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 jkoopman on Nov 24, 2011 Vehicle: 1998 BMW 3 Series 323is 2dr Coupe
I bought my '98 323is in September of '11 with 55,400 original miles.
It has been about 90 days and the car has been a pure joy to drive and own.
The M52 is the least powerful of the 2.5 I6 engines available but is still reasonably quick with a wonderful smooth character and a good amount of torque.
The balanced feel and handling put a huge smile on my face in every corner.
It is also comfortable and reasonably quiet on the highway inspite of its tight, sporty character.
This car was well maintained by its previous two owners and it shows.
I now understand why BMW calls their cars the "Ultimate Driving Machine".
by DPhill on Feb 25, 2010 Vehicle: 1998 BMW 3 Series 323is 2dr Coupe
i always like the E36 since i was a kid so i bought one with 98,000 miles on the clock. it seemed that as soon as the odometer turned over 100,000 miles, it no longer wanted to do anything correctly. it needed fixing and the parts are expensive. i have spent $6k-$8k on this car in parts alone this past year. the check engine light always comes on; as soon as one problem is fixed another thing is wrong. i drive conservatively and i can not get more than 15mpg and it goes through back tires very quickly. the engine is very noisy and vibrates a lot. the power windows can not go up without help and the headliner is falling off. all in all: i can not wait to buy another car.
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.