1991 BMW 3 Series E30 318iS 1.8 16v M42 from UK and Ireland




Nothing wrong with it. I had to replace a lower ball joint for the MOT. No other faults for MOT.

General Comments:

1991 BMW E30 318iS. After years of high powered front wheel drive hatchbacks this was a step down in power, but a major step up in driving enjoyment. This car provides driving pleasure like no other car I've ever driven. The back end is always ready to be teased out. Combine that with low running costs, good comfort, brilliantly spartan cabin, great seating and a classic look. I love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2005

15th Jun 2008, 18:37

This car is amazing. I go through withdrawal when I'm away from my 1991 318i. Driving it is a blast.

3rd Jul 2008, 20:10

I loved the BMW 318is so much that I bought a 2nd one to replace the one I totaled last Feb. Had to have another one, love these cars!!

1991 BMW 3 Series 318i Convertible 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Great looks, excellent reliability and fantastic handling combined with affordability.


Windscreen washer jets lost pressure. Remedied easily by changing to new bigger bore hoses and blocking off the connection to the headlight washers. This allowed the pump to deliver all the pressure to the windscreen jets. The problem was most likely due to debris blocking the old hoses.

Rear tyres "scrubbing" on the inside of the wheel arches. This only really happens when fully loaded with 5 adults. The car is lowered 60mm on all four corners. For the sake of an occasional rub, it is not worth the money to roll the arches or raise the suspension.

Brakes squealing after new pads and discs were fitted. Some copper grease sorted this out.

Central locking "bounces" back from locked about 4-5 times. I am told this is due to faulty locking controllers, of which there are three. One in each door and one in the boot. Reasonably expensive to replace, and not the troublesome really. Although the car has had the door barrels removed for aesthetic reasons so a complete battery drain or lock failure could result in having to break a window to get into the car.

General Comments:

The car has extremely high spec for 91'. Leather sports seat are very comfortable and easy to clean. Hard to go back to old flat seats with cloth.

The handling in this car is terrific. With rear wheel drive, lower centre of gravity and Alpina wheels the grip levels are impressive. The same word of caution as always with the E30, be careful in the wet. While the 4-cylinder 1.8 lacks raw power, 3500 to 5500 rpm range delivers good response.

The convertible is quite a lot heavier than my last E30 316, and consequently feels a little sluggish in comparison due to the extra frame support required to stiffen the chassis without the support of a metal roof.

Due to the age and weight of this car it uses quite a lot of fuel. Best mpg is 30. It can go quiet a lot lower if driven with "enthusiasm".

This car needs to be looked after. Even knowing the Haynes manual cover to cover, the occasional bit of guidance of a mechanic who is familiar with BMWs will go a long way.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th October, 2005

1991 BMW 3 Series 318is 1.8L from North America


Love at first drive


I just bought the car a few days ago, but so far so good. Some of the warning lights are, but I was told that they stay on. I'm thinking I should get it checked anyway. Nothing else.

General Comments:

I love the styling of the car. The E30 is one of the most timeless cars BMW ever made.

The handling is great, but I definitely can see room for improvment. I have been thinking of Bilstiens, is this a good choice? Or what would you recomend.

The engine and transmission are completely solid I can tell they will become reliable friends. It doesn't have the greatest "low-end power", but once it is going this car is a monster. The transmission is incredibly smooth.

I applaud the Germans for their incredible engineering and I definitely prefer this over my old Saab 900.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th August, 2005

20th Sep 2006, 10:34

The car was killed today by a Volvo.