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325ixE30
10-15-2009, 04:37 PM
I was on R3V reading a few threads and I noticed one E30 owner who was regretting buying his E30 instead of a E36.

I've driven a few E36's and thought they were good cars. They are less expensive to buy and there's much more choice in the aftermarket for parts.

BUT

I would never choose a E36 over a E30!

theblue
10-15-2009, 04:38 PM
I saw that... I own both. I would never get an E30 for my daily car, but I love it as a track toy.

Nguyen_E30
10-15-2009, 05:37 PM
i went from e30 to e36. both as daily drivers. i'd rather have an e30 :) funass cars to drive.

dble Trouble
10-15-2009, 05:54 PM
Someone else said it already, I agree that the e30 is the fun track/autocross/drift toy, buy daily driver goes to the e36 specifically the 328's!

T.Dot_E30
10-15-2009, 06:03 PM
E36s are less expensive?? Only if you are looking at a beat up high mileage one, in which case you can probably buy a dirt cheap e30 also.

I moved from my e30 to an e36 m3 as a daily, maybe it's too early to tell but so far no regrets.

Steve30
10-15-2009, 06:16 PM
I wanted an E30 pretty badly. My dad ended up getting a 325 and I enjoyed driving it and was about to dump all my money into it and mod it. During summer 2008 I started having ideas of buying an e36 m3 instead of dumping $$ into the e30. Anyways, I made a good choice for myself as I enjoy driving the E36 a lot more. I agree with people saying that an E30 is not an everyday car unless you are really comfortable in it. I guess it all comes down to personal preference really.

JINT
10-15-2009, 06:35 PM
E30 is a f@ck around car on a saturday night for me. E36,..gotta agree, the 328is's could be fun too with their light quick ass engines.

Mystikal
10-15-2009, 07:31 PM
If I could only have one car, 365 days a year...E36 M3 for sure. For a summer cruiser, a 24v E30 could be livable/reliable for the semi-hardcore. I'm not fond of non-M E36s at all. I'd take any E30 over a non-M E36.

E36 M3 > E30 (daily)
E30 24v > E36 M3 (summer car)
E30 > E36 non-M

Call me weird, but that's how I've felt for years after owning/driving all of them.

InfiniteDice
10-15-2009, 08:19 PM
Sorry but the e36 interior isn't as nice, large bulky door cards, harder to work around... E36's are quieter, the hood latches suck, the hood/trunk needs 2 shocks. Everything seems like it's not built as well as an E30.

E36 325is or 328i maybe...

Just forget e36 318's, even my old e30 eta could kill one of those.

1/2 of you guys saying you like e36's drive e36 m3's... that has slightly more of everything than your average e36. Want to compare e36 m3's to e30 m3's? then sorry I'm taking the e30 M3. :)

Just being honest, my step father has one, and I like my e30 more in every way.

Nick_V
10-15-2009, 09:41 PM
E36 is more refined and comfortable for daily and has one of my favourite BMW interiors, whereas the E30 is not as cozy and is more raw to drive. E30 is also a way better-built car, imho.

The E36s were BMW's first computer-designed cars, if I'm not mistaken, and to me they represent the beginning of the decline of BMW quality/reliability. Overuse of cheap plastic parts and components only designed as strong as deemed necessary by the computer. Compared to E30s, its seems to me that there are a lot more E36 rust buckets out there as well.

However, if you don't have to dd your cars, then you don't have to worry about a lot of those problems. I have an E30 (my second one - soon to be 24v) and will probably add an E36 (likely M3) to it sometime within the next couple years. They both have their charms suit different moods/situations, so I have a hard time picking one over the other.

SamE30e
10-15-2009, 09:54 PM
If I could only have one car, 365 days a year...E36 M3 for sure. For a summer cruiser, a 24v E30 could be livable/reliable for the semi-hardcore. I'm not fond of non-M E36s at all. I'd take any E30 over a non-M E36.

E36 M3 > E30 (daily)
E30 24v > E36 M3 (summer car)
E30 > E36 non-M

Call me weird, but that's how I've felt for years after owning/driving all of them.


Only 24v E30 worth driving is a S5x powered one.. Although I did run with a Dinan 328is. With a not so properly running M50NV.

