1995 BMW 3 Series 316i Compact 1.6 from Portugal

Summary:

Very good car

Faults:

When I bought the car in 2001 with 81.000 km, it was quite new.

Until now, besides oil, filters, tires and lamps, the car had to change: alternator (2003 - 124.000 km), thermostat (199.500 km), front suspension arms (2009 - 210.000 km).

The car is still in quite good condition. The shift knob is in bad shape (since more or less 190.000 km), and so is the upper part of the steering wheel (since more or less 210.000 km).

General Comments:

It's not a fast car, but more than enough for normal users.

The fuel consumption is very good compared with other 1.6 and 1.4 petrol engines.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th October, 2010

1995 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

A fantastic car - enough said

Faults:

I've driven the car 3000 miles since June, and it's been as reliable as an ox.

Only small problem has been the driver's side lekky window, which seems to have a mind of it's own at times - a common glitch as it's been mentioned in other reviews. A firm, sustained index finger on the 'up' arrow sorts it!!

General Comments:

I've been very impressed with the car. Yes - you probably expected me to say that, but I've never driven a BMW before now and (despite the badge) it genuinely surprises you when you ACTUALLY DRIVE ONE!! Solid on the road, great handling, fantastic acceleration.. It's a real driving experience, not an A to B car. My last car was a Honda Prelude, which used to growl when I floored it. A 6-cylinder BMW doesn't growl - it just purrs - get one and you'll see what I mean...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st December, 2009

2nd Jan 2010, 07:57

Yes, you're right. people often say "Oh a BMW, wouldn't get one of those" etc. But once you've actually driven one, you know what it's all about. I bought my first BMW simply based on the stories you here about how reliable they are meant to be, I needed a reliable car for my job. Well it didn't let me down, and I liked the way it drove, so I went and bought myself a 6 cylinder one, which I shall keep for many years to come, I'm sure.

The 90's ones, which are the only ones I've had, really do drive very differently to a lot of other cars on the road. Aside from the fact that they are a tad expensive for what is basically be an "old" car, it's worth it. Just make sure it hasn't been neglected, because fixing them isn't cheap, but if you look after the car, it should look after you.

7th Jan 2010, 12:43

Was it a green 323i???

1995 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

I don't need anything else, it's quick, smooth and cool

Faults:

Headliner unraveling slowly.

Door cards, see above.

Tensioner started to scream replaced.

Wheel bearing drivers rear loose, so re-tightened twice!

Front Ball joints for WOF.

Handbrake shoes replaced.

First to second gear when cold getting worse.

General Comments:

Awesome car, glad I bought it. Powerful, torquey, smooth, makes all the right sounds, drivetrain refinement is awesome. Auto is good, apart from that first to second when it's cold, as a 5 speed and 2.93 rear, it lopes along at highway speeds. Mechanically hard to fault even though I have done a lot of maintenance.

Spark plugs, oil, oil filter, tensioner, waterpump, new coolant and flush, replaced auto fluids as well, ball joints were painful to replace, handbrakes shoes replaced and adjusted, but it's worth it.

Nice car to maintain really, it's pretty straightforward mechanically. On board computer helps too.

A lot of upgrades available, which is great.

I have upgraded to 17" 2 piece rims and 225/45-17's, much better than the 16's (225-50) and previous to that the 15's (205-60)

I upgraded the entire sound system which is horrid to be honest, o.e speakers are proprietary items, do what you can, I got 6.5's in the front, no modifications required, 6.5's in the rear shelf and a 12" in the boot, Pioneer 3050usb headdeck, take ya time and because it is such a well made vehicle, the sound quality is very good in my opinion.

I had wooden trim, that's now gone, I got heated front seats and all leather, and I won't go back to cloth now if you paid me. It's decadent, yet simple. The fully electric seats do give you a sense of occasion. Mine has tinted windows which are awesome in the Summer. I have a coupe.

I re-gassed and checked the A.C, and it's hopeless by Japanese standards, but it's better than nothing in our Summers trust me, especially with leather all round.

I am going to do the headliner and door cards in the summer, and I am looking forward to doing it.

These cars are not for those who don't know much about cars, cause they will rob you blind. I have owned 15 plus cars, and I love my 328i coupe. It's not the fastest, but it ain't slow, it's a smooth performer that can pull up its sleeves if you need it to. Smooth auto, but I am going to do a manual conversion next year, cause I heard they are better fun still, but in push and pull traffic, the auto is the way to go.

Maintenance IS required on these, because if you don't the engines and transmissions are so expensive, you wish you did. If you blow your Corolla 1.6, replace it with a donor engine all in for $500.00. The same for my coupe is more like $3000.00, let's just say it's not worth doing, and you want your engine purring because that's a big factor in owning a 328i... the motor.

If you are seriously considering one, do so if you have a brother (my case) or close friend, who knows or who work on cars a d.i.y master. Join a BMW club. Budget for full insurance. Look around there are heaps out there in NZ at least.

I have driven all of the E36 class, and for the money the 328i is the one I reckon, 318i alright around town, but nah, not economical enough for the lack of performance and smoothness. 320i, smooth, but no guts, 325i better but still no 328i. If you've got the coin, get an M3, absolutely, but they are twice the price and the maintenance etc is roughly the same. You can get some serious tickets with a 328i I tell ya, M3 is not going to do you any favours.

My pick is a 328i, and get a motorsport if you can afford it, cause I didn't and I am slowly getting parts to get there, but that's just part of the journey, and it's awesome for now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2009