8 G's will get you a 93-94 318i depending on Km's and stuff...if he goes to a dealer he'll pay upwards to $12 for the same car with the same km's...... So he's looking for a 93-94 in the end....
For reliability and problems you had asked about , well here's my little story.
I bought mine for 9 in may/03 with 217km on it...I had to change the rack and pinion on it for $550 re-built installed with a liftime warranty (through a connection). Bmw wanted $1047 not installed. Also I had to change a few lights wich cost about $2 each so that's another $4 gone and my block heater popped out while driving another $60 to tow it 60km and $65 for the block heater with installation. And that's just 6 months I had it.
When spring hits I need new rubber all the way around so about another $800 gone.
So in total I spent about 7 bills on it...so far. As long as the head gasket doesn't blow I'm happy.
Oh yeah around that year was known as the head gasket years....blowing at 120km. That's the first thing my Bmw mechanic told me when I bought it.