The all-new BMW 3-series burst towards the scene in 1975 just like a bigger, more luxurious successor for the much-loved 2002. Styling inspiration came from in the shark-nosed 6-series as well as the E21 introduced a center-console moved for that driver, later being BMW design hallmark. At launch Autocar was amazed through the 320 we known to it “zesty and smooth”.
See photos of all the BMW 3-series models
BMW 3-series E30
Production: 1982 – 1994. The amount of built? 2.32m
The legendary E30 set a bad tone for successive decades of BMW’s sports saloon. It emerged victorious inside our 1986 group test when pitched in the Mercedes 190E, Alfa Romeo 75, Volkswagen Golf GTI and Ford Escort RS Turbo. ‘The perfect vehicle for yuppies,’ we mentioned in individuals days. The E30 also paved the means by which for your first M3, which first went into production in 1986. The second-gen 3-series shown a uniform, easily penetrating the 2m sales barrier.
BMW 3-series E36
Production: 1990 – 2000. The amount of built? 2.67m
The introduction of the Z-axle multilink rear suspension marked a considerable dynamic advance for your E36, which acquired due to its sharp styling and smooth 1.8-litre four, your best-selling engine. When the Ford Mondeo burst in this region in 1993, we put the E36 around the componen while using ‘frighteningly able’ Mondeo – no mean achievement. Sales set a completely new record for just about any 3-Series, aided with the halo effect in the M3, which initially fought to reside in up its predecessor’s appeal. Energy within the new six elevated about 40bhp to 282bhp.
BMW 3-series E46
Production: 1998 – 2006. The amount of built? 3.27m
Launched with a lukewarm reception, the E46 nevertheless set a sales record becasue it is balanced handling, refined cabin and versatile diesel struck a chord with customers. Despite the fact that it couldn’t overcome the Audi A4 inside our group test, the fourth-gen 3-Series remains best-selling ever, with 3.3m offered within the relatively short eight-year existence time. The M3 associated with a six-cylinder 3.-litre by getting an additional 41bhp enhancing output around 333bhp.
BMW 3-series E90
Production: 2005 – 2013. The amount of built? 1.9m (around August ’11)
The 2005 3-series model was longer, wider and taller in comparison to model it transformed, offering enhanced interior space to handle a critique in the E46. However, the styling wasn’t globally-loved, despite featuring the poorest-version in the Bangle theme, which controversially cast from the motive pressure-focused center console. Outstanding chassis dynamics, however, have saved the E90 near the top of the course, despite stiff competition. Ironically, sales of the extremely competitive 3-Series ever haven’t matched up up its predecessor. A fractured market with growing sales of compact Sports utility automobiles plus an in-house competitor exactly the same shape because the completely new 1-Series haven’t aided.