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BMW 3 series' generations Ultimate quick reference guide!

Are you currently shopping for your next vehicle? Are you in the market for a 3 series BMW, but don't know the difference between an E46 or an F30? Or are you just trying to improve your car knowledge and currently you have landed on the BMW 3 series. If you fall into any one of those scenarios or just simply want to read another awesome article written by yours truly! Then sit back and enjoy this quick guide on the BMW 3 series' generations.


E21: 1975-1983

It's incredible to think that just 46 years ago (2021 current year) BMW released their first generation 3 series' vehicle the E21. The E21 was BMW's first ever 3 series, it was introduced in June of 1975 and was in production until December of 1983. There were 8 trim levels to choose from those being 315,316,318,318i,320,320/6, and the 323i. I would love to go further in depth into each trim level but this is the quick guide after all. So if you would like more information I have linked a very informative(Wikipedia)page detailing things like engine, transmission,hp,etc,etc.

Photo credit :Daniel Sherman Fernandez

E30: 1982-1994

The BMW E30 was BMW's second generation 3 series the successor to the E21 series of cars. The BMW E30 is the quintessential BMW. With its bold yet conservative design and Iconic front-end featuring those instantly recognizable round headlights. Like its predecessor the E21 the E30 had no shortage of trim levels 316,316i,318i,318is,320i,323i,325/e/es,325i/is/ix,M3/M3 Evo1/2/3,M3 Sport Evo. More info can be found here (Wikipedia ).

Photo credit :

E36: 1990-2000

The E36 is the 3rd generation of 3 series' cars produced by BMW. The E36's design was heavily influenced by aerodynamics it truly marks BMW's entrance into the modern age of vehicles. Like previous 3 series generations there is a whole host of trim levels to choose from 316i,318i,318is,320i,323i,325i,328i,M3,318tds,325td,325tds. More info can be found here (Wikipedia).

Photo credit: Road and track

E46: 1997-2006

Behold the 4th generation of the BMW 3 series the E46. When we think of modern BMW we think of the E46. From its curvy front end design,to its modern luxury interior styling. The E46 is a very important car when it comes to defining BMW 3 series vehicles. Here are the various trims levels that the E46 came in 316i,318i,320i,323i,325i,328i,3301,M3,M3CSL,31d,320d,330d more info can be found here (Wikipedia).

Photo credit: Autoevolution

E90: 2004-2013

The oh so familiar BMW E90. The E90 was BMW's 5th generation 3 series car. It was BMW's largest 3 series thus far. The E90 marked the end of 3 series compact car era. The E90 was BMW's most powerful 3 series car with the top trim level M3 boasting over 400 Horsepower! Here are the trim levels available in the E90 generation. 316i,318i,3201,320si,323i,325i,328i,330i,335i,335is,M3/GTS.316d,318d,320d/ed, 325d,330d,335d. More information can be found here (Wikipedia).

Photo credit : Autoevolution

F30: 2011-2019

The 6th Generation 3 series is nothing short of a technical marvel. Even by today's standards featuring things like trim levels with twin turbo engines,Hybrids, fly by wire steering and loads of other state of the art features. The F30 was no slouch either with the M3 (F80) boasting an impressive 0-60 time of just 3.9 seconds! The non M trim levels available are 316i,318i,320i/ed,328i,330i,335i,340i,Activehybrid 3, 330e, 316d,318d,320d,320d/ed,325d,328d,330d,335d. Like before more information can be found here (Wikipedia)

Photo credit : Evo

G20: 2018-Present

The 7th generation BMW 3 series. Is the most current generation of 3 series cars available. It almost goes without saying but the G20 is BMW's most advanced/capable 3 series yet. With the top spec M3(G80) boasting a monsterous 500hp. The G20 brings the 3 series into a whole other level. The G20 is my favorite 3 series by far. With its modern styling and ground breakig tech it is really hard to not be a fan of the G20. You can get the G20 in a plethora of trim levels such as 318i/320li,320i/325i,320e,330e, m340i,Alpina B3,316d,318d,320d,330d,m340d,Alpina D3 S. More info can be found here (Wikipedia)


I hope you found this article informative or at the very least entertaining.What is your favorite 3 series generation? Hopefully you learned a little bit more about the famed BMW 3 series. I am so grateful for your support. As always if you have any questions comments or concerns please feel free to leave them below or reach out to us directly at God bless you, and have a wonderful day!

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