BMW Model ComparisonBMW

BMW E30 vs E36

Two of BMW’s most iconic models, the E30 and E36, were the most popular cars of the 90s. Even though the E30 is slightly older than the E36, they are both old-school cars. Today, they are both very close to the classic car classification and there are many enthusiasts of these two models. Due to their similar designs and prices, drivers are very curious about the differences between e30 and e36. Just like the very similar modern car models 320i vs 328i, there are certain details and differences in this comparison.

Technical Details


One of the most important issues for e30 vs e36 is the engine and the components related to the engine system. There are 4 and 6 cylinder engine options for both models. However, it can be said that the E36’s engine is slightly better than the E30 thanks to its improved performance feature. However, the difference in engine power is not dramatic. It has been known that the E36 has a standard engine that provides better fuel efficiency.


Performance is a key detail that cannot be ignored between the differences between e30 and e36. Although it is known that the M3 variants of the E30 model have sportier handling results, in general, the E36 gives better performance results with features such as enhanced handling and refined driving experience. Especially thanks to the multi-link rear suspension in the E36, E36 drivers have better stability and cornering in comparable circumstances. Just like the BMW 330i vs 340i, there is not a major performance difference, but they can be differentiated in minor details.


Transmission quality has a significant impact on the driving experience. Transmission systems are even more sensible in cars produced with old technologies. For this reason, transmissions are significant components in model comparisons for car enthusiasts. Although it is known that there is more advanced shift quality and refinement in the e36 model for the transmission in e30 vs e36, it is also stated that the difference is not noticeable in the feedback received from the drivers.


Suspension systems are units that directly affect ride quality and handling features. While e30 models come with strut front suspension and semi-trailing arm rear suspension, e36 has more sophisticated suspension systems. e36 models have multi-link rear suspension, which provides a better quality driving experience for drivers.


Braking systems are one of the elements that affect the driving experience the greatest. Both standard cars of the e30 vs e36 series come with disc brakes on all four wheels. However, it is seen that the e36 model has a more advanced braking performance. Different versions of both series may have more enhanced braking systems. For example, the M3, a variant of the e30 model, has improved braking systems.

Economic Differences Between BMW E30 vs E36

Fuel Efficiency

Some differences between e30 and e36 can be counted in fuel efficiency, which is considered the most critical among economic specifications. e36 gives more efficient results than e30 models in both city and highway conditions. Those who care about fuel efficiency for their budget should take this into consideration.


BMW is a well-known manufacturer of the most popular cars. The e30 and e36 models, two of the most iconic models of this well-established brand, sold very well in the 90s. Even today, many drivers are interested in these models. When it comes to price for e30 vs e36, it can be said that the E36 models have more reasonable prices. Usually an e36 model with good running conditions is priced about $10,000.


A car’s availability and its accessibility in the market is also an essential issue in automobile comparisons. It is possible to say that both models for e30 vs e36 are easily available in the market. Even though they are mostly old type cars, it is still possible to see different variants of these two models being sold even today. Moreover, thanks to their affordable prices, they are models that are more frequently traded. Even though the e36 models are a newer model than the e30 model, BMW indicates that both vehicles now have old technologies. It is recommended to purchase by examining their servicing and repair records.

Important Detail: Exterior Design

Although technical details are important in car comparisons, how the car’s exterior looks is one of the most important issues for drivers. BMW is a brand that produces iconic models in terms of design. Some small details can be counted for the differences between e30 and e36 for the design feature. The E36 model is produced with a more aerodynamic design than the E30 model. However, it can be said that the designs of both models are very similar. They are quite close to each other, especially in terms of size.

Juan Gibson

Juan is an automotive engineer and an avid car enthusiast. He has over 15 years of experience in the car industry. In my free time, I write blog posts about cars, models and etc.

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