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Autotrader Find: 1997 BMW 318ti With 424,000 Miles

What you see here is a rather bizarre car — and not just because it’s traveled 424,000 miles. This is a 1997 BMW 318ti, which is a 3-door hatchback version of the BMW 3 Series that was sold in North America in the mid-1990s. Not only that, but this is an “M Sport” model, which is a rare version of the 318ti that had an “M” badge on the back from the factory, an odd tidbit that many BMW owners don’t know about. The “M” modifications were mainly cosmetic, however, and this 318ti retained the car’s 138-horsepower 4-cylinder engine.

“M” or not, however, the 318ti is a cool car. It’s a rear-wheel-drive hatchback that was made in small numbers. Most people have forgotten it, but those who remember will tell you it’s fun, light and tossable. This particular example has a manual transmission, and it’s painted a bright shade of yellow to match its exciting character.

The catch, of course, is that this car has traveled an impressive 424,000 miles. The car is offered by a private seller, who says he purchased it in 2002 with 99,000 miles, which means the current owner has added the vast majority of the car’s 424,000 miles. The seller says the engine overheated in January 2014 at 333,000 miles, so it was replaced with a used engine from another 318ti or 318i.

This 318ti seems like it was kept well, and if you can handle the mileage and the slightly distressed condition of the interior, it seems like it could be a fun car. It’s currently offered in Sarasota, Florida, for $9,900.

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  1. I so wanted a Ti when they were new.  One of the last, affordable Bimmers out there.  Yes, not overly powerful, but as Doug mentioned…light and tossable.  I test-drove numerous ones and deeply desired a Boston Green variant (manual trans only).  But, as a recently-graduated 22 year-old, it wasn’t in the cards. 

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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