I agree. The four cylinder is not the best choice for the weight of the convertable. If you must a get a 318 for insurance purposes, you MUST get a stick, or it will be slower than hell.
Common problems with the earlier e36 include a plastic impeller waterpump, while later models have metal. THe plastic ones fail without warning, so if you get an earlier model check to see if it has been replaced.
make sure the top goes up and down without any problems. Drive it and see if there is any hesitation.
I own a 1996 318ic.. the first of all the 318i isn't always a powered top... and onw thing to check is if it leaks...... just take it to a car wash and spray all over the top.... and in some models due to the fact that it is heavier that had a 1.9l engine instead of 1.8... my 1.9l standard with intake and exhaust kills the stock 325 automatic... really the only way to tell is to drive it and listen... in the 1996 318ic
came with the digital climate control too...
i agree dont buy the 318 go with the 328 i drive a 94 318is, and its fun to drive but its not for the racing scene if thats what you are looking for!!! Sure its a bimmer but its the baby, and with the weight of the convertable i dont know how satsifeid you will be, I mean you will still look great driving it and its a bimmer, but not to fast. So if you are going for show get it, Thats what im doing to my car, till i graduate in a year, and then i get my 95 m3!!! ///