gas-electric hybrids to pricier luxury cars and diesel-powered vehicles. To qualify for this list, a car has to have an EPA combined rating of 30 mpg, while bringing out the inner go-kart-loving kid in all of us:

By Jennifer Geiger | June 9, 2014 | Comments (9)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

2014NissanRogue

The 2014 Nissan Rogue crossover showed no interest in sharing the spotlight as it once again occupied the No. 1 spot on our list of most-read reviews. Meanwhile, the 2014 BMW 328d and Audi A6 luxury sedans debuted at Nos. 5 and 7, respectively. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2014 Nissan Rogue
2. 2014 Lexus ES 350

3. 2015 Subaru WRX
4. 2014 Honda CR-V
5. 2014 BMW 328d
6. 2014 Audi Q5
7. 2014 Audi A6
8. 2014 Subaru Forester
9. 2014 Infiniti Q50
10. 2014 Chevrolet Cruze

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Matt Schmitz | May 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 BMW 328d Video

Like the BMW 3 Series that won our $46,000 Sport Sedan Challenge last year, says Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder, the 2014 328d gets high marks for acceleration, braking, handling and interior quality — but with the one-two controversial punch of being both a wagon and a diesel.

2014 BMW 328d Review

By Matt Schmitz | May 13, 2014 | Comments (2)

2014 BMW 328d Review

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"The 2014 BMW 328d clean-diesel does a great job of delivering both excellent fuel economy and the BMW driving experience, but it sacrifices some in-cabin tranquility," said Cars.com Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder. Check out the review for more.

2014 BMW 328d Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Jennifer Geiger | May 12, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 BMW 328d Wagon: Car Seat Check

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When BMW's compact wagon showed up in our test car fleet, several parents on staff got excited — very excited. The pricey 328 didn't quite live up to their expectations, however. For our Car Seat Check, we tested the 328 in diesel trim and were pleased with its accessible Latch anchors but not impressed by the amount of room the wagon offered for our rear-facing infant seat.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Jennifer Geiger | May 8, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 BMW 328d Sports Wagon Real-World Cargo Space

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The 2014 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon is a tried-and-true wagon competing in a space filled with premium SUVs. This wagon doesn't have an easy win with cargo volume, however, as BMW shoppers will find similar cargo room in BMW's very own 3 Series Gran Turismo hatchback, X1 compact SUV and much roomier X3 SUV.

Is the BMW 3 Series Wagon the Ultimate Car for Dads?

The Sports Wagon has 17.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the backseat, less than the 3 Series Gran Turismo's 18.4 cubic feet, X1's 25 cubic feet and X3's 27.6 cubic feet. Total cargo volume is a similar story with 53 cubic feet compared to the Gran Turismo's 56.5 cubic feet, the X1's 56 cubic feet and the X3's 63.3 cubic feet. See how well an assortment of common family goods fit in the 3 Series Wagon's cargo area, below.

By Joe Bruzek | May 1, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2010-2012 BMW Vehicles

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 156,137 BMW vehicles from the 2010-2012 model years. The recalled models are the 2010-11 128i coupe and convertible; 328i xDrive sedan; 328i sedan, coupe, convertible and sports wagon; and Z4 sDrive 30i. Affected model-year 2011-12 vehicles are the 135i coupe and convertible, 335i sedan, X5 xDrive 35i and X6 xDrive 35i. Affected model-year 2011 vehicles are the 335i xDrive sedan, 335i coupe and convertible, 528i sedan, 535i sedan, 535i xDrive sedan, X3 xDrive 28i and X3 xDrive 35i. Affected model-year 2010 vehicles are the X3 xDrive 30i and X5 xDrive 30i. Affected model-year 2012 vehicles are the 2012 640i coupe and convertible. Model-year 2010-12 535i Gran Turismo vehicles are also part of the recall.

"In addition, owners of approximately 170,172 model year 2010-2012 BMW vehicles equipped with inline-six-cylinder engines not covered by this recall, will receive an extended warranty to address this condition," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in its recall notice. 

The Problem: The bolts that secure the variable camshaft timing adjustment unit could become loose and may break. This could cause reduced engine power or the engine could stall, increasing the risk of a crash. BMW has not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to this issue, the automaker said in a statement.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected bolts for free.

What Owners Should Do: BMW will notify owners starting in May. Owners can call BMW at 800-525-7417 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information. 

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By Jennifer Geiger | April 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

Is the BMW 3 Series Wagon the Ultimate Car for Dads?

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There's a common refrain among automotive writers as well as enthusiasts I run into who also — like me — happen to be fathers. They love station wagons. I'm not talking dads who remember Woodstock, but those who can recall when Lollapalooza toured the country and don't mind the anti-SUV body style.

More Family Car News

For that group I present the 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon. I spent an entire day off with the kids in this white beauty, which not only had the wagon part down, but also all-wheel drive and a turbocharged diesel engine with 280 pounds-feet of torque.

Could it live up to my high expectations plus deliver the family-friendly goods?

By David Thomas | April 2, 2014 | Comments (3)

Study Ranks Owners' Ability to Afford Their Cars by City

DrivingInBigCity

Can you afford your car? Obviously, the answer to that question is more complicated than "yes" or "no." But far more often than you might imagine, it's the latter, according to a study of the nation's 25 largest metropolitan areas by Interest.com. Now you can gauge your own financial solvency as it relates to your household vehicles — or just use the info to justify your condescending smirk/head-shake combo as your neighbor drives by in his new luxury sedan.

2013 Year-End Sales Preview

"Too many families are spending way too much on new cars and trucks," Interest.com Managing Editor Mike Sante said in a statement. "Just because you can manage the monthly payment doesn't mean you should let a $30,000 or $40,000 ride gobble up such a huge share of your paycheck. You can get a great car for much less and use the savings to invest in yourself."

The study calculated how much a household can afford to spend on a car or light-duty truck using the so-called 20/4/10 rule: a down payment of at least 20 percent; a financing term of no more than 48 months; and principal, interest and insurance not exceeding 10 percent of a household's gross income. Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Boston led the charge in ability to afford vehicles, while Miami and Tampa, Fla., car owners were at the bottom of the list. The nation's three largest cities were clustered toward the middle of the list of 25, with New York at No. 10, Chicago at No. 12 and Los Angeles at No. 14.

By Matt Schmitz | March 14, 2014 | Comments (3)

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