Used 1996 BMW 3 Series Convertible

1996 BMW 3 Series
List price range

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

BMW has added an M3 model to the 3-Series lineup for 1995, and it's been winning rave reviews from the press and public. The M3 has a 240-horsepower inline six purring away under the hood, suspension modifications designed specifically for the war-torn roads of America, huge brakes, and supple leather seats; all for less than $40,000. Sadly, a sedan version is not planned for the U.S.

Also new this year, a BMW hatchback based on the 3-Series. Called the 318ti, it's priced evenly with the Volkswagen GTI, though performance levels fall a bit short of those of the vaunted VW. Identical to the 318i from the A-pillar forward, the 318ti should win the hearts of younger, less-affluent buyers looking for Germanic sporting fun.

The rest of the 3-Series line carries over for 1995, which is no bad thing. This BMW has won the favor of driving enthusiasts everywhere for its capable handling, first-class ergonomics, and classic styling. Prices start right around the $25,000 mark, just $5,000 above the average price of a new car in the U.S. The 325i and 325is, two of the three performers in the lineup, do have base prices that are a bit higher.

Bottom rung 318's are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, while midrange 325 cars have a 189-horsepower six doing the motivational work. All 3-Series models have dual airbags and antilock brakes, and six-cylinder cars get optional traction control. Sedans, coupes and convertibles are the available body configurations.

For the money, BMW's 3-Series is tough to beat for sophistication, safety and performance, particularly in M3 guise.

1996 Highlights

BMW's highly acclaimed 3 Series receives new engines across the board. The six-cylinder models drop the 325 designation for 328, thanks to a new 2.8-liter inline six. While the new six offers a negligible gain in horsepower (now 190), acceleration is significantly improved by a 14 percent increase in torque (now up to 207). To go along with the heartier engine, 328 models get vented rear disc brakes to minimize brake fade. The 318 models keep the 318 name despite an increase in engine displacement to 1.9 liters, which yields a slight increase in torque. Automatic climate control is standard across the line, except in the 318ti, and upgraded sound systems are optional on all models.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 BMW 3 Series.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Soooo fun to drive! Even with 200,000mi!
328i96,03/17/2013
This car has by far been the most reliable car I've ever owned. I previously had a '94 325is and a '95 Mercedes Benz c280. The car is alot like my 325is but It has more options and It just looks much better. I have driven this car from DC to NYC many times without issues. The only problems that I've had so far is that the driver electronic seat backrest tilt doesn't function anymore. It just needs a new plastic gear for the seat motor. Another thing is that Over the years the black leather has become severely dried out because of the sun. These minor things dont bother me much. I just love the way the car handles and the looks I get from people when I drive around town.
BMW 328 IC Convertible
Gene,06/11/2008
I traded a Dodge Ram Diesel with problems for this vehicle. I have had a few problems. Radio display dim, climate control not working, and fast wear of pulleys and bearings. Overall a very good car and would recommend to anyone looking for a good used vehicle.
My First BMW
Yves,05/06/2006
I couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy this car. I have never owned anything close to this car before. I have driven many north american and a few european models and this car's driving experience exceeded all of those and my expectations. The engine is silky smooth right to the redline and puts out plenty of go. Although the auto transmission may not provide as much pure joy as the stick, the manual shift option comes close. The suspension is pure genius. Never too harsh, it provides a stable, confidence inspiring platform at any speed or road condition. Drop the top, and this little white car goes from attractive to gorgeous. Every time I drive it, I can't stop smiling.
Great Date Car
littlehorses,07/31/2003
Found it on a used Corvette lot. Sat in both but found my old body liked the BMW better. Every woman in my life perfered the BMW. Drives and looks like a dream.Haven't had all the electrical problems yet except it says to "check coolant" from time to time, nothing wrong. Had to replace the low pressure power steering hose and the fan belt tensioner assembly. At 65K miles the tensioner pulley would scream at start up. Never owned a car that required that fix. The dealer spent close to $1000 fixing or replacing the top cable system.
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Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 29 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
138 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
18 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
190 hp @ 5300 rpm
See all Used 1996 BMW 3 Series Convertible features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1996 BMW 3 Series
Used 1996 BMW 3 Series Convertible Overview

The Used 1996 BMW 3 Series Convertible is offered in the following styles: 318i 2dr Convertible, and 328i 2dr Convertible.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 BMW 3 Series Convertible?

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Used 1996 BMW 3 Series Convertible Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 BMW 3 Series Convertible.

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Can't find a used 1996 BMW 3 Series 3 Series Convertible you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used BMW 3 Series for sale - 8 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $7,576.

Find a used BMW for sale - 1 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $11,309.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW 3 Series for sale - 11 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $11,037.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW for sale - 5 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $10,752.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 BMW 3 Series?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out BMW lease specials
Check out BMW 3 Series lease specials