Which is better BMW E30 or E36?

Let’s get back to the previous times when the ‘Made in German’ tagged vehicles made an entry into the automobile sector. And that’s BMW who have made a revolutionary success in the market. You’re willing to go for a model between E30 vs E36. But which one will be best for you?

Well, stay till the end of this discussion to find out the answer.

BMW E30 vs E36

BMW E30 vs E36

If the major distinctions require highlighting, the E30 is an older version. And it has more reliability compared to the E36. E36, on the opposite, comes with better handling, features, and design. Pricing in both has enough differences too.


The E30 model of BMW has taken place on the market between 1982 to 1993. Round-shaped headlights and lower ground clearance have provided a great look in the ride since that time.

Though the first variant was launched as the coupe, it later made an entry into the convertible, wagon, and sedan segments. The Company has provided this model as a budget-friendly one with maximum performance.

Just like the intention, it was done to perform. The convertible and sedan have created a good impression with their futuristic design and power delivery. Standard-graded engine capacity with a friendly fuel economy is the main point that has made this great deal.


bmw E36

Whenever the E30 was a great success in the market, the Company came up with a new variant. And luckily, it was literally the hotcake among the users.

There was probably some lacking in the previous edition. Soon after those objections, the Company has completely done with them. So on, the E36 has made its debut.

Considering the entire car’s functions, this one is called the most comfortable and luxurious model from Series 3. E36 comes with a sleek design; a better facelifting and muscular look are the available updated things in this model.

In terms of the variants, typical coupe, sedan and convertible are available in this version too. In actuality, E36 has followed a similar manufacturing pattern as the E30.


The level of performance is the leading thing to expect from these models. Fortunately, both are very fast and quick to perform on roads.


E30 comes with two different engine types and versions. M3 was the most common and demanded variant among them. And it was powered by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder S14 engine that can produce a maximum of 214hp. It’s the standard and typical engine model for E30 that got used most of the time.

In the last manufacturing year, the E30 was launched with its most powerful engine. And it was a 2.25-liter Six-cylinder engine that holds a maximum capability of 340hp! That was the so-called fastest engine model under the E30 model.


Making its debut, the E36 had come with a six-cylinder engine. Being innovative, the Company has applied the last engine variant from E30. A similar engine variant with detuned performance maximized the E36 engine.

The S50 engine with 2990cc capacity was the great side of this model. And from this, this ride was able to bring out 285hp as the maximum. As well as being the powerful one, it has the best stability and riding comfort on the road.

Neither the E30 nor E36 come with any lacking performance.


Speed really matters when you’re driving a BMW. In reality, none of these models is made with a higher speed purpose. They come under customized changes instead of being faster.

Swapping the engine, braking performance upgrade, and turbocharger installation are some common works to be done for these models.

Apart from that, the E36 comes with better speed and acceleration in stock condition. Moreover, they are suitable models for having a downtown drifting.

Just as the addition, handling delivers a top level of comfort with the finest accuracy. The entire performance combination is perfectly formed in both their engines, even without doing any modifications.

The true luxury

BWM always try to make their rides feel relaxed and comfortable for usage. So does a similar thing get seen in these models too? E30 was formed with proper comfort, performance, and balance.

But the E36 has taken it to the next level and provided the best level of luxuriousness. A stylish interior with premium quality leather seats doesn’t let any similarities to identify by comparing with the previous model.

Coming to the internal space, E36 has better room and cargo space than E30. And that delivers outstanding comfort and relaxing ability to the riders. A perfect combination of performance and luxury truly relates to these two models.

The track performance

A car can be completely identified by riding on the track. The maximum chance of pulling out the entire performance can differ a lot between them.

Starting from the E30, it’s one of the most common and well-known models in the racing series.

The E30 has surprisingly won a few titles and awards back in the times. The majority of the winnings have come from the typical and stock-conditioned engine. Hence, users don’t have any doubts or objections about the performance.

E36 in the race track didn’t appear worthy enough. Some aesthetic and pro riders believe that it follows a similar performance as the previous E30 series.

E36 weighs heavier than the E30. A general E30 model contains a weight of around 2,000- 2,500 pounds. But the E36 comes with a higher weight rate of around 3,000 pounds. Having lacking the performance is obvious whenever the weight is higher.

So considering all the relevant factors in track, the E30 performs the best with moderate engine capacity and lower weight ratio.


Pricing is reasonable for these models. They have a very lower pricing range nowadays. Any of them is easy to purchase, between 3k to $10k.

E30 edition prices are low as for its earlier manufactured times. So it can be purchased for below $5k. E36 is the upgraded version and therefore requires high pricing. Yet, it’s very much affordable and budget-friendly.

No objection or statement against pricing. E30 is the affordable one to choose.

The best model to choose

Both the models have gone through a brief explanation. Regarding the entire facts, the best one is still pending to select.

The E30 version may belong to the oldest generation. But it has featured outstanding performance, better fuel economy, and power. In addition, it is appropriate to run in tracks too. So it’s a complete package to perform.

E36, as the transformed variant, got lots of power with a better wheelbase and heavier weight. The only drawback of this model is that it’s not as reliable as the previous one. BMW has given all the luxury elements except for proper reliability in it.

For all these legit facts, E30 is the best one to consider. Some might have an obsession with the E36 too. And the preference varies from person to person and their requirement.

Just after this discussion is done to read out, you guys can have a look at BMW Z3 vs Z4. The comparison has been done beautifully.

Final Statement

Imagine a young aged boy with pure drifting passion. There was confusion in his mind about E30 vs E36. And finally, the confusion is over. Assure yourself as well as your near ones for selecting their favorable model.

Either the E30 or the E36 gets chosen to perform. They might appear separately. But probably not let the users feel disappointed at all.

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