1984 BMW 3 Series 318i 1.8 gas from North America


Hard pressed to find a better handling, more reliable car on the road


Front right indicator burnt out.

Front right strut failed.

General Comments:

Previous owner fitted car with Eibach lowering springs, Pacesetter Header, K&N filter, Iridium plugs, Flowmaster exhaust, 17" mags with 40 series tires.

This car handles incredibly well, and with the performance modifications goes very well for a 1.8lt.

Recaro racing seats and alpine sound make the interior a pleasant place to spend endless hours cruising.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st July, 2005

1984 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.3 fuel injection from UK and Ireland


The slogan 'the ultimate driving machine' was made for the e30 323i


The head gasket failed at 154,000 miles.

The clutch was replaced at 157,500 miles.

The engine mounts were replaced in august this year, they were last changed in 1996 when I bought the car.

General Comments:

This car demands respect from the driver as I have found out over the last 8 years of ownership. if you decide to try to push the car it will bite you back.

The acceleration of this car is brilliant...no, amazing is a better word for it.

The rear cabin space is a little tight, but I've driven with 2 adults in the back numerous times and we got out at the other end of the journey and they were fine on every occasion. the front and rear seats I changed to recaro cloth trim which made a lot of diference comfort-wise.

The 0-60 time of the standard 323i is half a second quicker than the 325i due to its gearing and differential set-up.

My car knows when I've got spare cash lying around and always starts playing up then, never when I'm skint.

The car has always got me home, it has never left me standing in the rain awaiting assistance from the aa.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th September, 2004

23rd Apr 2005, 21:46

Being a pre '86 car, does this model require leaded fuel or will it run on Unleaded without damage to the engine?

9th Jul 2007, 02:21

Spot on review mate. I have an '83 323i and it's been a gem. As long as you maintain the car well, and change what needs to be changed when it needs to be changed, all's fine and dandy.

But beware, do not speed in the rain. It'll bite (been there twice, I'm a slow learner).

The straight six sings all the way to the red line. Performance not far of from a 325i. In fact the engine sounds sweeter than the 325i, but that's just me.

All in all, I love the car, it's got soul.

1984 BMW 3 Series 318i 1.8 gasoline from North America


A nice and cheap little car


Breaks needed to be replaced with I first got it. Cost about $120 and I put them in myself, very easy.

Antenna stopped working at about 130,000 miles.

General Comments:

The car isn't that fast, it's a 1.8 liter 4-cylinder.

It still drives pretty good for a 20 year old car.

The car has a straight body and still looks good. The black interior is very clean.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th May, 2004

1984 BMW 3 Series 318i 1.8 from North America


If I ever wear it out I'll go looking for a 325


Replaced seats

Recharged A/C, fixed bracket bushing

Replaced taillight seals, one front control arm and drive line flex joint

Repaired driver's side door check strap

Re-bushed shifter linkage

Replaced shocks and brakes.

General Comments:

This car had been neglected by the previous owner and was bought for very little money. The engine and transmission are in excellent shape. With new brakes and shocks it handles very precisely and is a lot of fun to drive. The four-cylinder engine is adequate with the 5-speed transmission and gives 35 miles per gallon or better cruising at interstate highway speeds. Mine is an early '84 with slightly taller gearing than later models.

It's a well-built car and has been cheap to run once it was back in good mechanical condition.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th December, 2003

1984 BMW 3 Series 318i 1.8L 4 cylinder from North America


A nice gutless little car


Noisy fuel pump.

Radiator failed (actually broke).

Other minor stuff.

General Comments:

This is a decent little car, but it is gutless! The 4 cylinder is a real poor match to the automatic trans. Stock 0-60 time was over 12 seconds! I turbocharged it, and now it does 0 to 60 in 6.0s flat.

The body structure is very rigid and the performance potential is there. However, from the factory this car did not even have a rear sway bar. It sits too high as well.

All the basics are there for this to be a great performing car, but BMW missed the mark on this one. Keep in mind this is the weakest BMW made in 1984, and I suspect the other models to be much better.

Overall I still really like the car (now that I turbocharged it).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th September, 2002

9th Sep 2002, 14:32

12 sec 0-60 MPH is not too bad considering it's a 1984 car with no twincam or multivalve head, adding to that the weight of the sturdy body and the automatic gearbox (basically mandatory in America), plus American smog control plumbing.

16th Nov 2007, 14:25

I've had my 84 318i for over a year and it's been a comfortable, reliable and stylish daily driver. It's an automatic, but as a daily driver I'm not in a hurry (I have other sports cars for that), it's in fantastic shape (currently 89,000 miles) and since I've owned it have only done oil changes and replaced the brake light switch.

I have done several cosmetic things -- front/rear emblems, chrome/plastic beading around the front/rear windows (and let me say if you want to really clean up an older car like this these will make a tremendous difference in appearance), located all tools for the trunk kit, heat/sound pads on the inside of the hood and a couple of trim pieces.

But -- it's clean, straight (nice shiny white paint) and runs like a top. I'll probably keep it forever.

14th Mar 2009, 18:20

I was just wondering the relative cost (Canadian) of turbo-ing the 1984 car?

14th Mar 2009, 21:17

Back in 1992, one of my college room mates had one of these 318i's. Yes, it was pretty gutless. It handled pretty well, but it was cramped, utilitarian, and had to be revved up like mad to get it moving. I didn't really get the appeal, except that it had the little blue-and-white symbol on it that impressed college kids.