I'm looking at getting an E36 Touring for the SO, and although the extra
economy is a really nice thing to have, is the M41 engine to underpowered
for this body? Is it really only 90BHP for an intercooled turbo diesel?
I've only ever driven E36s with M50/52 engines and these are pretty lively
in a car of this weight. Ideally I'd like a 325TDS Touring but they do seem
I run an E36 325TDS saloon (E51 engine), which performs well, but I
have heard the 318TDS is rather gutless.
I assume you're in the UK as the E36 diesel's didn't go over the other
side of the pond as far as I can tell, have you tried looking on
autotrader, I almost went for a touring 325TDS a few times myself as a
good saloon seemed hard to find.
I drive a '97 325TDS Touring (M51?). The engine is right for the car,
even with the car loaded it delivers enough power. I haven't driven the
318TDS, but I'm pretty sure it's too small for the car, especially under
load. It seems they just chopped off 2 of the M51's cylinders to produce
the smaller engine for the 318TDS. As such, it's displacement is about
1665 cc and yes it's only got 90BHP. Economy's great, but don't expect
zippiness. BMW reports 0 to 60 in 14.5 seconds give or take a few minutes.
Unless your SO is really not bothered by sluggishness (but why the BMW
then), get the 318TDS, else your SO will be frustrated everytime she's
on the road.
Oh, yeah, I did have to replace the injection pump at 190k. Boy was that
a bummer. Cost me 1500 EUR (+/- 1000 pounds).
My first car was 97 318TDS (saloon). Although it was a superb car, excellent
handling, very reliable, excellent at sitting at high speeds etc etc - yes
it was slow on the uptake. Yes it is 1.65 litre engine, yes it is just 90bhp
so if you are used to 0-8 second 0-60 you will find this car deathly slow
from an acceleration point of view. It did it at about 11 seconds. I had a
97 (the last of the E36s). Get a 325 and you will have a fine vehicle.
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