The current prices of used sports cars are insane. A nice condition ’90s Honda Civic Si can be purchased for as little as the cost of a one-bedroom condominium. The current used car market prices are absurd. This is not a new idea for BMW M owners. The E30 BMW M3 has seen a huge increase in its value over the last few years making it almost impossible for an average collector to purchase one. There are many classic Bimmers available that may be more affordable and better for you. The E30 BMW 325i is one example of such a car.
In the 1980s, before the E30 M3 was even born, the E30-generation BMW 325i Coupe was available. It was the most powerful version of the E30 3 Series. Many people preferred the non M 325i M3 even after its debut. The E30 M3 was a motorsport-derived engine with a powerful revving and suspension that is unmatched by any other vehicle on the road. In many ways the BMW 325i was more fun to drive.
The E30 M3 used a 2.3 liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine that made 192 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque, which wasn’t even a lot at the time but it revved beautifully. However, on the flip-side, the BMW 325i at the time used a 2.5 liter naturally-aspirated inline-six-cylinder engine that made 168 horsepower and 164 lb-ft of torque. Sure, the 325i had less power from a larger engine but it was easy to tune more power out of it, and still is. Plus, you didn’t have to rev the nuts off of it to make power, so it was much easier to drive quickly in the 325i.
The straight-six of the BMW 325i was smoother, and made even better sounds. Arthur St. Antoine, an August 1987 Driver reviewer, wrote that the 325i’s straight-six was smoother and made a better sound.
The BMW 325i is more spacious inside and quieter than the E30’s S14 engine, which makes it much easier to repair and maintain. Although the E30’s S14 engine was amazing, it was also a racing-bred beast that required expensive maintenance to maintain its performance. It was made of a battle-tested, ten-year-old iron block that is as sturdy as it was fun. This meant that maintenance required was much less and was also far more affordable.
Today, not only can you pick up an E30 BMW 325i for a fifth of the price of an E30 M3 but it will be far cheaper to maintain and repair. Financially, it’s obviously the smarter move. However, because its engine is smoother, makes more torque low down, makes a better noise, and is more easily tunable, it’s actually better to drive. Another point for the 325i is that you can actually drive the damn thing, without worrying about precious M3 parts. E30 325i parts are relatively easy to come by. E30 M3 parts? Not so much.
Another reason to choose the E30 325i over the M3 There are many body styles. There were three body types for the BMW 325i: Sedan, Coupe and Touring. Only the E30 M3 could be ordered as a coupe. The 325i is a better choice if you are looking for a sports car that’s still able to be shared with family members.
If you are looking for a true classic E30, don’t bother with the expensive M3, no matter how iconic, but stick to the 325i. It will make your heart and wallet happier.
Publited at Fri, 3 Sep 2021 18:49:33 +0000