ACS_DAN
10-15-2009, 11:36 PM
I've had both. Point blank I prefer the e36.

Interior lay out I felt was better (sport interior)
(looks)Body wise, Drive wise I just enjoyed the e36 a lot more
I'll probably end up getting another one eventually.

I already have an old baby to play with, my e34 which is to me what some of your e30's are to you.

DYMO
10-15-2009, 11:53 PM
test drove a 325is today (looking for a winter beater) and honestly it felt like a boat compared to my e30. my 2 cents, e30 is definately more of a driver's car. handles better, and you feel more connected to the road. but if you want to ride in "style" and cruise, the E36 is a better bet. e36's are much more comfortable.
it all comes down to whether you want a track car, or a cruise car. apples and oranges as they say

325ixE30
10-16-2009, 12:17 AM
My bias opinion is that the E30 is more of a classic iconic car, the start of a new breed.

Maybe its the racing pedigree of the M3, but the E30 changed the game for good.

Styling wise, I like the rear styling of the E36, but the front, not so much.

They are both great cars in their own way, to each their own.

supernaught
10-16-2009, 01:08 AM
the ix ended with the e30. enough said

davericher20
10-16-2009, 01:21 AM
I would only buy an e36 if it was an m3.

I heard alot of e36 (non M) drivers prefer the e30.

lvan
10-16-2009, 02:02 AM
The only issue that E30 is tougher for a daily could be due to its reliablity. I did not have issues with it as daily driver.
Also if you got some time and coin, I would get a clean one from the south and keep it that way. It is a better investment over any boring non M-E36. It will sell for more cash if you keep it clean. Even 328s are not going for much more. Let alone when late model E36 get really old.


My vote E30.

325ixE30
10-16-2009, 10:52 AM
Ahhh, If only E30 M3's were as easy to buy as E36 M3's...

SamE30e
10-16-2009, 11:02 AM
And didn't cost twice as much.

325ixE30
10-16-2009, 11:16 AM
I guess that's part of the appeal. The original M3 was rare and expensive to begin with.

Can you imagine going into a BMW dealership in 1988 and the sales guy saying "That's the M3. It cost $35,000."

I guess yuppies had cash to burn back then.

theblue
10-16-2009, 03:30 PM
I can't understand why some people think a standard E36 is so much of a lesser car to an E36 M3. I previously owned a lancer evolution and compared to a base lancer is was a different car - wide body, turbo, AWD, 4 piston brembos, and so on....

the only real difference between an E36M3 and a 328IS is a rear diff (~$300 to upgrade), a better suspension (you'll want to upgrade regardless of base or M), and little tiny bit more power.

So please, enough with the US/Canada E36M3 being so superior to a 328, they're painfully close for most people when you take out the ego factor. In this generation, the M really does stand for marketing.

now before you start listing all the other differences like brakes and sway bar attachment points, I know about all of these, but they don't make enough of a difference to count for much.

T.Dot_E30
10-16-2009, 04:16 PM
I can't understand why some people think a standard E36 is so much of a lesser car to an E36 M3.

It's not that it is that much of a lesser car, everyone just wants all the /M3 stuff, why else would guys like yourself spend money to make their non-m look like an m?

Why not just get an //m to begin with?
I was trying hard to find a nice 328is, but after all the m parts i'd want to buy, it adds up being the same as just buying an M to begin with.

We all know the US version didn't get a real M engine, but i still don't see your point.

Ceeker
10-16-2009, 04:26 PM
if you found an e30 that needed work and an 36 that needed work. You can bring back an e30 but you can't bring back an 36. These are the words of my friend who is a master technician at bmw and he's been in the business for over 15 year. once an 36 is flopped out. forget it. BUT! if it was well taken care of its a different story. The e46 is the new e30 from his opinion. the e36 is tech more advanced - mind you heavier too. but the quality control is sub standard for the e36 compared to e30. The only reason it would considered a track car etc. Is one they are becoming scarce. two they do better then e36's. you may know of Rolf who used to co- own beach auto and raced GT2 class back in his day. He told me the e30 was probably the best car that bmw has ever built as far as handling and performance went because it gave the driver the feel that a car should to the road, which is largely lost in todays bmw's with all the bells and whistles. not to say the new cars aren't superior. Hands down..drove them, and they're like race cars in a box. that's my two cents worth. :-)

T.Dot_E30
10-16-2009, 04:30 PM
The e46 is the new e30 from his opinion.

