1999 BMW 3 Series 323i E36 Convertible 2.5 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Old school classic convertible, for cruising, not for racing

Faults:

One of the locking nuts seized on a wheel, and a rear spring was broken on a pothole; neither really to do with the quality of the car.

Other than this, no problems.

General Comments:

Leather needs looking after; I suspect it might wear quickly.

Hood benefits from frequent water and U.V. proofing.

I miss an outside temp display.

Nicely specced with leather, digital climate / air con.

Suspect it's not as solid as an E36 coupe, but it's not bad at all for a convertible.

Exudes old school charm; still prefer the style over the later 3 series.

Boot is a bit on the small side. I like the lid mounted toolbox, spare wheel well storage tray, etc.

Interior did take a bit of getting used to, as it's all black with a black headliner, but I quite like it now.

A few nice thoughtful touches, like the torch in the glove box, and the ICE speed dependent volume control.

Handles well, auto box took a bit of getting used to, but it's five speed, probably old hat now though.

Bodywork lasting very well, no rust problems at all.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th January, 2011

1999 BMW 3 Series SE 328 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Superb build quality and performance, but not in the snow!!

Faults:

Nothing major, until the steptronic gearbox failed when trying to reverse in heavy snow.

This will cost more to fix than the car is now worth! (as of Dec 2010, the value is around the £2000 mark tops)

General Comments:

Heavy on the juice at around 22mpg in town. 104000 miles on the clock, but this car still drives tight, and is seriously quick. This model, 328i SE, is top spec, all leather, with all the gadgets you would want.

I have owned this car for 6 years, and it's without doubt miles ahead of any car I have owned, but this incident in the snow has made me think twice about rear wheel drive, especially with the bad winter weather we now seem to be having every year.

Really can't fault BMW for the build quality of their cars, but rear wheel drive automatics really are useless in the snow!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th December, 2010

1999 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5 inline 6 from North America

Summary:

The BMW experience costs too much

Faults:

Front control arm bushings.

Passenger heated seat.

Coolant thermostat.

Broken front sway bar links.

Leaking valve cover gasket.

General Comments:

The BMW driving experience is definitely a good one. This was my first BMW; I had always wanted to own one. Great fun to drive. However, I soon learned that the BMW experience has its price.

I bought it used with 135000km, and apparently at this mileage many components are doomed to failure, according to BMW forums. The service transmission light and check engine light would come on randomly, with no real diagnosable problem.

According to the BMW forums, most automatic transmissions of this vintage, built by General Motors in France, do not last much more than 140000km, and have to be replaced as they are not serviceable. So in the end, I just got scared of this car and sold it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd March, 2010

23rd Dec 2010, 21:42

How much did it cost to replace the coolant tank?

1999 BMW 3 Series 323i 2.5 Inline 6 from North America

Summary:

Beautiful car, 300 000kms and still like a bullet

Faults:

Rear brakes had to be changed, but you have to change brakes with any car.

The bearing between the transmission and the shaft needs to be changed, it makes noise when you are revving up, but it's not a big deal, cheap easy fix.

The heater wouldn't stay warm, the coolant had air in it, had to get the air out and the heat is working beautifully.

The door handles would get stuck, put some wd40 and they are working perfect now.

Got some rust to take care of.

General Comments:

I bought this to replace my 2002 Golf because I love the styling of these cars.

The high kms scared me, but after I drove it.. mileage means nothing on a BMW. It's just a meaningless number. The engine is perfect, no check engine light on, transmission is perfect, clutch is perfect, and it's the original clutch, which has lasted 288 000kms!! But mainly because it was high driven.

Very comfortable and luxurious with the black leather interior, sunroof, fog lights, tinted windows..

Be prepared for full synthetic oil changes (don't forget if the oil is cheaper than $55, don't put it in because you have a BMW engine!)

And also be prepared to pump the expensive gas! Cuz you love your engine just that much.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th December, 2009

13th Dec 2009, 17:07

I love my 3 Series too :) Gonna keep it to it falls apart, which will hopefully be a while. Regular servicing and attention should keep her sweet for many years to come.