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By far the best workhorse econobox hatchback ever by Silverstreak on 07/03/2012. Trim: 1997 BMW 318ti, Owned 7 years.
Pros: Economical (25 mpg in town, up to 36 on the road if I don't lead-foot it). Got 40mpg on a daylong country drive. Perfect city car, easy to park even in San Francisco where it fits between the driveways. Cavernous hatchback -- I've used it to move furniture and give rides to two large happy dogs. Can cruise at 100 all day., plenty of torque. Nice big sunroof. Decent factory sound system. High enough clearance that it will not scrape pavement on driveways. Goes up dirt roads quite well without bottoming out. Parts are not very expensive; the 318ti was the simplest car BMW ever imported so indie shops will work on it and there are plenty of aftermarket parts. Looks great when cleaned up.
Cons: It's a sporty car, not a living room sofa so the ride's a little harsh and the seats could be a bit softer, which doesn't matter in town.. BMW economized on sound insulation in the doors. Does require a little downshifting in the high Sierra. Tinny window regulators bend and go out periodically. Getting into the back seat is for agile, skinny people only. Once in there, two can sit fairly comfortably. Horn could be louder. Theft alarm has gone off randomly in cold and damp, so I disconnect it in winter.
Overall review: The car has served me amazingly well for the past seven years and 70,000 miles. I replaced my 750il with this 318ti and still think I got the better car.. Aside from normal maintenance, the largest piece to go was the transmission, which lost the synchros to 4th gear. I replaced it with a junkyard transmission for $1200 including labor and new clutch. Driver door window regulator has failed twice. I had the radio rebuilt and recently had some cosmetic bodywork done and the headliner replaced. The 4-cylinder engine is bullet-proof, designed for 89 octane.I used to change cars every couple of years, but can't find a reason to replace this one. Just took a 1,000 mile road trip through back country, desert and mountains, and it ran just fine. Mountain passes required a little downshifting, but cruise control handled the freeway well. Too bad they stopped importing these cars and brought in the Mini instead.
Review ID: #561355 Is this review offensive?
Quick look at 328i 5 speed manual by markus85 on 07/22/2012. Trim: 1997 BMW 328i, Owned 2 years.
Pros: This awesome car is pleasure to drive on any road. Can be great commuter car, has plenty of room in a back, spacious trunk with flat folding back seats and super comfortable driver/passenger seats. The handling is 10 out of 10, responsive steering, cool acceleration (60-less then 7), great balanced BMW suspension and 5-speed gearbox capabilities won’t ever let you down. Nice sporty looking and reliable car which gives incredible MPG (up to 30 on highway).
Cons: hard gas pedal, tight steering
Overall review: Worth its money.
Review ID: #562078 Is this review offensive?
Beemin in my bimmer by Moose on 03/06/2012. Trim: 1997 BMW 318ic, Owned 1 year.
Pros: performanc and handeling...for a 15 year old car it still has modern technology...have gotten it to 140mph without a sweat..love it!!!
Cons: seatbelts are far back and cupholders cant hold anything...dont like the plastic rear window, wish it could be glass
Overall review: excellent car...give it tender love and care and will last forever...the e36 body is so sharp....if i took off the 318i logo it would look like a M3...totally recommend one to all bimmer fans
Review ID: #556508 Is this review offensive?
Black Beauty by tomaso on 08/13/2011. Trim: 1997 BMW 318ic, Owned 4 years.
Pros: The appearance is eye catching even after 14yrs. and the economical value. (21MPG city)
Cons: No tilt wheel and had to purchase a center arm rest.
Overall review: The acceleration and styling is outstanding(Mine is triple black) the seats are vinyl but look better than leather at this age. The mileage piles up but the car maintains its mechanical and styling excellence.
Review ID: #553827 Is this review offensive?
Time to Repair that BMW 318I by An MSN Autos Consumer on 08/01/2011. Trim: 1997 BMW 318i, Owned more than 10 years.
Pros: This car rides great is very snappy performance-wise and quite reliable. Parts are cheap...if you know where to look. The car's engine compartment opens up nicely for moderate repairs, so don't be afraid. Standard tools (Metric & SAE) can be used for alot of the work. Good wax, good weather and a garage has made all the difference.
Cons: Stock radio was not very good. An aftermarket Sony did the trick. Cup Holders are downright crazy. Power Door Lock acuators (just a bad design)
Overall review: Well, I bought this car new and did the standard maintenance over the years; this car has been very reliable and fun. In 2009, she almost didn't pass smog and was due for some serious parts replacement based upon my Inspection II summaries and research. 2009 - Environmental Control Module failed (A gaint cloud of fog shot into the interior; fun, but costly) : BMW Replacement $550 ...this made me realize I had to do some of this work myself. 2010 - Window Regulator & Motor (Drivers Side) broke: BMW Replacement $600 ...I wouldn't be a seasoned horseman if I didn't get thrown off for a second time. 2011- Mission Repair the Car by myself!!! After 57 new parts, 13 new tools, and $2056.00, I have brought my 1997 318I back to great shape. 2011 Smog Inspection Passed w/1997 like numbers - Runs and Rides like a new car. Priceless! Don't give up on the 318I if you have the facility, faculty and fortitude to do the repairs.
Review ID: #553675 Is this review offensive?
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