1998 BMW 3 Series 323is 6 from North America


Good and Bad


I had the key ignition switch replaced after ignition switch failed (55K). My check engine light frequently illuminates even though I have had my exhaust system checked, and parts replaced several times by my mechanic and dealership.

General Comments:

Overall, I enjoy the car. However the "check engine" light reappearing after the car has been serviced is extremely annoying. I have had the exhaust filter, fuel cap and exhaust pipe changed without fixing the light. Very frustrating. Plus the car is expensive to service. That said, it is still a fun car to drive and it still looks great even though it's 8 years old. With the low mileage and BMW's reputation for luxury cars, I expected a little bit more reliability.

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

Review Date: 25th July, 2006

28th Jan 2013, 15:39

The check engine light is usually O2 sensor related. Did you have that replaced also? Keep in mind there's a pre cat and a post cat sensor.

1998 BMW 3 Series 318 ti 1.9 petrol from UK and Ireland


Will always be the "poor man's BMW" but if you get to own a beamer, for the price of a normal car


Absolutely nothing, apart from the battery, and even this was cheap to replace.

General Comments:

Inside trim was pretty cheap with a plastic feel.

Performance was poor for a 1.9 M sports pack model. I am told that the passenger comfort level was low, but I never spent time in the back so I wouldn't know.

Ride was not the most comfortable in the world, but still bearable from a driver's point of view.

I was pleased with it overall, especially as it is cheap to own and run.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th March, 2006

1998 BMW 3 Series SE 323i from UK and Ireland


Power, comfort and the feeling of owning one of the best cars to ever come out of Germany



General Comments:

I have an E46 (Current model 1998-2004) and it's six years old, but still drives better that my last 3 new Vauxhall cars.

The 2.5 is a very powerful engine and I get about 40MPG on the motorway.

Cream leather is absolute luxury and looks fantastic.

The auto-dimming rear view mirror is good idea.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th November, 2004

1998 BMW 3 Series 318 iS 1.9 4 cylinder 140BHP from UK and Ireland


Good quality reliable motor


Catalytic converter failed. Replaced under warranty.

Nothing else I can think of failed on the car! It just worked, time and time again. Even when the battery was flat after an ex left the lights on for a day!! She still started 1st time!

General Comments:

Handled well, great fun, but a little twitchy in the wet (which is what we want). Not so good in the snow/ice, but still never got stuck (driving in Scotland during winter included.

Practical and quite cheap to run however the interior could have been a little more interesting, too much black plastic.

Not a fire breathing 911 beater, but a nice cruiser and fun on the back roads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th June, 2004

7th Jul 2006, 09:58

I bought a 1998 BMW 318is E36 model (all standard no mods) last year (2005) with 42K on the clock. It now has 55k.

I have owned a Honda Prelude, Cavalier, Citroen and Ford Escort in the past.

The very first thing I noticed with this car is the rear wheel drive and how it affects handling. This car STICKS to the road, the 50/50 weight ratio is noticeable with no under/over steer and absolute pleasure to drive around winding roads.

The torque also needs mentioning, it has the same pull along the rev range, so even if you are doing 60 and put your foot down, you are going to feel the engine pulling the car faster and faster with little depreciation, a lovely feeling.

The car is VERY reliable, oil consumption is normal, and engine temperature never fluctuates. It starts in any weather conditions first time, and is a very comfortable drive. The body/paint is showing no signs of rust.

The only thing that has gone wrong with this car is my passenger window jammed, which I hear is common. I tapped the inner door panel a few times and it started working again.

I WILL be trading this car in for the E46 in the next 12-18 months. It is true what they say - 'The Ultimate Driving Machine'.