1999 BMW 3 Series 323i SE 2.5 petrol from UK and Ireland
Motorway cruiser, which will beat the boy racers off the lights
I had the car a few days when the car started to pull to left under braking and steering wheel vibrating - This was caused by a faulty new tire that was put on before collection. This was fixed by BMW straight away.
A pump or belt or alternator now squealing on very cold start. Will get fixed at dealer next week.
Small rattle from passenger side rear door.
The car is quite quick (will beat a lot of cars off the traffic lights) but not as fast as I expected (this maybe due to faulty pump issue outlined above).
Handling is not bad around corners, however my old 3 series (1997 318) went around corners much better and seemed to have more grip. I believe this grip issue has been sorted on newer 2002 models.
The cabin is much more spacious than old 3 series and much more comfortable. The ride is also smoother (which is probably why handling is not as good as before).
Very impressed with BMW dealer. Slipped up at first by taking another customers deposit on another car I was test driving, but bent over backward to find me a great car at an even better price after that.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th December, 2002
20th Jul 2004, 12:55
Update in July 2004.
Since having this car I have experienced so many problems over the last 2 years, in fact 23 different issues and some of these major. These include clutch (3 new ones until they figured out the problem was elsewhere on the car), new a/c computer, new engine components after loss of power (which is still a problem) and other new components which I consider to be major and not just a bit of loose trim.
Unfortunately BMW UK Ltd don't want to know even though it's under warranty and are being very un-helpful - unfortunately I'm going to have to get a different car.
1999 BMW 3 Series 318iSE 1.9 from UK and Ireland
An experience I would not want to repeat
The air conditioning failed within the first year of use.
The suspension was rebuilt at approximately 1 year as one side was found to be out of line with the other. I was accused by the dealer of having damaged the car myself, but this was later retracted. BMW apparently authorised a rebuild as it was ultimately accepted that it could have been built this way.
The thermostat mounting broke up at one year causing overheating and the heating system to fail to operate. (This was dangerous as the weather was icy and there was no way of stopping the screen from icing up), the dealer was not over interested and I was inconvenienced for several weeks. I know of numerous other other cars to have suffered this fault including those owned by the hire company the dealer referred me to!
The driver's door trim plastic blistered within weeks of delivery and was replaced under warranty. Similar dis-figuration later affected the other door trims, but by then I had lost interest in the car and could not be bothered to get the problem sorted as the car was due to be returned to the lease company.
The accelerator pedal began to stick open toward the end of my period of use and this fault was still there when I parted with the car.
I am now convinced that what is great about BMW is the marketing department and their ability to supress information relating to problems from reaching the public. (My previous model 318iSE was also far from perfect).
This car was dull to drive in comparison with all previously owned vehicles and especially the Honda Accord 2.0 SE I now own.
The pedals are offset so far to the right that severe back pain set in after just over an hour at the wheel.
Whilst the boot is a reasonable size, the aperture is not.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 8th September, 2002
9th Sep 2002, 13:18
BMW's are over-rated and I cannot see why everyone thinks they are good. I traded in my 99T 318i and lost so much money on it, I was forced to buy an old wreck. Do not BUY a B*W!
18th Oct 2003, 15:44
I am currently driving my 5th BMW and yes they do have faults, but the upside is the dealers are normally excellent at resolving the problems, BMW's follow up telephone call after dealer visits are excellent, indeed if you have a problem just wait for BMW's call and they just fix it! But don't bother with a 4 cylinder, go for a 6, they are faster and are real BMW's, and yes I will be having another one, and yes, I'm sure it will go wrong sometime.
5th Feb 2008, 00:04
I agree the 4 cylinder engines don't really do the car justice. But as for a A4 handling better, please.
21st Aug 2008, 18:54
I have a 97' 318ti with 104k miles. When I bought it last year the I found that the accelerator was sticking open too. Some WD40 sprayed on the pedal mechanism solved this. Aside from that, the car hasn't gone wrong. It makes some odd noises sometimes but perhaps that is to be expected with an 11 year old car. Fantastic car considering what I paid for it.
Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 30 reviews