1995 BMW 3 Series 325i 2.5L I6 from North America


Reliable, comfortable, and sporty - what more can you ask for?


VANOS began to rattle and had it replaced - $250.

Entire suspension was getting tired and replaced (front struts and rear shocks) - $500.

Window tint peeling - $300.

Blower motor - $200.

A/C compressor - $250.

Front lower control arms and bushings (including ball joints) - $350.

Stabilizer bars - $150.

Spark plugs - $70.

Fuel filter - $80.

Door locks are sticking - haven't repaired.

Glove compartment warping - haven't repaired.

Premature seat wear - haven't reupholstered.

General Comments:

Easy to say that this has been my favorite car I've ever owned. I've owned over 15 BMW's; many being e46's and M's, and this model seems to be better constructed and much smoother to drive.

The gears are very easy and seem less to shift through, but are easily maneuverable when a quick downshift is needed - NOT the case with any manual e46 I've driven. Sloppy gears - not as fun and "tight" to drive.

The interior is not holding up as I had expected, but there are no rattles that drive me crazy (again, unlike any e46 I've owned).

My M5 was an absolute NIGHTMARE - long story short, it needed a new engine after 3000 miles of gentle ownership. I re-entered the safer world of the non-M 3-Series. Came across a good deal from the original owner. Too bad I purchased around the time it started needing the 150k mile maintenance, but every penny has been worth it. I'm 17, and the seats feel very sporty for me, but at the same time they are extremely comfortable. With the new suspension, the car rides and drives much better (with the help of new front end components as well).

These cars are much much better than any e46 I've ever owned and driven, which is safe to say that e36's are better than e46 IMO. Yes, I know what I'm talking about, I've owned MANY of them, so I can commit to that comment. Take it from somebody that has weeded out the best choice of 3-series, e36 is the best by far. Yes, the e46 may look a little more modern and sleeker (that why I was continually purchasing them), but when it comes to the basics and construction, the e36 feels like it's built better and a lot more fun to drive. I cannot speak on behalf of the 318i, but the 325i is one hell of a car.

If you can afford approximately $300 a month on repairs and maintenance, you cannot go wrong.

I have averaged about 26 MPG city/highway. I don't have a heavy foot.

If you are wanting a 3-series, then I would strongly recommend the e36 as more of a drivers car. Handling is uncompromising. The e46 is more of a cruiser.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th September, 2012

29th Sep 2012, 12:55

$300 a month can buy you a new car if you have a decent trade of some cash to put down. It will certainly buy you a very reliable used car.

1st Nov 2012, 11:08

Original poster: my car hasn't needed any additional repairs and I've driven it 10k miles. Maybe I misspoke about $300 a month. I was caught up in replacing many original components. The car is now good to go. For a CASH CAR, this is one to get. I'd much rather spend money on repairing my car (now estimated $100-$150 a month) than throwing a monthly payment away on a new car, plus the repairs it'd also need. New doesn't mean repair free. I've explored my options - that would be a mistake. Just giving my two cents; you don't have to agree until you own and enjoy one to the extent I have.

1995 BMW 3 Series 318i SE 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Handles like on rails, while being cheap(ish) to run


Nothing has actually gone wrong. Just consumables any car of this age goes through.

General Comments:

I bought this as I'd moved to an office based job. Had a 2007 Passat company car and my Cav SRi. After losing the Passat, I sold the SRi and bought the Beemer.

Missus didn't want me with points, so she was wanting me to get something slow and boring. Slow I can put up with, so a one owner 318i SE was got for £800.

Anyone that knows these, will know that this is pretty basic car. There's a low amount of sensors on the engine, after having an Ecotec Vauxhall. However it's not a high spec model, as it came with grey sills and half grey bumpers. These lasted weeks, as I didn't like the look, so it's wearing an M3 kit, including genuine M3 mirrors and M3 wheels. And since it's now on coilover suspension and has all new bushes, the thing's the best handling car I've ever had. Even great in the wet. Snow's a joke, but if driven with respect, it will power through it.

Now while saying this thing handles, it's still not a fast car, though now I hardly touch the brakes, bar pulling to a standstill. The 1.8's not a bad unit, and still has enough power to have fun.

All in all, the car owes me 3500, so will be LPG'd and used as my daily driver etc. I also have a 525 TDS e34, though this is a cruiser and totally different from the go cart, as I call the e36.

Getting an STi Impreza in few weeks as a fun/track car, though still prefer the pin point feeling from my 318 over the Scooby. However the Scooby should be great in the winter, and let's face it, the classic STi's are the best Subaru ever built, so no doubt will review that after a while.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2012