1982 BMW 3 Series 315 1.6


Cheap good quality runabout capable of handling much more than the engine produces.


Rear brake cylinders began leaking after leaving the car to stand for a long time.

Some rust in the front wheel arches has needed to be repaired.

General Comments:

Compared to the power available, fuel consumption could be better. Perhaps with the 5-speed gearbox option this would be different.

The car is very easy to maintain at home. The parts are readily available and reasonably priced when obtained from specialists.

The car is becoming quite old, but still feels very usable everyday, especially compared with other older cars. All the equipment still works well, and it's comfortable to drive.

It is practical with a usefully sized boot.

The steering wheel is heavy when parking.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2006

1982 BMW 3 Series 316 1.8 petrol


As good a car as I could have dreamed of


Rust round the wheel arches (fixed in 1994 but came back).

Rusted sills (rockers) welded 2001 for MOT test (Scottish roads very salty!)

Exhausts every 2-3 years.

Rear sub-frame mounting bushes.

Front springs replaced (106,000 miles in March 2000).

Brake discs (90000 miles +).

Drivers seat badly worn.

Both petrol tanks leaking (2000).

Radiator replaced.

Hazard light switch replaced (twice).

Carb jet loosened (38,000 miles).

Water pump beginning to drip (110,000 miles).

Anti-roll bar bushes keep wearing out. This is the only unnecessary and irritating fault that it really has.

Beginning to use oil. Probably valve stem oil seals (100,000+ miles).

Oil leak from a fuel pump flange.

General Comments:

This car has been a dream for reliability in the ten years that we owned it.

All the faults have been minor and fixable. It is a wonderful car to work on, everything is well laid out and it has lots of nice touches to facilitate easy maintenance.

Runs beautifully even at 18 years old and 113,000 miles.

Having owned a Fiesta before it, this car felt powerful and fast, though it is actually a little underpowered for its size. Ideally get a five speed box and a bigger, fuel injected engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th March, 2001

7th Mar 2001, 14:40

The great thing with the E30 BMW is the styling and dash layout, also there are loads in the scrapyards now so they are cheap to buy and run, with parts easily available from the scrap man.

I drove mine for 5 years until it finally died with a cracked head at 304,000 miles. Was uneconomical to repair so I moved on to an E36. Still miss the 'old girl' though!!

Anyone with a Nova or Fiesta, get rid and get an E30 (84-91) BMW. You don't know what you're missing!!

19th Apr 2001, 19:31

The E30s of the 80s are excellent cars if they have been taken care of. They are very efficient, fast, and sporty, especially for cars of the 80s. Since they are cheap to buy and cheap to repair, I'd recommend getting one of these before a new car. They are lots of fun. I had an '84 318i, which provided me with a lot of fun driving.

22nd Sep 2002, 05:45

This car was given to me in 2001 by the owner who wrote the review above - I used it for a year and had nothing go wrong until one month before the MOT was due - then the clutch started to go and the brakes were becoming poor.

It was sadly beyond my budget to repair, but it was a true dream of a car and in the spirit I'd been given it, I passed it on to a neighbour who had plans to restore it. Sadly he moved away soon after and I don't know what became of it - but nonetheless, this 316 gave me the best year's motoring I've ever had! If anyone wants to give me another... ;-)