Originally posted by Justin e36
318 is not that much better on gas... actually if you look at the numbers it's just marginally better on gas. However, they can be modded really well and you can get almost the same power as a 325 engine if you invest in some basic mods. The engine also has more of a growl to it.. not sure why, but it sounds more aggressive---also more rev happy, loves to be driven in the 4000-6500 RPM range. And as Soldomatic mentioned, the 92 E36's didn't have vanos and have a really nice deep growl to the engine.
On the downside, the 4-Cylinder 318 is not as reliable engine-wise as the 6-cylinder engines... the main problem is with a leaky radiator gasket.. it can deteriorate at any time leaving coolant on the road and your car undrivable--it's simply a matter of replacing the gasket, BUT you have to dismantle the engine to do it... so it's expensive. Also another issue with the timing chain tensioner in the early 90's.. there is a redesigned version now when you replace it that is improved. The other issue is a major one... it's with the leads for the timing chain, they can bend over time and the chain could bunch up and fall off... basically destroying your engine. These are all things just to get checked as soon as you buy the car... fix them right away, and you won't have to worry about anything for a loooong time... even after fixing those engine problems, it'll still be cheaper than buying a 325... and who knows, maybe the previous owner already fixed 'em.
In a nutshell the 325/328 will last longer, the engines are stronger... the 318 is cheaper to buy, and insurance... and hey, bottom line.. if you do drop the engine, you can toss a 320 (6-cylinder) engine in there for around a grand. So it's not that big of a deal... just have to sacrafice a couple days of not driving while the swap is done.
Since you won't be speeding, and since you're young, your best bet is to get a 318i (not IS for insurance reasons) with 150 clicks or less on the odometer. It's the smart choice in terms of $$$---which really should be your highest priority at your age. You need play money too bro.. .what good is a bimmer if you don't have some extra cash to flash in front of the girls too.
Safe, thanks for the info bro...that was very helpful
i guess i will just go for the 318i next year(hopefully)...and get those things checked out.
plus, the only mods i'd like to do to my bimmer would be to get rid of the orange tails and install the euro styles ones.
besides that, i'd like to leave my bimmer stock
once again thanks for taking the time to educate me on the E36