BMW 3 Series Saloon 1991-1998

BMW 3 Series Saloon 1991-1998

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016


  • Superior ride
  • Fuel saving stop start system
  • Space for four adults
  • Impressive engines


  • Suffers from multiple mechanical problems
  • Not much legroom for the back seat passengers
  • Quite expensive
  • Optional accessories are expensive
  • Boot space is limited


The BMW 3 Series E36 Convertible is a two door, four seater that drives exceedingly well despite being a drop-top as there is none of the body roll usually associated with convertibles. When the roof of the E36 is up there is very little road noise in the cabin.

Exterior and Interior

The fabric folding roof is the most prominent feature of this car that makes it so attractive. The roof takes barely 23 seconds to open or close. Road noise is minimal when the roof is up as well as it being fully watertight. The E36 Model comes with sports suspension and xenon headlights as well as a curved rear screen and unique tail lights. The BMW 3 Series E36 Convertible comes as a two door, four-seater in the compact executive class. The car has plenty of cabin storage spaces with a fair size boot, which gets smaller with the roof down, as well as a glove box that locks with remote central locking technology. The E36 comes with a stop-start technology that cuts the fuel supply for a better economic rate for driving through cities. The steering wheel is perfectly positioned for the driver to comfortably control the vehicle. Standard sun reflective leather is also used in some models which makes a difference of 20 degree's compared to any other leather.

Performance and Economy

BMW 3 Series E36 is worth the price you will need to pay for the vehicle and you will feel like you have got value for your money. The E36 was quiet expensive to buy new but the rare equipment listed made the price more reasonable. The Efficient Dynamics Technology fitted in BMW 3 Series E36 helps it to keep its economic rate down. With the four-cylinder engines featuring the push Stop - Start technology which helps to cut CO2 emissions and achieves a better economic rate.

Like to Drive

The E36 convertible is a very impressive car with crisp and responsive steering, excellent grip in the corners and with minimum body roll and shake. It handles nearly as well as the saloon version that it is based on. The fabric drop down roof manages very well to keep most of the road noise out and is of course completely water tight. The roof does come in both manual and electric options with the electric being a lot easier to put up as the manual can be a bit fiddly.

Faults and Repairs

The problems that can occur are warped disc brake and cracked exhaust manifolds. The air conditioner can also require very expensive repairs. Since the body is worked with exotic materials, blemishes and stone chips will need panel replacements, which are costly, as these may cause problems in the future. The repair costs due to an accident may not be as expensive as you would expect due to the parts being easily available as all the cars in the 3 series use the same parts. The hood and the interiors do need to be maintained properly to retain their fresh look.