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BMW E90 vs E92

The E90 vs E92 BMW M3s were the last models with naturally aspirated engines; specifically the N52 engine which made a lot of power but often experienced cooling issues and oil leaks.

The G80 M3 may be lighter, but it’s less satisfying turbo power delivery and higher cost make it less desirable than its E90 equivalent. So if road feel is of primary concern to you, choose E90 instead.

Even though E90 vs E92 have closer technologies, there may be some differences including various factors.

Major Features

The BMW E90 vs E92 represent the fifth generation of 3 Series compact executive cars manufactured by BMW between 2004 and 2013. Both cars featured complete redesign from their predecessor generation and brought forth a new era for BMW’s compact executive lineup. Available as sedan, wagon (marketed as Touring), coupe/convertible variants; they are sometimes collectively known as E9x chassis code models.

Body Style

The BMW E90 represents the 3 Series sedan, providing a four-door configuration with a focus on practicality and an ample rear seat area. In contrast, the BMW E92 embodies the coupe variant, boasting a sportier two-door design with a more compact rear seat section, and it’s also available as a convertible model known as the E93.


During the E90/E92 production run, special models were produced to highlight its performance capabilities. One such special model was the 2010 BMW M3 GTS which featured an uncompromising sports machine equipped with a roll cage and coilover suspension; additionally lighter materials were used on its doors and roof to help reduce weight.

BMW M3 CSL stands out as another special vehicle by adding a carbon fiber roof and lowering its center of gravity, increasing safety ratings to four stars for passenger protection in crash tests.

In 2008, both E90 and E92 models received a facelift that featured new front and rear aprons, new headlights, exterior mirrors and an updated BMW kidney grille. As part of this update, M3 sedans also adopted red LED tail lights from regular 3 Series models along with an embedded backup light strip instead of its larger former backup light strip.

BMW introduced their E90 vs E92 models as sedan, touring coupe, and convertible body styles powered by their S65 V8 engines and offered with various options and packages. Each car could either be RWD or AWD; those equipped with the latter were marked with an “x”.

Special editions were produced during the production run for E90, E92 and E93 models. One such special model was the 2010 BMW M3 E92 GTS which came painted Fire Orange and equipped with features like a roll cage, coilover suspension and more to emphasize its pure driving capabilities. These models served to showcase how special these cars really were!

Although old, the E90 BMW M3 still makes for an exceptional driver’s car. With ample power, hydraulic steering and an unrivalled chassis design. Furthermore, upgrading and improving this classic is simple.

Related Post: BMW E46 vs E90

Reliability Differences Between BMW E90 and E92

Reliability wise, the E90 BMW M3 is somewhat more reliable than its F80 predecessor due to the newer turbo engine. But, like modern BMWs, its N52 engine still experiences cooling system issues and oil leaks from time-to-time, which are common concerns among performance inspired vehicles that are 8-14 years old. But with proper care and maintenance practices in place, your E90 BMW M3 should remain trouble-free for many years ahead.

The E90 was the fifth generation of the BMW 3 Series and was produced from 2005 to 2013. Available as a sedan, touring coupe or convertible; for the first time it combined various body styles under one model designation and introduced turbocharged engines across its model range.

Proper maintenance can make older cars very reliable cars to own; however, be prepared for more expenses associated with maintenance and repairs compared with newer cars; especially if purchasing one with an automatic transmission.

Related Post: E46 Reliability


For example ,having The E90, M3 sedan was an exceptional car. It combined the practicality of a four door family sedan with the thrills of a free-breathing BMW M car. Its amazing 4.0 liter naturally aspirated V8 produced 414 horsepower and revved well past 8,000 rpm; sounding like an explosive chainsaw it held drifts that would make Chris Harris proud. While its successor F80 M3 may be better in many ways, none could match up to the E90 M3 Sedan for daily driving fun.

Their usages in the high-model cars are close. So, there are not any dramatic differences between the BMW E90 and  E92.

At various points throughout its production run, numerous special editions were produced of the M3 E90, E91 and E92 models. Perhaps one of the most well-known is the 2010 BMW M3 GTS with its striking Fire Orange paint finish and roll cage/coilover suspension combination – which also increased engine output to 450hp!

While the sedan body of the E90 is more practical for any usage, the coupe version of E92 comes with less rear-seat space and smaller trunk. This is a major difference for BMW E90 Vs E92.

Related Post: E90 Reliability

Final Thoughts

The BMW E90 vs E92 belong to the same 3 Series generation but differ in body style and characteristics. The E90 is a practical sedan with four doors, offering a spacious rear seat area, making it ideal for daily use, especially when carrying passengers or cargo. On the other hand, the E92 is a sportier coupe, featuring a two-door design with a more compact rear seat area, which can be less practical for those who frequently transport more than two passengers or require additional cargo space.

Performance-wise, the E92 is often perceived as sportier and offers slightly better handling and a more dynamic driving experience. The E90 sedan prioritizes rear passenger comfort, while the E92 coupe emphasizes a stylish and driver-focused interior. Styling-wise, the E90 is more traditional, appealing to those who prefer a classic look, while the E92 has an aggressive and sporty design.

Your choice depends on your specific preferences, whether you prioritize practicality (E90) or sporty style and performance (E92). Both models maintain BMW’s reputation for quality and luxury.

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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