Best Bet
  • (4.7) 44 reviews
  • MSRP: N/A
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 23-25
  • Engine: 225-hp, 3.0-liter I-6 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 5-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
2004 BMW 330

Our Take on the Latest Model 2004 BMW 330

What We Don't Like

  • Winter traction with RWD
  • Entry and exit
  • Price

Notable Features

  • 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder
  • Three body styles
  • Two-door models freshened for 2004
  • New six-speed manual
  • Newly available adaptive headlights

2004 BMW 330 Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Entry-level BMW shoppers who want a little more power than the 325 provides can step up to the 330, which holds a larger six-cylinder engine. In addition to the two four-door models — the rear-wheel-drive 330i and all-wheel-drive 330xi — the lineup includes a 330Ci coupe and convertible. Unlike the 325, there is no 330 wagon.

As with the 325, the 330Ci coupe and convertible earned a substantial freshening for their launch as early 2004 models. Sedans for the 2004 model year were released in the fall of 2003, with mildly touched-up front ends that included black headlight surrounds.

New front ends for the 330Ci coupe and convertible feature lighting units that sweep upward as they wrap around the bodysides. A wider grille sits below a hood with modified contours. The wheel openings are more prominently flared than before.

Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights are available either alone or with an adaptive feature that steers the headlights into oncoming curves. New LED taillights incorporate adaptive brake lights. Rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlight control are now standard on all models. New options include Sirius Satellite Radio and Bluetooth wireless technology.

A new six-speed-manual gearbox replaces the previous five-speed-manual unit. BMW’s six-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) is available on all rear-drive models with a Sport Package; that package gets new five-spoke alloy wheels. The 330i Performance Package is now offered with a five-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. All versions except the 330xi sedan have rear-wheel drive; that model is equipped with all-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive models include Dynamic Stability Control, which reduces engine power and applies the brakes to help prevent skids.

Each body style in the 325 and 330 series exhibits BMW’s familiar look, with four round wraparound-style headlights and a twin-kidney grille. Last year, two- and four-door models looked different up front, but the 2004s have moved closer together in appearance.

The 330Ci coupe and convertible are 176.7 inches long overall, while the sedan measures 176 inches in length. The windshields on the coupe and convertible are slanted 2 degrees more than the sedan’s, and the convertible has a power folding top.

The 330 sedan versions hold five people, while the coupe and convertible are four-seaters. Space is ample up front with twin bucket seats, but passengers can’t stretch their legs in the backseat. A typical BMW dashboard has large, easy-to-read gauges. Simple stereo and climate control push-buttons are within easy reach.

Under the Hood
BMW’s 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine cranks out 225 horsepower and 214 pounds-feet of torque. A Performance Package for the 330 raises the 3.0-liter engine’s output to 235 hp and 222 pounds-feet of torque. It teams with either a new six-speed-manual gearbox, a six-speed SMG or a five-speed-automatic transmission, which has a provision for manually selected gear changes.

Antilock brakes, traction control, and side-impact and side curtain-type airbags for the front seats are standard. Rear-seat side-impact airbags are optional in the sedan.

Driving Impressions
Plenty of enthusiasts still consider BMW the standard by which sporty makes are judged. In both everyday and demanding driving, athletic maneuvering is the BMW norm.

Both 3 Series models promise spirited performance and crisp handling, but the 330 delivers greater exuberance than its 325 companion. The 3.0-liter engine feels so strong that it almost asks to be restrained a bit. BMW’s manual gearshift is sheer joy to manipulate. Clutch behavior is performance oriented, so achieving truly smooth takeoffs requires some practice.

Available all-wheel drive is a bonus in the Snow Belt. The seats are firm and driver oriented, but getting in and out isn’t as easy as it is in some cars.


By Jim Flammang for;
Last updated on 12/19/03

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 44 reviews

Write a Review

Actually a lower cost tomaintain than you think.

by Barry 1226 from Titusville,FL on October 31, 2017

An older car, the BMW 330 is a terrific second vehicle to own. It is good on gas, certainly not underpowered, and a jewel to drive. I keep the vehicle pretty much stock and it helps with running aroun... Read Full Review

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4 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2004 BMW 330 trim comparison will help you decide.

BMW 330 Articles

2004 BMW 330 Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports


There are currently 13 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,800 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years