1995 BMW 3 Series M3 3.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


The ultimate driving machine


Interior trim was always very flimsy and breakable.

Air conditioning failed at 94,000 miles.

Electric mirror mechanism failed at 109,000 miles.

General Comments:

Apart from a tiny number of interior and electrical problems, the M3 was a very solid and reliable car.

It never gave me any major problems.

But I would have enjoyed it anyway, thanks to its blistering performance and great handling.

Maintenance costs were very high though, and it could have done with a bit more legroom in the back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2006

1995 BMW 3 Series 318SE 1.8 from UK and Ireland


A Quality Long - Lifer!


Rear suspension bushes resulted in excessive rear tyre wear at 100,000 miles resulting in both new bushes and a BMW dealer 4 wheel track adjustment, together with new rear tyres.

Heater solenoid valve required replacement.

Fan viscous coupling failed at 120,000. This doesn't give any warning as the blade keeps rotating, but allows the engine to overheat in hot weather...

Expansion tank split, which is integral with the radiator, possibly linked to fan coupling failure.

Front supspension bushes worn around 125,000 miles.

Cloth front seats becoming a little threadbare now.

Bodywork still outstanding at 8 years old - it's polished twice a year.

Servicing costs at Dealers are quite high.

General Comments:

Despite age and mileage, the car remains pleasing to drive, compensating with its stable handling for its moderate performance.

Engine and transmission still faultless.

Returns 36 to 40 mpg.

The overall quality still surprises friends owning other cars of different makes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2003

1995 BMW 3 Series 325i A/T 2.5L I-6 from North America


An overpriced German car that needs a lot of improvement


4 cooling system problems with this car---Thermostat 1 week after purchase.

Next was the plastic impeller piece of junk Water Pump.

Then the Aux Fan circuit blew.

Then most recently the radiator cracked.

Will not buy another BMW, I spent more on repairs for this car than I did for routine maintenance on the Lexus in 4 years of owning the Lexus. I miss that car...

General Comments:

The handling is great, fuel economy very good, but the problems with the cooling system offset any real enjoyment that I could have had with this car. I barely trust it to take me to/from work and not much else.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th November, 2002

23rd Nov 2002, 20:14

Mate, do yourself a favour-get on top of the cooling system problems-replace the water pump with the one that has the steel impeller, replace ALL hoses and the head gasket-bleed the entire cooling system-be assured, the cooling system problems WON'T come back.

Then, and only then, will you have peace of mind-the car should be very reliable from thereon in.

22nd Jul 2007, 10:32

Go buy a lexus then

8th Jul 2009, 07:19

I have an older '97 318 TDS had similar problems with cooling and like with the other comments. Get the water pump with the metal impellers; this will sort the problem. Changing hoses isn't worth doing unless they're leaking or cracked, they'll still be fine.

I've done all the work on mine from changing the timing chain to fitting a used ABS pump; really easy to work on in your driveway, and with a small amount of tools. Screw LEXUS, you were lucky man.

1995 BMW 3 Series 316i SE 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Good to drive, but expensive, overrated and slow


Failed MOT with rusty steel brake lines - over £400 to fix! And this was when I was ready to sell the car : (

Front seats groan and creak.

Very slow to speed up from 50-70 on motorway, frequently have to drop lock into 3rd on the auto 'box.

Tricky in wet/snow, even with the modest output from the 1.6 with auto.

Fuel economy okay, especially on a long run.

General Comments:

Built like a tank. When looking for replacement cars I am amazed how flimsy they feel, despite the BMW interior having a few minor squeaks. On the motorway they disappear and it cruises smoothly and quietly.

Keeps up okay on the motorway providing you aren't looking for mid-range. Rests on 80-90 no bother once you are there.

BMW servicing decent, £220 for an inspection 2, £80-ish for an inspection 1 if the car is over 4 years old.

Handling is very good. But as this website says the 1.6 4 cyl doesn't do the rest of the car justice. Definitely go for a 6 cylinder if you are considering one of these, especially in automatic form!

There's a lot of Kev'd up 3-series with suspicious M3 alloys around nowadays... Can't help the cars already dubious stereotypical-owner image!

Keep in mind although these may be quite cheap to buy you could probably do better with something that doesn't have a propeller badge on the top of the bonnet for the same money.

Looking into at a Peugeot 306 GTi-6 next!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th July, 2002

24th Nov 2004, 13:24

BMW 316SE I have had my share of cars. I just bought a year ago, 2003, a NICE red 4 door,1995 for £2500. The whole package is great, a good town car, tidy on the motorway and great around the country roads. Yes just like every other car, it has its moments of expenditure and its not that nippy, but unlike most cars of its size/class it's a corker. Solid, reliable, well built and handles like its on rails around corners. I have never been a BMW "person" but from now on...I'm sold. Jason.