1993 BMW 3 Series 320 Coupe 2.0i from UK and Ireland


Rear suspension bushes.

Rear exhaust box.

Battery failed to charge.

All above were original parts replaced though.

General Comments:

This a very well-sorted car, I can now see why people enjoy their BMW's so much.

The handling is excellent, yet the ride is uncannily smooth.

The 6 cylinder engine is a joy to listen to, so smooth and free-spinning.

The controls are superbly laid-out and the seating position (for the driver) is probably the best I have ever encountered.

I prefer Audi dashboards however.

The coupe is surprisingly practical as the rear seats knock-down, unlike the saloon's (unless spec'd by the first owner).

Beautiful paintwork that shines like new after each wash, again the best paintwork I have ever encountered.

My car still gets admiring glances even though it is nearly 10 years old.

The economy is good also for a 6 cylinder car, I usually get 35+ to the gallon, but then I am not the fastest of drivers!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th April, 2003

1993 BMW 3 Series 318is 1.9 from North America


A sporty, speedy, corner hugging, comfy, video-game-like ride


Center-panel LCD readout for temperature has some faded elements.

Some minor upholstery problems, mostly where the leather meets the plastic on the front seats.

Engine is noisy at high revs. Some people don't like that. I love it.

General Comments:

This car is an absolute blast to drive. It's the first car I've owned, and it is well worth the price. A used 318is goes for about $14,000 (Canadian dollars), for which you could buy any number of new compact cars.

Handling is impeccable. This vehicle goes where you put it; the steering is extremely predictable, not too touchy, not too heavy. The integrated traction control (sort of like reverse ABS) keeps your wheels from spinning while cornering and accelerating. There is a lot of stopping power in this car.

The interior is fairly minimal, but roomy for such a small car. I have the lower-end leather seats with no electronic adjustment, but they are very comfortable, are heated, and can be endlessly adjusted. Seats four comfortably if the driver and passenger are about 6' tall. The panel is very clear and well organized. This is NOT a luxury vehicle; it's a very comfortable driving machine.

The four-cylinder engine is very zippy. If you are a raw-power kind of person, get a 325 or better; the 318 is a city driver, or curvy highway master. It performs fine on the freeway though; it just takes a little more time to get up to speed, and the power kicks in at about 2800RPM, so it makes some noise while doing it. Shifting is like butter in this car; a short-shift upgrade would be a very good idea. Acceleration is smooth and feels snappy, but has nowhere near the 'kick' of the 328's six. Still, while driving the 318is, you know you have a BMW in your hands. It's _so_ much fun. And if you shift well, you can take most of those kids in their little Civics with Folgers can exhausts and painted drum brakes.

It's also very, very pretty.

That whole "BMWs are expensive to maintain" myth is just that: mythical. If you take the car in for regular service, it will NOT give you trouble. I had a complete service done on the car after I bought it, and it would have cost about $250CDN including parts and labor if I hadn't put on new tires as well. I am told I can expect to put in about $60CDN per checkup from now on. The only reason the initial service was pricey was the fact that the last owner hadn't serviced it regularly, and a number of new parts were needed. No big deal.

Oh, and mileage is excellent. I fill up every 3 weeks or so, and I drive a lot.

Go buy one. Don't bother with those little Mazda's or Subaru's. You'll be looking for an excuse to drive it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th December, 2002

30th Apr 2005, 15:43

I agree that the expensive maintenance myth is in fact a myth. I have a '94 318i, see comment "I adore it." This car has been fantastic and the most cost-effective car that I have ever had. My first car was a '94 Chevrolet Beretta w/all options and many upgrades, second car was a Mercury Cougar XR-7 V8, and now I have my Bimmer. The Bimmer has been totally dependable for all purposes and has required little in the way of repairs. My initial service was just over $300 after purchase due to the fact that the car had not been driven regularly in over a year. After that, it has needed nothing, but regular services, which thanks to synthetic oil only come every 8,000 miles.