1990 BMW 3 Series ix 2.3 from North America


Super fun and slick, but VERY, VERY expensive to fix!


Front axles! - $800 (could have been worse)

Radiator - $250.

Heater control valve - (coolant on my feet - took some time to sleuth)

Water in the trunk from bad seal around antennae.


Power-steering hoses leaking.


Power window and mirrors.

Shocks (I know it's a maintenance item, but $120 for the cheapest front shock!)

Oil leak.

General Comments:

Buying this car was a mistake and I will never buy without a pre-purchase inspection again! It was obviously abused early on, so many of the problems above aren't "quirky, quality" things for me to complain about. However... the cost to repair them was insane! I had gotten so far into this car within a month of owning it that my head was spinning.

It is absolutely true about how well these IX's perform in the snow. The car handles like it's on rails and performs amazing (5sp is MUCH better than auto). You won't be disappointed with its performance.

These AWD BMW's are more expensive to maintain than the 2WD ones - don't kid yourself. Find one that has been well taken care of, get a pre-purchase inspection, and be meticulous about maintenance and you'll have a great car. Don't buy a stinker like I did and $3000 of mechanic bills later regret it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th May, 2008

31st May 2008, 12:12

I don't think it's going to get any better for you. BMW or not, it's 18 years old. The mileage isn't so much a major thing, the engines are known for their reliability, but it's the other parts of the car that suffer at that mileage.. like the suspension as you mentioned. You might be better off buying a newer BMW.. something from the late 90's, won't cost a lot but will probably last for ages without stuff going wrong, well that's how it's been for me anyway.

1990 BMW 3 Series 320i Motorsport 2.0 Straight 6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A reliable, cheap to run straight six with more than enough power


When I got this Car as a Christmas present of a relative, it had been sitting for six months prior to myself getting it. After sitting for that long it needed:

- New spark plugs

- New Air filter

- New Brake light (s)

- General tune up.

The driver seat is unable to moved forward or backwards. Is an easy fix.

A/C is not working.

The Back defogger doesn't work either.

General Comments:

I love this car. Was pretty stoked its the "m-technic"/motorsport version. Once replacing the spark plugs and air filter, it is excellent on gas.

I've heard a lot of things about the M20B20 engines being underpowered and lacking "launch", but once you hit 4000+ rpm, it explodes forward (surprised the hell out of me and a mate when we drove it). Not to mention it has that beautiful and distinctive BMW "roar" that warns other motorists to get the hell out of the way! In my opinion its powerful enough. Could easily keep up with that twin turbo V6 through mid to high speeds, but would lack a little bit in a drag race/sprint. A K&N cold intake air filter and a new exhaust system improved throttle response. Also for a straight six, this car ain't too bad on gas.

One thing that annoys me about the BMW is the lack of space. These are very small cars. Other than that, excellent car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th July, 2006

1990 BMW 3 Series 318i LUX 1.8 from UK and Ireland




Nothing at all mechanically, so far.

General Comments:

A very reliable ride for very little money.

A comfortable interior.

Very nippy when required.

This little car cost me £750 on Ebay this March, with low mileage even after 17 years trundling around the UK.

Very well serviced prior to me getting it at specialists rather than dealers, which saved a lot of cash.

Whilst the car is no M3, it can be driven hard and is very rewarding. Look after it and it may well outlast you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2006