1986 BMW 3 Series e m20b27 from North America




Well, I somewhat knew what I was getting myself into when I bought this car, it was one step away from the junk yard, minus the drive train. the engine has pulled great since I got it, just everything around it is falling apart, I thank the P/O for not providing maintenance, I got it for $600, so I shouldn't be complaining too much, but some things were horrific on it, the fact the car still ran despite all the hacks and all the worn or broken parts is amazing. the fact it had little or no fuel pressure and pulled hills without sighing is crazy in itself. despite all the repairs, problems, and urges to destroy the thing, I still love it when I drive it.

General Comments:

Great car when it is running, if I had gotten the same model from an original owner who maintained it, I do believe I wouldn't even known these cars could have problems at all! the 325e gets a lot of flak for being the "slow" model (max speed: 118 mph, compared to the sportier "i" models which get 140 mph), but for a daily driver, the acceleration and torque this little beast has is perfect, good fuel mileage, and I rate it high on comfort because of how the car handles, it has comfortable handling, 18 point turns are not a problem, if you know anyone learning how to drive, have them practice on one of these.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th November, 2007

28th Nov 2007, 20:05

The top speed for the I models isn't 140mph, but a mere 125 on a good day with little to no wind.

1986 BMW 3 Series 325es 2.7L from North America


Best auto ever built


Nothing that has ever stranded me on the road.

Coolant hose busted.

Struts started leaking. Upgraded cheaper than stock.

Oil pan leaked oil.

Rear transmission seal leaked.

Both tie rods replaced.

Shifter rebuilt. Upgraded cheaper than stock.

Cracked dash from sun.

Cruise control broke (who cares)

General Comments:

Everything that goes wrong is easily repaired and upgraded. Engine is super strong, and build for many years of service. This car can take severe punishment like no other. Extremely cheap to maintain even with the dealer (scum alert). Once a year service with synthetic oil allows to do whatever you want mileage wise. As long this car is maintained, I hope it lasts forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th October, 2007

3rd Jan 2008, 11:49

Your 1986 BMW 325es will last forever with the kind of maintenance you have been using.

26th Jun 2008, 22:44

I had the exact same problems except for the coolant hose and my suspension was shot when I bought it all the way around. Oh well. Do you happen to know the mpg of these things? I've been looking for a half an hour; I just bought mine. Thanks. :)

26th Feb 2009, 09:00

Yeah, my 325es is still kicking strong after 250,000 with regular oil changes and replacement of wheel bearings. Question for anyone out there, does the 325es have a special engine?

1986 BMW 3 Series 320i Coupe 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Massive disappointment


Exhaust rusted to pieces.

Sticking air valve.

Corroded brake lines.

Track rod ends wore out.

Dials failed.

Things starting to rattle.

Four sensors (brake light, coolant, washer fluid, brake pads) warning of non-existent problems.

Fuel line leaking.

General Comments:

This car had a full BMW service history from one owner when I bought it, and I hoped for some trouble free motoring. I was very wrong. The last service came in at £500, and that wasn't a BMW dealer.

Very unpleasant car to own; I was led to believe these were fun to drive, but it lacks any spirit unless you really thrash it. The power doesn't come in till about 4000rpm, and even then it isn't that great.

Although the car is quiet to drive, the suspension is harsh and doesn't seem to deliver stable handling either; it all feels rather jumpy when taking a corner ambitiously. I'm sure this could be sorted with uprated suspension, but considering the firmness of the ride, I expected better from the stock shocks.

By far the worst thing about the car however, is the truly diabolical fuel economy. When I first got the car, I thought there was a fuel leak; that's how bad it is. It could be expected in a fast or heavy car, but this car isn't fast or heavy; I simply don't know what it's doing with it all. I don't drive fast, but this car will happily empty its tank in just a few hours of gently driving, and it will take £50 in the tank.

It's got to the point now that I dread driving this car, and I don't know why I've kept it as long as I have. It's going up for sale now and I'll be glad to be rid of it.

On the plus side, it's given me plenty of problems, but has never left me stranded. It always starts and never stops.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 8th August, 2007

13th Aug 2007, 12:13

In fairness, full BMW history or not, it was nearly 20 years old when you bought it. When a car is 20 years old, it doesn't matter how well it was built, or how well it's been serviced - it will not be problem-free.

14th Aug 2007, 07:16

Buying a 20 year old car and all you have are some small electrical problems in 2 years? And you are still complaining? And you are complaining on petrol consumption on a 20 year old 6 cyl engined car? It's not exactly a turbo diesel.