Used 1996 BMW 3 Series Coupe

1996 BMW 3 Series
List price range

Used 1996 BMW 3 Series Coupe for Sale

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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.

Top consumer reviews

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

295k
mbj5,01/06/2012
I bought this car 6 years ago with 187k on it. I was a poor college kid at the time and it was a relatively inexpensive car. Well the past 3 years I have driven the heck out of it. An hour commute on the backroads of PA (terrible roads), and an hour commute on highways of MD. I've put 100k on it in those 3 years. I have had to replace a lower control arm, and the heater control unit, so about $500 in parts. The speakers have blown and the radio backlight doesn't show up too well. I nearly get 40 mpg and hammer it on the backroads and never ride slower than 80 mph. Great car! I would love another one.
Great little coupe
Hellrot,04/20/2007
Very comfortable highway car. I'm 6'3" 220 lbs. and I have plenty of room. It has plenty of power for the highway and is very agile in city traffic. The central locking system these Germans designed is a tough one to figure out. That's my only beef. The car is very tight, solid. At high speeds it is quiet and smooth. You definitely have to pay attention to your speed or set the cruise control otherwise you'll be traveling 80+ mph and not realize it. It handles like it is on rails but still maintains a smooth ride quality. This is my first BMW. I have owned 30 different cars over the last 30+ years. This car impressed me so much that I'll be adding another BMW to my collection very soon.
review 328is
dlouie,03/23/2002
Great Car
BMW 318IS - The Ultimate Driving Machine
C. Keith,12/11/2009
With beautiful interior/exterior appearances, this little 1900 cc driven head turner has surprising acceleration and superlative handling prowess. With 315K mileage, my service mechanic always says, "You can't kill these engines," every time I stop by for routine maintenance or inspections. Problem is, however, there have been numerous factory recalls for faulty emission components that have finally caught up to ruin my wistful experiences with this rig. Two (2) bad air sensors and a dysfunctional cam sensor have now put my beamer permanently confined to my driveway, because to repair these at a dealer would cost more than the car is worth unencumbered by these maladies. Dream over.
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Features & Specs

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

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

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

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Which used 1996 BMW 3 Series Coupes are available in my area?

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

Find a used BMW 3 Series for sale - 9 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $10,393.

Find a used BMW for sale - 4 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $16,037.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW 3 Series for sale - 7 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $14,939.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW for sale - 9 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $17,629.

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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