The Ultimate BMW 325i Page

BMW released its first E30 3 Series automobile to the world in 1975. Over the next four decades, BMW succeeded in maintaining the exceptional standards set with this automobile model series. These vehicles share specific features that set them apart from the rest, and the iconic grille shape is just the beginning. The design and engineering encompassed in E30 3 Series cars has ensured exceptional handling and performance with unsurpassed power. Over the years, technology has evolved with the E30 3 Series, ensuring that drivers and passengers enjoy the latest advances in performance and functionality. Within the E30 3 Series, BMW has created a number of model families. The BMW 325 family includes the 325e and 325i and various subdivisions of each. The E30 3 Series has included sedans, coupes, and wagons, with one convertible model as well.

The BMW 325

The initial release of the E30 3 Series models came in 1982. Between the years of 1984 and 1987, BMW made the front and rear bumpers longer, and these big bumpers became known as "diving boards," embraced by some but derided by others. With the 1985 models, BMW made changes to both the interior and exterior trims. The BMW 325 was released in 1987, and it came with a standard five-speed manual transmission. The standard engine was a six-cylinder with 121 horsepower. These cars featured alloy wheels, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, a two-position manual sunroof, an AM/FM stereo with cassette deck, and an anti-theft system. Consumers had the option of either leatherette upholstery or fabric in the interior.

325e and 325eS

The first 325e was an enhancement of the 320i, and it featured two doors. BMW added extra luxury features to the 325e, which was released to the public in 1984. The 325e was BMW's answer to consumer demand for vehicles with better fuel economy, which grew during the 1980s. The 2.7-liter six-cylinder engine provided both power and fuel efficiency. The 325e got 121 horsepower, which brought it from 0 to 60 mph in less than nine seconds. These vehicles had a leather-covered steering wheel and leather on the gearshift knob. Leather upholstery and a folding rear center armrest were also offered with this model. Additional features included a power sunroof, cruise control, and an on-board computer. With options for both two and four doors, the sportier BMW 325eS also had front and rear spoilers, sport seats and suspension, fog lamps, map lights, limited slip differential, and an M-Technic steering wheel. BMW eliminated the 325e model from its E30 3 Series lineup in 1987.


The BMW 325i and 325iS models were introduced to European consumers in 1985, but the United States did not have access to these models until 1987. The 325i was BMW's replacement for the 325e. The BMW 325i and 325iS were available with a standard 152-cubic-inch engine that offered almost 170 horsepower. Both the 325i and 325iS featured a new engine concept that left behind the reduced-rev engine with high fuel consumption. The difference between the 325i and the 325iS was in the number of additional features available for the iS. The 325iS was considered the sportier of the two models, and when it was released, the 325iS was the most powerful E30 3 Series vehicle. Drivers eagerly embraced the 325iS, even with its higher price tag. Premium features with this model included a black roof liner, 14-inch BBS basket-weave wheels, and a close-ratio transmission. Consumers could also add options such as sport seats, a sport steering wheel, a sunroof, and leather upholstery. The 325i sedan had four doors, and the 325iS featured two doors.

The 325iS got 168 horsepower and had 164 foot-pounds of torque, giving it exceptional power. The 325iS could go from 0 to 60 mph in an impressive 7.4 seconds. This vehicle also included large disc brakes and a strong suspension system, giving it exceptional performance. When BMW released the 325i in the last half of the 1980s, it was an answer to consumer demand for increased engine power. The engines in both the 325i and 325iS had a single overhead cam and exceptional torque, which gave drivers the gas mileage they wanted without sacrificing power.

BMW also spent time ensuring that the suspension was of the highest quality, using a MacPherson strut front suspension with semi-trailing arm suspension in the rear. The body shell of the 325i was designed for both aerodynamics and safety, and BMW also added four-wheel disc brakes and electronic engine management to these vehicles.

The external styling of the 325 involved changes to the rear lights and apron, headlamp reflectors, front bumper, and license plate frame. BMW also enhanced rust protection on the automobiles. The 1988 models received adjustments to the size of the anodized aluminum bumpers, and in 1989, BMW replaced the aluminum bumpers with shorter plastic ones that matched the body color of the cars, a welcome change in the eyes of many car enthusiasts. Vehicles manufactured with aluminum bumpers were produced during BMW's "pre-facelift" era, and vehicles with plastic bumpers were produced during the "facelift" era.

In 1992, BMW performed significant overhauls to the E30 3 Series. The vehicles became larger and wider, and windshields were more slanted to improve aerodynamics. The interior of the vehicles was roomier to provide more comfort, and the engine compartment was also larger to accommodate bigger engines. The engine was a six-cylinder 24-valve dual overhead cam with 189 horsepower. Cars with a five-speed manual transmission were capable of going from 0 to 60 in just 6.9 seconds. Suspension adjustments ensured optimal handling while maintaining the tried-and-true MacPherson strut design. These vehicles featured anti-lock brakes as well as rack-and-pinion steering.

BMW modified the engines of the 325i and 325iS in 1996 by replacing them with 2.8-liter six-cylinders that offered 190 horsepower. Later, in 1998, BMW placed 2.5-liter M52 engines into the 325i convertible and the 325iS coupe, which gave these vehicles 168 horsepower. These third-generation models also featured standard driver's-side airbags, rack-and-pinion steering, and anti-lock brakes.

In 2002, BMW offered a number of options for the 325i four-door sedan. Options included a power sunroof, power seats, leather upholstery, a premium stereo, navigation system, sport package, and five- or six-speed manual transmission.

Modifications in 2003 involved the installation of a DVD-based navigation system as an option on the E30 3 Series vehicles. The 325i also received a standard front-center armrest and a center headrest.

Generation five of the E30 3 Series involved a relaunch of the BMW 325i in 2005. The 325i engine remained a six-cylinder, offering 218 horsepower. A magnesium/aluminum composite crankcase, the first of its kind, was added, which cut down the weight of the engine while adding strength and reducing noise.

In 2006, the E30 3 Series was available in both the 325 and 330 trim packages. The vehicles could have either four-wheel or two-wheel drive. The 325 version got 215 horsepower, and a variety of options were available. BMW offered electronically activated counter-steering and the option for a six-speed automatic transmission. The six-speed manual transmission was standard.


The BMW 325iC featured the same 152-cubic-inch engine as the 325i and 325iS. This model gave consumers the option of two or four doors. But what made this model stand out was up top: With the 325iC, consumers had the option of a convertible in the 325 series. The 325iC was added in 1985, and it was produced through the 1993 model year.


The 325iX was released in 1988. This all-wheel-drive vehicle appealed to drivers due to its exceptional performance and safety. The 325iX was the first BMW model to offer all-wheel drive. The 325iX featured a rear-based all-wheel-drive system and the same six-cylinder engine featured in the 325i. The exterior design of the 325iX was sporty, featuring fender flares.

Photos of the BMW 325i

Forums for BMW 325i Enthusiasts

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