1997 BMW 3 Series Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

1997 BMW 3 Series Coupe

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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 1997 BMW 3 Series

  • Info is not yet available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Great steering, top-notch suspension, and nice exterior styling.

  • Cons

    Spartan interior and cramped passenger compartment.

  • What's New for 1997

    Traction control and heated side mirrors are now standard across the line. Additionally, all cars receive minor styling revisions to the grille and rear fascia, as well as in the cockpit.

Full 1997 BMW 3 Series Review

What's New for 1997

Traction control and heated side mirrors are now standard across the line. Additionally, all cars receive minor styling revisions to the grille and rear fascia, as well as in the cockpit.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 1996 BMW 3 Series

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.

Bmw 318is - the ultimate

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Vehicle: 1996 BMW 3 Series

With beautiful interior/exterior appearances, this little 1900 cc driven head turner has surprising acceleration and superlative handling prowess. With 315K mileage, my service mechanic always says, "You can't kill these engines," every time I stop by for routine maintenance or inspections. Problem is, however, there have been numerous factory recalls for faulty emission components that have finally caught up to ruin my wistful experiences with this rig. Two (2) bad air sensors and a dysfunctional cam sensor have now put my beamer permanently confined to my driveway, because to repair these at a dealer would cost more than the car is worth unencumbered by these maladies. Dream over.

Still an ultimate driving machine

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Vehicle: 1996 BMW 3 Series

After owning this car for five years I still enjoy the ride & performance of this vehicle. It makes just driving to the grocery store a pleasure. Keeping it clean brings comments to me all the time, like what year is your car and when I tell them they don't believe it. They say that car still looks new. And it feels good because I stay up on the maintenance.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great little coupe

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Vehicle: 1996 BMW 3 Series

Very comfortable highway car. I'm 6'3" 220 lbs. and I have plenty of room. It has plenty of power for the highway and is very agile in city traffic. The central locking system these Germans designed is a tough one to figure out. That's my only beef. The car is very tight, solid. At high speeds it is quiet and smooth. You definitely have to pay attention to your speed or set the cruise control otherwise you'll be traveling 80+ mph and not realize it. It handles like it is on rails but still maintains a smooth ride quality. This is my first BMW. I have owned 30 different cars over the last 30+ years. This car impressed me so much that I'll be adding another BMW to my collection very soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Genuinely fun but not for

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Vehicle: 1996 BMW 3 Series

BMWs have the reputation of being a car for those to whom driving is more than just getting from point A to point B and this car shows why. It's sophisticated fun especially with a five speed and good tires. Turns everyday boring drives into something to be enjoyed. However on an older car like this you better know how to work on it yourself or know a good independent mechanic who can. A dealer can be really expensive. It's just the price you pay for owning an out of warranty performance car. If you want basic transportation with minimum $$ for maintenance better find something more reliable.

Who wouldnt like one??

by on
Vehicle: 1996 BMW 3 Series

I just love this car! I got an extremely good deal on a 64,000 mile car! The engine is GREAT, the 5-Speed manual is really smooth! and the performance is not expected. This car easily takes on v8 cars such as 98 Mustang GT's and older GT's. The only problem you have with it is people that hate you for owning such a car... Someone shot my window... but if you do it yourself its very inexpensive, and if you have a Cousin working at the Dealer its even better.

Talk About The 1997 3 Series

1997 BMW 3 Series Discussions See all Started By

grand more than a 5 like you have comparing the 3 series Sedan/Coupe? It's sure not a successor to the 8 series, as interesting as that car was....

While I've always liked BMWs they have slipped behind Audi in design, imo. My favorites of the past are the original 6-Series Coupe, 1989-1995 5-Series and the 1991-1997 8-Series, which I'm most lik?...

I've owned 3 BMWs for the past 12 years and recently traded in a 97 540I(Auto)with 70,000 miles. Firstly, the 540I is, in my opinion, the finest sedan made.I bought it in July of 1997 using the Euro?...

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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