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1995 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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not so tough maintenance

By on Monday, June 01, 2009

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"Ever since I was 16 I have perfomed most repairs on my vehicles at home, always jumping in blind with a repair manual (no education in mechanics or anything like that thouh). I have owned a few GM cars, a Dodge, and one Ford. This car is by far the easiest that I have ever worked on. When I bought my '96 328is, I was worried about repairs since I had always heard about expensive maintenace for BMWs. When the first problem came up (brake pad change) I quickly realized that this was a non-issue for someone with even minimal mechanical experience. It took me longer to get the wheels off and the car jacked up than to change the pads. There is endless information on most any repair for the "E36" online, and a Hanes manual will cover the rest. I have changed/upgraded brakes and rotors, changed alternator (in less than an hour without even knowing it's location at the start), fixed a problem inside the climate control computer (1 hour and a $0.05 part), and even changed rear wheel bearings (that took a friend with some more advanced tools and some time). The parts are reasonably priced, making upgrades possible. Plus the pride you get from working on your own car is immesurable. Especially when it's a Bimmer."

19 people out of 19 found this review helpful

By on Tuesday, January 29, 2008

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

"As the 2nd owner, I bought this 1994 325iS coupe with appr. 90K miles in 2001. I now have 151K miles that have been mostly enjoyable. I have done extensive repairs however. The first was replacing the spark plugs and tune up a few months into owning the vehicle because it would not start. I have since replaced the A/C condensor, radiator, water pump (poor quality), belts and hoses, front/rear brake pads and rotors, driver window regulator (X2), radio/cassette player (died), headliner (drooping badly), control arms, trailing arms, tie rods, ball joints, front struts and mounts, rear shocks and mounts, cat back exhaust system and all 4 tires twice. The Florida sunshine has really taken its toll on the black paint which I'll take care of next. The leather drivers seat and arm rest are pretty beat as well. I am happy that I no longer make payments to the bank so I can afford the $600 to $1000 in yearly maintenance (not too bad at less than $100 per month average). I must say that this car is a blast to drive and is very solid and secure at speeds of 100 mph or more if you keep up with the maintenance. I gives great gas mileage in the 30 mpg range on the hiway. I highly recommend getting a performance chip replacement for the computer. It kicks this car in the butt just a bit more providing about 210 hp and 225 ft/lb of torque. The downside is that you should use premium gas with the new chip. It's pretty common to see these for sale (try eBay) at reasonable prices that someone has already performed all of the upgrades and maintenance necessary to make them the Ultimate Driving Machine. Be sure to do your homework and insist on seeing a complete maintenance history prior to purchasing a used BMW. Read all of the user web sites (bimmerforum, etc.) and happy hunting. These are great cars with the right TLC."

18 people out of 18 found this review helpful

The Finest Car I have ever owned

By on Saturday, September 07, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 244,000

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

Pros: "Amazing!"

Cons: "The cup holders are under the arm rest."

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

"This car drives and handles like the cars you read about in magazines. It cruises comfortably and quietly at 75mph at about 25mpg. Every one said the maintenance would be expensive but its not the reality is it just doesn't break. Also parts are cheap and plentiful on E-Bay."

15 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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."

13 people out of 13 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."

12 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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