Sunday, August 31, 2014

5k: Cool Blue: 1991 BMW 325i

The E30 generation BMW 3-series is a great example of a well depreciated modern classic that can be driven every day.   When new it was a successful yuppy-mobile but now has generated a significant cult following as a cheap, fun & reliable sports sedan.  Today's featured 2-door is a good looking example with the updated integrated bumpers and is offered for a decent price. Find this 1991 BMW 325i offered for $6,500 in San Jose, CA via craigslist.  Tip from Kaibeezy.

The more I look at this E30, the more I like it, except that the 18(?) inch wheels seem a bit on the big side -- nothing you cannot fix with ease.  The suspension is listed as H&R race springs with Bilstein sport shocks, which from prior experience will ride nice and firm, bordering on harsh. 

The engine under the hood is the M20B25 "small six" that puts out 168 horsepower and is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.  Inside the cockpit won't impress your friends who lease the latest offerings from Hondayotard Motors, but the minimilism will be appreciated the first time a sensor/light/gauge fails and you can fix it in an afternoon.  BMWs of this era get a bad reputation for quality/reliability but that is only from people who pay others to fix every little issue.  A little DIY goes a long way in an E30.

See a better way to live the E30 dream?


  1. Owned an '87 speaking with the authority of those that know.if you wanna be a Playa and a Pimp put big rims on ya Escalade an do the Biggie Smalls thang...keep the crap off the Beemahs

  2. Don't know where you get idea that "BMWs of this era get a bad reputation for quality/reliability..." Among long time owners, E30s are known to be the probably most reliable generation. Yes, you need to change the timing belt on the small six. But the E30 was a conservative evolution of the previous E21. Quality problems became evident on next generation E36s, as the cost accountants started taking over from engineering. I've owned a 1991 318iS since 1994. With 270k kms, the 16 valve, timing chain engine performs as new.

    1. The E28/E30/E34 was probably the peak era for BMW material quality, the E36/E39/E46 more stylish and nicer interiors but not as well made. I say this as the owner of two E39s.


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