And their basic conclusion: it's definitely pricey, but worth it. The 3.0 liter 225-hp I-6 is deceptively fast because of BMW's reknowned smoothness, and the engine works in concert with BMW's world-class handling, which one editor describes as helping forge a "symbiotic" relationship between driver and car. The steering and brakes likewise inspired confidence over the two years of ownership. The interior stresses function over form, with every control clear and within the driver's reach. Build quality was superb, and the only drawback was the cramped rear seat. Other minor issues with the car were an erratic air-conditioner that was cured by coolant, and a clicking noise in the cabin that eventually went away on its own. Edmunds paid $40,778 for the 330i (that's in 2002 money, mind you), and it provided great resale value at the completion of the test.

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