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1997 BMW 3 Series

Overview
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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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Vehicle Highlights

Information shown for entry-level Hatchback.

Fuel Economy:
City 20/Hwy 29/Comb 23 MPG
Max Seating: 5
Engine: 4-Cyl, 1.9 Liter Transmission: Manual, 5-Spd
Country of Origin: Germany Country of Assembly: Germany

1997 BMW 3 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 530 Ratings for the 1993 - 1999 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

german cars made right

By on Monday, March 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "very comfortable, fantastic driving car"

Cons: "small cup holders, glove box sag, only a 5 speed :("

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

"This is my first car and I'm absolutely hooked on it. It's proven to be very reliable through this cold Chicago winter. The car drives extremely well for being 18 years old. It has enough power for you when you need to get on the gas but a controllable amount where you won't get busted for speeding. The interior is basic and user-friendly. Also the seats are very comfortable for their age too. I can't wait to start fixing the basic cosmetic flaws. It could also be a great project car for any age and skill set! Overall a phenomenal car and i would own another E36 in a heartbeat."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Best bang for the buck

By on Sunday, January 04, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Money

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: "very affordable, fun to drive, looks great"

Cons: "more than 15 years old"

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

"The E-36 3-series is one of the best handling cars I have owned. In addition to that, they are also very affordable to purchase and maintain...it would be difficult to find a less expensive car that doesn't cost more to maintain and drive."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

reliable

By on Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "reliable engine and transmission"

Cons: "manual convertible top is a pain"

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

"I own a 1997 318I convertible. This car is 18 years old and drives great. Mine has low miles as it has been in the family for a long time. It is somewhat expensive to fix. But the current issues are mainly maintenance issues. I drive it over 100 miles per day and it always starts right up and drives nice. The convertible top makes noises like something is loose. Mechanically, a sound car that was built on a reliable, ahead of its time platform. It has many features and options that are comparable to my 2010 car. I would recommend. I'm going to drive this car as long as she lasts."

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

overall very dependable and fun car

By on Monday, November 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 162,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"dependable fun to drive well build good quality still running well despite being 20 years old. not many 20 year Honda or Toyota vehicles still on the road."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Looking for info on reliability

By on Monday, November 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 233,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Priced at $1500 and solid car"

Cons: "Better instrument panels"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Filling this out so I can see what other owners think. Just bought one and seems to be a pretty solid little go getter... any known defects? Recalls? Anyone have an issue with floating gauges? Am fond of Beemers... well Built. :)"

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Love this car!

By on Monday, November 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 246,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "A real fun driver. Quick in interstate traffic."

Cons: "Coolant system is weak."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Coolant system caused me some issues but after I replaced everything myself, I have had no issues with the car. A real fun driver!"

10 people out of 20 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?