I'm now convinced that there is a strange and mystical laboratory somewhere deep within the walls of BMW's industrial complex. A secret place kept hidden from prying spy cameras and nosey automotive journalists. This special work area must be filled with a level of exotic decor and wondrous machinery that would no doubt rival a scene out of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. To fully appreciate the sorcery contained within these walls, you must first realize that I'm not talking about wind tunnels or computer animations or even high-speed test tracks, though I'm sure BMW has access to all of those tools as well. No, this magical place goes beyond mere mathematical formulas or intense focus groups and taps into a realm that few automotive companies even know exists. And how can I be so certain of this otherworldly presence? That's easy; I've driven the new 3.
Before I get into the new 3 Series, I want to pay proper homage to the "old" 3 Series (which, by the way, will still be available throughout the 1999 model year in coupe and convertible form). Since 1992, the 3 Series has presented driving enthusiasts with a midpriced sports sedan unmatched in pure road-going thrill. Whether it was the comfortable, competent 328i or the dynamic, uncompromising M3, BMW's E36 platform gave its drivers the kind of vehicular experience that few automobiles, at any price, could match. Telepathic road-feel, precise steering feedback and racetrack-inspired shifting action; these made up the core characteristics of the E36 3 Series. If BMW hadn't changed a thing on this model line, it would have remained competitive for several years.
But BMW doesn't like to compete--they like to dominate. And that's exactly what the new, E46 platform 3 Series is going to do: dominate the Sports Sedan class. By addressing the old platform's weak points while simultaneously enhancing its strengths, BMW has "evolutionized" what was already a superb car.
The most obvious changes to the new 3 Series come by way of its reshaped body and include a new front end, wider wheel arches, and a more rounded roofline. The headlights now feature "cut outs" below the lenses which emphasize the traditional BMW quad headlight design. This not only gives the new platform a distinctive look, but also improves headlight performance by 30 percent. Since our test model was outfitted with the "Sport Package" it was riding on 17-inch cast alloy wheels with 225/45-17 tires (16-inch wheels are standard on the 328i while the new 323i comes with 15-inch wheels standard). Between the tall wheels, short tires, and exaggerated wheel arches, our Steel Blue 328i looked like it had just finished doing hot laps on a Super Touring race circuit. The car garnered a fair amount of looks while driving through West L.A. and I'm certain the wheel-and-tire combo, in conjunction with the flared arches, had more to do with its head-turning ability than any other styling cue.
But Bimmers aren't just about style. If they were, we'd have to group them in with all those other cars that lose their appeal once you slide behind the wheel. Thankfully, BMW knows that in a vehicle class as competitive as the current Sport Sedan arena, good looks will take you only so far. Of all the traits on which a vehicle can be judged, performance and functionality are the two key aspects that define the success of a sport sedan.
In terms of performance, the previous 3 Series was already successful and, for this reason, BMW decided to make only moderate changes to what was already a class-leading design. Both the 323i and 328i receive improvements to their respective drivetrains. Among these are a lighter aluminum block, a more advanced variable valve timing system (called Double VANOS), and a dual resonance intake system. Taken together, these advances result in higher torque numbers at lower engine rpm. Previously, maximum torque was achieved at 3,950 rpm, but the new 2.8-liter, six-cylinder engine tops out at 206 pound-feet of torque at an even more useful 3,500 rpm. This makes for a noticeable increase in throttle response as well as better acceleration numbers. In the new 328i, horsepower is up by three, for a total of 193 at 5,500 rpm. This was good enough to sling our five-speed equipped test unit from zero-to-60 mph in just 6.3 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 14.9 seconds at 98 mph. If you're not the shifting type, a five-speed automatic that features BMW's Adaptive Transmission Control (already found in the 7 and 5 Series) will be available in the new 3 Series.
Aiding in overall vehicle performance is a body structure that is almost twice as resistant to torsional bending as was the E36 platform. Combined with a stronger and lighter set of suspension components, a wider track and a refined suspension geometry, the new 3 Series handles even better than its already stellar predecessor. Aluminum now makes up 21.3 percent of the suspension weight with a total of 6.6 pounds less unsprung weight between the front and rear suspension.
What about the magic I spoke of earlier? This is where it manifests itself. It's in the perfectly weighted steering wheel that makes the $37,000 328i feel like an exotic, six-figure sports car. It's in the clairvoyant suspension that seems to meet, evaluate and dispose of each road imperfection during the split-second they're in contact with each other. Certainly the smooth-revving and torquey six is a joy, but it's in the spiritualistic suspension that BMW let its wizards run wild. Maybe the new 911 has better feedback and maybe the Viper provides more ultimate stick, but only the new 3 has mastered the art of bringing all aspects of superior handling together in one comfortable, confident package.
