1997 BMW 3 Series 318i 1.9Litre 4 cylinder. from Australia and New Zealand


A very fine all round motor car


The old battery expired after 2and1/2 years (normal).

General Comments:

A very fine all round motor car. No wonder I see so many on the roads. BMW's just go and go.

Reliability is great, power is good, fuel economy is very good, comfort is fine, highway control is outstanding, cruises fabulous, panel layout is so sensible, classic design, handles superbly. Outlay cost was surprisingly good. I am so convinced that the Germans are the best car makers in the world - by a very long way.

This is my first BMW and will definitely not be my last. I previously owned French motor cars for over twenty years (Renaults and Citroens). Never again.

I recommend to anyone else who gets seduced by the Frog trap to take one last serious look at BMW's.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 2005

27th Feb 2006, 22:09

This is an update on my original entry - 36,000 klms later. Servicing the car has cost less than any car I have ever owned (over 20 years). Fuel economy is outstanding and the car handles like - how do they say it- on rails.

It is a ton of fun and I will only contemplate parting with it when another BMW upgrade is on the radar.

11th Oct 2009, 12:17

I like your enthusiasm. Gonna get me a ticket on one of those! Who did you go through to import the car? Also how much did the fees add up too? I'm in Perth so shipping costs are probably more than the car, what would you advise to keep that down? Email me on butt83fly@gmail.com, otherwise they'll be a queue. Cheers.

1997 BMW 3 Series 323i SE 2.5 from UK and Ireland


A very solid performance vehicle

General Comments:

Though we have only owned the car for a few month's, we are very impressed by the car's performance and comfort levels. The engine is lively if pushed, but can be quite thirsty.

As our family car, the car is quite roomy in the rear for the two kid's, in the front, the leg room is brilliant, though the gearbox tunnel does infringe towards the clutch pedal slightly.

The boot space is not as big as we would like, but overall a very solidly built car, with lots of specification.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th April, 2004

16th Dec 2009, 18:13

I've had a 323i for the last few years and found it to be easily the worst car I've ever owned. To drive, it's fantastic: comfortable, quiet, plenty of performance and nice handling. When it works, that is.

My BMW lasts on average four or five months between lengthy stays in the garage for a never-ending string of expensive repairs. In the last three years I've had problems with the brakes, suspension, engine, gearbox, alarm, electric windows, heating, engine cooling, engine management, steering and miscellaneous electrics. More than once in all of these areas! Even the dealer is embarrassed enough to offer discounts on the repairs now! Last MOT (in July) for example cost £2,000. By late October the heater, alarm, electric windows and engine cooling had all gone wrong again. That's completely typical of the BMW's reliability the whole time I've owned it.

My new car arrives on Saturday (NOT a BMW!) and this hopeless lump of junk goes to the scrapyard. That will be a good day. I bought BMW expecting good build quality and reliability, but it's been such a total disappointment that I've lost all respect for the brand and will never touch a BMW again. To anyone thinking about buying one of these cars: be warned...

18th Dec 2009, 13:37

What year was it? I've got a BMW and found it to be the best car I've had, especially regarding reliability. Shame about yours.

1997 BMW 3 Series 318i 1.9 liter gas from North America


BMW reliability and prestige for less


Display on radio failed to light. Repaired it myself.

Seatbelt sensor failed, replaced under certified preowned warranty.

Squeak developed in clutch mechanism. Dealer replaced clutch master cylinder under warranty.

Cooling system thermostat stuck open. Replaced it myself.

General Comments:

As you can see, there have been no major problems with this car.

With the traction control and snow tires, I have no problems driving it all winter in Colorado.

The car handles great and accelerates adequately. I wouldn't mind a bit more horsepower, but as a daily driver it is fine. I also get 28.5 mpg commuting in city traffic and up to 34 mpg on the highway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th September, 2003