Used 1997 BMW 3 Series Sedan

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 Sedan for Sale

BMW 3 Series 1997 318ti 2dr Hatchback
113,349 miles
Used 1997
BMW 3 Series
318ti
List$3,199
Est.Loan: $66/mo
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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.


Top consumer reviews

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

First car
whippersnapped, 6/19/2011
This is the first car I have ever owned, although I have driven many others. In my opinion, this is as close to a perfect car as there is (which is why I bought it. A logical progression, really). I got an excellent example of the model for 4 grand, and have since put less than a thousand into it over 8,000 miles. It is just bulletproof. I have never pushed the revs to the red because the car simply doesn't need it to do whatever you need. The interior is comfortable but you can tell it was a secondary concern after performance. The car has it where it counts, and that is what matters to me.
I'm never selling this car!
Ken, 11/16/2010
Well, I purchased this 1997 328i in 1999 as a dealer leftover that had been sitting on the lot for a very long time. I got a heck of a deal on it. I have driven it on and off for the past 11 years and when I'm not using the car, it's garaged. The black paint shines like the day I got it. The interior shows almost no signs of wear aside from the drivers floor mat. No cracking of the leather, etc. I have had NO MECHANICAL PROBLEMS whatsoever with the car in the 70,000 miles I've owned it. Aside from regular scheduled maintenance, I've replaced the brake pads and tires once and that's it. This car has proven to be the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. I will never sell this car.
The car is older and the driver is wiser
Laura, 12/7/2008
I love my 328i, but it costs, financially and physically, to maintain it! So far I have had to replace the radiator, radiator fluid tank, fuel pump, drive and ac belts, wiper motor, and thermostat (and I am only the second owner!). My dad, who loves to and can fix anything, HATES working on my car, but he does it reluctantly. It's too low to the ground to fit a normal jack under it, you need odd-sized tools, and the lay out under the hood is way to complicated. But I guess thats the price you pay for a lasting vehicle.
1997 328i Sedan
camenta, 11/10/2003
I have already run over 1,500 miles on this car and it has been everything I wxpected it to be. Used to have a 1991 318i and liked everything about that. This is that and more. The car pulls hard off the line and can still turn it on in 5th gear. I don't like that I have to hunt a factory CD player down (fits using a Z3 factory unit)and the cost of the CD is very high. With that said, nothing else to complain about. Smooth, fun and full of style. A must have for the driving fan.
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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 1997 BMW 3 Series Sedan 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

Used 1997 BMW 3 Series Sedan Overview

The Used 1997 BMW 3 Series Sedan is offered in the following styles: 318i 4dr Sedan, and 328i 4dr Sedan.

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