1997 BMW 3 Series Consumer Review: Reliability and performance ov

1997 BMW 3 Series Sedan - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

70 Total Reviews

All Models

Build Quality
Reliability Value
Reliability and performance over-rated
By Brian Johnson on


1997 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan


I overestimated the BMW brand when I
bought my 97 328i. The exterior design
is distinctly BMW and it is a
great "image" car for young
professionals. The biggest challenge
is reliability... hundreds of sensors
constantly break and any visit to the
shop will run at least $300. If you
are going to buy one anyway - pass on
the Inspection I and II checkups -
which are serious waste of money.
Overall, performance was less than
stellar. I actually had more fun with
my 97 Acura Integra, which really
surprised me.

Best Features

Exterior design, anti-slip traction control system, fold-down cargo seats, and the trip computer were all pluses.

Worst Features

Reliability: BMW has lost some reliability over the past several years in its electrical systems. Their new 2002 Z3(M3 version), for instance (test driven as a loaner while mine was in the shop) had more electrical problems than my own 328.
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