The BMW M3 E30 – the first generation of this model

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Models available in the USA: From model years 1988–91. Market Value: There is no auction information and market observation suggests that most of the cars will be sold privately. Garage cars with a low mileage cost around 15,000 euros. A BMW M3 E30 in good condition and good appearance, however, they can cost between 9,000 and 13,000 euros.

Why you should choose the BMW M3 E30


The first generation of the M3 was mainly produced to meet the registration requirements in European touring car racing. It should first be a weapon in motorsport and then be for sale as a car for everyday use. But in reality it is BMW M3 E30 more of a tolerable sedan with trunk and back seat than a sports car. Its strengths lie in its amazing balance, its unbeatable wheel suspension and solid reliability. The icing on the cake is the Baron von Asskicken styling and the 7000 rpm.

Which BMW M3 E30 should you choose

Black BMW M3 E30 rear-side coupe

In Europe there is a large selection of special editions and “Evolution” versions of this model on offer, so that you can definitely find something suitable, depending on the extras you are looking for. A BMW M3 E30 in good condition is not difficult to find, although only around 19,000 pieces were made, of which 5,300 were shipped to America. They are mainly offered in various BMW forums on the Internet.

What to look out for

Power plant BMW M3 E30 silver engine

The BMW M3 E30 is considered to be the most durable and long-lasting of the 3 series. The 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine is often ridiculed as a fussy, spirited power plant, but this fame is unfounded. “The life of an engine depends on how the car was driven,” says Thongsai, “but those who have been driven properly can expect 24,000 to 322,000 km without any further problems.”

Useful tips


Make sure that the valve setting on the BMW M3 E30 has been adjusted regularly. The manufacturer recommends doing this every 50,000 km. Also, check that the engine and gearbox are working properly, because heavy cornering loads and a large, heavily loaded engine will increase wear and make sure that the timing chain noise is not too excessive. You can recognize cars that have been used too much by the fact that they usually have problems with the connecting rod bearings, as well as breaks and chipping in the front axle support and on the body.

Climatic conditions


Route-modified versions of the BMW M3 E30 are common. So check the car carefully before buying. Aftermarket engine management chips often make a noticeable difference in performance and have some disadvantages. Cars that have been used in regions with lots of snow tend to rust, mostly under the windshield, above the license plate lights, and near the thresholds.


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