Timeless: The BMW e30
Every scientist has asked the question: why does this generation of Series 3 still appeal today? Benzin investigates this icon, which cuts across all schools and style trends.
After all, this car was nothing exceptional when it came out. A 2 or 4 door sedan, not really luxurious, equipped with rather classic 4 cylinder engines the first years. No, frankly, nothing exciting. But that was before the day when, at the coffee machine at BMW, someone said :
"Tell me Friedrich, I ran into Frantz from Motorsport racing chairs with his team in the hallways... Wouldn't we trust these guys with the e30 instead?"
And so in 1986 the M3 was born.
A legend in motorsport
Designed from the start for racing, this M3 will win most of the championship titles around the world for 5 consecutive years. The sedan of the average person transformed into a racing car is a dream, so much so that everyone wanted their M3 and everyone got it.
The little 318is, 320i and 325i quickly fell into the hands of "tuners" who tampered with them with more or less good taste. But who are we to blame them? Light, powerful and reliable, the e30 is the ideal base for all transformations.
Benzin still challenges you to go to a sporting event without coming across a BMW e30: drifting, hill-climbing, rallying or track day, e30s are everywhere (the bad tongues will also say in the tuning stalls). It's a sports car icon, unmatched in the same price range (although prices are starting to rise) and there's something for everyone: sedan, coupe, station wagon, convertible, and baur for hipsters.
A fashion icon
Although today's M3 e30s are all safely tucked away under tarps in collectors' garages, the other e30s are still used as a statement of street cred. And that's not new.
It has also become a fashion item. Yes, you read it right: the car that drifted on the parking lots of the cities in the 90's has become a classic, until it is found in a recent Dior campaign.
It has to be said that with its Germanic design without fancy, it has aged perfectly, and its thuggish car past even gives it a charm that is still effective.
In fact, we even made a T-shirt out of it: Order yours here.
2019 : qhat are the prices?
According to our observations on Benzin, the Coupe is the most popular model. Compared to a sedan, prices are about 25% higher for the same condition and engine.
Convertibles are rated about the same as coupes.
No Touring or Baur models have been listed for sale on Benzin yet. Do you have one for sale? Tell us about it!
In 4 cylinders (not to be overlooked):
- The 316 (not to be confused with the 316i) is the UFO: not very sporty with its 90hp, it nevertheless keeps the charm of the carburetors
- The 316i and 318i: even if they are not really sporty, they have the merit of being racy, reliable, light and less expensive to use on a daily basis. Benzin results and sales: 316i Coupe, 318i Convertible
- The 318is is probably the Benzin editors' favorite: racy and as powerful as its 6-cylinder counterpart the 320i, it's a bit of an M3 on a budget. Benzin results and sales: 318is Coupe
In 6 cylinders :
- The 125hp 320i is the most common 6-cylinder model and is more of a good cruiser than a pure sports car. Benzin results and sales: Berline 320i, 320i Convertible, Berline 320i
- The 323i with its 150hp is a good compromise between the 320i and 325i
- The 325i is the most powerful e30 (170hp) with the exception of the M3 and its 320is cousins. Benzin results and sales: 325i Convertible
Currently for sale on Benzin :
A beautiful 318i convertible with a rare green color and a nice interior: click here
A 320i sedan with only 110.000km: click here