1997 BMW 3 Series Reviews - Page 7 of 13

1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 2.8 liter from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.8 liter Automatic

Faults:

Nothing serious.

General Comments:

This has been a great little car. I purchased it with 127,000 miles for $5200. It is a blast to drive, the motor has awesome highway power. It rarely needs to downshift from 4th to 3rd on the highway, even if going up a long hill. The transmission has a sport mode as well as a manual more in which you can shift yourself if you so desire. The exterior is stylish and definitely a headturner. The interior is like an airplane, lots of small buttons all illuminated with a red glow at night. The seats are comfortable and easily adjustable, as well as heated. I love this car, although it's for sale on ebay and I'll be getting rid of it in a few days. It now has 146k on it, and has been relatively problem free. I would recommend avoiding the BMW dealer, as they are very expensive and like to do more work than necessary!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 24th March, 2007

1997 BMW 3 Series 318is 1.9 liter 4 cylinder from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.9 liter 4 cylinder Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired108000 miles
Most recent distance146000 miles
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

Awesome car, takes some money to get fixed, but nonetheless, still a great car

Faults:

A/C Compressor died @142k.

Exterior molding is cracking.

General Comments:

Awesome road grip and handling.

Decent acceleration for a 4 cylinder.

Good gas mileage.

Roomy upfront for a small coupe.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd February, 2007

1997 BMW 3 Series 318i Saloon 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.8 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired117643 miles
Most recent distance119589 miles
Previous carPeugeot 306

Summary:

Once you have owned a BMW you won't go back!

Faults:

The heater resistor went wrong make the fan at permanent high speeds.

The cooling switch for the engine stopped working, but very easy fix.

Flat rear tyre (my fault shouldn't have spun it round in a car park) :)

General Comments:

The performance from the 1.8 engine is very surprising and will get you up to high speeds in no time at all, you can't even hear the engine or any wind noise when you are cruising along.

The interior is very up to date with high luxury refinements and it is very comfortable even on very long journeys.

The boot space is very big and capable of carrying lots of gear.

I don't think there is really anything I can say that is negative about the car???

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th December, 2005

1997 BMW 3 Series Touring 323i from UK and Ireland

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 323i Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired190000 miles
Most recent distance201000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Corrado

Summary:

Head over Heart, but not a bad compromise

Faults:

Glovebox release button- replaced with item from scrap yard.

Rear coil spring broke-easy fix

Diff' starting to hum.

General Comments:

The car is impressive on the motorway, very smooth & quiet, one barely discernable squeak, not bad for 200k.

It handles like nothing else I've driven included numerous hot hatches, it just hangs on, the turn in very rapid, but secure and when the back breaks away it's very predictable.

Seats are shocking... mine are leather & they are far too wide, you slide about during even the most tame of cornering (I'm 6ft 3!)

Engine needs revving, but once over 3500rpm it makes up for it's slug like nature prior to that.

Generally the car is a 'head buy' rather than a 'heart buy' it's practical & relatively quick, but ultimately doesn't excite unless you hammer it everywhere.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th October, 2005

25th Jan 2008, 09:04

As an update - I'm now 3 years into ownership and it's been a rocky - the list is: New brakes pipes all round, new back plates (they rusted through resulting in the parking brake shoes jamming on when I was on the motorway), new head gasket, 2 new wishbones, new thermostat, new temperature switch, new rear springs. This doesn't include consumables.

I have been thoroughly dissapointed with this car, the feeling of quality remains whilst the rest just falls to bits.

1997 BMW 3 Series 318i Touring 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.8 petrol Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired55000 miles
Most recent distance67000 miles
Previous carMercedes-Benz A-Class

Summary:

Handles well, not bullett proof

Faults:

Climate control unit

Final stage unit (ie resistor pack the heater motor)

Fuel pump

Central locking solenoid

Front seats loose

Glove box not closing properly

Throttle stuck

Air-vent mechanism broken

Rear seat loose

High level brake light seems to blow bulps quite often

Odometer works only intermittently

Speedo stopped working couple of times.

General Comments:

This was my wife's car and we sold it only because we moved from UK to Australia.

Nice to drive as you would expect. Steering precise and controls generally nice to use.

Not as comfortable as I would have expected (but I am a Citroen driver myself). Seats are too hard for my liking.

Not much space at rear. Boot space adequate (estate), but this car is not meant to be a load lugger anyway.

Engine not particularly powerful, but is reasonably economical. This is the M43 engine.

Digital climate control very good when it is working. Climate control units have a design fault that makes them to stop working after few years, apparently it is the soldering of the connections that is cracking. I managed to get the digital climate control unit reconditioned for only £30 - look from eBay!

Another design fault is the fuel pump. If you let the fuel tank go almost empty then the pump might overheat (as it is not submerged in petrol) and gets damaged. If the fuel pump fuses starts blowing after 15 mil, es of driving then it is time to get a new fuel pump. I got mine for about £70 and changed it myself - easy job.

Strange thing in our BMW was that all the seats were loose. The backseat would just lift off and I could not get it attached to the metal clips holding it on the fllor. I presume the alarm unit (under the rear seat) installed at BMW UK was sticking out too much stopping the seat to go down properly. Both fornt seats were looose as well. The flimsy plastic clips holding them to the seat frames were broken.

Even I have listed some problems with this car I would still consider buying another one, but just not expecting it to be a of a build quality of 80s BMW/Merc.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th October, 2005

19th Feb 2006, 21:30

Comparing Citroen reliability to a BMW is like comparing the Zambian football team to the Brazilian national team. Come on! I mean Citroens were good thirty years ago, but in this day and age? If anyone doesn't agree with me, start reading some of the reviews on this website for the Citroen C5.

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 44 reviews