Used 1997 BMW 3 Series Hatchback

1997 BMW 3 Series
List price range
1997 BMW 3 Series

Pros

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

Cons

  • Spartan interior and cramped passenger compartment.

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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.

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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 BMW 3 Series.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

My Terrific ti
Joan,06/18/2002
The ti was billed as an entry into the BMW line but inappropriately aimed at college-age men. Properly marketed, it would have sold, and the new compact available here. A 63-year-old grandmother who loves to drive, I have averages 25,000 miles/year, averaging 32 mpg. Service has been excellent. I can't imagine driving anything but a BMW after owning this car. Nimble, it hugs the road, shifts like a dream, and looks and feels new after almost 100,000 miles.
BMW
Bearing Engineer,08/12/2002
The handling of this car is exceptional and very perdictable. This car combines very good performance with good fuel economy. Interior layout is excellent.
Great Car
Buckeye Bob,02/17/2004
Great car. Handling is excellent, fun to drive, decent acceleration with 5 speed, fit and finish is perfect.
Never want to give it up!
Fran,04/19/2006
I love my baby beemer! Would not want to drive anything but a BMW since owning this car.
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Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 29 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
138 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1997 BMW 3 Series Hatchback 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 1997 BMW 3 Series
Used 1997 BMW 3 Series Hatchback Overview

The Used 1997 BMW 3 Series Hatchback is offered in the following styles: 318ti 2dr Hatchback.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 BMW 3 Series Hatchback?

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Which used 1997 BMW 3 Series Hatchbacks are available in my area?

Used 1997 BMW 3 Series Hatchback Listings and Inventory

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Can't find a used 1997 BMW 3 Series 3 Series Hatchback you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used BMW 3 Series for sale - 9 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $11,454.

Find a used BMW for sale - 6 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $12,645.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW 3 Series for sale - 2 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $15,138.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW for sale - 6 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $16,660.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 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