1989 BMW 3 Series M325i 2.5 straight 6 from Australia and New Zealand




- Muffler detached itself from the rest of the exhaust ($75 to fix).

- Thermostat replaced.

- Cracks on dash.

- Rust bubbles starting on sunroof (minor).

General Comments:

I absolutely love this car!

I'm 20, and I have owned 7 cars in the last 5 years, simply because I get bored with them. I honestly believe I could keep this car for years and years! It's just fun to drive, and people look at you (especially people who remember the car from when they were younger, and when it came out).

The handling in the dry is amazing; in the wet it's scary to say the least. If you touch the accelerator while turning, even slowing, the back will slide out with no notice.

My particular car is the same as the 325is (just rebadged for NZ and Australia). It has everything I need in a car. Air-con, electric windows, mirrors sunroof etc. I got a euro style personalized plate - JOY IS for her, and I feel it really completes the look.

I have been surprised with reliability, but do have a huge list of things I want to do to get it back in absolute mint condition. The wheels need to be reconditioned, a stainless exhaust, sunroof re-sprayed and suspension overhauled...

Plan to add to this review.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th January, 2011

5th Dec 2011, 10:38

How much did you pay for your 325i, and how many miles?

Thanx. hijodejuan@sbcglobal.net

1989 BMW 3 Series 320i 2.0 litre petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Looks good, turns well, runs slow, is reliable


Indicator light; stainless steel exterior seal.

General Comments:

This is the first car I have actually owned myself, and my first review.

This BMW is a 25 year old West German design, built in Apartheid-era South Africa ca 1989, bought with 155000 km on the clock. This review takes this into account; I don't expect the car to either perform as it did when it was new or to compete against modern technology. My air filter is also overdue for servicing, so this may affect performance.

PERFORMANCE: I find acceleration and speed to be passable; I can overtake other vehicles when going up hill, for example, though overall acceleration itself is still slow. On the other hand, I drive over the Rimutaka Mountain Ranges frequently - a narrow, windy mountain road - and braking and cornering ability are excellent, despite the lack of ABS. This car handles wonderfully and is very stable. Petrol consumption is perhaps what you'd expect from an 80s car; I get about 9L/100km motorway, a bit more around town. For a compact car, this is thirstier than I'd like, but then the 80s were a different time.

RELIABILITY: This car has been almost perfect since I bought it. The engine is about 1/2 to 2/3 through its life, but I've experienced no problems with that. Have had no issues with rust; the car has been kept in unsheltered conditions. All that's gone wrong is in the electrics - the heater sometimes cuts in and out when I switch it on, and my indicator flashes double-time. One piece of stainless steel exterior has come off, I think in a carwash, but this seems mainly cosmetic. I've been happy with this car's reliability, given its age.

COMFORT: I often travel around 1-2 hours in this car. I'm about 6ft in height and admittedly a bit overweight. The car has enough legroom; the ceiling could be a little higher, but generally this is not a problem. The steering wheel is not adjustable, but fortunately is about the right height and distance from my arms regardless. This car loses points in this aspect for its front seats, which are unfortunately the 'sports' version. If by sports BMW meant narrow seats with hard sides that cut into the sides of your legs, well then I think I'll get these changed to regular ones sometime soon, which are simply flat. They are a pain in the butt as is. Also, I deduct a point for lack of cupholders, which you really miss. Otherwise, the car is roomy enough with a large boot. Road noise is also a little on the loud side.

My overall impression of this car is good, and I would give it an 8/10. If you get one, you'll probably want to avoid or change the 'sports' seats though, especially if you plan on going any length of time in this vehicle. Reliability is excellent; performance is a mix between superb handling and not-so-good acceleration; comfort is generally good, but particularly let down by the 'sports' seats, so look for one with regular seats, or install them or aftermarket seats.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th November, 2010

5th Nov 2010, 16:10

I almost bought one of those about 10 years ago, and have driven them occasionally for years when getting my car serviced at my ex-BMW Sth Africa mechanic as a courtesy car.

Performance-wise, you are correct. It feels sluggish around town (I live in Auckland, with winding urban roads and hills, barely a flat straight road), rather than nimble. But besides the age of the car, they're automatics (full hydraulic, I think, no computer controls). They're fast, but not swift.

The consumption you are getting is actually quite good, you must be traveling often in rural roads, or at least not the Northern Motorway at peak hour. I've just bought a manual BMW 316ti hatch (2001), and my fuel economy was consistently better, getting anything from 11-11.5 km/L (8.69-9.00 L/100 km), compared to previous Audis and a Galant, all automatics, which averaged only 8-8.5 km/L (11.7-12.5 L/100 km) unless I drove out of town. And those already had computer-controlled automatics.