1992 BMW 3 Series Reviews - Page 3 of 7

1992 BMW 3 Series 325i 2.5 V6 from North America

Model year1992
Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.5 V6 Semi-Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired134000 kilometres
Most recent distance200000 kilometres
Previous carPontiac Sunfire

Summary:

Good, but just not good enough

Faults:

Interior door panels come undone.

Break and ABS sensor lights come on even after breaks are replaced.

"Check Coolant Fluid" appears at start up even when full.

Bogs out on even small dips in the road with passengers in the back, even with new shocks & springs.

General Comments:

Over all this car is good. I wouldn't get this old of a car again. I like the look, feel, sportiness and fuel economy of this car, but when it's this old, you get too many problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th February, 2006

7th Jun 2006, 09:11

First of all, the E36 body style is a terrific design. I realize that the last of the E30 models were probably better-finished than the first of the E36 models, but the problems were easily corrected. I agree, the interior trimmings on the early E36 were not quite up to BMW standards, however they did upgrade the interior in 1994. My '94 has a perfect interior, noticeably nicer than the '92 and '93 models. The brake sensor wires must be replaced when the brakes are changed if the light was on before the brake job. If the light never comes on, replacement should not be necessary, as the wire is set down in the pads and only activates the light when it becomes exposed and completes the circuit. The coolant sensor should be an easy fix. I don't know what to offer on the suspension problems though.

1992 BMW 3 Series 325i 2.5 from North America

Model year1992
Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.5 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired155000 miles
Most recent distance255501 miles
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

255k Miles and running GREAT

Faults:

Just has A/C problems, and sub frame problem.

General Comments:

Great car, best car I've ever own. Engine Compression 255psi for all 6 cyclinders, great car...

Even with 255k miles on it, run and drives great. Have added m3 parts, suspension, and others... Runs great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2006

1992 BMW 3 Series i 320 from UK and Ireland

Model year1992
Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 320 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired185000 miles
Most recent distance190000 miles
Previous carFord Mondeo

Summary:

Get a 325i instead

Faults:

Fuel gauge does not work.

Electric mirrors do not work.

Headlight electrical fault.

Seats wearing badly.

General Comments:

Very Reliable, mechanically bombproof and looks the part.

Nice drive, great handling.

Sluggish off the line, but fast mid range excellent overtaking. Sounds sweet after 190.000 miles.

Do not get this - get a 325i as you get much better performance with the same fuel economy. The 2.0 is smooth and sounds good, but the economy is dismal for the size, especially if you push it. Has never given more than 30mpg - generally considerably lower.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th November, 2005

1992 BMW 3 Series 320i Coupe 2.0 Straight 6 24v from UK and Ireland

Model year1992
Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.0 Straight 6 24v Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired54000 miles
Most recent distance66000 miles
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

Smooth and silky 6 cylinder, spoilt by terrible mpg a lack of power and niggly faults

Faults:

The fuel tank leaked and needed replacement - £400.

The front discs warped twice.

The water pump blew.

Balljoint failure.

The ECU turned out to be the wrong one for the car and needed replacing.

Endless idle issues.

General Comments:

All in all a nice car, spoiled by niggly faults and reliability issues.

In the end, I got rid of it simply because it cost me the earth in fuel. I only managed 30mpg ever and that was driving really gently. For a 2.0 with 150bhp, it should've been much better than this. Apparently the 2.5 gives the same mpg and that has 192bhp. Also, considering the fuel economy, it wasn't particularly fast either. You had to thrash it to make it go and that made the mpg terrible. I think the weight of it has something to do with this as it comes in at 1450kg. Not light.

Otherwise the engine is extremely smooth and silky with a gorgeous sound to die for. It also looks lovely under the bonnet.

Quite comfortable and I never had backache from long journeys, and the rear seats on the coupe fold down making them quite practical.

Handling is pretty good for a car this size. Not 100% chuckable, but confident in the bends. RWD means it can be a bit hairy in the wet/ snow, but light years ahead of the E30 in terms of grip and stability. I never lost it once. The Coupe comes with Mtec suspension as standard, and to be honest I'd say it needs it.

Otherwise they're lovely to drive. Very involving and satisfying, yet relaxed and sophisticated. BMW know what they're doing in this department it seems.

Overall, for a BMW it shouldn't have had as many niggly faults and expensive failures. Also the fuel economy was terrible considering the lack of power. A shame really. I now have a 1993 318iS. This only has 10bhp less, yet weighs about 140kg less too. It goes just as well, albeit with a tad less torque in the mid range and delivers 36mpg easily. Much better. Just a shame the engine isn't anywhere near as smooth or as good looking. And it doesn't sound as good too.

If you can afford it, get a 325i without a doubt. They have the power, and can deliver the same mpg as lesser versions.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th September, 2005

21st Sep 2005, 19:40

My old 1992 320i SE saloon would struggle to ever achieve 30 mpg, even cruising along the motorway. Driving it stupidly gently, I could get the computer average up to 28, but "normal" driving would see 24-25. Appalling in my opinion for what isn't exactly a quick car, and for what, even by today's standards is a fairly advanced engine.

Refilling and calculating mileage against fuel used would tally with the computer figures, so it's not even as if the fuel computer was broken.

I had niggly problems and quality issues too. I bought it off my old company at 4 years old with 94,000 miles, a careful driver from new, and a full BMW history. 94,000 well maintained miles should be nothing on a BMW, but I ended up replacing so many parts over the next 20k that I cut my losses and outed the car. Very creaky inside past 110k too.

Not the quality machine I was expecting by a long chalk, and prices for genuine parts are an absolute joke!

20th Nov 2007, 08:34

I have a 2000 320i with 67K miles on the clock. I find the performance a bit sluggish off the mark, but once up and running it's fine and offers decent performance. You do need to keep the rpm at 2,700 or above and then it's sprightly. If you floor the throttle and let it rev then it is quick. As for MPG - town and country it averages 30mpg and on a long journey I get well into the high 30s. For a 6 cylinder 2 litre engine I think this is a perfectly respectable mpg figure. I know that a Ford or Opel 2 litre petrol is much more severe on fuel and not as quick or smooth. In terms of reliability, mechanically nothing has ever gone wrong. I have relplaced shock absorbers, bushings and the front disc and pads which is normal at this mileage. For a prestige car it's fairly cheap to run and maintain.

23rd Dec 2007, 21:08

Slick 50, a K&N filter and high octane fuel will not give a 30bhp gain. Unless you rolling road-tested your car, you are not talking sense; and lets face it you aren't.

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 24 reviews