1997 BMW 3 Series - Consumer Reviews

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I'll own this car forever
By drandy on 01/02/14 18:53 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 2dr Convertible

Review

I bought my 328 convertible in '99 with 11k miles, loved it for 10 years, sold it to a needy college kid for two years, and bought it back 18 months ago. With 125k miles on it, the car is still a delight to drive. Soft top is still in good shape, mechanicals are still rock solid, drive is a delight. I use a local German car specialty shop that is much less expensive than a dealership, so brakes, hoses, etc., aren't as expensive as they might be. With classic good looks and wonderful driving behavior, this car typifies, "the Ultimate Driving Machine" - I'm a BMW-owner for life. If you need to choose between a newer non-beemer or an older beemer, go with the beemer. You won't regret it!
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I was in shock up until writing this Review
By merc272 on 02/04/12 16:23 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series 328is 2dr Coupe

Review

The one word that pops to mind when i think of this car is "timeless". Its like a well maintained Italian suit, aged with beauty, but always stylish. The throttle response is a little iffy because the pedal seems to have a lengthy discussion with the engine and drive train before kicking me back in the seat. (that's what you get when you let the french design a transmission) never the less I'm never afraid to push it just a little bit more, and hit a blistering speed of 115mph on the highway before backing off the throttle. I was floored, grinning ear to ear like a little kid who had just gotten his first 22. rifle for Christmas. This is truly what a proper sports car should be.
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1 of 15 people found this review helpful
Ageless
By neils1 on 10/02/11 13:31 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 2dr Convertible

Review

Though now nearly 15y ears old,it has features that most new cars still don't have. Handling is very good, takes corners at 30 mph though not recommeneded for safety reasons. 0-60 in under 7 seconds, still good by even today's standards, very good in the late 90s. Steering is well balanced, not heavy oe too light. My 04 Infinity feels like a tank in comparison sterring wise. Car feels very solid, though it moves athletically. Everything is expensive to repair, but the engine itself is very solid-no oil leaks, shakes, overheating, stalling in the 3 years I have had it (purchased at 100k miles).
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
First car
By whippersnapped on 06/19/11 00:25 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan

Review

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.
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I'm never selling this car!
By Ken on 11/16/10 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan

Review

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.
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My baby
By baby on 11/23/09 12:11 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 2dr Convertible

Review

I purchased this car with 60K on it whom ever owned it prior to myself didn't take as good of care as I do. If it rains it stays in the garage. I need a new top and the driver's door panel, but with danian suspension and cold air induction this car makes 31.6mpg it is a standard shift and I cannot say enough about it. Needs a new top and secondary air cooler but still an awesome baby handles great and turns heads. It has a spoiler on the rear black with black top tan interior. I have worked hard on the paint and it looks very good these days. I am in love!
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A lot of car for the money
By fritz on 11/09/09 14:49 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series 318is 2dr Coupe

Review

I own a 1997 BMW 318iS, it's almost identical to an M3 other than the engine which is the reliable M44 4 cyl. A solid car that is nimble and gets 38mpg highway, 24mpg in town, an average of about 30-32mpg. The S version has a lower M3 like sport suspension, wider stance, and mine was ordered with M3 rims which perfectly suit the car without being gawdy. Regular maintenance will give you a reliable smooth ride. Torquey engine redlines quickly with moderate gas but shifter seems longwinded compared to a 1980's Manual. Nice interior, mine has heated seats that warm up quickly in two modes. Multiple cabin vents. May be small for a larger person. I'm 6' tall and fit nicely. Very fun to drive.
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It's a Keeper!
By Robert on 08/11/09 11:14 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 2dr Convertible

Review

I am the second owner of this car. It had 35250 miles when I bought it and now 2 1/2 years later I've only put 2000 miles on it. It was special ordered with the Dakar Yellow that was only available in the M series that year. So...to me it's pretty rare. I keep it covered in the garage and rarely drive it. It always turns heads whenever I take it out. Most of the ones like this are beat. I plan on having it forever. I love this car!
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Incomparable car for its time
By Johnny in NY on 06/30/09 21:49 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan

Review

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.
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Hidden Costs Of BMW Ownership
By ACF on 03/23/09 11:11 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series 328is 2dr Coupe

Review

Look, the BMW 3 series is as about a pleasurable ride in a daily driver you can possibly get. Great road feel, great acceleration, great looks, & in the MT a superior shifting experience. However, be prepared to pay high maintenance costs, especially beyond 75k miles. I bought my '97 with 49k miles. It now has 99k, & I have put out around $7k in maintenance since. Clutch is $900, alternator is $450, ball joints are $500, water pump $400, tires (sport) $700 & brakes $300 done every other year. It has some quirky things too. LED displays (radio & odm) go dim/out, radiator necks break, coolant lever sensors go bad, paint chips/rusts way to easy. All in all a great ride, but you're gonna pay.
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