I bought my 1995 318is in 2005 with 77k on the clock, I always wanted a BMW so I thought I would buy an older and cheaper one first to see how I got on with it.
I have had very few problems with this car and the most costly problem and quite a common problem I hear from many people was that one of the front electric window's came off it's mechanical system and fell through the door panel!!, apparently this was due to a design fault on the mid 90's models and has happened to many people, it was quite costly to repair but not not bank breaking by any means bearing in mind if your buying a luxury car you should expect repairs to be reasonably costly.
The performance of this car 0 -60 is pretty poor, many 1.8 engined cars with less BHP will outsmart you at the lights, so if your after a quick off the mark car this is not it!! about 9 secs 0 -60 I believe the time is, having said that I personally dont think this is a car you buy to race around like a street racer it is a classy car made for comfort and classy looks which it delivers brilliantly. when you get up to higher speeds eg: motorway/highway driving the power is very good and will accelerate away from say 70-80mph to 100mph and beyond at a good rate, but bearing in mind this is a German car this is exactly what the engines are built for as there are - or at least where - no speed limits on the autobahns in Germany so they nailed it in that respect, The MPG is very good even at high speeds, expect about 30-35 MPG at over 80mph.
I have run up about 60k on this engine since I have owned it and not had the slightest problem at all, in my eyes the engines in these cars are bullet proof, I have not felt uncomfortable once about making a long journy in this car even now with over 130k on the clock , it honestly feels like it's never gonna go wrong it's a very Impressive engine i can't emphasise that enough.
The interior is easy on the eyes, with the electric windows and sunroof easily accessible for both driver and passenger. When your driving this car you feel safe, it feels big and well built and is a very comfortable drive indeed., the only thing bad I will say about it is that it doesn't handle great in bad weather eg: ice and snow due to it being rear wheel drive so you do have to drive it with a certain amount of caution, it's not a massivley dangerous car to drive in this type of weather so dont get that impression but you do have to be a bit sensible - as you should be anyway in these types of weather conditions!!
The exterior looks classy but quite sporty too and has a cool aggressive look to it from the front, I think the design of the headlights pull this off, if you see it coming up behind you in your rear view mirror it does look like it means business. If your thinking of buying an older BMW as a test out like I did check for rust around the wings as they do have a tendancy to rust out as they get older mine has just started to get quite bad around the front arches, but my quote for repair and respray to make it look good as new was very cheap so it's no big deal and will be having it done this month :) you can't leave such a nice and reliable car looking like a shed so its well worth it in my eyes.
Overall opinion - LOVE IT best car by a mile I have owned and will definatley be sticking with BMW in the future I dont know why it took me 12 years to buy one in the first place. next step M3 I think :)
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