Let’s be honest, most car enthusiasts can’t afford brand-new BMWs. As a premium brand, the cost of entry is quite high for the Bavarian brand, so it’s not as if every enthusiast can get in. Which is why so many enthusiasts turn to used, much older, much cheaper Bimmers to suffice. But picking which used Bimmer to buy can be tricky. So turning to videos like this one from Car Throttle can help you choose.
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In this new video, CT chooses seven daily drivers that are both cheap and fun. One such car is the E46-generation BMW 3 Series Compact.
There were only two generations of 3 Series Compact and neither of them were very loved when new. The E46-generation is the newer of the two and arguably better looking. Though, neither are any good looking in reality. However, they’re both starting to gain a bit more popularity among enthusiasts, due to their short wheelbase and rear-wheel drive nature. But they’re also becoming popular among young enthusiasts due to their low cost.
You can find a decent E46 3 Series for about £1,000 (around $1,200), which is absurdly cheap. Obviously, the more you spend, the nicer it can be but you don’t have to get a perfect one, as you’re likely to mod it anyway. Thanks to its rear-wheel drive setup, straight-six engine availability and manual transmission option allows it to be very easy to mod and make very fun. It’s not the most thrilling of cars, nor is it the sexiest, but it can be a lot of fun for very little money.
In the ‘States, we never got the E46 3 Series Compact but we did get the E36 Compact. That car isn’t as good looking but it’s also surprisingly fun to drive for the same reasons; front-engine, manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. It’s also ridiculously cheap here in the ‘States. So if you’re on the left side of the Atlantic, you can look for one of those instead.