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Buyer's Guide

BMW 3 Series E36 Buyer's Guide

In production from 1991 -1999 the BMW E36 3 series BMW was probably the very best reason for BMW’s explosive success all around the world. It was considered as an entry level luxury car, for the most of us I believe we could add “sports oriented”, this model replaced the E30 3 series BMW in the 1991 model year.

The E36 BMW had many different engine applications including 318i, 323i, 325, and 328i engines on the US market, all but the 318i are inline six cylinder engines, with both five speed manual and automatic transmissions.. A compact hatchback model was also offered named 318ti. The 328’s 2.8 liter M52 B28 engine offered the most power and torque at 193 hp.

e36 Specification
318i 325i 328i
Fuel: City/Highway 18/26 mpg 17/27 mpg 16/24 mpg
0-60 acceleration 11.3 sec 7.5 sec 6.9 sec
Fuel capacity 16.4 gallons 16.4 gallons 16.4 gallons
Transmission auto/manual auto/manual auto/manual
Engine 1.9 L 2.5 L 2.8 L
Horse Power 134hp 189hp@5900rpm 193hp@5600rpm
Torque ft-lbs 138@4500rpm 189@4200rpm 205@3500rpm
Comp ratio N/A 10, 5:1 10, 2:1

The E36 3 series by now could be called quite a bargain and in my opinion it is a perfect choice for a first car . Since it’s really not a “todays” model anymore you should choose these cars with caution as by now they are priced cheap enough, where people that don’t really care about proper service get their hands on these vehicles, prices vary throughout a wide range and when shopping for a ten+/- years old vehicle service history and a pre sale inspection is a must, and paying the higher price could easily became a benefit further down the road.

Take a look at our inventory if you are in the market for a 3 series BMW or contact us to locate an e36 BMW for you

E36 Video