May 28, 1998|By Richard Truett of The Sentinel Staff
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BMW affairs to cycle out a new adaptation of the 3-Series auto after this summer. Unfortunately, the auto and convertible will not be replaced until ancient abutting year.
That’s too bad.
I logged about 400 afar in a 1998 328i Convertible afresh and came abroad from it mostly unimpressed. The 328i Convertible is anachronous compared with contempo models from Saab, Mercedes-Benz and the accessible Volvo C70.
There’s annihilation actively amiss with 328i technically or with the way it is assembled. But the car lacks the clarification of some of the competitors in its class. And the autogenous seems decidedly dated.
Then there’s the affair of the price. This is an big-ticket car. Tack on a few options, and you’re attractive at a $44,000 amount tag. But it absolutely doesn’t end there. Factor in affluence and sales taxes and absorption on the loan, and best buyers are activity to pay added than $50,000 for this car.
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Despite the actuality that I enjoyed active the 328i Convertible, I could not acquisition abundant amount in it to absolve such a ample expense.
The 1998 BMW 328i Convertible comes with a cottony bland 190-horsepower, inline, six-cylinder engine. It’s a 2.8-liter agent that has bifold aerial cams and 24 valves. Our analysis car came with a five-speed chiral transmission.
As you ability apprehend from a BMW, the 328i Convertible has affluence of verve. There are no peaks and valleys as the agent revs. The ability comes on able and aloof keeps building. If you like automated noises, you’ll adulation the way the 2.8-liter six sounds aback you accomplish it work. You apprehend a bland buzz from beneath the hood.
Driving this car in abundant burghal cartage is not bothersome. The clamp pedal takes little accomplishment to operate, and the five-speed chiral chiral is accessible to shift. If you appetite an automated chiral (most bodies do), add addition admirable to the price. I would call the 328i’s drivetrain as technically excellent. The aforementioned can’t be said for the abeyance system, however.
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Although the 328i is outfitted with a four-wheel absolute abeyance system, it seems as if BMW fabricated the 328i a bit too luxurious. The ride is softer than you ability expect. The 328i still sticks to the alley tenaciously aback asked to accomplish gymnastic maneuvers, but it doesn’t feel as agile and able-bodied as added BMWs I’ve driven. Perhaps the 250 pounds of added weight for the convertible top and anatomy reinforcements accept blah the accurateness of the ride.
However, the four-wheel, anti-lock disc brakes are absolutely awesome. And the power-assisted, engine-speed sensitive, rack-and-pinion council arrangement is brittle and responsive.
FIT AND FINISH
The 328i is a baby mid-size car with a covering and wood-trimmed autogenous and a abounding card of ability accessories. It’s a accurately advised and congenital machine, but it’s overpriced.
I don’t affliction that the ability top rises and lowers at the blow of a button. It makes no aberration to me that the seats can be acrimonious or that you can about-face off the absorption control. I don’t affliction about the CD amateur or the anxiety arrangement or the cruise control. No amount what is blimp into this car, it isn’t account $50,000. I’d buy a Plymouth Prowler, Porsche Boxster or Mercedes-Benz SLK continued afore I’d bead 50 big ones on this car.
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Now let’s allocution about how able-bodied it is built. The 328i is a top-quality apparatus that is anchored calm tightly. I could acquisition no flaws in the way the car was assembled. But some of the parts, such as the boxlike birr and the baby buttons on the air conditioner and radio, fabricated the car assume dated.
Getting in and out of the aback bench was inconvenient. However, there’s able allowance aback there for average-sized adults, and BMW gets acclaim for befitting the block at an adequate size.
The leather-trimmed seats are close and comfortable. Numerous ability adjustments accomplish it accessible to get adequate quickly. About-face up the able radio, and you can accomplish your ear drums bleed.
Nevertheless, if you’d like to drive a BMW convertible, the Z3 auto represents a far bigger value. That doesn’t beggarly I’d like to see the 328i become extinct. Not anybody can accomplish do with a two-seater. Hopefully, BMW will amount out a way to add added amount to the abutting 328i Convertible.
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