Tuesday, September 7, 2010

1991 BMW 325iX - An Everyday Classic

There aren't many semi-collectible cars that can be driven all year round. The BMW 325ix is one of the few.

BMW sent us less than 3000 325iX's from 1988 through 1991. BMW never spent a lot of time or money promoting these cars. It was almost as if the sold them just so they could say, "Yeah, Audi has AWD cars, but we have an AWD car, too." The sad thing is that it's every bit as good (and in many ways better) than its Audi competitor, the Audi 90 Quattro. Road & Track in their November 1988 "Snow Test" wrote this, "Our acceleration champ was the iX. The AWD BMW was a blink quicker than the Quattro." In the hill climb, R&T noted, "Once again, the BMW AWD system proved superior to the Quattro arrangement."

There aren't many of these cars left. While the mechanical bits (including the AWD system) were as bullet-proof as any E30, the body tended to rust worse than the standard RWD E30. Part of that was most likely due to where these cars were sold. Obviously, AWD cars are popular in areas of the US that receive a lot of snow. The 5 months (at least) of snow / sand and salt covered roads take their toll on car bodies. But the biggest problem seems to have come from the ground effects BMW put on the iX cars. Salt, mud and water got trapped behind these parts (where it was tough to get out) and eventually caused serious rust issues (especially behind the front wheel wells).

This 325iX 2 door seems to be in very nice condition. The seller has done quite a bit of maintenance work to it and the body and interior look to be in very good condition. The car is completely stock, right down to its rims.

The later E30s were really good looking, good performing cars. While still relatively plentiful, good ones are getting harder to find. (I have an E36 BMW. When it finally dies, one of the - many - cars I would consider replacing it with is an E30. The boxy look and simple interior really appeals to me. I was walking around the parking lot at Lime Rock this weekend - where there are often some really nice cars - looking for a nice E30 and didn't see one.)

The M3 will always be the "it car" of the E30s, but the iX, for people like me who live in areas where it snows a lot, is a much better choice as an everyday classic.

Located in Sumner, WA, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

5 comments:

Sidelines said...

I love this car. Would have loved to see a comparison test back then with the Lotus tuned Isuzu Impulse RS AWD and the Subaru SVX LSL, which I have here www.cardomain.com/id/svxsti

saul said...

u just bought a 4 door! i love it! 1991 ix , great article btw!

saul said...

u just bought a 4 door! i love it! 1991 ix , great article btw!

saul said...

i*

saul said...

i*