1987 BMW 3 Series 316 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland
If BMW still made these, I'd buy one from new!
Had used a small amount of water since bought. Developed into a severe failure at 133000 miles - cylinder head defect. Repaired with epoxy resin!
Damaged linkage on carburetor prevented correct idle. Repaired soon after purchase.
Driver's seat fabric wore through at just over 100000 miles.
122000 miles - Fitted Weber replacement carburetor.
126000 miles - changed back to original carburetor!
This has to be the most enjoyable car I've ever owned. Once a few initial problems had been rectified, the car proved itself to be economical and reliable. Fuel consumption was around 36mpg, worst was 32mpg and best was 43mpg.
The Weber carburetor solved an unsteady idle problem, but drive-ability and economy suffered badly. Average fuel consumption went down to 28mpg.
Even though the car had 205-55-VR15 tyres and did not have power steering, the steering was incredibly light and precise. Driving any car with power steering after driving the 316 felt like the steering coupling was made of elastic!
Servicing: You can service these yourself - use a good quality oil and the engine just won't wear. The cylinder honing marks were still visible on mine at 133000 miles!
Be aware that most mechanics don't understand the 2BE electronic carburetor on this model.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th August, 2002