1998 BMW 3 Series - Consumer Reviews

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I will keep this car for many years.
By soltnutz on 08/17/14 09:57 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan

Review

I bought the car 2 years ago from someone who had it for 11 years and never drove it in the winter. The car is near perfect condition with a few modifications ( the previous owner liked to go fast ). M3 cam, header, M50 intake, AA chip and 3 inch exhaust, full locking diff plus new adjustable suspension. The ride plus handling is tight.
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Great
By zapban on 03/01/14 19:34 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1998 BMW 3 Series 323i 2dr Convertible

Review

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.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
210,000 miles on factory clutch and counting...
By bmwsiempre on 07/18/13 22:45 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 BMW 3 Series 323is 2dr Coupe

Review

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.
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6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Very Reliable Owner Must Have Basic Mechanic Skills
By skydog526 on 03/16/13 18:32 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 BMW 3 Series 318i 4dr Sedan

Review

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
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
First 90 days
By jkoopman on 11/24/11 19:54 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1998 BMW 3 Series 323is 2dr Coupe

Review

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".
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Simple Joy
By goblue2010 on 10/15/11 19:18 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 BMW 3 Series 318ti 2dr Hatchback

Review

After long period, finally found my dream combination, which is M-sport package and Cal roof option. This one is equipped with fun-to-drive stick shift as well. My favourite features are too many to list. The best part is, of course, Cal roof then M-suspension/M-interior. The M44 engine always returns 31-32MPG with my driving, yet, it accelerates the ti quickly. The suspension sticks the road with minimum roll. It is not harsh either because BMW engineering tuned stiffness on the seats to match suspension characteristics. In my opinion, E36 is the best 3-series platform ever. As long as it is taken care of, it will drive for many years to come. Will keep it with my 98 M3 sedan.
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Beware of the convertible top!
By domermom on 10/12/11 18:01 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 BMW 3 Series 328i 2dr Convertible

Review

I just bought this car a couple of months ago. The previous owner spent over one thousand dollars at a BMW dealer attempting to fix the convertible-after all-that is why you buy this model. Although it does go up and down, it doesn't do it anywhere near as smooth as you would expect from a BMW. I am still going back and forth with the dealer I bought it from to get it right. Don't get me wrong-I LOVE the car_but I bought it for the convertible aspect and it is a very expensive and difficult thing to deal with.
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
One of the Best Cars Ever Made!!!
By average_dude on 03/01/11 12:18 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1998 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan

Review

I have had this car a long time now, and I am still amazed at how great it feels to be in it. I love the feel of the road and the sound of the sweet audio from the premium sound system in the car. It is super quick when I need it to be. And it is great on gas. I have only changed the alternator and done the regular mantinence since it was new. The space in the back seat is a little light. But, If I were a parent of 3 kids and needed a great second car, this would be it. I think the car looks so classy and screems traditional BMW style. It is the benchmark by which I will measure all future cars. It looks especially good in Alpine White. It's one to drive before you die. Own one if you can.
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Fun and Economical
By Knoxville on 06/23/10 08:04 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1998 BMW 3 Series 318i 4dr Sedan

Review

I bought this used four years ago when it had 84k. It was my first 'upscale' car and I am totally spoiled. The 4cyl feels like a 6 and it can really move the car. The handling is solid and smooth. I believe that the ASC even kept me out of a major accident. Mine is MT and I average about 28mpg around town (although I'm a very efficient driver). I put about $1300 into fixing an emissions problem when I first got it, but nothing has gone wrong since - other than taillight problems. Still feels like a new car.
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1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Bloddy Mangled Wreck
By DPhill on 02/25/10 00:33 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1998 BMW 3 Series 323is 2dr Coupe

Review

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.
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