1996 BMW 3 Series 318i Touring 1.8L from Sweden


A good daily driver


Oil-leak not long after we got it.

A wire to the starter motor fell apart recently.

Some plastic parts in the trunk are "broken".

Driver's seat is torn up - (but the car is 13 years old).

General Comments:

The car is reliable, except for an oil leak a couple of years ago and a wire to the starter motor that fell apart, the car goes like a charm with regular service (oil, filters, spark plugs).

The E36 touring version is roomier, obviously, than the sedan, and handles just as great as the sedan on the road. It is a good daily driver that gets the job done, but if you are going on a road trip you might want to bring ear plugs.

- A bit noisy at higher speeds, and the engine is rather noisy in general too.

- Bad gas mileage for a 4-cylinder.

- Seats are not that comfortable.

- Lousy trunk space for the size of the car.

- Starting to rust bad at the "edges" of the doors.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th June, 2010

6th Jun 2010, 06:40

I am the author of the review, just want to say that the MODEL YEAR is a 1997. It was however BUILT in 1996, but counts as a 1997.

12th Jul 2011, 07:59

Update 7/12-11.

Failed emission test three times. Changed the catalyzer to a new one, a bit better, but not enough, oil/filter changed not long ago, warmed up and 20% ethanol, but stills fails.

I've spent around 24000SEK on this car this year, including all 4 shock absorbers. This has got nothing to do with the emissions of course, but is just one of the expensive things that has been changed in a short period.

And it runs bad; runs jerky, fails to start sometimes, and the engine stops running after refueling for a couple of minutes, then it runs again like nothing happened.

One more try to go, if it fails again I will sell this car for nothing or scrap it.

I'm tired of spending a lot of money to keep this thing going.

1996 BMW 3 Series 328i Cabrio 2.8 24v from UK and Ireland


The ultimate driving machine


Rear brake caliper seized.

Clutch failed recently.

Apart from that, NOTHING ELSE!

General Comments:

I could not praise this car highly enough!

It's so good I still own it, despite recently purchasing a 530i Sport Touring.

The car has had a good history, hardly been used, and had even spent a time in Spain, which would account for why the bodywork condition is superior to my 6 year old 530i!

I won't be getting rid of it anytime soon; in fact I have poured nearly 2 years of my life into this car, and have created basically a 'one-off' :

Car used to have a Black semi-auto hood, but NOW has a green full-auto hood (fitted by myself and using BMW proprietary wiring)

Car used to have the old-style heater controls (so 80's!), and I wasn't happy that BMW in this year of manufacture had released electronic climate control, so I had to buy a donor car (a 328i 4 door) with the climate control on, swap the heater core and 'reverse engineer' the wiring. The system works perfectly, and the wiring looks like it left the BMW factory like it!

Car also now has the full 18-button on-board computer (again, the wiring looks original)

I junked the 'smiley' bumpers, and fitted genuine M-technic ones, and had them professionally painted!

Upgraded the headlights to Hella 'Celis', and upgrade the rear tail lights to full LED design (over £200)

Fitted 18" alloys.

Car looks awesome - turns heads wherever I go!

Has an awesome soundtrack from it's 2.8 6 cylinder engine.

IS VERY FAST! With the acceleration to match. AND...

IS VERY ECONOMICAL - for a 2.8 petrol.

Will average 30mpg around towns if not pushed too hard, and will do nearly 40mpg on a run.

At this time, the best car I have ever owned! (But my new 5 is also nice)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th May, 2010