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Old 01-08-2007, 05:48 PM   #1
thepest
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Default E30 318is or E36 318is

from what I've seen a good, well taken care of e30 318is is harder to find from the e36. I want to buy a 318is (or any good BMW) all of my life now and I think I can come up with the money this year so I'm starting hunting again.

I don't know why but I've always like the e30 better. Not only because it's slightly faster than the e36. On the other hand, though, the e36 would be with less milage on the clock and perhaps some nice extras.

I don't know....help guys (Arman ;>)
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Old 01-08-2007, 05:56 PM   #2
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Another guy buying a Bimmer!

E30 or E36 its your personal choice thepest.. :bah:
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:09 PM   #3
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I love both designs e30 and e36 but e30 is more special to me I can lose track of time when I see an e30 in a good condition dont have to be tuned just original looks and bmw wheels are good enough, e36 in stock is less emotional for me but show me M3 and I'll drool all over it

It depends on you ofcourse, e36 is much newer model, better safety etc.

I'd take M3E30 over M3E36 probably but I never drove any of them just was driven in M3E30 once

Our BMW insider Z can say more to the subjesct than we can all saw togeather So lets listen to him
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:49 PM   #4
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E30 325i

That's the one you should buy the 318 is not really powerful... and yocan only "play" with it on wet. 325i are not really expensive... and it's great fun for not much money

E36 is nice, but as ARMAN has said, not as emotional and exciting as a good E30
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:01 PM   #5
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i would go for E36, its more car, e30 is old, but why u choose 318 ? u can afford 325 e36 with 192 hp which is alot, btw in one autocar issue was comparison between all 3 series models including new E90 and first place won E36, best steering fell between them all , i thats saying alot
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:06 PM   #6
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^ that really is saying a lot

and yes I was also considering a e36 325i and thos 192hp are really messing with my mind. Plus I found a very nice one and realtively cheap, but then my brain started working and I began thinking about the fuel consumption.
I hate money
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ARMAN
Our BMW insider Z can say more to the subjesct than we can all saw togeather So lets listen to him
I'm waiting for his comment
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by thepest
^ that really is saying a lot

and yes I was also considering a e36 325i and thos 192hp are really messing with my mind. Plus I found a very nice one and realtively cheap, but then my brain started working and I began thinking about the fuel consumption.
I hate money
fuel consumption is the smallest problem, e30 owners who had several e30's say that 2,5 have same consumption as 1,8(not iS) simply because its much more easyer for 171PS move the car than for 115PS. Difference was about 1l per km more than 1,8. Ofcourse if considered that you dont push the throttle to the floor in 2,5, its for easy driving ... Damn I want 2,5!

Insurance is the question thou, dont now how much you will have to pay for 1,8 and for 2,5.

Is it going to be your first car?
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:00 PM   #9
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Having owned a E30 325i, E36 328i, and E36 M3, I gotta say both the E36 and E30 are excellent cars. Had the E30 325i and the M3 at the same time.

I find that the E30 is more sturdily built in terms of the German sense. Not that the E36 is bad, but the E30 feels a bit more solid. The E36's quality is still by far better than anything Japanese out of the same era.

In terms of feature and comfort, of course that will have to go to the newer car. Plus I like the rear suspension of the E36 more than the solid axel of the E30. Definitely helps in terms of being your only car and daily driving it. Of course the E30 is a bit more "tossable" because of the lighter weight, but I like the sure footed-ness of the E36.

I have driven both versions of the M3, and definitely if you categorized "Fun" - hard to define, but the E30 M3 is more "fun". More tossable, smaller car, etc, etc. But if I had to choose one of the M3s as a daily driver and "fun" car, I would take the E36 because of the torquey engine and the more comfortable features.

In terms of maintenance, I have had the fortune of good luck with all three of my cars. Nothing spectacular except for the usually routine maintenance. As with all BMWs the weak point is always the cooling system, so make sure you replace water pump, thermostat, hoses, and maybe even the radiator at regular intervals.

The E36 318is would be dog slow though, I think the E30 318is would be sportier between those two cars. The E36 is just too heavy for the 4 Cylinder engine, and is better matched w/ the inline 6. Plus the E30 318is at least in the US is more desireable.

So between the two cars, I would take the E30, but if you could afford a 6 Cylinder, definitely try to look for a E36 as it is a better car all around.

Good luck.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ARMAN
Originally Posted by thepest
^ that really is saying a lot

and yes I was also considering a e36 325i and thos 192hp are really messing with my mind. Plus I found a very nice one and realtively cheap, but then my brain started working and I began thinking about the fuel consumption.
I hate money
fuel consumption is the smallest problem, e30 owners who had several e30's say that 2,5 have same consumption as 1,8(not iS) simply because its much more easyer for 171PS move the car than for 115PS. Difference was about 1l per km more than 1,8. Ofcourse if considered that you dont push the throttle to the floor in 2,5, its for easy driving ... Damn I want 2,5!

Insurance is the question thou, dont now how much you will have to pay for 1,8 and for 2,5.

Is it going to be your first car?
If fuel consumption is a decisive factor, you're better off with an E36 than with an E30. E36s are usually less prone to rust as well. The E30 is more fun as it involves you more with the business of driving. The E36 is more comfortable and practical.

