|Premium compact car; Built in USA, Germany|
|Good condition price range: $1,200 – $4,400*|
1993 BMW 318i 4-door sedan
1994 BMW 318i 2-door convertible
1994 BMW 318i 2-door convertible interior
1996 BMW 318is 2-door coupe
1995 BMW 318ti 2-door hatchback interior
Despite high secondhand prices, 4-cylinder BMWs appeal to those who like spirited, high-revving driving enjoyment. For that purpose, they’re hard to beat.
Not long after BMW redesigned its 3-Series for the 1992 model year with a more rounded profile and greater dimensions, a 4-cylinder 318i (4-door) and 318is (2-door) joined the lineup. Like their 6-cylinder counterparts 325i/is, the 318i/is got a standard driver-side airbag and antilock brakes. Initial models came only with manual shift, but BMW’s 4-speed automatic transmission arrived during 1993 as an option. BMW also issued 4-cylinder convertibles for a short time, but with the older, squared-off body. Not until 1994 would 4-cylinder convertibles adopt the smoothly curved shaping of the sedans.
For ’93, all coupes and sedans got increased front seat height adjustments to improve head room. A sport suspension package joined the option list for 4-cylinder models.
All models gained a passenger-side airbag. Convertibles finally got the new styling that had first appeared in ’92, as a 4-cylinder 318i ragtop emerged during this model year.
Late in 1995, BMW launched a low-budget 318ti hatchback with a closely related engine but a completely different appearance.
A bigger (1.9-liter) 4-cylinder engine went into mid-1996 models. Cruise control became standard on all 318-series automobiles, and traction control was an option. All models got a new 10-speaker, 200-watt sound system, plus a console cupholder. A new automatic climate-control system was also standard, while coupe and convertibles sported new alloy wheels.
All models got standard All-Season traction control for ’97. Most other changes were cosmetic, including reshaping of the familiar twin-kidney grille to match the larger 5-Series and the new Z3 roadster. Also, side-marker and turn-signal lamps were redesigned.
The 318 coupe and convertible models were replaced by more-expensive models called the 323. Sedan and hatchback 318is returned mostly unchanged. However, side airbags were now standard on the 318i sedan. The 3-Series was all new for 1999.