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!
Handling, speed, and mpg!
Door panels able to replace and not so expensive to replace the top. The brake dust problem is troublesome since I have two 740 il and the 3 series I know of this problem well!
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 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!
I love the color. That was the main selling point to me.
It is what it is...and for the time it was built I don't think they could have improved on it.
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.
Handling, performance, balance of luxury and sportiness
Cup holders (dealt with later), handling of snow and ice (dealt with in later "x" models) Note: While it is expensive to repair and maintain, I would not suggest changing that, because that would reduce quality, and it is because of quality and the low frequency of issues you buy such a car.
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.