And comfortable it is. The new car boasts five more cubic feet of interior space with some of the biggest improvements coming in rear leg (0.8 inches) and rear shoulder (0.9 inches) room. The stiffer and smoother body, plus the smoother engine, contribute to less road noise and a more tranquil atmosphere that is almost on par with the 5 and 7 Series. Interior touches like the brushed aluminum trim, one-touch power window switches (for all four doors), ambiance lighting, improved automatic climate controls and power driver's seat with three-position memory bump the 328i up several levels in the luxury-car food chain.
For safety-sticklers who demand the latest in high-tech protection, the new 3-Series includes an All Season Traction system and (new this year on the 3 Series) Cornering Brake Control (CBC). Both of these systems are designed to keep the driver in full control under extreme weather conditions and/or when he does something unwise like lifts off the accelerator and brakes hard in midcorner. CBC is specifically capable of modulating the brake pressure separately at each wheel to keep the vehicle from sliding sideways under hard braking while in a turn. I felt the system kick in only once during a spirited drive along twisting Mulholland Highway above Los Angeles and, as advertised, it helped me stay on the proper side of the double yellow line after entering a turn just a little too "hot." Of course, ABS is standard on every BMW and it hauled this model down from 60 mph in just 126 feet.
If one somehow manages to overcome the new 3's idiot-proof driving systems, he can rest easy in the knowledge that three separate airbags are waiting to inflate around him. Besides the standard issue, (depowered) front airbags, there are also side airbags and the new Head Protection System (HPS) airbags that will protect the driver and front passenger in the event of a serious impact. Rear-seat side airbags can be ordered as an additional safety option and all-new 3 Series come with energy absorbing padding at the A-, B- and C-pillars.
So is there anything not to like about the new 3 Series? Of course! What kind of automotive journalist would I be if I couldn't find something to gripe about? The steering-wheel mounted buttons for changing radio stations are too small and, despite a well-designed center console, there's no real storage bin to be found. I couldn't even find a compartment big enough to hold cassettes, much less CDs. However, the change holder is one of the most innovative pieces of work I've seen.
Performance, luxury, roominess, safety and style. Proclaiming that the new 3 Series "has it all" may sound like an overused cliche. Problem is, it's also the most accurate way to describe BMW's latest wunderwagen.
1999 BMW 3 Series Overview
The 1999 BMW 3 Series is offered in the following submodels: Convertible, Sedan, Hatchback, Coupe. Available styles include 323i 4dr Sedan, 328is 2dr Coupe, and 318ti 2dr Hatchback. 3 Series models are available with a 2.5 l-liter gas engine or a 2.8 l-liter gas engine or a 1.9 l-liter gas engine, with output up to 190 hp, depending on engine type. The 1999 3 Series comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual. The 1999 3 Series comes with a basic warranty, a roadside warranty, and a powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a used 1999 BMW 3 Series?
Save up to $68.6 on one of 9 used 1999 BMW 3 Seriess for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $1300 as of Dec 15, 2017, based on data from 8 dealers and 65 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 4.1 to 4.1 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 1999 BMW 3 Series trim styles:
The 1999 BMW 3 Series 328i is priced around $5096 with average odometer reading of 119260 miles.
The 1999 BMW 3 Series 323i is priced around $2597 with average odometer reading of 191791 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, Virginia. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Is the 1999 BMW 3 Series a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 1999 BMW 3 Series and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 1999 3 Series featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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How do people like the 1999 BMW 3 Series? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 1999 BMW 3 Series and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 1999 3 Series 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 1999 3 Series.
Review Bought my 99 323i in September of 2012 with around 150k miles on it. I have the automatic base model which doesn't include power seats or fog lamps. But has every other option such as leather and sunroof. Got it for around $5,200 with a 1yr unlimited mile warranty. Bought as a second car to keep the miles down on my 2011 VW Passat. Starter began to stick when weather turned really cold and was replaced at local BMW dealer under warranty ($750 bill) also had an issue with the left turn signal blinking continuously even when it wasn't engaged ($350 parts and labor). Overall not bad for a car bought cheap and is 14yrs old. Drives like a dream. A little thirsty on gas for a 6 cyl engine.
1999 BMW 3 Series inventory listings Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1999 BMW 3 Series for sale near Ashburn VA. There are currently 287 new and 2777 used and CPO 1999 3 Seriess listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as 1300 and mileage as low as 12401. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 1999 BMW 3 Series. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to 69 on a new, used, or CPO 1999 3 Series available from one of 2806 dealerships in your area.
