The BMW 3 Series has always been synonymous with speed, beauty and prowess on the road. Since its creation in the 1970s the car has always offered the driver an experience that’s focused around them. In fact, the 3 Series is as desirable today as it was way back when it came into production in the mid-1970s. So, let’s take a look at the greatest versions of the car of all time.
This is the first 3 Series and the one that set the ball rolling. The E21 came to market in 1975 to replace the 2002 model and though lower powered models did lack the oomph, the 320i and 323i models were the real deal, with 110BHP and 143BHP respectively. It’s still loved by fans of the car and though the most basic of the models, purists believe it offered the greatest driving experience.
E36 BMW M3
Even though the M3 existed in the second generation of the car, it was the third generation that really created the legend. While the previous model was fast, the E36 was a super quick auto and managed to push 316bhp in some models – it came with the astounding S50 engine and was the best driver’s car of the mid-1990s according to plenty of car lovers.
E30 BMW 325i
The BMW 325i was probably the most desirable of the whole series outside of the M powered machines and is a machine we enjoy to work on as BMW Servicing Cardiff. Yes, it was a car for the wealthy but it also was a driver’s car and offered fantastic handling, good economy and it was also quite practical. The engines were smooth and offered plenty of pull meaning the car was as good for everyday life as it was for winding mountain roads at the weekends.
E46 BMW M3
In a straight line the E46 was a phenomenal car and was well up there in pace terms with the American muscle cars of the day and far ahead around corners. The six cylinder engine was naturally aspirated but its tech didn’t take away from its power and driver appeal and the car rang true to its roots as a driver’s machine. Many would suggest that it was the last BMW 3 Series to offer a purer form of driving before all the electronic gadgetry got in the way and removed the driving experience from the equation.
E30 BMW M3
If you were to ask anyone with even two cents of knowledge about cars what they considered their favourite BMW most would say the E30 BMW M3. The car is one of the most loved and revered of all time and though it only produced 217bhp, it was light enough to near fly. It’s chassis is also highly acclaimed on the raod and on the track as anyone who knows a thing or two about touring cars will tell you. Nowadays these cars are expensive to pick up, though it’s understandable – it’s the ultimate in power, balance and poise and it doesn’t look too bad either.
BMW has produced some astounding cars and the 3Series is among the greatest – what’s your favourite?
Cormac Reynolds is a huge fan of BMW and the 3 Series especially. He has written for a number of blogs about the manufacturer.