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Ultimate Driving Machine: 1989 BMW 325i Touring

I’m sure I’ll always have a soft spot for station wagons. My high school (and beyond) car was a 1992 Honda Accord wagon. While of the same era, the only common ground between my Honda and this 1989 BMW 325i Touring is the long roof. This BMW was sent to us by an anonymous Barn Finds reader who found it here on eBay in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Forty-nine bids have pushed the price to $7,243.

As mentioned above, I love that long roof. The E30 BMW wears it especially well. Dressed in the conservative Royalblau Metallic, this grocery-getter looks as unassuming as the next. The exterior has aged well as the seller points out that the “paint is good with good shine.” The included photos support that claim. New 205/55 tires are wrapped around the 15″ Style 5 BMW Basket Weave wheels.

Rear wheels are driven by the naturally-aspirated 2.5L straight-six BMW M20 engine. This was the largest and highest horsepower engine offered in the E30 wagons. The seller notes the engine has just been serviced, receiving an oil and filter change, new spark plugs, and a radiator fluid flush. Wondering about the behind-the-wheel experience? The seller helps there — “On the road the wagon runs excellent, the engine runs smooth and performs very well, pulling strong without hesitation or fuss. Gear change is smooth and the brakes stop the car nicely with great pedal feel. The suspension is smooth and composed with no knocks or rattles. This car drives very well and you will not be disappointed.”

The grey cloth seats are described as “very good.” Aside from a bit of driver seatback wear, this wagon looks like it’s lived a pretty easy life…unlike many wagons. One would assume that it averaging just 4,700 miles per year has played a big part in that. PLEASE, do not overlook the fact that this is a 5-speed manual transmission. While I’ve never been behind the wheel of an E30, I’ve driven many 5-speed E36 BMWs and they were an absolute pleasure to pilot.

BMW says their cars are “designed for driving pleasure,” but this 31-year old wagon has been driven sparingly while being given the kid-glove treatment. This ultimate driving machine should have lots of that driving pleasure left to offer. Will the wagon bug bite you?


  1. Steve R

    I really like it. The utility of a wagon with a 5spd. The fact it’s a BMW, is neither here nor there.

    Steve R

    Like 4
  2. Donek

    Also ineresting is the 325iX.

  3. XMA0891

    A gorgeous car! Presses all of my buttons. I have read so many times over the years that the purchase of an out-of-warranty BMW is nothing but a money sump, this one is tempting enough for me to try my chances.

    Like 2
    • Polk

      Having owned a couple e30 BMWs when they were 13-20 years old, I can say that they are not bad for maintenance and repair. They did need some attention, but I did not find the amount or cost to be excessive.

      That said, I think if you were to buy a 15 year old BMW now (think 2005 model), you may be setting yourself up for sadness.

      Like 2
    • Ellis Pepper

      I own a 1995 540i sport.
      It h as s 208000 miles on it . I have very low maintenance costs. It is still as fun to drive as the day purchased it.

      Like 1
  4. Djjerme

    Imported my Touring out of Japan a few years ago and it’s by far my favorite E30 in our collection to drive. Usually have it out on the track the days I’m coaching. And on any nice day I’ll hop in it with the kiddo and dog for a drive.

    My buddy has two, one is getting a full Hartge body kit (mine wears the MT2) but he just picked up a second one out of Italy a few months ago, luckily pre Wuhan Virus, just to have a driver one.

    While the back hatch is kinda awkward for getting big things in and out, the extra space is very handy for more activities!

    Like 1
  5. grbbenny

    It has the ultra rare ‘switchable manual transmission’. Has to be better than the non-switchable one!

    Like 1
  6. Cory J. Paul

    The seller notes in the eBay listing that this is a rare “switchable manual transmission” not exactly sure how that work. Is this essentially the opposite of the auto stick as found in today’s cars? Thanks!

    • grbbenny

      My guess is that he cut and pasted the description from a car equipped with the BMW switchable automatic that was available on Euro E30s (which allows you to switch between a couple of modes).

      Like 1
  7. Mountainwoodie

    I wonder what left hand drive European country this came from. All this is lacking is the sunroof. These E30 Touring are being imported more and more. I had a ’87 325IS before I bought new my ’95 318ic convertible. Just to make the point my E36 has 350,000 miles. I love the old Beemers…..simple and usually owned by another knowledgeable person. And will run and run as long as you do the usual, timing belt etcetera.

    Driving a o1 E46 longroof now

    The 5 speed is the only way to go imho, And nice color.

    Like 1
  8. JudoJohn

    He should have sold it on BAT. They go crazy for these on that site. Nice car, the winner got a seemingly good deal.

  9. JudoJohn

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