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  1. #1
    Sunny5
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    Yes | No

    323, 325, 328 -- Whats the difference?? + and -

    I'm in the market for an E36 convertible.

    I believe the E36 is the most attractive 3 series. I especially like the winglets on the rocker panels and it has a great profile. However, I'm at a loss when it comes to the models...assuming that the cars come in a 3.2, 3.5 and 3.8 liter engine sizes as the markers indicate.

    What are your opinions on these motors/cars...my sense is that the 3.2 offers more durability and lower cost of ownership than the larger motors. I'm also drawn by the 323 having a manual top--one less thing to break and fix.

    I've already got a "spoil teenager" that I love--an E34/M5...so with the E36 purchase, I'm looking more for a young adult with some manners. TIA for your responses...

  2. #2
    Steve G
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    Yes | No

    The engines are smaller than you think.

    Here's a summary of the models.

    1992 to 1995:
    325 -> 2.5 engine, 189 hp. The '93 to '95 has vanos, with slightly better low end torque.

    1996 to 1998:
    323 -> 2.5 engine, 168 hp.
    328 -> 2.8 engine, 190 hp. Same hp but more torque than a 325.

    The M52 engines are slightly more advanced than the M50. The M50 has OBD1, the M52 has OBD2.

    The later years generally had fewer problems than the earlier years. But the difference is small. At this age condition is the only thing that matters.

    I'm not very familiar with the convertibles, but I think the manual top is a good choice. The power tops have more problems, and they are very expensive to fix. Hopefully someone else with vert experience will reply.


  3. #3
    Steve G
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    Yes | No

    1992-95 = M50 engine, 1996-98 = M52 engine


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