1996 BMW 3 Series Review | Edmunds.com

1996 BMW 3 Series

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
BMW 3 Series Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.9 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 138 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1996 BMW 3 Series

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  • Safety
  • Pros

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  • Cons

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  • What's New for 1996

    BMW's highly acclaimed 3 Series receives new engines across the board. The six-cylinder models drop the 325 designation for 328, thanks to a new 2.8-liter inline six. While the new six offers a negligible gain in horsepower (now 190), acceleration is significantly improved by a 14 percent increase in torque (now up to 207). To go along with the heartier engine, 328 models get vented rear disc brakes to minimize brake fade. The 318 models keep the 318 name despite an increase in engine displacement to 1.9 liters, which yields a slight increase in torque. Automatic climate control is standard across the line, except in the 318ti, and upgraded sound systems are optional on all models.

Full 1996 BMW 3 Series Review

What's New for 1996

BMW's highly acclaimed 3 Series receives new engines across the board. The six-cylinder models drop the 325 designation for 328, thanks to a new 2.8-liter inline six. While the new six offers a negligible gain in horsepower (now 190), acceleration is significantly improved by a 14 percent increase in torque (now up to 207). To go along with the heartier engine, 328 models get vented rear disc brakes to minimize brake fade. The 318 models keep the 318 name despite an increase in engine displacement to 1.9 liters, which yields a slight increase in torque. Automatic climate control is standard across the line, except in the 318ti, and upgraded sound systems are optional on all models.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Soooo fun to drive! even

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Vehicle: 1996 BMW 3 Series 328i 2dr Convertible

This car has by far been the most reliable car I've ever owned. I previously had a '94 325is and a '95 Mercedes Benz c280. The car is alot like my 325is but It has more options and It just looks much better. I have driven this car from DC to NYC many times without issues. The only problems that I've had so far is that the driver electronic seat backrest tilt doesn't function anymore. It just needs a new plastic gear for the seat motor. Another thing is that Over the years the black leather has become severely dried out because of the sun. These minor things dont bother me much. I just love the way the car handles and the looks I get from people when I drive around town.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Excellent car

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Vehicle: 1996 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan

When we bought our 328i it had approx 82k miles on it, it now has 150k. In that time we have had to replace the radiator and water pump. At 150k it drives like it just came off the showroom floor. We are very pleased with it. My wife is the primary driver and we are now considering buying a 2001 5 series. The paint is cracking in some places also the ignition switch has presented some problems which was an inconvenience to have repaired. All in all it is an excellent vehicle.




Not the greatest

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Vehicle: 1996 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan

We got this car in 2008 with 199000 miles it lasted 4 weeks before the check engine light was on. we paid $1700 in repairs just to have the light come on again 5 wks later. we finally donated it in summer 2010 after pouring $7000 into it and still couldnt pass smog. atleast we got to claim it on our taxes right? lol



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

295k

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Vehicle: 1996 BMW 3 Series 318is 2dr Coupe

I bought this car 6 years ago with 187k on it. I was a poor college kid at the time and it was a relatively inexpensive car. Well the past 3 years I have driven the heck out of it. An hour commute on the backroads of PA (terrible roads), and an hour commute on highways of MD. I've put 100k on it in those 3 years. I have had to replace a lower control arm, and the heater control unit, so about $500 in parts. The speakers have blown and the radio backlight doesn't show up too well. I nearly get 40 mpg and hammer it on the backroads and never ride slower than 80 mph. Great car! I would love another one.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Amazing car

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Vehicle: 1996 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan

This car is absolutely amazing. I've owned this car since 90,000 miles and have used it as a daily commuter, ALL seasons. It has 260,000+ miles on it now and it still runs great. This interior is in great condition and the leather looks amazing and won't just deteriorate on you. The exterior is still in good shape, although rust is beginning to start under the doors. The engine ticks a little bit now as well. Besides that the engine still roars like she's new and I couldn't be happier with this vehicle.



1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Dissappointed

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Vehicle: 1996 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan

I bought the car from a carpool co- worker with 97,000 mi. The car was in excellent condition and garage kept. The radio failed on me, the rear differential had a slow leak, the air conditioning dash unit had to be replaced. I also took excellent care of the vehicle expecting to easily get 180k mi or more. At 156k it just overheated on me, and needed head gasket repair $1800. Two mechanics have told me when this happens on my model usually the head unit also needs replaced $1K, and typically the cylinder cracks, coolant gels, water pump an issue. The BMW mechanic said I was better off to replace the engine $6K if I keep it. Now looking for salvage value after several years of pristine care. :(



Talk About The 1996 3 Series

1996 BMW 3 Series Discussions See all Started By

nyccarguy
nyccarguy
05-23-2002
BMW's all season traction has been standard on the 3 series since 1996. I believe Dynamic Stability Control is also standard on all 1999-2000 BMW 3 series....


shipo
shipo
03-22-2005
Hmmm, lots of ground to cover here:...


gardis
gardis
11-26-2011
me these newer engines (i used to have a 1996 3 series) this is typical useage of oil, that BMW specifies that it's normal to put a quart in every 1000 miles even. Nothing to worry about. The car is ...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
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