Today, the BMW 3 Series is the signature sport sedan. It’s the car that really defined the segment that we know today to feature other cars like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. While there were sport sedans before the 3 Series, as any Alfa Romeo fan will quickly remind you of, it was the 3 Series that created the segment that’s now so popular. However, the BMW 2002 was the car that really spawned the 3 Series, as it was the predecessor to the original E21 3er. As BMW enthusiasts, we all look back at the 2002 as an icon for both the brand and the industry. But it isn’t until you get to drive one that you truly appreciate it and how it evokes the spirit of BMW that we love so much.
In this video from Everyday Driver, we see what it’s like to drive a BMW 2002 that’s never been restored and is pretty much unmodified. It seems like a wonderfully refreshing experience, as the 2002 is a car that lacks every single one of the modern amenities we’ve become so used to, even reliant on. For instance, there’s no air-conditioning, no power anything and not even power steering. It’s as basic as a car as it gets.
That might not sound all that enjoyable, especially to someone who just wants to listen to music in comfort when they drive. However, the lack of any amenities allows you to focus on actually driving the BMW 2002. Which is a good thing, as the 2002 seems to drive brilliantly.
Sure, it’s old, lacks the power of even a modern Toyota Corolla and is quite slow. With a 2.0 liter, naturally-aspirated, carbureted four-cylinder engine, the BMW 2002 only makes 100 hp. When paired with its four-speed manual, the 2002 can get from 0-60 mph in about eleven years. None of that matters, though, because once it’s up to speed, it’s just such an amazing driver’s car. The steering is unbelievably communicative and very accurate, even if the rack is a bit slow.
The BMW 2002 can be had for quite cheap nowadays. So it’s worth any young BMW enthusiast to try and get into. If you can, do so. You won’t be disappointed.