1998 BMW 3 Series Reviews - Page 5 of 7

1998 BMW 3 Series 328i Sport 2.9 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.9 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired28000 miles
Most recent distance74000 miles
Previous carAston Martin V8

Summary:

Sure footed, quick, fun without costing a fortune

Faults:

Non BMW Alarm plagued with problems (would pack up near GSM masts preventing switching the alarm off - great in motorway service stations). Replacement unit after several visits from disbelieving dealer.

Beyond that auto-dimming rear view mirror failed around 50,000 miles, replaced under extended warranty, but would have cost over 200 pounds to replace.

General Comments:

Surprisingly quick. Outruns the basic Boxter S and on motorway runs there are few cars quicker (most Ferrari owners don't take they're investments down the fast lane).

Very confident handling with good feedback. Push the car over the line and it isn't subtle in its reaction, but I haven't lost it yet. Rear wheel drive is a joy.

Over long distances the M-Tech suspension is a pain and watch out for those speed ramps you're not driving an RV!

You can fairly comfortably cruise around, but the real car comes out when you start to put your foot down - this car really knows how to take corners - is very stable and makes you think about what you are doing.

One of the safest cars I have driven. I don't recommend you jump on the brakes as you would in most cars if you want to stop quickly unless you want to cause a pile up behind you!

Been running on Continental Contact Sports and have been getting 30k + miles which is very pleasing. Car is very well balanced I get very even wearing.

It really lives up to BMW's claim of the 'Ultimate Driving Machine' as several trips to Scotland from London and almost weekly darts to Devon account.

Motorway journeys 'over 85' will see mpg drop below 28 but still pretty good. Super unleaded increases bite and mpg just enough to justify the expense.

Even now the E36 coupe body is getting a little old it still is one good looking car.

Only question now is which BM do I get next...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2003

17th Nov 2004, 13:36

Having owned BMW's for over 10 years, my current 3281 sport coupe follow`s the trend of my previoUs BMW`s'..the engine is bullet proof, and the bells and whistles work, but the rear end can slide away if pushed... be aware!

14th Oct 2007, 10:24

I agree with the first post, Very quick for a Sports cruiser and will out drag a non-turbo Porsche 911 (this is no light weight Golf GTI), Of course the e36 M3.3.2 being the conqueror of most German autobahns.

The 328i was restricted from the factory with a limited air intake manifold, most enthusiasts will change this to a 325 M50 manifold to gain up to 20bhp.

My 328i sport is now 10 years old and still stands out from this square Ford Mondeo world we now live in.

1998 BMW 3 Series TI 1.9 from North America

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.9 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired68000 kilometres
Most recent distance82000 kilometres
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

A reliable BMW with a good price /look/quality/handling

Faults:

Differential started making a noise after few hundred kilometres and got replaced by the car dealer. Cost $2500.

Ball joints got replaced by the car dealer.

Traction control cable broke by the car dealer.

General Comments:

Great car. very good handling. Great traction in snow, thanks to traction control system, ASC. Big trunk space and due to being a hatchback with folding a sit I could almost fir a cow in there. Excellent build quality. Noisy on Highway. Poor thing desperately needs a 5th speed automatic. Never have used the A/M button on the console. Don't know why they make these or tip-tronic since no one uses them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th January, 2003

13th May 2005, 04:18

Try the tiptronic, you may like it...

1998 BMW 3 Series Sport 2.8i from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.8i Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired22400 miles
Most recent distance26200 miles
Previous carRenault 19

Summary:

A fast, but cheap alternative to the E36 M3

Faults:

Battery needed replacing shortly after delivery.

Random screws keep appearing inside the car, not sure where they are from, but nothing has fallen apart yet. But that isn't to say the build quality isn't any good.

General Comments:

The E36 328i Sport is the one serious motor; it has everything you need, speed, comfort, handling and that all important image.

There isn't that much to improve upon, but I have enhanced the look by adding genuine M3 mirrors, front bumper splitter and have removed the bumper slats and replaced them with an M3 mesh.

The performance as standard is seriously fast, but I have had my car Superchipped and set-up on a rolling road; I would say the car is getting close to M3 territory, but without the high running costs. I highly recommend doing this!

Full leather looks nice, especially in light Grey, but seats can feel uncomfortable on long journeys; they really could do with lumber support.

This car certainly turns heads whilst driving about, even though the new E46 model has been about for a couple of years now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 2002

18th Oct 2008, 02:59

Even with a superchip, it will be nowhere near M3 territory. Also why do you 328 owners try to compare them to the M3? 328's are in Vectra GSi territory, although I will admit they're much more refined (GSi owner here).

The 328 is a great car, just don't compare it to the M3, no need to really as it's more than fast enough for UK roads :)

29th Jan 2009, 17:13

I agree with the Veccy GSI owner (nice car by the way) - a chipped 328 is not near an M3.

Even with the M50 inlet manifold, big bore throttle body, induction kit, M3 headers, lightweight pullies, US M3 cams, fan delete and a map you're still only seeing 250ish - so still well shy of an M3!

31st Jan 2009, 16:07

I have a 1995 328i. They are quick, but I wouldn't try to compare it to an M3. Fantastic car though, recommend it 100%.

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 33 reviews