Funny situation here. I had a 318i SE myself and I didn't "fall in love with it". In fact, I believe that with the same price you can purchase a better car. BMW are great cars, but you'll spend too much money to have one. I changed to SAAB and let me tell you that I am 100% satisfied!
I don't see that BMW 318's are machines to 'Fall In Love With' either. My 318 is a neuter rattle-free transport. Nothing to hate; nothing to love. Just, well, transport. Maybe if I had a 330 or an M3 I might love it, but certainly with the 318 there is much to admire, nothing to love.
I can't wait to change mine.
In my experience BMW dealers and warranties are very nice until you really need them. When problems arise they don't want to know.
To the person who originally posted the review.
Your talking rubbish.
Are you sure you are not an envious wanaby BMW owner? These car do not go down the road with bits of trim falling off and wallow around corners.
Sure maybe a badly maintained 10 year old car would but not a new one!!
It just don't happen my friend.
My dad had a 318iSE built in 96. Despite him totally ignoring the service indicator, the car gave many fast m-way miles without trouble, was comfortable and had excellent build quality. The original reviewer is a wannabe owner.
I've owned a '91 520i and a '92 316i. The 520 was sold on after 3 months due to a number of faults which totally frustrated me and now, 18 months down the line with my 316, I'm looking to change to another Audi. The 316 has an incurable stutter when driving from cold and a hugely annoying clutch judder (despite a new clutch). Admittedly things don't fall off it and it does handle very well (except in the snow, when you just have to put it in the garage)
BMW is incapable of customer service. I am embarrassed I got a BMW. The fit and finish on my 2000 328Ci is terribly cheap. I know the rest of the car is built just as poorly. Yes, it is just as bad in The States. Audi, Lexus, or Volvo will be my next choice.
Lemon Service, Mediocre Car.
I see that the original review have provoked a lot of strong opinions! I have a 318is Coupe for 7 years until I sold it. It was great to drive - the gearbox, clutch, throttle and transmission all 'gelled' perfectly. However, it definitely needs more power - anything less than 150bhp is a waste of time. I can understand the comments about the 318 saloon being a humdrum car. I have to say that the build quality on my car was disappointing - lots of minor things went wrong with it and the BMW dealers charged a FORTUNE to fix them.
To the poster who says that BMW can't trade on its past image - I understand your point but I disagree. I think that BMW trades ONLY on its image to sell its 4 cylinder cars. For thousands of pounds less, Mondeo's, Passats, even Citroens are much better cars in every dynamic way and are catching up even in build quality. BMW could put a propeller badge on an ugly mish-mash of ill-matched old spare parts and it would sell as a 'prestige' car (witness the compact - a horrid, incapable car and a cynical exercise in image-only marketing).
Honestly I'd take a Skoda Octavia before I considered another E46 4cyl.
OK, it's simple really!! 318 in any form is simply an entry level BM, it is slow, boring, looks cheapish and generally is a mediocre car on any level. OK, it's got the badge and yes it's probably better than any of the other boring 4 cylinders cars on offer, but, it's STILL mediocre.
If you want to really experience a good car - buy on of their lovely 6 cylinder models. They're smooth, responsive, refined and a lot more fun, which at the end of the day, is what it's about. If you're buying a car for the badge you're a fool!! And if you can't afford a 6 cylinder, buy an Audi 1.8T and chip it.
I had a 3 Series for a while, not bad, not good. The head gasket went and the service lights thought it was a mobile disco! I now have a Citroen. Now you can laugh all you like, but the car has NEVER gone wrong in 2 years and has a fantastic ride, and it's a lot quicker than my old 2 litre BM. So from now on I'm saying forget the image and driving Citroens.
Did the guy say Citroen, never never never ever buy a citroen. If you do you are a fool. I have had my Xantia 1.8 for 2 years and I have had more things go wrong with it than monkeys have nits.
I can't believe some of these comments. Bad build quality? Totally beyond comprehension!
My good friend bought a new 318i Executive (Aust. market) and it has a fit and finish that the new C-class cannot touch and an on road feel that I have never experienced in any car for the money. Its handling and braking are absolutely 1st class.
I have worked in the motor industry for nearly 8 years and I have seen and driven countless amounts of cars. I cannot believe that a 328 or 330ci are dud cars that fall apart. BMW's represent the pinnacle of quality motoring, the quality of the 318i is the same as a 740i, a Mercedes C-Class 180 Classic has a cheap and nasty interior, whilst the S-Class has exceptional quality.
The BMW's we get in Australia are all made in Germany except for the X5. Does BMW have any factories in North America? I know they have a factory in South Africa and it is often said that the quality of these cars is not as good as their German counterparts. If they are making BMW's in the US, then and only then could I believe that a BMW was of poor quality and unreliable.
Just a note to the Australian poster. Australian 3 series BMW's are manufactured in South Africa.
I own a 2001 325Ci and I am very impressed. I used to own a `92 318i and loved every minute of it. It was such a good car that a friend also bought one and his was a complete bag of spanners. The sunroof leaked, the suspension was awful, the paintwork went badly wrong as did most other aspects. I honestly think you can be lucky with one car and unlucky with the next of the same model. I haven't quite fallen in love this car yet, but it will grow on me.
Ummmmmm...no, the Australian 318i's are made in South Africa, and all other models are made in Germany.