E36 318 is


The E36 coupe shape is one of my personal favourites and currently one of the best BMW’s to modify. The 318is is a very economical and comfortable car on the daily commute, returning 450 miles out of £45 of regular unleaded petrol. This model had the full Mtech suspension giving excellent road holding and a more aggressive stance; it certainly was pleasing to the eye. The problem with this car is the weight and lack of power, which always makes you envy the 325, 328 and of course the M3’s. This is why you see so many 318 model BMW’s retrofitted to look identical to the M3.


This car was my first over 100,000 miler, which did concern me on purchase date but proved to be tighter than many other cars I have driven. A FBMWSH was shown to me along with every bill and service sheet included, which certainly boosted my confidence and persuaded me to purchase this example. The engine sounded perfect and by the time I had come to sell the car it was closer to 200,000 miles. This 318is had non-electric cloth seats, 15-inch alloys, tape player, no air-con and no centre consol computer. I think the only thing it did have was a rear spoiler, but for the price I wasn’t going to complain.


The 318is engine had a shorter service interval, which made it a bit more costly than expected. It is important to check the dates on the service book when purchasing to see how the car has been maintained. Tappet noises from this engine should be checked along with the Mtech suspension being the most costly fixes. Otherwise these cars are generally very solidly put together.


I kept up the FBMWSH with Sytner of High Wycombe. A servicing bill of £900 for an Inspection 2, new disks and pads all round and new track rods was a little unexpected.



Engine: 1.9 4 cylinder, 140bhp

Performance: 0-60 in 10.2 and 135 mph at the top

Time owned: 09/2002 – 10/2003

Bought and sold for: £3000

Mileage owned: 140,000 – 168,000

Parts/Servicing costs: £900

Insurance: £1200 with 0 year NC