Four-Banger Bimmer: 65k-Mile 1996 BMW 318ti 2-Door Hatchback 5-Speed

  • February 23, 2021
The Rundown
  • Rare Model w/ Low Miles
  • Seemingly in Exceptional Condition Overall
  • Great Colors
  • Interior & Paint Appear Like New
  • 5-Speed Manual Transmission
  • Two-Owner California Car
Why We Like It

Introduced in 1994, the E36 3-Series BMW Hatchback was the company’s first 3-door offering since the 2002 Touring ceased production in 1974. Reasonably popular in Europe, it floundered in the American market, which is a shame – it’s an efficient, comfortable, reliable, useful, reasonably priced car that offers respectable performance. BMW pulled the plug on importing them to the US in ‘99 for a number of reasons, not the least of which had to do with poor sales. In the end, that only leaves more for the rest of us – if we can find them. And here’s one.

four-banger-bimmer-65k-mile-1996-bmw-318ti-2-door-hatchback-5-speedFour Banger Bimmer: 65k-Mile 1996 BMW 318ti 2-Door Hatchback 5-Speed<br>
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four-banger-bimmer-65k-mile-1996-bmw-318ti-2-door-hatchback-5-speedFour Banger Bimmer: 65k-Mile 1996 BMW 318ti 2-Door Hatchback 5-Speed<br>
43686502890.573525781.IM1.03.1024x768 A.1024x768A 1996 318ti with only 65k miles, this little hatch presents exquisitely, especially compared to so many others on the market. Most of the ti’s around have well over 100k miles, and while this generation of 3-Series BMW can easily handle many more miles with only the bare minimum maintenance, this one seems to just be reaching its break-in point. The bright red paint glistens and gleams with high reflection, the brightwork and black trim all seem to look perfect, the glass likewise. Inside, the BMW is upholstered in gray fabric that appears to be perfect. The simple vinyls and plastics all look new, including the switches, buttons, and original AM/FM/Cassette stereo head unit, which is looking for a CODE to allow the music to flow. The scene under the hood is dealership quality – the engine and compartment look fabulous and well-kept, much like the rest of the car. Truly a great example and a rare piece of BMW history.

four-banger-bimmer-65k-mile-1996-bmw-318ti-2-door-hatchback-5-speedFour Banger Bimmer: 65k-Mile 1996 BMW 318ti 2-Door Hatchback 5-Speed<br>
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Valuation Verdict

The 318ti wasn’t a hot seller here in the US, and they’ll probably always be of interest to a smaller portion of enthusiasts. However, because they lacked the panache and popularity, the majority of them were driven to within an inch of their lives, many of them over an inch and into the jaws of oblivion. Thus, few were sold, few remain, and even less in this condition. Examples with over 100k miles are selling for roughly the same amount of money, leading us to call this one very well bought.

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