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1999 bmw 3-series 323i 4dr Sedan, 5-speed manual, regular unleaded 21 combined MPG 18 city MPG/26 highway MPG
1999 bmw 3-series 328is 2dr Coupe, 5-speed manual, regular unleaded 21 combined MPG 18 city MPG/27 highway MPG
1999 bmw 3-series 318ti 2dr Hatchback, 5-speed manual, regular unleaded 24 combined MPG 20 city MPG/30 highway MPG
What options are available on the 1999 BMW 3 Series?
Available BMW 3 Series 1999 Submodel Types: Coupe, Diesel, Wagon, Hybrid, Sedan, Convertible, Hatchback
Exterior Colors: Black Sapphire Metallic, Mineral Grey Metallic, Glacier Silver Metallic, Imperial Blue Metallic, Space Gray Metallic, Monaco Blue Metallic, Mineral White Metallic, Melbourne Red Metallic, Mediterranean Blue Metallic, Estoril Blue, Montego Blue Metallic, Orion Silver Metallic, Blue Water Metallic, Liquid Blue Metallic, Crimson Red, Platinum Silver Metallic, Estoril Blue Metallic, Platinum Bronze Metallic, Sparkling Graphite Metallic, Arctic Metallic, Mojave Metallic, Jatoba Brown Metallic, Deep Sea Blue Metallic, Silver Gray Metallic, Sparkling Bronze Metallic, Electric Red, Le Mans Blue Metallic, Sonora Metallic, Deep Green Metallic, Mystic Blue Metallic, Steel Gray Metallic, Tasman Green Metallic, Atlantic Blue Metallic, Sunset Orange Metallic, Bright Red, Imola Red, Titanium Silver Metallic, Arctic Silver Metallic, Fern Green Metallic, Gray Green Metallic, Orient Blue Metallic, Oxford Green Metallic, Vermilion Red Metallic, Alpine White, Alpine White III, Barrique Red Metallic, Brilliant Red, Calypso Red Metallic, Jet Black, Madeira Black Pearl Metallic, Steel Blue Metallic, Topaz Blue Metallic
Interior Colors: Black leatherette, Black SensaTec leatherette, Venetian Beige leatherette, Black premium leather, Black Dakota premium leather, Beige leatherette, Venetian Beige/Black SensaTec leatherette, Black Dakota w/Dark Oyster Highlight leather, Oyster Dakota leather, Beige premium leather, Gray premium leather, Saddle Brown/Black premium leather, Saddle Brown Dakota w/Exclusive Stitching premium leather, Black Dakota leather, Saddle Brown Dakota w/Brown Highlight leather, Chestnut Brown premium leather, Black Dakota w/Red Highlight leather, Saddle Brown premium leather, Black SensaTec w/Red Highlight leatherette, Coral Red Dakota w/Black Highlight leather, Saddle Brown Dakota premium leather, Natural Brown, Venetian Beige/Black Dakota w/Dark Oyster Highlight leather, Gray leather, Cream Beige premium leather, Cognac Dakota w/Dark Brown Highlight leather, Black Dakota w/Red Highlight premium leather, Coral Red Dakota w/Black Highlight premium leather, Coral Red/Black premium leather, Black w/Red Highlight leatherette, Venetian Beige/Black Dakota leather, Cream Beige leatherette, Sand, Dakota Oyster/Black w/Dark Oyster Accent leather, Venetian Beige Dakota w/Dark Oyster Highlight leather, Oyster/Black premium leather, Saddle Brown Dakota w/Brown Highlight and Brown Lower Dashboard leather, Black leather, Coral Red/Black Dakota premium leather, Cream Beige Dakota premium leather, Black suede/cloth, Gray/Black Dakota premium leather, Oyster Dakota w/Dark Oyster Highlight premium leather, Oyster/Black Dakota premium leather, Terra/Black premium leather, Venetian Beige Dakota premium leather, Black, Black Dakota w/Exclusive Stitching premium leather, Natural Brown leather, Oyster premium leather, Venetian Beige Dakota w/Exclusive Stitching premium leather, Beige leather, Gray, Sand leather, Tanin Red
Popular Features: Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Auto Climate Control, Trip Computer, Tire Pressure Warning, Post-collision safety system, Aux Audio Inputs, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, Power Driver Seat, AWD/4WD, USB Inputs, Bluetooth, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Sunroof/Moonroof, Upgraded Headlights, Alarm, Heated seats, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Navigation, Parking sensors, 2nd Row Bucket Seats, Back-up camera, Keyless Entry/Start, Leather Seats, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Blind Spot Monitoring, Heads up display, Soft Top, Upgraded Stereo, Power Liftgate/Trunk, Lane Departure Warning, 360-degree camera, Adaptive Cruise Control