Used 1997 BMW 3 Series Convertible


1997 BMW 3 Series

1997 Highlights

Traction control and heated side mirrors are now standard across the line. Additionally, all cars receive minor styling revisions to the grille and rear fascia, as well as in the cockpit.


Pros

  • Great steering, top-notch suspension, and nice exterior styling.

Cons

  • Spartan interior and cramped passenger compartment.

Used 1997 BMW 3 Series Convertible for Sale

Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

People buy BMWs for a variety of reasons. BMWs carry an obvious panache that tells the world that you have, indeed, arrived. Driving a BMW also tells the world that you are a person who is young at heart, someone who may want to change their own gears from time to time; unlike, say, a stuffy owner of a Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, or Cadillac. Lastly, BMWs politely tell people that you like to drive, and to please move out of that left lane so you can pass, thank you.

The BMW 3-Series is now in its sixth year of production. Despite this, the car is still fresh and exciting; evoking powerful feelings of desire and jealousy every time we see one cruising down the street. Last year, new engines were introduced to the entire lineup, improving torque for both the four- and six-cylinder models. This year, the M3 sedan makes its way to these shores, and all models receive standard All-Season Traction. Other changes for 1997 include minute styling alterations to the interior and exterior.

The 3-Series is BMW's most popular line of cars because it spans such a broad price range. Starting at just over $20,000 for the fun and cheap 318ti hatchback, the 3-Series reaches its pinnacle at nearly $40,000 with the outstanding, high-performance M3 coupe and sedan. Despite the disparity in prices, the 3-Series models are uniformly fun to drive due to their wonderful chassis, excellent steering, and top-notch suspensions.

We believe that the purchase of a 3-Series car is one of the best ways to get know that twisty stretch of road that you were always afraid to introduce to your Buick Century. If you have the guts and the money, the new 3.2-liter M3 sedan just might be your cup of tea. This is definitely not the car for all people, back seat room is cramped and the limited cargo space make it impractical for large families. But, if you are a person who enjoys driving, the 3-Series is a nice alternative to muscle car machismo. We are thrilled that BMW has exercised restraint in these times of overblown excess. By keeping their revisions to those things that need revising, leaving the core of the vehicle untainted, the 3-Series is able to improve itself, instead of replace itself, every few years.

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Vehicle Photo

Features & Specs

328i 2dr Convertible318i 2dr Convertible
MPG2123
SeatingN/AN/A
Transmission5-speed manual5-speed manual
Fuelgasgas
Horsepower190 hp @ 5300 rpm138 hp @ 6000 rpm

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
    0

Top Consumer Reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 BMW 3 Series

(15)

Consumer Rating


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I'll own this car forever
I bought my 328 convertible in '99 with 11k miles, loved it for 10 years, sold it to a needy college kid for two years, and bought it back 18 months ago. With 125k miles on it, the car is still a delight to drive. Soft top is still in good shape, mechanicals are still rock solid, drive is a delight. I use a local German car specialty shop that is much less expensive than a dealership, so brakes, hoses, etc., aren't as expensive as they might be. With classic good looks and wonderful driving behavior, this car typifies, "the Ultimate Driving Machine" - I'm a BMW-owner for life. If you need to choose between a newer non-beemer or an older beemer, go with the beemer. You won't regret it!
Santa got it right
Santa brought a 1997 red BMW 5 speed convertible to our house on Christmas morning in 2006. My wife absolutely loves this car. We took a ride along the southern half of the Blue Ridge Parkway this summer with the top down and it was an incredible trip. We have had (knock on wood) no problems and no repairs since the day we got it. All we have done in two years is change the oil. Some day the top will need to be replaced but we knew that when we got it. I compare this to a 1986 Buick "T" type I bought new that was suppose to be GM's answer to the BMW. I spent $16K on the Buick, had it 9 years and put over $17K of my own money in repairs. I now know, if you want a BMW, then buy a BMW!
Joy to own
I've loved driving this car all year round sun, rain, and snow!! Biggest problem was ball joints every 20k mi seemed to be due to lack of rotating tires soon enough and abusive Detroit roads. Now all OK. Radio and Climate just stopped working--cert pre owned warranty was good!
Used 1997 BMW 3 Series Convertible Overview

The Used 1997 BMW 3 Series Convertible is offered in the following styles: 328i 2dr Convertible, and 318i 2dr Convertible.

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