by zapban on Mar 1, 2014 Vehicle: 1998 BMW 3 Series 323i 2dr Convertible
This is actually my first car, and I love it. It's fun, and has been reliable. The car is quick, and can corner great. The only bad thing is the cup holder, which is the only thing in suggested improvements.
The bits are a bit expensive, such as the dash lights. This isn't just great because it's my first car, one of the cars in the house is much faster and is for wheel drive.
Not a whole not of trunk space, but I can fit my guitar in it, and really anything I need to fit in it. The back seats also lack a bit of leg room.
Nothing I can say is bad about this car, so I do recommend this.
by bmwsiempre on Jul 18, 2013 Vehicle: 1998 BMW 3 Series 323is 2dr Coupe
The BMW 323is (chassis code: E36) is a very reliable automobile with exceptional fuel-sipping properties. Naturally you'll have to replace some parts along the way, however they are not as expensive as most would have you believe. Most repairs can be done by even the most novice of home mechanics. The cooling system should be overhauled every 60-80k miles but even with OEM parts the whole task should cost the DIYer no more than $350-400 (radiator, thermostat, water pump, hoses, etc.). The engine is brilliant and I still see 27 MPG as my overall avg. As mentioned in the title, I am currently at 210,000 miles and still on the factory clutch! I will keep this car for at least another 100k.
by skydog526 on Mar 16, 2013 Vehicle: 1998 BMW 3 Series 318i 4dr Sedan
With out a doubt the BMW e36 M40 engines are a very reliable engine. These cars require routine maintenance such as oil changes with synthetic oil, oxygen sensor replacement every 30,000 - 60,000 miles for best fuel air mixture ratio and mpg performance. The cooling systems are prone to wear due to plastic BMW OEM parts however, replacing the thermostat, water pump and radiator with full metal parts is highly suggested.
BMW parts for the E36 series are relatively inexpensive and can be found on the internet comparable to the price of Honda, or Toyota parts. I bought my 1998 BMW 318I in August of 2012 with 176,000 miles. I have not had any mechanical issues with it. I do my own maintainence
BMW swaps out the four-cylinder engine in the 318 coupe and convertible for a 168-horsepower 2.5-liter inline six -- these cars become the 323is coupe and 323i convertible (why it's "323" and not "325," we'll never know). Meanwhile, the 318i sedan and 318ti hatchback continue on unchanged. All cars get standard side airbags this year, except the 318ti, on which they are optional.