The Unicorn of Unicorns? 1989 BMW 325ix Wagon

Thanks to reader Chuck for this very unique find! I present to you, one of my personal unicorns, a 1989 BMW E30 Touring in 325ix trim and a factory 5 speed. Allow me to break that down for you. That translates to a high-revving straight-six, five speed manual, all-wheel drive, wagon, in stunning pearlescent white paint to boot. I’ve never seen a 325ix in manual configuration as a sedan or coupe, so I have to believe that the owner may be one of the few owners of this rare combo in the US. Find it here on craigslist for $13,900.

Located in Northeast Ohio, this absolutely incredible 1989 wagon is a real stunner. Its rolling on a set of tasteful aftermarket wheels and BFG rubber, just asking for a spirited drive through the snowy countryside. I love wagons. Period. I love E30 BMW’s and the wagons are no exception. If I had the money spend on this car and wasn’t a 16 year old sitting in class writing this, I would fly there right now and drive this beauty home.

I cannot see any rust, whatsoever. White paint would easily reveal any streaks of iron oxide running down in water. I’m not typically a fan of white cars, either, but something about the wagon makes it acceptable. The interior is clean and the black leather looks like it has plenty of life left in it. The only upgrade I can see is an aftermarket head unit, which does not bother me at all.

With only 155k miles (250k k/m on the odometer), this E30 is just getting broken in. A legendary engine coupled to a useful AWD system and a trunk that can hold plenty of ski gear is just asking for a nice, long ski trip in the mountains.


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  1. chad

    Wagons (waggy in OZ) R da best!
    but, an AWD in ’89?
    Oh, a beemer – I’d believe ya then.
    (& silver or white is best!)

  2. Rustytech Member

    I think these were one of the best looking wagons produced on the 80’s and 90’s. They were sized perfectly, drove more like a performance sedan than a wagon. The manual trans is a plus, but this is still just a used car, and at 155k, I think the price is ambitious. I would put the value at around $5000.

    • Jim

      Wagons were never sold stateside. It’s worth 10k on the body configuration alone. Awd abs stick are frosting on the cupcake. 13k is a GREAT number for a car this rare. There is a rabid fan base out there for e30 BMWs

  3. Dolphin Member

    The E30 Touring (wagon) wasn’t imported by BMW into the US, so you don’t see them very often. I have seen a couple in Canada, but they were likely also brought into the country by individual owners as settler’s effects, and not by BMW.

    They are pretty small as a wagon, but still useful if you don’t need a lot of carrying volume in the back. From my experience the X version isn’t nearly as tossable and as much fun to drive as the RWD E30s. IIRC, the X version of the E30 sedan that was imported into No America had the 2.7 liter eta engine, so this one with the 2.5 liter i engine is probably a Euro-only car.

    I think this would be good to have in places where there is a lot of snow, but the downside would be risking a very rare vintage E30 on salty roads. And even though E30s have a galvanized body they can still rust eventually after enough winters.

    This one is very nice but also pretty expensive for an E30, so you would really need to want a 4-WD E30 to pay $14K for one. That $14K will get you a very nice E36 M3 or maybe a decent/needy E46 M3 these days.

  4. boxdin

    Ungainly but handsome at the same time. I like wagons in general and this one is really cool.

  5. JohnM

    This one was on jalopnik nice price or crack pipe a week or so back (CP, BTW), and there’s a RHD one on BaT right now. Neat cars but severely over-priced in this country.

    • grant

      The one on BaT is the same car.

  6. Wagon master

    I had a US 325ix. The AWD drive train drag took a lot of the spunk out of it. However, it did stick like glue. Not quite as well as my WRX but sufficient.

  7. Moe G

    A mint e30+ x drive
    + touring wagon = so much win!!! Never seen one in person

  8. Jason

    It’s LHD, so where the heck did it come from?

    • JohnM

      The U.K. most likely.

      • JohnM

        Sorry, meant to say anywhere but the U.K.

  9. Jeff Staff

    While I do like them, there’s been a rash of “enthusiasts” disguised as flippers trying to extract big profit out of otherwise plebian, low-spec models that wouldn’t even catch a wholesaler’s eyes in the UK. This car is a bit more attractive because of its upmarket features, so I’d say it’s worth looking at if you’re hunting for a wagon. But ignore the stripper wagons fresh off the boat with their 25% markup simply for being “euro.”

  10. sparkster

    Found a 1993 325 xi wagon in Long Beach, Ca. craigslist for $4000 with automatic 93,000 miles and white as well

    • Jason


      • boxdin

        I could not find that listing anywhere in CA.

  11. grant

    Wonderful car, but a bit overpriced, IMHO. As the dad of teenagers, I can’t resist the urge to tell James to get back in class….

  12. Cubs win

    There has been a rash of overpricing lately. Anyone else notice that?

    • Jason

      Sites like BF contribute to that overpricing, unfortunately.

  13. Dolphin Member

    I don’t see Barn Finds being at fault on high asking prices. There will always be some BF commenters who are very familiar with a particular car and its current market value, and fortunately they don’t hesitate to put that information on here for everyone to see

    So I think Barn Finds serves more as a check on over-enthusiasm and unreasonably high asking / selling prices, and I think that’s a part of why so many of us head here every day. And what BF commenters have to say is often a lot more realistic than what sellers have to say in their ads for their cars.

    I think what’s really driving overpricing is the mega-dollar sales of collector cars at the big international auctions. For those sellers, the $6 or $7K overpricing of this BMW wagon is nothing more than auction expense money.

  14. JohnD

    Well-said Dolphin. The enthusiasts/marque experts on BF and the like keep many of us from making unfortunate, expensive mistakes

  15. Bruce Best

    I have owned a 1989 325I coupe version of this car and it was one of the most reliable cars I have every owned. Simple mechanically and electrically. The only bad side was the bad designs on the door locks that would fail about every 40K. The rest of the car was a rock solid design.

    The lady that was messing with her kids who were fighting in the back seat of her SUV hit me doing about 45 MPH at the stop sign I was at and put me into a busy intersection. To say the least there was not much left but I walked away. I had a horrible back strain and head ache but the Bimmer took more than one hit that day. I was not aware of the next couple of cars that hit me. But I walked away.

    This in coupe, sedan and wagon form is one of my all time favorite cars for city and highway use. The convertible version just looks odd to me. The E-30 had a very tight turning circle, delight to drive, fast enough and economical enough. Almost a perfect city car with the enclosed trunk. Beyond that it is as it was then a simple and elegant design with no bad angles. This is one of those cars I would buy again in a heart beat. The problem is when every I find one that is good I do not have the funds to purchase it.

    I think the price is too high by between 5 & 8 thousand but one important thing. This was still one of the BMW’s where changing the transmission to manual was not that hard of a job. All you had to do was find one. There are enough around now so that is not such a problem. I do not think the manual transmission means that much here so the price is out of line for that reason.

  16. David Miraglia

    Nice Bimmer…..

  17. rich voss

    Not a US model, as others have stated. Speedometer in KPH only. Likely from Germany (grey model, now past legislation ?), or possibly Canada. Drivers seat bolster has a nice wear hole as many well used BMWs and Audis I’ve seen here. There are “scads” of 3 and 5 series BMW wagons in my neighborhood, probably not primary drivers…. Will stick with my 328is. Never owned a wagon, likely never will.

  18. CKKurtz Member

    I’ve recently noticed that nearly all of my favorite cars are wagons. Just sayin’

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