View Full Version : Difference between E30 325i & 325is coupe

05-27-2009, 12:41 PM

Would appreciate any info that you may have on the differences between a 325i and 325is E30 2 door. I am focusing on 1989-1990 as they have the plastic bumpers.

Need to know the details, I know that the 325is had the sport pkg, but what does this mean in parts wise. What other features not visible when looking at the cars?

Can I buy a 1989 325i coupe and then put on the sport pkg items one by one sourcing from junk yards/forum parts?

Most 325is are in bad shape and they want a lot of money for them. So I am thinking of buying a clean 325i coupe and then sporting it slowly.

Has this been done before? Thanks.


05-27-2009, 03:11 PM
Sure, but you'll need the stiffer suspension. the struts and sway bars are physically thicker; front IS spoiler, rear spoiler, IS cross spoke wheels. All can be had if you look around. Also the interior is IS sport seats- steering wheel, shifter if it's a stick. Some other options are ellipsoid headlights but some regular models also have it.

05-27-2009, 05:22 PM
it doesn't matter much, by now the suspension is probably trashed so you'll want to change that out anyways.

The 325is, had a few additions which you can buy and add to a 325i.

These items are:
Sport Seats
13 Button OBC
Depending on the year (Mtech 1 steering wheel, very few have the mtech2 wheel)
BBS Basketweaves
Trunk iS spoiler
Front Lower iS Lip (most 325is dont even have them on anymore)

Buy the car you find in better shape, everything else is cosmetic.

dble Trouble
05-27-2009, 05:52 PM
^^ x 2

05-27-2009, 05:59 PM
The IS also had lsd.

05-28-2009, 09:24 AM
electric sunroof, black door cards and premium sound are others not mentioned. many options were available on the 'i' anyway, for example my 325i has premium sound and rear spoiler.

swaybars are the same.

i didnt know there was a different shifter for the IS, what does it look like?

05-28-2009, 12:35 PM
My 88 "i" had 13 button OBC, larger sways, LSD, all leather door cards, premium sound, all power options, etc, so for sure finding a nice "i" is a great alternative.

Asking more for an "is" at this point is only valid by those who don't know the cars well, being bought by those who also don't know the car well. Otherwise, I don't even pay attention to that anymore. The only letters that are interesting are 85-86 325es (front valance and 2.92LSD) and 88 325 (super eta motor). Otherwise, they're either an m10, m20b25 or m20b27 with an e30 around it.

05-28-2009, 01:12 PM
why do people keep insisting on larger sways, pretty sure only the cabriolet got larger front, and the m3 larger rear. maybe in the earlier years?

05-28-2009, 01:15 PM
Of course, you're right. I guess larger than the eta sways is what I was thinking. Cabbie sways are for sale on e30tech and r3v all the time as a good upgrade. Probably as good as any Dinan/IE/Racing Dynamic sways really.

05-28-2009, 04:08 PM
"IS" is overrated. Get a decent car and go from there.