In 1975, German car company BMW released its first 3 Series vehicles—a range of compact executive cars that includes many generations, models, and sub models of BMW cars. It’s considered as the successor of the BMW New Class—a line of compact sedans and coupes that were produced from 1962 to 1977. The BMW 325xi is a sub model that belongs to the fourth generation of 3 Series vehicles or the E46. Here’s a quick look at the 325xi and its roots in other 3 series vehicles.
3 Series BMW: The fourth generation
Succeeding the E36 or the third generation of 3 Series BMWs, the E46 was introduced to the market in 1998. During that time, only sedan body styles were made available to the public. But, just one year after its release, coupe and touring body styles were also produced and sold by the brand. In 2000, convertibles and hatchbacks were also added to the lineup.
Though it had a lot of competition in the market like the Acura TL, Mercedes Benz C-Class, Alfa Romea 156, Lexus IS, Volvo S40, etc, the E46 line was considered as one of the most successful generations in BMW’s 3 Series. In fact, it’s most successful year was in 2002 when it sold over 561,249 cars worldwide. Production of the E46 lasted for 8 years until 2006.
E46: 7 models
The E46 line encompassed a total of 7 model vehicles starting from the 316 until the 330. Initial models in the line weren’t released in the United States like the 316—which was introduced to the market in 1999, 318, and 320. The 320, however, was sold in many other countries across the globe, particularly in Europe. Next in line was the 323, which was made available in the United States in sedan and coupe body styles. This model was powered by a 2.5 L M52 engine that was equipped with BMW’s dual VANOS—a mechanically continuous variable timing system that improved the low end torque and fuel economy of a vehicle. The 323 was released alongside the 328, which was its high-performance version. Though the 328 was furnished with the same engine, it was packed with more power. When the 323 was dropped, the 325 emerged as its successor and it used the same engine. However, the latter was equipped with an upgraded double-VANOS and a dual pipe exhaust system, making it more powerful than the former. Lastly, the 330 replaced the 328 in the lineup and it was available in a performance package that had a more powerful engine.
325: The sixth model
The 325 was made available in several sub models, and one of which is the 325xi. The 235xi was sold in the United States from 2001 to 2005 and it was available in sedan and sports wagon body styles. It was powered by an M54B25 engine, which could churn out up to 181 hp and it also boasted a 0 to 62 mph acceleration in 7.3 seconds. This sub model was the first AWD car produced under BMW’s 3 Series since 1991. Upon initial release, the 325xi was not considered a separate model in the U.S. market. In fact, its VIN number at that time was registered merely as an option to the base car ‘I’. No major changes happened to the model during its 5-year run except when it was equipped with a sports package in 2004.