Is This E30 318is Worth $30,000?

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This cult-classic E30 318is could be the pick of the litter.

Enthusiast Auto Group has somewhat of an… infamous reputation among BMW fans. While many decry their offerings as being overpriced, they are routinely top-tier collectibles, freshly serviced, and in impeccable condition. If money is no object and you simply want the best, you go to Enthusiast Auto Group.

Let’s say you’re in the market for an E30 318is. It’s a pretty solid choice if you’re looking for an E30. Sure, it doesn’t exude the muscular confidence of the M3 with bulged fenders and a high-strung, race-bred four-cylinder. But it’s truer to the original ethos of the E30, and to that end, the 2002 that preceded it.

Like the original BMW 2002tii — to many, the platonic ideal of what a BMW should be — the 318is has a bulletproof fuel-injected four-cylinder that’s easy to please. And it features well-bolstered sport seats, a purposeful cockpit, and a great chassis with that typical BMW feel. By comparison to the six-cylinder 325is, the 318is feels light, eager, and more nimble.

CHECK OUT: What Forum Members Are Saying About This Possible Pick of the Litter

A few years ago, these cars were plentiful, and very affordable. But as those cars were wrecked, neglected, and rusted out, the premium for a nice example gradually increased. Somewhat jokingly referred to as the “E30 Tax” by enthusiasts, the cost of entry for a nice E30 has jumped several thousand dollars in the past few years.

Is any 318is worth almost $30,000? For what may be the nicest example left in the world, Enthusiast Auto Group seems to think so. Like the air-cooled 911 bubble, which shows no signs of bursting any time soon, we may one day lament the time we didn’t buy an E30 318is for “only” thirty grand. Or maybe not.

Would you pay $30,000 for any non-M E30? Let us know!

Cam Vanderhorst is a contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum, and MB World. He is also a co-host of the Cammed & Tubbed podcast.

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