by whippersnapped on Jun 19, 2011 Vehicle: 1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan
This is the first car I have ever owned, although I have driven many others. In my opinion, this is as close to a perfect car as there is (which is why I bought it. A logical progression, really). I got an excellent example of the model for 4 grand, and have since put less than a thousand into it over 8,000 miles. It is just bulletproof. I have never pushed the revs to the red because the car simply doesn't need it to do whatever you need. The interior is comfortable but you can tell it was a secondary concern after performance. The car has it where it counts, and that is what matters to me.
by Ken on Nov 16, 2010 Vehicle: 1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan
Well, I purchased this 1997 328i in 1999 as a dealer leftover that had been sitting on the lot for a very long time. I got a heck of a deal on it. I have driven it on and off for the past 11 years and when I'm not using the car, it's garaged. The black paint shines like the day I got it. The interior shows almost no signs of wear aside from the drivers floor mat. No cracking of the leather, etc. I have had NO MECHANICAL PROBLEMS whatsoever with the car in the 70,000 miles I've owned it. Aside from regular scheduled maintenance, I've replaced the brake pads and tires once and that's it. This car has proven to be the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. I will never sell this car.
by Johnny in NY on Jun 30, 2009 Vehicle: 1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan
The 1997 328i was my first German car and well, they've made a convert of me. My experience with this car, despite its age was extraordinary. The handling was like nothing I had experienced until then, even surpassing cars 10 years younger. Mechanically, I never once had a problem with anything, save a brake replacement, but that was due to my driving more than anything else. My praises for this car are too many to list, but it does come with a few warnings. 1. The car is very reliable, but expensive to maintain and repair. 2. The cup holders are useless. 3. The car handles very poorly in snow and ice, as is to be expected from any RWD car. Do not be mistaken though, the BMW is amazing.
by Laura on Dec 7, 2008 Vehicle: 1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan
I love my 328i, but it costs, financially and physically, to maintain it! So far I have had to replace the radiator, radiator fluid tank, fuel pump, drive and ac belts, wiper motor, and thermostat (and I am only the second owner!). My dad, who loves to and can fix anything, HATES working on my car, but he does it reluctantly. It's too low to the ground to fit a normal jack under it, you need odd-sized tools, and the lay out under the hood is way to complicated. But I guess thats the price you pay for a lasting vehicle.
by Jonathan on Aug 5, 2008 Vehicle: 1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan
I come from a Honda family, owning an unkillable (and I tried) Accord before the BMW, and so my standards for how a car should be built were set a little high. Most people "warned" me about buying a used european car claiming I'll be on the side of the road or with a monstrous repair bill in no time, but my BMW is still running strong. However, if you want this car and have low maintenance costs, be prepared to do a little work yourself. Labor is where shops will overcharge BMW owners and so doing basic jobs like brake pads or changing the oil will save you a ton of money if you do it yourself. Take care of it and it'll last longer than most cars on the road.
by Dsarge on Apr 4, 2006 Vehicle: 1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan
A year since my last review. Have put 16,000 miles on the vehicle. During that time, I had to have the AC condenser replaced (did not lose AC, but discovered during a service). Additionally, rear bushings went out (dealer initially thought the shocks were bad; spent $300 and did not correct the problem:(. Although these were not covered by the warranty I purchased (see earlier review), it has been a very satisfying auto! I upgraded the tires to Michelin Pilot A/S (MAJOR difference on traction and control), and recently added a stabilizer bar (AA Tuning). Considering getting a 2001 330i, but the potential problems are a turn-off. Can live with the older body for the reliability factor!