1990 BMW M325i (2)

Comparisons with the E30 M3, the world’s best touring car, were inevitable but not all that meaningful.

An E30 M3 might look similar but the hand-built homologation special was designed to satisfy Group A motorsport rules. So it seats you on the left and makes you grapple with a dogleg gearbox. Not only are there an awful lot of bespoke components but the M3 has an overall lightness that results in unrivalled steering response and agility.

The M325i has the six-cylinder engine that many expect an M3 to have and there’s an immediate punch through the gears that you only get in the M3 when it’s really cranked up. The M-Tech bodykit tastefully pumps up the looks but the overall look isn’t as dramatic as the M3’s fattened arches, flared sills and deep chin spoiler.

Inside, the driver-focused cabin has a faint air of exclusivity but majors on functionality. The E30’s simplicity of design translates into great ease of use, excellent outward visibility, and daily driver capability, even three decades on.

What it lacks in outright performance, it compensates for with immense character and impeccable road manners. And that’s why finding a good M325i today requires both patience and a sizeable budget. It’s a unique slice of E30 magic.

We are buying similar cars in superior condition: keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz

BMW M325i

VARIANT Two-door sedan

COLOUR Brilliant Red

UPHOLSTERY black leather, grey piping

ENGINE 2494cc straight-six

POWER 126kW (169bhp)

TORQUE 226Nm @ 4300rpm

TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual, RWD

0-100km/h 7.5 secs

WHEELS 15-inch BBS alloy

LENGTH 4.32m

WEIGHT 1210kg

EMAIL keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz


BMW M325i

Our engaging all-rounder entertains with its repetoire of the best E30 attributes. Even mundane trips can become events.

BMW 745i

A great car for touring, the 745i rewards over long distances and, in top condition, maintains solid road presence.


BMW enthusiast and serial 3-series owner Peter couldn’t resist the charms of this Alpina-tuned saloon. Could you?


Fulfils dynamic exec saloon brief brilliantly and has more luxury and tech in common with flagship 7-Series.


PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS (7)

The follow-up to this car showed you can never underestimate Porsche’s capacity for improving a five-star sportscar.


Zed-car legend began with a game-changing car no one was expecting from a Japanese maker.


Two decades after its debut, the TT compares favourably with modern metal in all but a few areas.

MAZDA MX-5 (3)

Appeal is less about the raw performance, equipment or image, more about purity and effectiveness of original design.