1996 BMW 3 Series SE 318i from UK and Ireland


Very over rated rip off!


Thermostat failed.

Alternator bearing failed.

Electrical gremlins.

02 sensor failed.

Radiator leaked.

Could not get handbrake to work properly after lots of attempts from my local garage.

General Comments:

Boring cabin lots of road and wind noise.

Driving position is very good.

Acceleration and handling very disappointing.

These are a very over rated unreliable expensive to run cars.

It's cost me hundreds just to keep on the road with ripoff costs for parts from dealers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th May, 2007

1996 BMW 3 Series 328is 2.8 from North America


The best car you can buy under $6k


I drove the car for like 2k miles. I didn't have problems with it, except the belt tensioner and arm bushings, which I replaced myself. It is easy to work on these cars, I think.

General Comments:

Oh, my god, I love this car. It is 11 years old, but it is still looking good.

Before I use to hate BMW, but now I love them, I am going to stick with BMW forever. Before buying this car I did a lot of research on them. In my opinion there is no car that can perform like it. Just think about it, 0-60 time is 6.2 sec. that is the same time as luxury automatic M3 3.0L, there is no turbo to worry about, it is easy to work on, very impressive engine which sings to you.

I know what you think, you may think that a Nissan 300zx TT, Honda pPrelude, VW Corrado, Mercedes C280 w202 may do the same thing, I don't think so... it is not as practical, good looking and fast as the e36, and don't forget about the resale value, which is amazing.

As I said, I did a lot of research on this car, so I bought a 1996 328is. I like coupes more than sedans, and I got the M52 engine, which you will see on 1999-2004 e46 cars.

OK, let's talk about the weak side of e36's. My opinion is that the interior is poorly built. The dashboard feels like it is made from cheap plastic unlike Audi.

I am 17 years old and I love cars. I have own a Honda accord which felt like crap despite the low running cost. Then I bought a Audi 100 2.8 V6; the acceleration wasn't better than the Accord. Then the GTI; it felt too cheap, too small, too slow, too ugly. The only think I liked was the nice handling.

I am looking to keep this car till it dies. The design is just perfect. I would recommend this car to anyone who likes real cars.

Thank you.

So what do you think about the E36?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st January, 2007

23rd Feb 2009, 09:06

They can blow up if you drive the car hard all the time. I have a 328i, not probs so far.

1996 BMW 3 Series 316i 1.6 petrol 4 cylindar from UK and Ireland


Cheaper than a new 3, more economical, and better.


Apart from slight tear in the center console, this is a reliable, well made German saloon. The heating is the only real trouble; it overheats at any given minute despite the small 1.6 litre engine.

General Comments:

My model is a 1.6, I know that sounds like it's going to be life-less, but trust me, the 1.6 is possibly the best engine in this range.

So far it's never needed anything new, but it's way past it's original warranty, so if it did, I'm in trouble.

My only real complaint is the firm ride, but that compensates for much better handling.

It is, despite the small engine, very fast (the speedometer reads to 160mph!), and actually sounds good.

I would like to see better trim quality, but other than that, one of (if not the) best car I have ever owned, driven, ridden in etc.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th November, 2006

24th Sep 2007, 16:20

It may say 160 although it won't do it lol, although yeah good choice of car.

8th Jun 2009, 10:34

Yeah I was also a bit amused at the comment that the speedo reads to 160 mph. :-/ That's totally irrelevant.

9th Jun 2009, 17:35

You can expect 120mph out of the 1.6 engine. I would suggest that the 1.9 16v 140bhp is the best 4 cylinder that BMW made at that time. The larger 6 cylinders are better though, much better. I've had both. Currently have a 328i.

27th Aug 2012, 05:45

Don't want to be a hater - but the 316i isn't a 1.6l engine - it is a 1.8 ;)