BMW 328I SPORT (E36)

Very few 328is are left in this condition – and Nathan finds this one deserves the cost of entry.

Cost New £35,383 Price £10,995


he 328i is a rapidly appreciating asset – very few decent ones are left, and as the E36 is the natural follow-on from the E30 it’s obvious where values for the best are going.

This is one of the best we’ve seen – the Arctic Silver paint is absolutely perfect, aside from some minor stonechips and a minor nick in the passenger door under the wing mirror. The whole car is in supreme condition, with no tired window rubbers or rubbed bumpers anywhere. The alloy wheels are mint and the Michelin Pilot Sport 3s that encircle each one have plenty of tread remaining.

The good news continues to the interior, which is graced with lovely M-Sport trim here and there, along with polished burr walnut, all in exemplary condition. There are very tiny scratches and some pitting on the wood surfaces and the glovebox lid, but there is only minor creasing on the front leather seats, and none at all in the rear. There’s not a jot of bolster wear either.

The engine bay is similarly concours-level – it really is as mint as the proverbial centre-less sweet. That’s backed up by a vast paperwork file that contains the original bill of sale, which details all the extras specified when new.

It’s has not wanted for love over the past 20 years either. The BBS RC 041/042 alloy wheels were refurbished in 2017, and it received a new track rod end in 2016. The service book is fully stamped, and it comes with all the original manuals and brochure.

The 328i fires up to a refined idle, with no hunting. The pedals are all well weighted, and the brakes are sharp yet predictable. The automatic gearbox might not be the quickest, but it kicks down as it should. Although hand-shifting between the ratios isn’t quite as engaging as a manual, it’s perfectly useable. The best bit is still that straight-six – you won’t tire of hearing it scream.

The handling is neat and precise and the ride, though slightly firm, isn’t uncomfortable. We didn’t experience any faults, other than a slightly screechy steering wheel.

Some might not see the value in this, especially an auto, but try finding one as good for the same price. Trust us, you’re going to struggle...

BMW 328I SPORT (E36)

Year:     1998
Mileage:     49,154
On sale at:     Silverwood Cars

Engine:     2798cc, 6-cyl, DOHC
Transmission:     RWD, 5-speed auto
Power:     190bhp@5300rpm
Torque:     207lb-ft@3950rpm
Weight:     1430kg

0-60mph:    8sec
Top speed:     144mph
Economy:     25mpg

Choose your BMW 3-SERIES (e36)

1990: E36 3-Series launched, originally just in four-door form.

1991: Two-door coupé launched.

1992: The BMW M3 joins the line-up, originally only in coupé form.

1993: Cabriolet version added; three-door hatchback Compact also joined the lineup.

1994: Touring estate version joined the range.

1994: The M3 is now available in saloon and convertible form.

1995: 328i tops the non-M range, using new M52 engine.

1998: Production of the E36 saloon ceases.

1999: Production of the coupe, Touring and Convertible ends.

2000: Compact production comes to an end.