I don't have a great deal of experience with the E30, so I'll talk E36 from here on. Of the E36, I'd recommend the 325i. Fuel consumption of the 325i is just marginally different from the 320i, except for when you cane it all the time. If you go for a lesser model, consider that the 318is and 320i are pretty similar in performance, but very different in the way they deliver it. The 318is has a little less weight on the front wheels, being a four pot, which handles a bit better. The 320i however has a much smoother and far better sounding engine.

Perhaps this is outside your budget, but the revised E36 (from 1995) is to be preferred over the earlier models (1990-1995). From model year 1992 the teething problems the pre-1992 cars had were solved. Since the price difference between a 1991 car and a 1992 or 1993 car is almost non-existant, I'd recommend one from 1992 and younger. The easiest way to spot those is to look for the anti-windnoise "bubbles" on the side of the mirrors. From model year 1993 the six cilinder models (don't know about the four cilinders) got the variable valve control system Vanos. Torque delivery on those is a tad better than the earlier cars. Again, I don't know a lot about the four cilinder engines.

Aside from the better build quality of the revised E36, the engines are different. Even the 320i, which seems the same engine on paper is different. The M50 engine is cast iron, whereas the M52 engine is an aluminium block. The M52 engine also has Vanos. The sound and feel of the engines is notably different. That goes for the feel of throttle, clutch and gearbox too. Instead of a 320i and a 325i, the revised E36 had a 320i, a 323i (2.5 litre with more torque at lower revs and 170 hp) and a 328i.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-09-2007, 04:35 AM   #11
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wow, really helpdul comments there guys, thanks heaps.

Apman: Yes, this would be my first personal car.

I am now thinking about a e36 325i even more now. I know this car can never have the soul of an E30, but it should be the wiser decision. I don't have that much money a the car will have some km on the clock (let's say 150k+) but I hope I can make her live with me for as long as possible.
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:51 AM   #12
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150k km (100k miles) on a E36 should be okay. My M3 just topped 110k miles. I've seen a few E36s over 200k miles (320k km), so thats a testament to their longevity. Again, like all German cars, it is about maintenance. And preventive maintenance at that, replace things before they break.

Like I said earlier, the biggest thing about the any BMW is its cooling system. Other weak points for the E36 would be the rear shock mounts, and rear frame support. If you do not beat the crap out of your car, the rear frame should be okay, but check it anyways. The Rear shock mounts definitely need to be upgraded. And other suspension bits and brushings should be checked out. There are certain production years that have issues with the VANOS, I do not remember.

Other than those few points, the E36 should hold up well. Of course the other issue like I mentioned earlier is the interior. I feel that BMW went cheap a bit in the E36 interior, so given its age and wear, I think a E30 of the same vintage would hold up better than the E36. Nevertheless just keep looking I am sure you will find one that is in good condition.

Another note of caution, do not buy Dove Grey Interior, unless you really really really LOVE it. It looks great when new, but it is really hard to take care of. I learned that on my E36 328is (Arctic Silver on Dove Grey). In the M3, I got Alpine White on Black.

Here are some links that are useful:

http://www.edgemotorworks.com/sindex.htm (click on the E36 section).

http://tinyurl.com/uvp4q

http://www.bimmerzone.com/inspection.htm
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Old 01-09-2007, 06:14 AM   #13
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^ Thank you.

I'll have those tips in mind. Pretty helpful links, too.
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Old 01-09-2007, 07:00 AM   #14
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How much you are thinking to spend Thepest? And where are you from?

@Brembo - you are killing me The engine sound of 4 cylinder is really no killer even if I have exhaust(Supersprint). Originally I wanted cheap e30(318) after driving one 325e I wanted nothing else than straight 6! but at that time the ones I can find were in awful condition(I was one signature sign away from buying 235e but backed up in last minute) so I took 318 wich was in best condition of them all togeather

Must to say once you hear the sound of straight 6 you will never want anything else under the hood You dont even need lowder exhaust it sounds AMASING! I was offered 325e with some sort exhaust man it was incredible sound

The advantage of e30 is that the cheap one(325) costs half or third of the price of e36 and you can find tonns of cheap spear parts for e30 even used once as alot of e30's are going to the junkyard these days. You can swap for a different engine over the weekend and it will cost you only about 500 (+- 200).

E36 have a much younger looks no disscussion here, some e30 owners see it as a disadvantage but if you have it in a very good condition than its pretty rare and you will have people come to you and compliment you for it as it happens to me
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Old 01-09-2007, 07:37 AM   #15
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so many facts and so many opinions And maybe one more bimmer owner.
I don't want to start all this discusion only say few facts on each car that REALLY helped me to decide:
e30 - is more drivers car than e36. Cuz e30 6cyl version got heavy front than rear. It's more fun to play with. e30 - cheaper,I'm not afraid to crash it(i don't want but Shit Happens) Only thing that i want from my e30 is - to learn the driving of real RWD car.
from the other side - if you want "special things" , comfort, and owning it for a long time e36 is ok. 325- is really nice car. but 328 is more economic and got more torque engine (but it costs MORE).
so FOR ME: e30 - driving practice and e36 - more everyday ride.
Friend of mine who's driving right now e36m3 said that, e30 is more FUN car than his m3 He really like to drift.
so...it's up to you
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