E21 3 Series (1975-1982)
The E21 is the first-ever generation 3 Series, which replaced the iconic BMW 2002. The E21 3 Series established BMW’s title of “Ultimate Driving Machine”. While some aficionados don’t think the E21 3 Series is the best BMW out there, it still has smooth handling, fun-to-drive, cool looks, and a roomy interior. The E21 3 Series is not equipped with BMW’s iconic four-eye headlights. Instead, it has only one headlight on each side.
E30 3 Series (1982-1990)
Although the E21 is the first generation of the 3 Series, it is the E30 that really made the 3 Series famous. It’s the perfect combination of attractive looks; smooth, high-revving engine; sharp, balanced handling. This is the first time that the 3 series is equipped with BMW’s iconic four-eye headlights, and the E30 has a better body ratio than the E21.
When car fans recall German cars from the 1980s, they always think of the E30. It also spawned the first-generation M3, considered by many fans to be the best BMW in history, and one of the coolest-looking small two-door BMWs.
E36 3 Series (1992-1999)
The E36 3 Series is an interesting car. It became bigger, heavier and more complex than the E30. In addition, the E36 is more powerful, faster, and more comprehensive. The E36 is more modern than the E30, with more interior technology and a higher-tech engine. In terms of design, the E36 looks longer, rounder and more luxurious.
E46 3 Series (1998-2006)
The E46 looks near perfect and still looks incredible today. The E46 coupe, in particular, will be one of the best-looking cars on the road, even if it is launched tomorrow. The E46 is a wonderfully designed car, and it’s also the best 3 Series to drive.
E90 3 Series (2005-2012)
Starting with the E90, the 3 Series really started to grow in size and the design language was completely changed. The E90 is considerably larger than the E46 and has more exaggerated body lines and character. While the E46 is good-looking, the E90 is not so great. In particular, the shape of the kidney grille on the E90 LCI model is very strange.
F30 3 Series (2012-2018)
Many BMW fans complain that the 3 Series body is getting bigger and heavier, and the chassis suspension is getting softer and softer. The F30 seems to be a typical example. Compared with the previous 3 series, the F30 3 series has a larger and more luxurious appearance, and it is also the first 3 series to make drastic changes to the angel eyes, but this design has caused great controversy.
G20 3 Series (2018-)
When the F30 3 Series was unveiled, it became the most controversial 3 Series, and its replacement model, the G20, also caused great controversy. The G20 is equipped with new headlights and taillights similar to the Lexus IS. Some fans thought the G20 was a departure from BMW’s signature design style. It is undeniable that sometimes when a new car is launched, car fans need time to accept and fall in love with it, but at present, there are as many criticisms as voices who like G20.
Which generation of 3 series is the best looking? Before the appearance of the G20 3 Series, there was no doubt that it was the E46 3 Series. What now? E46 has the best body proportions, smooth styling, and smooth body lines. Simple and elegant, stylish and sporty. No other 3 Series can match it, especially the E46 coupe, which is loved by fans. what you think?