1996 BMW 3 Series Reviews

1996 BMW 3 Series 316i petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission petrol Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance145000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

Comfortable, reliable, a very good German car, maybe one of the last

Faults:

Radiator, clutch plate and bearing, ABS sensor, catalytic converter, rear brake cylinders.

General Comments:

I purchased this car from a friend that had it from 2000. The car was in a relatively good condition when I purchased it. I spend a weekend fixing all those little things that were wrong; replaced radiator, changed rear brake cylinders, changed ABS sensor. After that the car has proven to be very reliable and very economic. I managed to get 42MPG on the motorway in Holland doing 90MPH.

What impressed me most was that when I replaced the clutch at 145k miles, I found out that the actual clutch plate was still the original and it was in good condition, it still had 50 to 70k in it!!! It was the clutch bearing that was gone, and not the clutch plate.

The only negative about the car is that it was too slow, especially when pulling from stationary. I think the 1.6 litre engine is just too small for this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th August, 2011

1996 BMW 3 Series 316i e36 from UK and Ireland

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired138000 miles
Most recent distance180000 miles
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

Great bang for buck

Faults:

The alternator went, and the driver's side brake caliper went after after 40000 miles.

The window motors have started to go.

Started to rust badly.

General Comments:

Great car for the money.

Handles very well when lowered, as well as round bends like it's on rails.

Cost of petrol for it is a bit high for a 1.6.

Great pull in lower gears, and great pull past 40mph in 4th, and great pull past 70mph in 5th.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 2010

1996 BMW 3 Series 328i M-Sport 2.8L straight-6 from UK and Ireland

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 2.8L straight-6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired89000 miles
Most recent distance91000 miles
Previous carToyota MR2

Summary:

Awesome

Faults:

I have only driven the car 2,000 miles, so not really experienced anything too bad. I have however replaced the "Brake Light Circuit Switch" as the OBC was being temperamental (the lights were fine however).

I have also done the basic servicing (oil, filters, plugs etc) - this wasn't too expensive due to ECP.

General Comments:

The 328I Sports can only be described as an amazing car.

Very quick, planted and elegant - I have the sport model with the M accessories (bumpers, suspension etc).

My car has an aftermarket Sebring exhaust system fitted, which makes the 6 cylinder growl come out a little more!

Cabin wise - too much plastic for my liking, but still nevertheless VERY nice. The Recaro seats get uncomfortable on long journeys, but are fine otherwise.

The cabin has a good ventilation system, however I believe the AC is not as strong as it used to be.

Paintwork wise - 1996 model with NO rust (yet!). Paintwork does require regular polishing/waxing, as the scratches/swirls are accumulating.

The 328 is all about the engine. I wasn't expecting this much power from an auto.

If you want a 328, and can afford an M-Sport, then just GO FOR IT!

Look out for Nikasil problems and radiator issues.

I have not driven a normal 328, however I bet it's is every inch as good as this one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th October, 2010

14th Oct 2010, 08:45

Is your car still using the Nikasil liners? Or has it been changed to a steel block? I have a 328 and it's still got the Nikasil liners. I use V Power in it because it's low sulphur. Coming up to 127k miles now.

Check the rear arches on your 328, because that's usually where rust problems start.

20th Oct 2010, 09:38

Hey, I'm pretty sure the car still has the Nikasil liners. It is currently on 91k with no problems to report.

I do not run the car on any special fuel, however V-Power is good when you can.

This car is continually growing on me. I have restored it nearly back to factory original. Only thing required is to refurbish the original BBS Split rims.

I will also shortly be ordering the BMW Clubsport door sills, as the original ones do not suit the car.

Thanks for reading.

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 58 reviews