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.
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. :)
Small trunk even the rearend seems big for the rest of the car.
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.
Heated seats and the body style.
Placing the coffee cup holder in a more convenient place.
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.
Handling, brakes, comfort, low cost to
operate and maintain, reliable drive
Trim doesn't hold up as well as it
does on some other cars.