That all depends on what you are looking for and what you are willing to do or pay to keep your car up. If you are looking for a car that you can buy, keep the oil changed and have few problems (i.e. Toyota or Nissan), then the E36 is not the car for you. As I'm sure you have read, these cars require quite a bit of maintenance and have some bugs that crop up from time to time. But remember the ages of these cars too.Based on everything im reading on this forum, the e36 just gives too many problems?
Could not have, could absolutely not have put it better myself. I drove a late model Japanese "sports car" for a five years, and picked up what many would've considered a "raggedy" old Bimmer, my 318, and i can say without doubt that i have no, no , no regrets. The RSX was still a CIVIC, and in my BM coupe, even though im not a mega mechanic i've put the bentley manual and this awesome forum to use and have replaced worn parts and upgraded the wheels, and it runs hard above 4k and it is the LOWELY 4 bangin model...but its an INLINE 4 and its rear wheel drive...id have to pay S2000 money for that elsewhere. Pick up an E36 with solid recordes kept, buy a damn Bentley Manual and Enjoy.:bigpimp:"Based on everything im reading on this forum, the e36 just gives too many problems?"
My 2 cents: That would be a fair statement to make only if forums like this are your sole basis of research before making any statement. By nature, thread starters in forums are usually seeking a solution to a problem. Not too many threads are started by owners that are more than satisfied with their cars: "Hey, I just noticed my visor is still tight and like new after 260,000 miles. Anyone else have great visors?" ;-) But if an owner does have a problem, this is a great place to ask about a solution.
More cents: e36 cars have a well deserved reputation as performance oriented "sporty" sedans and coupes. As such, many may have been "driven hard, and put away wet", and have ended their useful life. Others were also driven hard on occasion but pampered with great care. Still others were hardly used up at all, and have many great miles still left in them. Search carefully for a well cared for, documented e36 and you'll have a ball. And expect to continue that care.
Still more cents: Quite a few of the owners on e36 forums are younger "car nuts" that are very excited to get their hands on a fairly inexpensive sport car, and are anxious to get his/her pride and joy into tip top shape. They avoid the dealer and his high prices like the plague (can't blame them), and use forums to look for solutions that don't break the bank. Maybe because of that, an impression is made that these cars "give too many problems". The truth is, maybe some of the cars you can read about here are well past their lifespan, but the new proud owners are determined to keep them running. Bravo! It's their keen spirit that keeps these forums lively.
I've been lucky enough to have had three 3 series cars. A well cared for e36 will "give too many pleasures". Happy hunting.
+1my car always needs something but i can tell you this at 212,000 miles this car feels and drives (most of the time) as well as a low mileage e36 m3. Now bmw's may not be toyota or honda quality but i have never been in a toyota or honda that felt newish after 50,000 miles...bmw's age very well when it comes to they way the feel, unlike a toyota or honda. So have your reliability and i'll have my empty wallet, dirty finger nails, busted knuckles, and big grin when i drive my car that is definitely more than just an appliance.
+1Still more cents: Quite a few of the owners on e36 forums are younger "car nuts" that are very excited to get their hands on a fairly inexpensive sport car, and are anxious to get his/her pride and joy into tip top shape.
WHAT?! :bustingupyes op please buy a Honda so all of our e36's can stomp you in turning and reliability