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1994 BMW 3 Series

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 531 Ratings for the 1993 - 1999 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.3/10
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Will Get Another BMW 3 Series

By on Saturday, September 29, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"One original owner... 82K+ miles, 8+ years later and keep on running better than most new cars on the road. Excellent sport performance, smooth and stable ride, responsive steering, can pop manual gear from 1st to 2nd to ... 5th smooth like silk, can feel the tires grabbing the road (esp. through the turn), and feel the "BMW humm..." unique to BMW 6-inline engine when accelerating, the high torque engine slows the car down at will when down-shifting (esp. get off highway). With 50-50 weight distribution, the more you accellerate, the more weight you put on the RWD which is perfect for traction. One complaint I have is "inspection service" or tune up - expensive. Prices are vary from 3 to 5 to 7 series. Either find a mechanic friend or do it yourself on easy stuffs that are expensive - like spark plugs, air filter, brake fluid, reset service indicator, check for leakages, etc., let other garages change brake pads and rotors with BMW parts you bought from from dealers, and let the dealers do dirty works that are cheap - oil changes, flushing radiator, etc. Ask for synthetic oil - it costs you 2x as much but last 3x longer (about 10K). The only car that may be better is Porsche - Boxter or 911. They have mid engine. I will have to try to see the difference. But don't know if you could do it yourself on expansive tune up works."

17 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Best value sports car

By on Tuesday, December 03, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 275,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Very impressive engineering and performance."

Cons: "Older car, some tinkering required"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is the second BMW we have owned. It has over 275,000 miles and we have rebuilt it for continued service. The motor was untouched. It still had excellent compression in all cylinders and there was little leak-down. The transmission was also great - we drained and refilled with SWEPCO 201 and it shifts and holds great. What we did replace was the shocks, struts, springs, clutch, shift linkage bushings, transmission mount bushings, sway bar bushings, steering rack and tie rods, water pump, fan clutch, brake hardware, and wheel bearings. It now runs and handles like new. Very impressive engineering. Great on-line community support for repairs and upgrades - lots of instruction and U-Tube videos. Repair parts are suprisingly inexpensive with the exception of a few dealer-only trim pieces. Definately a car you can keep for 500k miles without cracking open the motor - just keep synthetic oil in it and change every 5k or so. If you find a low mileage car, you can expect to have reliable transportation. Our car had a great body, interior, but was driven by a salesman and he had wore out the clutch, wheel bearings and suspension - so the parts mentioned. The fan clutch and water pump was strictly preventitive. The E36 is best for people who like to perform basic tinkering and maintenance on their own - as the cars age you will have to replace some worn and dried out items (belts, hoses, vacuum lines, etc.). It does not take a lot of tools or skill, but a few hours of BMW mechanic time does add up. Great car. Lots of fun to drive. 28 mpg overall and cheap to insure."

13 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Fun car....but

By on Monday, November 26, 2007

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"I have a 1999 323ic which was purchased new. Fun car to drive, mechanically sound, but.... The interior has plastic parts that have fallen off and I have a jar of them?? My mechanic did ask for one part which I guess I threw away. Convertible top is totally unreliable, which is a bummer in the summer. Paid 2k to fix it and it lasted one season and is not working again. BMW should have the top as part of their otherwise great maintenance program."

11 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great car, expensive maintenance

By on Friday, August 26, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"With 150,000 miles on it, this little car is still driving great. Repairs however are expensive. I can estimate to spend about $1000-1500 in repairs per year on this car however (that does not include maintenance i.e. new tires, oil changes, etc.)"

10 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Best Car Ever

By on Tuesday, September 29, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I got my 318 when i turn Sixteen in 1996. even then it was used. I drove it through high school and college and even made eight trip from Washington DC (Home) to College in Los Angeles and the car was great and great on gas too. It is now 2009 and I am still driving my little blue convertible that has become such a big part of my life. No major work done all minor over the years and I have never paid more than $400 at one time for anything with the car. Not even tires. Although I am now looking to upgrade to a new BMW Convertible (maybe a 330ci) I will never let go of my 95' model until it dies on me. My car currently has 210,000 miles on it and just made a trip from Los Angeles to Miami for a summer vacation. Great Car!!!"

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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