1999 BMW 3 Series 320i Sedan 2.0 Petrol from Bulgaria

Summary:

The definite market leader in the segment - 15 years ago and up to now

Faults:

When we bought the BMW second hand, we changed the brake discs and pads, and the shock absorbers, as they were there from new. After that initial servicing, nothing has gone wrong.

The front windows make a squeeze sound and go down slowly... but I suppose once we remove the door covers and oil the mechanism, they will go like new.

General Comments:

Power from straight-6 engine is sufficient; don't consider 4-cylinder models (318i, 316i in Europe), they lack power and torque. Even compared to my 1-year old company car Honda Accord, the old BMW engine is more potent.

Steering is quite direct and feels like really controlling the car. The ride is fairly comfortable, and the suspension is strong and withstands our bumpy roads very well.

The seats are quite comfortable and supportive, however my model lacks folding back seats, which I miss very much.

Audio system is crap - cassette player or CD does not really matter, the sound quality is poor and the standard speaker kit is also of inferior quality. I've replaced it with an aftermarket stereo and new Hertz speakers, and the sound quality improved drastically.

City mileage is not good, but on par with previous cars of similar weight and power I have driven. Outside city consumption is fairly good, however on the highway I am missing a sixth gear, and after 130km/h consumption goes high.

Dealers are willing and attentive, prices are high, but this is what you can expect from premium brand servicing. There are many used cars around, and you can find used parts at a fraction of the cost.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th November, 2014

14th Dec 2014, 23:26

Great review. Also you need to consider its mileage. At 275k things get little tired, so fuel economy would get hammered slightly, but with a little extensive service, you can get back another 20%.

1999 BMW 3 Series 328 CiA 2.8 M52TUB28 from Finland

Summary:

Great car, but mine should be exorcised

Faults:

It all started with standard wearable parts. In my case, it was all at the same time. Rear suspension, front brakes, anti-roll bars and tie rods, costing 600€.

After I got it all done, next in line was the water pump, which merely exploded, and again it is a wearable part as far as it goes BMW 400€.

Then some jerk kicked my left mirror. The repair costs were 1400€. But the biggest problem came across in a routine check. The subframe broke at 166000 and cost me 2000€. The week after, she went down again. The car didn't want to start at all because it lost the software.

All those problems are not typical; I just had bad luck, and all in one year.

General Comments:

This beauty is just as fast as you need. Its fuel consumption is average, and if you are good driver, you can get good consumption. I get 8.7l/100km.

I've never sat on as comfortable seats. This car sticks to the road and eats corners. Has all the features that I like to have in a car. I really love my car, but still she fails me, and my trust is failing as well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd November, 2011

1999 BMW 3 Series 323ci Coupe 2.5 from Australia and New Zealand

Summary:

One of the best car makers

Faults:

- Airbag light came on. Very common issue with 3 Series, and this is due to the seat sensor under the passenger's seat.

- Central locking would play up sometimes.

- Wheel bearing was due for a change just after 100k.

- Shock bushes.

General Comments:

I have had 7 BMW's so far, and my overall impression is that they are excellent cars. They were all 3 series, and my current 323ci is the most loved, due to being a manual.

Yes, you do have some usual maintenance, and it stands for any car, and I can't deny they that they are expensive, but it's the driving comfort and handling that pays for it.

Inline 6 cylinder 323ci manual 2 door coupe in manual was one of the best cars I have owned. Great handling, decent fuel economy for a 2.5 litre engine, lots of power and excellent sitting comfort with memory seats.

The interior is great, and there's enough leg room at the rear, but the front is quite roomy.

If you are thinking of getting a 323ci, I would strongly recommend these e46 models. I owned a 318i of the same year; it was a very reliable car as well, but I thought it didn't have enough power to cope up with NZ roads.

Also compared to the e36 325i, I personally think the 323ci is much more refined, and much more of a pleasure to drive.

Engine and transmissions are bullet proof. When you buy these cars, make sure you get the service history. If you have full service history like mine, you have nothing to worry about.

For a 99 car, it has everything you can ever ask for.

- Electric seats with many comfy features even new cars don't have.

- Memory seats for 3 people.

- Cruise control.

And lots of little detailed things, which you will appreciate as you discover while driving.

I strongly suggest - keep it factory and keep it well serviced, and you can't go wrong with them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th May, 2011

19th May 2011, 03:08

The 323i/ci has a good engine and drivetrain, but wait till you sample the 330i or 330d!

20th May 2011, 06:32

Hey mate, are a 330i or 330d way better than a 323ci? I always wanted to get a 3 liter version one, but was little worried about fuel consumption and maintenance.

21st May 2011, 03:49

The 2.5 litre in your 323Ci is from the same family, so maintenance issues will be similar to the 330i.

As for economy, the 330d is better than the 330i, and I have always found the spread of low to mid range torque intoxicating. The only possible downsides are the slight rattling at idle, and the lack of the straight six bark when revved.

26th May 2011, 18:04

I agree. Diesel wouldn't be my first choice, but I would take 330ci any day over a 323ci. But I found the 323ci is very fuel efficient and cheaper insurance compared to a 330ci. Does quite well for NZ's hilly roads, but a bit more power is always nice :)

30th May 2011, 01:51

Actually, I would rate the 330d above the 330i, based on personal experience with both.

The 330d lacks little, if anything, in performance as compared to the 330i and is much cheaper to run. The low and mid range punch has to be felt to be believed and it revs out nicely to licence losing speeds too.