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

Summary:

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

Faults:

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

1995 BMW 3 Series 318i 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

Aging gracefully

Faults:

Thermostat had to be replaced.

Heater hose cracked.

Power steering hose replaced.

Radiator replaced.

Driver's side window regulator needs replacing.

Sunroof is temperamental.

Interior is just showing wear and tear.

General Comments:

Design - Absolutely timeless! The paint job comes up like a gem when cleaned, and I have it riding on a set of motorsport rims, so it's definitely a head turner.

Build Quality - A solid ride for a 16 year old car.

Handling - I don't drive the car hard, so I wouldn't know how it is with out of the ordinary driving, but the brake and steering response is excellent, and it's an easy car to drive.

Interior - Probably the most modern feature of the car is the fact that is has so many features that would have evolved in newer model Japanese/European/Australian cars. BMW really sets the standard for car makers out there to explore innovation with their interior design.

Engine and Transmission - You can feel the engine has a bit of get-up, but with it towing such a heavy car, the performance leaves a lot to be desired, especially in an auto!

Electrics - The most convenient thing about the electrics is when locking your car and leaving a window ajar, it will close all of those windows. If the window is left completely open, it will leave it half way up. However, this is where the age shows the most: The stacker is playing up, sunroof opens, but doesn't close at times. *Touch wood*, that's about all for now.

Verdict - I love the car. Its design, simplicity and timeless design really would appeal to anyone wanting to buy a quality used BMW. Being an overall robust car, it is showing signs of age, so it would be ideal to have one checked over, as it can get pricey to fix bits and pieces.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2011