I just recently (may 2005) got hold of a 1996 318 automatic. Owner before me had taken good care of it. I haven't had any major problems (other than normal wear parts) with it so far (crosses fingers) and i just passed 100K. Check engine light came on for a "low pressure cat. converter" code, but i had that code cleared at a shop and it hasn't come on again. Gas mileage is great, i use 92 or higher, 94 if i can find it... (owners manual recommends 91 but gas cap says minimum is 89) I've taken a 393 mile trip 3 times in this car and I can drive straight through and still have a quarter tank left...with the AC running full blast going up hills...which is even better mpg than my 97 accord
MPG, sporty performance, speed sensing steering, quiet interior, power/automatic everything...lots of gadgets for a small car
I wish mine was a 5 speed, and had the sport suspension, ride is kinda soft with normal suspension. It wouldn't hurt to have a bit more HP & low end torque (maybe 150~160 instead of the 138Hp stock)
Great car, love it but know what you are getting. Reliability: car will require some maintenance. Also reliability will vary with treatment more than some other cars, consider this when buying used. You will get electrical problems like brake light/check engine, do me a favor and don't buy/complain about this as it is not a "real" problem. Performance: depends on what you are comparing it to. Great compared to average cars: civic, grand am, saturn, etc. good driving experience corners well, accelerates, rear wheel drive which is completely under appreciated. Good blend of comfort and sport handling. But it is not a really fast car you will wish you had an M3 at times; though you can mod.
Everything has a purpose and makes sense. 29 mpg when driving ~70 mph. great feel.
Don't make an automatic, can't imagine driving this car like that. Really though, not too much to improve - some won't like cupholders.
I recently purchased this car during the summer, and it was the best money I ever spent. The car itself has a sporty and sleek design. Although it is a 96' it still gives other cars of that year a run for their money. Over all the 1.9L doch engine gives it a fairy quick acceleration which can be put to the test with the 4 speed tiptronic. This car will respond with elequence and grace toward any turn you put in fornt of it. Due to the German sport tuned suspention. The boston green with a metalic flake compliments the light tan interior very well. Instumentation and acessories inside the car are of excellent quality and are easily viewed. Overall it is the best car I've ever owned.
My favorite features of this car is the tiptronic transmission, optional traction control,1.9l instead of the 1.8l,sports car feel in a sedan,mechanical reliability,great gas mileage,large sedan ride in a small compact,all power acessories.
Parts can be expensive, but most problems very
easy to fix. This car is still tight and rattle free
after 120k miles. I love it and will buy another
BMW. Actually, I don't think I'll buy anything else
I bought the car used, in great
condition, and I fell in love with it
immediately. The interior is still in
great shape, I haven't had any
problems with it mechanically, and it
is a pleasure to drive. The
acceleration is unbelievable, it
handles wonderfully, and the interior
features work like a charm.
Acceleration, automatic climate
control, auto up/down windows and
sunroof, on-board computer, visibility
Larger cup holders, more storage space
near driver seat
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.