1997 BMW 3 Series 318i 1.8 from Croatia


Lovely car, but heavier on the wallet


115000 km - tank fuel level sender malfunctioning, had to replace the whole tank pump assembly.

115000 km - Airbag sensor warning light on, seat belt fasteners faulty.

130000 km - Catalytic converter burned itself in a matter of minutes, clogged the exhaust.

General Comments:

The car is great fun to drive, especially if you want thrills from time to time. Try summer tires in snow and you'll know what I mean.

A car for enthusiasts more than your usual Opel. This means more fun, but also heavier on the wallet.

Relatively little room compared to my previous Opel Vectra, but much more style and better build quality. Engine is the best part of the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th September, 2005

1997 BMW 3 Series 328IS 2.8L from North America


Everyday sports car with great reliability.


The "check engine light" is very sensitive and can be triggered often and for many reasons. The light has been on for 6 months now and the dealer cannot determine the cause and tells me that is is OK to still drive the car. I had another BMW, 1994 model, of the same make and this was also a common problem with that car.

BMW's are reliable and do not require all the service the dealers recommend.

General Comments:

Own a BMW once and you will not want to own anything by another brand. The reliability, performance, and handling cannot be beat. The BMW has a certain "feel" to it when driven. It is really a "drivers" car. This is my 3rd BMW and will not be my last!

The 1992-1999 BMW 3 Series (E 36) is a great buy for the money. I would recommend this model highly.

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

Review Date: 22nd March, 2005

15th May 2005, 19:30

I am thinking about a 328IS with 80,630 miles on it. Is there anything I should be worried about. It's a coupe version seems well taken cared for. Asking about 12,999. Let me know what are your thoughts. Thanks again, Scott.

7th Jun 2006, 09:21

To the comment above: sounds like a fair deal. The price is average for a BMW with that mileage. Expect nothing short of perfection with these cars as they are easy (cheap) to maintain and do not spawn mysterious problems like some other makes seem to. If the car is an automatic, make sure the transmission has been serviced. These automatics will last the life of the car if they are kept serviced. The engine should run perfectly, and have all of the cooling system components checked out.

7th May 2007, 07:36

I am considering the purchase of a 1997 BMW 328IS (144,000 miles) for my daughter to go off to College. It looks perfect and all scheduled maintanience has been done according to schedule by certified service providers. How many more miles will I get from this car if I continue service as recommended? General comments?

20th May 2007, 01:41

I have a 1997 328is for 6 years now with 166,000 miles on it. I have not had any problems with this car. I change the oil at around 5,000 miles interval. So far, this is the most reliable car I have owned. The check engine light does come on once in a blue moon due to the sensitive oxygen sensors. This happens when the gas attendant does not tighten the fuel cap. Once I remove and close the fuel cap, the light goes away after a few miles of driving.

20th Sep 2007, 22:52

In response to 6:57, who are you so nastily responding to on this post? I saw no mention in the review or any of the comments about the cars not needing regular, prescribed service. What I got from everyone's comments was that these cars do in fact need regular service and that they will reward the owner with trouble-free performance. This has been my experience as well, by the way. My BMW has been a terrific success story as it is over 10 years old and has been fantastically reliable.