Being a "standard" E30 model base, the E30 325i was available as a coupe, saloon, Cabriolet and in later years as a Touring. Like all models (apart from the "Touring" model), the 325i was available during the "Pre-Facelift" era (known for its chrome bumpers and other touches) and the "Facelift" era (Plastic bumpers).
The 325i is considered the most sought-after standard E30 due to its desirable engine and availability over other models. There are "rarer" models (such as M3 and tuner model cars) but these are serious collectors' items with a price to match. Commonly, people choose the 325i as the E30 of choice.
During its production run, the 325i was available in all four E30 body types, at the following times:
- 1984-1991 - 325i 2-door and 4-door saloon
- 1984-1993 - 325i Cabriolet
- 1988-1994 - 325i Touring
- 1984-1991 - 325i Sport
- 1985-1987 - 325e ETA engine
- 1988-1991 - 325iX Coupe/Saloon
At some point during the E30 production, BMW introduced a trim level known as SE, for Special Equipment, which was only offered to 6-cylinder models (For the 316i and 318i, this trim level was called LUX). This SE package makes the 325i SE a genuine BMW model, which should be shown on the vehicle registration document. The SE trim level was available on all four body styles - 2-door, 4-door, Touring and Cabriolet.
The SE trim level equipped the car with some basic cosmetic options, including interior upholstery and steering wheels, plus foglights. Bumpers and valances were colour-coded, and some electric items such as a sunroof and rear windows were installed. However, the actual SE package changed from year to year, depending entirely on what accessories BMW wanted to include.
Most importantly, SE cars were entitled to optional extras from the Motorsport list, thus offering LSD, Sports Gearbox and Suspension options to the vehicle, as well as Motorsport body kits. This meant that a 325i SE could be equipped to an extremely high level, far beyond that available to a standard 325i.
- Main article: 325i Sport
As the SE package became increasingly popular, UK dealers planned a new package would equip a standard 325i with the full SE trim level and the best Motorsport items as standard, but only mounted to 2-door bodies. This car would be known as the 325i Sport, and is a UK-only model.
All cars were fitted with LSD as standard, as well as M-Technic bodykits. However, the only way to differentiate a fully-equipped 2-door SE with a standard Sport is the black headlining fitted to the roof of the car.
There where two models of this car commonly referred to as a "Tech-1" and a "Tech-2". The 'Tech-1' refers to the pre-facelift model and 'Tech-2' refers to the facelift model.
Classic options were the sport gearbox (or automatic sportbox). Also they had the sports interior, which could be fitted with optional materials, including the 'Houndstooth' cotton or a range of leather interiors. Other optional extras were available to the buyers of Sports that weren't available to buyers interested in the "standard" 325i.
The 325i has also been used as the base for the Alpina C2.7 series of E30s, as well as those of other tuning companies.
Main article: M20
The 325i was powered by the M20B25, a 2495cc (2.5L), 6 cylinder engine and the largest in the M20 family. Smaller M20 engines could be found in the 320i and 323i. The 325i is commonly fitted with a 5-speed manual gearbox or an automatic gearbox. These engines are known to produce 165BHP-175BHP from the factory.
Main article: Suspension
The 325i had a different suspension setup to the other models (other than the cabriolet and later touring models). The 325i was fitted with 51mm struts as standard, compared to other coupes/saloons which where fitted with 45mm struts. The 325i was also fitted with rear disk brakes (as opposed to drum brakes).
Main article: Differentials
The 325i has had many differentials available to it over the years. These include: 2.79, 2.93, 3.23, 3.46, 3.64, 3.73, 3.91, 4.10. These where available in different models and no model had the option of all of the ratios. For example, the low ratios (2.79, 2.93) where commonly found in the 325e ("ETA", the American economy model) and the higher ratios (3.91, 4.10) where found in the common 325i's and sports. Most of the differentials where available as 'Open', 'Mechanical', or 'Limited Slip'. The 325iX used four differentials. Each differential was used to power a wheel, but the front two where open differentials.
Weight balance = % front / % rear
Unmanned weight = kg / lbs
Power to weight ratio = 6 bhp/ton
Wheel base = 101.2"
Turning circle = 34.4 feet @ 4 turns lock to lock (p/s), 4.4 turns L2L (m/s)
Fuel tank capacity = 61.8 Litre / 13.6 Gals
Cd(A) factor (aerodynamic drag) = 0.35
Base price when new = std £ (1990)
Please also see the E30 325 Register