1988 BMW 3 Series Reviews - Page 8 of 9

1988 BMW 3 Series 325i 2.5L gasoline from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.5L gasoline Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired138200 miles
Most recent distance138600 miles
Previous carChevrolet Camaro

Summary:

Not your white trash American car from the 80's!!!

Faults:

Nothing is really wrong with the car. You can tell just by driving it that BMW made these cars to last.

The idle is a little unstable, possibly due to throttle position sensor needing adjusting or the idle sensor needing to be replaced.

General Comments:

I LOVE this car. I have owned a 1987 Camaro (white trash car) that was a piece of crap, a Ford Bronco (offroading white trash car), a 1983 Mazda RX-7 (pretty cool car) and a 1969 VW Bug (still have it, but looking to sell the tin can on wheels).

No other car I have ever owned or driven has the acceleration, handling or comfort of the 325. I don't care what anybody says, if you want to get a car that isn't going to spend most of it's time at the shop and that IS actually fun to drive, this car has it.

The old lady I bought this from (for $2000.00) didn't know what she had on her hands. It has all the options (of the time) along with leather interior (still in great shape), a convertible top (that seems like it is brand new) and the original paint that looks like it has just rolled off the assembly line. Even the engine compartment looks brand new.

Bottom line is that this model of car is a driver's dream. Front to back and side to side; more attention to detail went into making this car than nearly anything on the road!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th November, 2002

26th Nov 2003, 14:37

How does the rx7 compare to this car in performance?

13th Jan 2004, 12:46

I was just wondering why you would not purchase another BMW, when all of your comments and ratings of this auto made it sound awesome? Sounds like you love this car. Why wouldn't you want another?

7th May 2011, 11:00

My 88 Crown Vic has taken a beating from me for 10 years already. And only thing it needed was a water pump.

8th May 2011, 14:52

White trash? Yeah, 'cause nothing says 'class' like a 20-year old, low-end Beemer hoopty. The choice of college kid poseurs everywhere.

9th May 2011, 18:22

Driving an 80's BMW in this day and age is almost more white trash than the Camaro, it's pretentious and cheesy.

1988 BMW 3 Series 325i Touring 2.5L petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.5L petrol Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired111000 miles
Most recent distance142000 miles
Previous carPeugeot 205

Summary:

Granddaddy of the Tourers!

Faults:

Clutch Slave Cylinder at 126,000 miles.

Idle Air Stabilizer Valve at 131,000 miles.

New Exhaust Rear Section at 132,000 miles.

The Gearbox is on its way out.

Lots of little things, rubber hoses, relays, screen wash valves etc...

9 previous owners hadn't looked after it!!!

General Comments:

I have spent A LOT on things that the previous owners should have done.

BUT, it is so nice to drive I forgive them.

Superb engine note, and acceleration.

Achieves 28-32mpg. Have had 380 miles on one tank of petrol.

Interior is still spotless after 142,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2002

1988 BMW 3 Series 320i SE 2 door saloon 2.0 6 cyl MP EFI from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 2.0 6 cyl MP EFI Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired136000 miles
Most recent distance141000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

Reliable performance saloon

Faults:

Clutch master cylinder (common fault).

Driver's seat adjustment mechanism (another common fault).

Service indicator batteries (again, a common fault).

General Comments:

Excellent drive, the BMW is in a class of its own. The six cylinder engine is responsive at higher revs, and sedate at low, but torquey enough not to labour in high gears around town.

The interior and seats are a driver's paradise, apart from the quirky adjusters that go wrong from time to time.

Fuel economy is not too bad for a performance saloon, but isn't something that would make the Green party smile.

Just one word of caution: Keep it serviced. M20 engines don't like old oil, and the injection system is quirky if left with an old air filter. The spray bar inside the rocker cover must not be knocked when adjusting tappets, or the cam will be starved of oil in places.

141,000 miles on a BMW is just run in. Service history is more important.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th September, 2000

16th Jul 2001, 16:55

I recently purchased a 1988 325i with 137,000 miles on it. I am 40 and have owned many, many cars - brand new Grand Prix's to new Suburbans to VW's to Ford and Chevy products galore, and here is the bottom line: My 1988 325i is the BEST car I have ever owned. My next new car WILL by a BMW. What so impressed me, other than the performance in a 13 year old car - was the attention to quality so obvious in the manufacturing process. The car I purchased was not well cared for by previous owners, yet everything on it works! Can you imagine being able to say the same thing about a 13 year old American car that had been treated with less than optimum care? Mark me down as completely impressed with BMW because of my '88 325i. Fit, finish, features, and solid performance... my wife thinks I've lost my mind, but I'm in LOVE with this car!!

6th Aug 2003, 08:33

All what I can say is, BMWs are ones of the only cars that you will never get bored of.

11th Mar 2004, 04:09

I absolutely agree. I have an '88 320i. It is my fourth car, but my first BMW's. I have sworn to myself that I will buy nothing else, but BMWs since I have purchased it. The things that particularly appeal to me about this car are:

- The classic design of the shape. I don't think there is any other car of the same age that has the sleek, sophisticated look as the beamer. Its not the most conspicuous car on the road, but once its seen, it keeps the attention.

- The smooth handling and responsiveness is second to none, a real pleasure to drive.

- The interior is preferred by any car inthusiast because everything is created around the driver. It is personalised to make the driver feel they are in their comfort zone.

- The smooth performance of the engine at high revs. It lets the driver feel more in control when cruising at high speed.

BMW's are a real pleasure to drive. Once you drive one you will agree that there is no competition.

My 320i has done just over 210,000 km and still runs like a dream. There is just no substitute for quality.

11th Apr 2010, 15:22

I couldn't agree more. I also love my 1988 325I convertible. Only 140,000 miles.

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 30 reviews