The car was bought for very little (700 pounds), and was a cheap round around while at university.
The steering in the car is very good nicely weighted. It has power steering so you can park it. It is a very long car, and from normally dealing with hatchbacks, it takes a few times to get used to the back end, being an extra few foot out the window.
The engine is a mere 1991cc, but it is 6 cylinders, and has one of the best noises I have heard from a car. It's only 150bhp, and I find that is only if you thrash it about. Sitting in traffic, you will need to drop a gear to get any motion.
In saying that, performance is certainly better than most saloons. It can easily keep up with any TDI I have come across. 0-60 takes 9.1, but it feels lively past 4000rpm. On the motorway the car is very strong in pulling. It is easy to nip into the fast lane and not feel another car behind you.
I find the gearing a bit funny. It seems to be geared quite high. You will be well past 3000rpm in motorway traffic in 5th. Also it redlines before it tops out around 135mph.
Handling is not bad either; the 320i has disc brakes all around, which I feel it needs as it's heavy enough. The 318i doesn't have disc brakes all around, and I would not like to have to brake hard in it. The back end can get a bit out of line if you try. But normally you do have to be really trying.
It will roar past most boy racers with ease. I am afraid a VTR Saxo simply was unable to pull to a lose your licence speed of 135mph down the M1. But I am sure he would have laughed his head off to realise I did an impressive and ground breaking 9 mpg.
The car is quite accurate and handling certainly a strong point to this car. In the wet I have had the tail out all too many times; I frankly would not drive in the wet, it really will throw the back end out when you really are not paying attention. This has caught me out a couple of times, out of a roundabout, I nicely had to apply a good bit of counter steer to recover the car, which is not too hard to do in this model. But I am sure other motorists would have assumed I was on the Top Gear test track.
One downside to the car is it seems to have not realized the fuel crisis. I have never seen it past 30mpg; even watching the mpg needle it has never graced past 30mpg, but going down a large hill it would sometimes hit 40mpg. Around town you can expect low twenties or high teens if you really thrash it about. My dads 318ci has a 2000cc, and can easy do 40mpg, yet makes the same bhp. I wonder where the fuel goes? The road?
Tax is 180 quid, and frankly I find that dear, but lucky, as if it was to conform to modern standards, I am sure the Labour government would be making a small fortune.
The car is a fantastic car to drive and is a lot of fun to throw about. The RWD makes handling on the limit a joy, and the steering makes you hit corners nicely.
There are some small problems with the car, but they're not worth fixing. I spent little money getting some of the problems fixed.
Insurance for me is not too bad; 500 a year. For 22 that's pretty decent.
It hopefully will go for a few more years, then I think it will have to be scrapped.
I think next will be an M3 from the same family of 3 series.