Interesting.......

325ixE30
10-16-2009, 04:34 PM
I know my E30 318is weighs in at just over 2,600lbs. That's why I choose it for my S52 swap.

I wonder what a E30 M3 weighs compared to an E36 M3?

328IScreamer
10-16-2009, 04:43 PM
I have owned a 97 328is and currently own a 99 m3
Th difference is fairly large. There are the obcious cosmetic upgrade such as black head liner, side skirts, lip, diffuser,vaders etc but also as you mentioned suspension, brakes and x brace. Upgrading all of the above on a non M e36 would be extremely costly and at the end of the day it's fairly significantly less powerfull.
I do notice a fairly large power difference between the 2 especially in the higher rps and higher geers. I think torque wise the 2 arn't to far off.

kamus
10-16-2009, 04:53 PM
I'll throw in my slightly-odd perspective: Driving an E46 M3 for the first time (note that's E46 not 36) ... is what made me seek out an E30 - and fall in love with it. Only two things mattered to me - mass of the car that I'm throwing around corners, and steering feel.

I guess I'm just strangely allergic to any kind of extra mass in the car. And so many other cars are faster than my E30 but I haven't found anything with more lively feedback from the steering.

As I said, my perspective is propbably quite abnormal :) Prior to that I had only driven an E36 318i. Despite trying out a couple other E36's and 46's over the years - the E30 remains my year-round daily driver. When my kid came along I even installed a child seat - so that I wouldn't have to drive my wife's E36 at the weekends.

theblue
10-16-2009, 05:24 PM
the E30 is always going to be the most visceral one because of how raw it is. The suspension technology in the back of an E30 is poor compared to the E36 (even if you mod the rear subframe to allow for camber and toe adjustment)

Now, maybe it's because I came from a 400hp car down to my ~190hp 328 that I didn't notice much of a difference between this and the M3, but unless you're riding the rev limiter there is not much difference in them. They both turn in the same way, have the same feel at the limits. I picked my non-M E36 because I liked the color and options, the minimal price difference was meaningless for my needs I would have picked either based on options. It's just a generation where there wasn't much difference on the M cars. E46, E30 both have night and day difference of feel when you compare the M to non-Ms.

Mystikal
10-16-2009, 05:58 PM
E36 328 and E36 M3 don't feel the same at all. I've driven the living piss out of both cars, back to back at the track. Not even close. Here's everything I noticed:

Brakes
Shifter
Power/Torque
LSD

...and that's just the functional observations. If you count any of the aesthetic stuff you can understand why with the current price market buying a 328 doesn't make much sense. While it's the most similar M3 to the regular series, the differences are well worth the price of admission.

And again, to bring this back semi-on-topic, I'd never take a non-M E36 over an E30.

ACS_DAN
10-17-2009, 03:19 PM
http://4gifs.com/gallery/d/131826-1/Flies_into_van.gif

njansenv
10-20-2009, 12:06 PM
We have 3 E30's and a E36 M3. The M3 is an order of magnitude more "capable" (grip, power, comfort) and easier to find in non-beatup condition. The E30's are more tossable.
I would argue the M3's limits are too high to safely explore on public roads. It DOES make me grin like an idiot on twisty road, and offers pretty decent fuel economy.
As per the old saying: it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.

I'd also add that the E30 feels better built, overall, and exudes an "old school" cool, and is arguably easier to work on. (Mechanicals aren't really that different)
We're actually discussing selling our M3 to focus on finishing the southern E30.

FWIW, my wife loves the E30 way more than the E36 M3....and she's got great taste.
(She did, after all, marry me. ;) )

dble Trouble
10-20-2009, 01:15 PM
the E30 is always going to be the most visceral one because of how raw it is. The suspension technology in the back of an E30 is poor compared to the E36 (even if you mod the rear subframe to allow for camber and toe adjustment)

Now, maybe it's because I came from a 400hp car down to my ~190hp 328 that I didn't notice much of a difference between this and the M3, but unless you're riding the rev limiter there is not much difference in them. They both turn in the same way, have the same feel at the limits. I picked my non-M E36 because I liked the color and options, the minimal price difference was meaningless for my needs I would have picked either based on options. It's just a generation where there wasn't much difference on the M cars. E46, E30 both have night and day difference of feel when you compare the M to non-Ms.

