BMW E36 300 series Canadian model designations (92-99)
i = 4 door sports sedan
is = 2 door sports coupe
c = cabriole (convertible)
318 = 1.9 litre, 138hp, F.I. 4 cyl.
325 = 2.5 litre, 168hp, F.I. 6 cyl.
328 = 2.8 litre, 192hp, F.I. 6 cyl.
After looking for 3 months in Vancouver and Victoria, BC I decided on a "cream puff" 1996 318i. This car had 71000 kms, extremely clean and garaged. I bought from a dealer and was given the opportunity to talk with the previous owner before comitting to buying it. This car was within my price rang of under $14000 CDN.
Even though the 325's and 328's are smother engines and more powerful, there is NOTHING wrong with BMW's 4 cyl. In my opinion it is very smooth for a 1.9 and has enough power for anything you want to do on the highway ... even hitting 190km/h (when no police is around).
Also I found the 325's and 328's either abused from former owners or out of my price range ($17000 - $22000 CDN).
If you find a 92-99 (E36 BMW) in the BC area for $10000, do a bit of digging into it's history. I was not able to find a nice one for that price.
1996 E36 M44 318i 5sp LSD