1997 BMW 3 Series 318is Coupe Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1997 Bmw 3-series - Consumer Reviews

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1997 3 Series Consumer Reviews

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I was in shock up until writing this Review
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By merc272
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series Coupe 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.


Favorite Features

The speed is one of the outstanding features on this build, however it take a while to engage so be patient. Interior is very well crafted and well thought out "with a few exceptions" (see below) the premium radio and subs are very impressive for how old the car is. the grip factor and very little roll due to the sport suspension.


Suggested Improvements

how can the country that built the panzer tank have forgotten how to make cup holders work? the only other complaint I have is the Anti Theft system witch seems to lock out owners more than it does deter thieves.


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A lot of car for the money
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By fritz
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series Coupe 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.


Favorite Features

Heated seats, sports suspension, smooth shifts, torquey engine and drivetrain. Zippy car in town or on the highway. Smooth rider for a smaller car. Easy to work on. Maintenance is vital for reliable fun ownership. Don't wait for it to break on a BMW, and have it done right if you don't know how. :)


Suggested Improvements

Small trunk even the rearend seems big for the rest of the car.


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Hidden Costs Of BMW Ownership
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ACF
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series Coupe 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.


Favorite Features

Acceleration, Handling, Manual transmission, Exterior styling, Attractive engine compartment, BMW name.


Suggested Improvements

Cooling system/water pump, Paint/undercoating, Electronics reliability.


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BMW fans unite
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Constant Car Shopper
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series Coupe 328is 2dr Coupe


Review

Even before I got my driver's license I wondered why people payed a premium for BMWs. I openly criticized, but secretly wanted one. Now that I own one there is no doubt that the BMW 3 series is a car driver's dream. I test drove my current vehicle almost as a lark and wound up buying it on the spot. Much like other reviewers this car makes me glad to get up everyday to drive this car to work. So far the maintenance on this vehicle has been no more than other cars I have owned. I bought this car with almost 100,000 miles on it and would love to put 100,000 more on it.


Favorite Features

Performance, quality, and timeless appearance.


Suggested Improvements

Better quality on the plastic interior components. Better cupholders.


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Dream car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By kayandbert
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series Coupe 318is 2dr Coupe


Review

I waited a long time to own the car of my dreams. Still looks great sitting in my garage. I still get compliments on the car. Very reliable transportation whether to work or traveling the interstate to visit my granddaughters.


Favorite Features

Heated seats and the body style.


Suggested Improvements

Placing the coffee cup holder in a more convenient place.


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Great Drivers Car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By drpctp
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series Coupe 328is 2dr Coupe


Review

This car is awesome, there is a high attention to detail and once you gun the gas, this car begs to be driven hard. No wonder it's the ultimate driving machine.


Favorite Features

Handling is what this car does best, and acceleration.


Suggested Improvements

More power, standard LSD and better interior quality.


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3 series review
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Steve
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series Coupe 328is 2dr Coupe


Review

Always look forward to driving to and from work because of this vehicle. Great balance and tossability along with good power, brakes and fuel economy. A little pricey to service and may not have the reliabilty of a Honda. Makes me feel young again.


Favorite Features

Steering, suspension and handling, smooth as silk engine, great mid range torque, strong brakes, good fuel economy


Suggested Improvements

Larger seats, lumbar controls on seats, better radio and speakers.


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70,000 trouble-fee miles
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By crazy4blues
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series Coupe 328is 2dr Coupe


Review

I bought this car new 7 1/2 years ago, and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The handling is very neutral, and spirited driving is always fun--never "scary." I've never had any major issues with this car. Onramps are great fun, and I get about 28 mpg on the highway. 18 mpg City. It has started every morning and has never left me stranded. I have replaced the battery, the front brakes (rotors and pads), an AC module, and the water pump (as a precaution). While I have left it completely stock, this is a great platform for suspension upgrades and engine mods (CAI, Exhaust, Chip, etc.). I would definitely buy this car again.


Favorite Features

Confidence-inspiring handling: I just don't think you can get "out of shape" on a dry road! Build quality is excellent. Sports package improves performance w/o compromising comfort. 500-miles trips are no problem. Accepts modifications very well: it's a "blank palette" for tuners.


Suggested Improvements

Well, BMW has updated this platform twice (e46 and e90), but have they "improved" it? The '06 E90 is bigger and 400 pounds heavier and the styling is, at best, controversial. BUT, if I had to pick something, it would be touch more power. Also the OEM Conti's weren't that great.


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Best ride I've owned
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Jeffy347
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series Coupe 328is 2dr Coupe


Review

Bought this car knowing I would be driving a ton. Also, a bit of a rebound from previous marriage. It is an investment that has paid great dividends to my state of mind. No offense to my counselor - but for the same price, this vehicle offers similar solace :-) Bought with 99k,Trouble free to 107k in two months. I am concerned with a sluggish passenger window - auto up feature is sometimes sporadic - also passenger power lock has quit. I am sure it is a quick fix though. And smaller a price for sure than the 95 Audi 90 I owned this time last year. I am betting the Bimmer will not disappoint as much as that money pit! Long story short BMW Rocks!


Favorite Features

Sliding into 2nd gear and goosing it to 60mph while merging at on ramps. Heated seats, Power everything, Powerful and smooth I-6. GREAT 5 speed tranny. Style points - design that defies age .


Suggested Improvements

Window and lock electrics. Lower profile tires - I guess I could get a newer one. Stock stereo lacks much in balance and depth of sound. Engine takes 7 quarts of oil! Full synthetic will run $50 + even for the do it your selfer. But if that is the secret to the engine runnin forever


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Perfect car for teen
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By templau
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 3 Series Coupe 318is 2dr Coupe


Review

The 318is does not have the power of other BMW's, but it has the handling, braking, looks, and feel all BMW's have. I bought it used because the price was good and the miles were low (46,000). At first, I was concerned that maintenance would be high as it typically is for BMW's. However, I use an independent mechanic who has serviced my cars for 13 years, and this car has been a dream. The small engine, manual trans and good handling are a great combination for a new teen driver while also providing some style and "cool". What I didn't expect was how much fun it would be or that my wife and I would fight with our teen over who gets to drive it.


Favorite Features

Handling, brakes, comfort, low cost to operate and maintain, reliable drive train.


Suggested Improvements

Trim doesn't hold up as well as it does on some other cars.


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