I'm sorry but I have to agree 100% here, In the e36 era the n. Amer. M3 was actually only a 330is. The real M3 was the "euro" which only 45 were brought here as I'm sure most of you know. There is not much difference at all between a 328 and an M3. I've had 2 328's and loved them, at the same time a friend of mine had an m3 and when he realized it was mostly cosmetic differences he admitted mine was a better buy. But the real reason, is daily driven, the 328 is MUCH more flexible to drive. And the parts are cheaper since they are not associated with an 'M' product. Again, just my two cents.

325ixE30
10-20-2009, 01:27 PM
What about rarity?

A clean E30 is a rare thing these days without spending bucks of cash on them. I know I'll never get even close to what I've put into my E30, but I know it'll be more than if someone spent the same on a E36.

njansenv
10-20-2009, 01:49 PM
I'm sorry but I have to agree 100% here, In the e36 era the n. Amer. M3 was actually only a 330is. The real M3 was the "euro" which only 45 were brought here as I'm sure most of you know. There is not much difference at all between a 328 and an M3. I've had 2 328's and loved them, at the same time a friend of mine had an m3 and when he realized it was mostly cosmetic differences he admitted mine was a better buy. But the real reason, is daily driven, the 328 is MUCH more flexible to drive. And the parts are cheaper since they are not associated with an 'M' product. Again, just my two cents.

What, exactly, makes a 328 "much more flexible to drive daily" ?

Nathan

dble Trouble
10-20-2009, 02:21 PM
Flatter torque curve, and the hp peak isn't as close to the redline, so in traffic, or the daily grind (ie. not flogging the cars) the car is more flexible.

SamE30e
10-20-2009, 03:09 PM
DOHC E30 ftw.

simsimmah
10-20-2009, 03:18 PM
E36 is more refined and comfortable for daily and has one of my favourite BMW interiors, whereas the E30 is not as cozy and is more raw to drive. E30 is also a way better-built car, imho.

The E36s were BMW's first computer-designed cars, if I'm not mistaken, and to me they represent the beginning of the decline of BMW quality/reliability. Overuse of cheap plastic parts and components only designed as strong as deemed necessary by the computer. Compared to E30s, its seems to me that there are a lot more E36 rust buckets out there as well.

However, if you don't have to dd your cars, then you don't have to worry about a lot of those problems. I have an E30 (my second one - soon to be 24v) and will probably add an E36 (likely M3) to it sometime within the next couple years. They both have their charms suit different moods/situations, so I have a hard time picking one over the other.


LOL more raw to drive .. i like that !! so very true tho

njansenv
10-20-2009, 04:24 PM
Flatter torque curve, and the hp peak isn't as close to the redline, so in traffic, or the daily grind (ie. not flogging the cars) the car is more flexible.

You're talking about the 3.2???

I'd be tremendously surprised if you were.

cormier
10-20-2009, 06:26 PM
1/2 of you guys saying you like e36's drive e36 m3's... that has slightly more of everything than your average e36. Want to compare e36 m3's to e30 m3's? then sorry I'm taking the e30 M3. :)

well said, well said.

njansenv
10-20-2009, 08:15 PM
well said, well said.

If that's what you think about my post, you didn't read it very well: we're contemplating SELLING the E36 M3 to work on the E30 (non-M3).

I really want an E30 M3, (entertaining and a reasonably good investment) but I'd HATE to drive one everyday with the S14, and would take either the E30 325is OR the E36 M3 over it as a DD.

Nathan

BigD
10-20-2009, 09:06 PM
Might as well throw my 2 cents in here.

First of all, which car is better and which one you like more, are not the same thing.

You have to be massively delusional to think that a newer generation model, especially from BMW, is not a better car in every measurable way, than the one it succeeds (yeah there are some exceptions like the Inifinity Q45, but we're talking about the norm). They are better engineered, faster, quieter, more luxurious etc. So in that sense, E21 < E30 < E36 < E46 < E90 < ???

