1996 BMW 3 Series m325i 2.5 6 cly. from Australia and New Zealand


Smooth long power band delivered to the rear wheels through a tasty LSD


Dash Lights semi faulty. (needs a whack every now and again)

Indicator can be faulty.

Power steering pump leaking/needs replacing.

General Comments:

I previously owned a modified turbo Mzda Familia.

This is a much more rewarding drive.

You must like over steer and have at least a basic understanding of car physics to get the most out of this car.

Performance in the wet is fun, but don't expect to keep up with anything 4wd.

Still looks the business after 17 years.

Expensive service/parts is a downside.

Like to skull premium fuel.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd December, 2003

1996 BMW 3 Series 328is 2.8 Liter from North America


Great car to drive, not so great on the wallet as regular maintenance and cost of fixing isn't cheap


Radio unit replaced at ~45k

Toe bushings at 50k, 52k, 93k

Clutch at 93k

Suspension at 100k.

Nagging problem with hose from Windshield Washer fluid to spout gets pinched and causes the right side not to spray.

Extremely difficult to replace fog-lamp bulbs.

One touch window close doesn't work most of the time. Replaced the motor twice.

Leather on Seats were wearing out when purchased, but leather creams and all that couldn't save it. Now, there's significant cracking in the driver-side.

General Comments:

In general, this is a fast, fun, and good looking car. with Dinan mods (clutch, chip, and intake manifold) I wouldn't be surprised if the 0-60 was under 6 seconds.

Toe bushing cracking is a common problem with the E36 and if you drive the car like it should be driven (fast and hard) you'll have to get them replaced often ($800).

The layout of all the controls in the cockpit are beautiful and ergonomic. It's great. The only problem is the lack of a telescopic/tilt steering wheel.

Their's no trunk release inside the car, so you have to turn off the car to use the key to open the back. Just silly.

The trip computer doesn't accurately read the speed of the car, so it renders the estimations useless.

The cost of maintaining this car out-ways it's true value. Get rid of the car before the clutch goes out as that is a $3k cost. If you're looking to buy one, see if it's got a new clutch and suspension.

Inspection 1 (every 15k) = $400

Inspection 2 (every 30k) = $600.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd October, 2003

30th Mar 2004, 20:37

Not to be mean, but 3k for a clutch is outrageous and you definitely over paid. You can get racing level clutches through www.bmpdesign.com for under $400, and replacing a clutch in a RWD car is a breeze, especially with the space in the 328 engine compartment. You could probably find a local shop to replace it for under $500. That's under $1k. Just for future reference.

26th Dec 2007, 17:25

Yes you have been completely ripped off by whoever changed your clutch. Never go back to them!

6th Jan 2009, 14:36

I have a 1996 328i (I love it!), and I just had the clutch replaced by an authorized shop for $900 complete, labor and all. That was a few months ago, and it works superbly. They were able to re-surface the flywheel, saving hundreds of dollars. Other shops insisted on a new flywheel, but this shop guy said that's B.S., he has been re-surfacing these flywheels for years, with no long-term problems. Christmas was just around the corner, so I went with his advice. I guess I won't truly know about the longevity of the clutch job for a number of years, but I have been going to that shop since about 2000, and I have found no reason to not trust them. It sure works great right now...

Even the 2 other shops I called about this work quoted me much less than $3000 - the most expensive one was $2100, and that included the new flywheel. $3000 to do a clutch on one of these cars is just a bad joke.