1991 BMW 3 Series Consumer Review: Frugal fun in the sun

1991 BMW 3 Series - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

40 Total Reviews

318i Convertible (1.8L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
Frugal fun in the sun
By mgold on


1991 BMW 3 Series 318i 2dr Convertible


I've owned this car since 1999 and have logged 115000 on the odometer (the car is about to hit 200k). Since I got the car, its been my trusty daily driver and fun machine having taken it on several road trips (including Yosemite) and have autocrossed with it. It's also pretty frugal getting about 27 mpg in mixed driving, although due to taller gearing than its hardtop siblings, it doesn't get mileage in the low 30s like they do (the cabrio has a 4.27 final drive ratio and the sedan and coupe have a 4.10). I highly recommend any of the '91 318i models to anyone looking to get into their first BMW. I'm soon retiring my car for weekend fun and buying an E36 318i for my commute.

Best Features

Light and reasonably quick. Great ergonomics. Suprisingly roomy trunk. Frugal (on required 91 octane). Easy to maintain (the M42 is a very low maintenance motor). Very reliable and easy to work on (when I have the time). Great color (lagunengrün metallic).

Worst Features

Cupholders would have been nice. I added the BMW accessory cupholder, but can only use it in the passenger door (it's too tight to use in the drivers door). I highly recommend all convertible owners invest in a front strut bar. A little more rear legroom in all E30s might have been nice too.
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