Is your local garage worth shouting about? We want to hear about it. | No thanks
BMW 316i Compact...How Good?  
BMW 316i Compact...How Good? - audi80tdi
Hi all,
Have read lots of mixed reviews on the BMW 316i compact. Does anyone have any real world experience of the car?
Is it fast enough to hold its own or is it painfully slow?
Also what should it be worth, its a 316i compact 1997 r reg, 66000 miles with full bmw service history.
any faults/problems i should look out for on these car? never had a bmw before so dont really know what to look for.

Any info would help.

Cheers All

Tags: buying used cars reliability

BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - MichaelR
If you want a BMW might I suggest you buy a proper one - the compact just strikes me as an excellent way of paying lots of money for an old, small, poorly equiped underperforming car just so you can have a BMW badge.
BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - Altea Ego
Save up a little longer and get a proper BMW
BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - Altea Ego
Sorry I meant to add, Even if it is quite a respectable and nippy little motor ( I dont know never had the desire to drive one - unlike other BM's) it has a reputation (deserved or not) and you will be heaped with scorn and ridicule for driving it.
BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - Roly93
I absolutely agree with the above post, if you buy a BMW compact you may become a laughing stock.

My sister asked me the exact same question the other week and this is what I told her. I have had 3 or 4 BM's as company cars, but I never new of any of my colleagues even considering one.

BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - bimmer-driver
My mums got one of the last first generation (X-reg) 316 compacts and she loves it to bits. Granted she did trade up from a Pug 206, so anything would be an improvement, but its served her well.
I won't lie and say its the best car to drive, but it rides and handles in a nice solid way, is quite refined, comfortable behind the wheel and is perfectly acceptable for what the majority of drivers want. And its not quite as slow as everyone would make out.
Granted, a Ford Focus would have served her just as well, but you know what women are like with image.
Hopes this helps.
BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - andyconda
This post was asking for real world experience, not the predictable "it's not a proper BMW" pub talk! You may receive "scorn and ridicule" from Renault drivers, but the Compact is rear wheel drive, well built, and holds its value fairly well thanks to its relative rarity.

I've ridden in one of these, and found it to be at least as quiet and comfortable as an equivalent VW Golf. No idea what the performance figures are for the 316, but if you fancy a German-built hatchback that isn't a Golf/A3, then it makes reasonable sense.

Have you checked the car by car breakdown for HJ's thoughts?
BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - meditek
Just sold my wife's 318ti 1.9. Always felt underpowered to me and noisy if you pushed it. A shopping car suitable for lady members at the golf club. Have to be very careful here but I would not recommend it for someone with normal testosterone levels. Let's just say my wife loved it.

I suppose the 316 is even more feeble?
BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - oldgit
I used to think that this car was somewhat incomplete style-wise but since the introduction of the BMW 1er I now have to reconsider that view as the latter's looks are horrendous in my opinion.
BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - AK76
My wife has a compact. Absolutely loves it to bits.

Its a 1.6 - it is fairly slow, but unless you want to thrash around it really is enough. It does wallow in corners but i must say the ride offsets this as it is most comfortable.

It is well built and we've not had any problems at all. Cheap to insure (£250 p/a fully comp). Cheap to run - 400 miles on a tank. Cheap to service - use a specialist - costs £85 for an inspection 1 and £150 for an inspection 2. Parts arent that bad at all - certainly no more than a golf. Tyres are £50 each. Paint work is excellent. Great on the brakes. And it has very low depreciation. Overall no complaints.

It has never failed and on the occasions we've driven to relatives ooop north it has been great - really relaxed. It does make you change your driving as it isnt quick enough to get stressed with so you just let all the other traffic get on with it. But plenty nippy enough round town. She was driving 80 mile round trip to work on the motorway and found it absolutely fine.

It does appear most people havent driven it and say its slow. It is for a bmw, but as quick as most 1.6 family hatches.

Get one. i dont see why not.
BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - meditek
Yeah, the new BMW's remind me of the robot in Red Dwarf. Ok, i'm a wrinkly but I enjoyed the series!
BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - bradgate
In my experience 316's and 318's are very ordinary cars, with none of the performance and refinement combination which makes the 6-cylinder 3-series models so desirable.

The Compact is very expensive for what it is and is also cramped and impractical for family use, if this is relevant.

If you want a decent, practical family car that is good to drive, my suggestion is to buy a Focus.

If you want a BMW, I agree with many others: wait until you can afford a real one, with a straight six under the bonnet.

BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - Pugugly {P}
straight six under the bonnet.
Yes indeed but don;t dismiss the diesel four (2.0) a good torquey lump.
BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - Avant
Yes, but a diesel six is even better. That's the main reason I went for my Avant 2.5 rather than the 320d Touring: both are excellent cars.
BMW 316i COMPACT...HOW GOOD? - Pugugly {P}
(I know that !) shhhh.

Join the discussion

Latest News & Road Tests

Buying Advice

Honest John's Newsletter

Connect with Honest John

Facebook YouTube