1997 BMW 3 Series 318i 1.8


Lovely car, but heavier on the wallet


115000 km - tank fuel level sender malfunctioning, had to replace the whole tank pump assembly.

115000 km - Airbag sensor warning light on, seat belt fasteners faulty.

130000 km - Catalytic converter burned itself in a matter of minutes, clogged the exhaust.

General Comments:

The car is great fun to drive, especially if you want thrills from time to time. Try summer tires in snow and you'll know what I mean.

A car for enthusiasts more than your usual Opel. This means more fun, but also heavier on the wallet.

Relatively little room compared to my previous Opel Vectra, but much more style and better build quality. Engine is the best part of the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th September, 2005

1991 BMW 3 Series 320i saloon 2.0 i


Great drivers car


Stoppers on front suspension worn out at 160k km - manifested in sometimes annoying sound. ABS sensor failure on 198k km.

General Comments:

After owning '90 520i and crashing it I bought this car. Drove it for one year (32k km) and had no major complaint.

It had suspension performed by AC Schnitzer (-30mm Eibach springs + Bilstein sport absorbers, later replaced by Sachs M tehnik).

Car was often driven on track days; this means pretty heavy working condition, but nothing ever went wrong.

Top speed is 216km/h (220 on tacho) and is achieved when you hit the rev limiter in 5th gear. Fuel consumption would be around 11l per 100km. Engine NEVER used any oil (Shell 5w40 was in it, service interval between 10 an 12,5k km)

Car is not a straight line racer (9,9sec 0-100km/h, round 17sec 0 - 400m) due to its weight (1360kg). But when it comes to corners I find it definitely one of the best cars made in that time.

Feeling behind the wheel (handling) is just fantastic, especially if you can install (afford) sport suspension package. Also the sound of stock inline 6 is a sypmhony for ears.

Car was oftenly driven on highway at high speeds (180+km/h) but that never appeared to be a problem. Also the brakes were fantastic; pads never faded, nor on the track, nor on the highway. If you want an optimally fast car for modest maintenance cost; this is ideal choice, only look for full service history models.

Althought this was one of the first models produced (E36 line was introduced in 1991) there was no need for pinion rack replacement (often e36 fault) nor the water or fuel pump replacement.

I replaced this car with '98 328i coupe. Although I found it a bit underpowered for my choice, this will definitely be one of the best cars I ever owned.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th July, 2005

2000 BMW 3 Series 316i 1.9


Go for the 320iX


Nothing yet.

General Comments:

My old E30 316i with only 100 HP (this one has 105 HP) had much better performance - probably due its weight (only 1080 kg). My hope is that the difference between 318i and 316i is only in the software and that I will upgrade it to 118 HP after the warranty expires.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th October, 2000

10th Mar 2001, 15:38

Yes, the only difference between the new generation 316 and 318 is the ECU and exhaust manifold. The engines are the same.

2nd Aug 2001, 06:12

The 318 is a 16v unit whereas the 316 is 8v.

I think a little more work may be required to increase the performance of the 316 I'm afraid.