Then there's the subjective comparison - asking why would you choose an E30 over an E36 or vice-versa. It's like when a non-car person asks you why you want to spend so much time and money on a car, which does not lead to greater utility. Or when a non-gym person asks why you want to feel so much pain, spend time working for no real reason. The answer is "because I want to", and there's no arguing with it.

So if you want to know which one is better, you can just take the newest and highest trim version you can afford. Alternatively, you can try both and then ask yourself.

325ixE30
10-20-2009, 11:30 PM
Good points....

BUT

There were "quality" issues with the E36, no?

SamE30e
10-20-2009, 11:42 PM
E30 M3 > E36 M3

Real M3's have ITB's.

BigD
10-20-2009, 11:48 PM
Good points....

BUT

There were "quality" issues with the E36, no?

Like what? There were more things to break in general, but then that's like saying the latest laptop has quality issues over a 1980's calculator. It's the same reason why I wouldn't buy any of the latest BMWs, I would only lease. All that new crap they shove in is awesome while it's working. But in 10 years, they're going to be a disaster. The E30 is about as complicated as a door knob and electrical issues are still the number one problem. Imagine the modern cars, with all of the sensors, electronic this and that... ouch.

MiroE36
10-21-2009, 09:07 AM
Everybody's experience will be different, if you buy a lemon, it doesn't matter how reliable and good the general car is, a lemon is a lemon... E30 and E36 are both great cars, but to each their own. I also agree with BigD, the general consensus is that each newer line is meant to improve and better the prior.

Mystikal
10-21-2009, 10:05 AM
But the real reason, is daily driven, the 328 is MUCH more flexible to drive.

328i:
206lb-ft @ 3950rpm
2.93 diff

M3:
236lb-ft @ 3800rpm
3.23 diff

So not only does the M3 make MORE torque at LOWER rpm, but it has shorter gearing which multiplies the difference even more.

theblue
10-21-2009, 02:16 PM
no question the 3.23 diff is a must have for everything except for being frugal on the highway.

the price difference between M3 verts and 328ic was about $4000 in most cases when I was shopping... I simply put that $4000 into modding my 328 since I found a great 328 for sale.

The extra ~30 hp/tq is nice, but negligible enough to not matter for most people on the street. Both cars drive and feel similar enough really, and that was my point.

I'm shocked that people who like the E36 M3 discount the 328 as being some radially different car.

T.Dot_E30
10-21-2009, 03:18 PM
the price difference between M3 verts and 328ic was about $4000 in most cases when I was shopping... I simply put that $4000 into modding my 328 since I found a great 328 for sale.

I think that is kind of our point, there is nothing wrong with a 328 I was looking at a few also, but I found they weren't as well taken care of as oppose to an M, where someone made sure it was well kept. And the difference although slight to an average driver may be big differences to a more demanding driver. Ie braking, power, etc.

Yes the 328 is close/simuliar, but you just said it yourself you are spending that 4k for mods? To what? Make it look like an m3? I saw you have an e36 m3 front bumper, you want a 3.23 diff from an m3. In the end why not just spend the 4k n buy the m3??

You will have a WBS vin, resale value, all the options you probably want anyways and no hassle to put all these m3 parts on.

theblue
10-21-2009, 04:14 PM
interesting... I typically found that the non-M cars were less beat on. I had the cash in hand for any E36 I wanted... I planned from the start to get either an M3 or 328 based on color / options / condition... I knew that if I got a 328 I'd quickly dump some cash and bring it up to the spec I wanted with cash left over. The biggest problem that I found was that most of the M3 verts were either priced unreasonably high and/or had a multitude of issues.

BigD
10-21-2009, 04:42 PM
The difference in price between M3s and non-M cars won't leave you enough $ to build an equivalent condition M3 out of it. The problem is all guys who buy 328s want to make them M3s so the M3 bumpers, skirts, seats, suspension, cams, diff etc etc are in high demand. Plus the M3 has the reinforcement plates on the rear subframe mounting points, which will cost you at least a grand to install on a nonM car, unless you want to do the work yourself - assuming that your sheet metal isn't already torn.

Then finally, like Trevor said, there's the resale. No non-M car will ever be worth as much as an equivalent M car, no matter how identical they may be.

325ixE30
10-23-2009, 11:38 AM
E36's also have more wheel/tire options....

Boooo