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Remembering The 25 Worst Cars BMW Ever Made

Vukasin HerbezApril 22, 2022

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4. BMW M3 E36 US-Spec

Built from 1992 to 1999, the E36 M3 featured a newly designed six-cylinder plant. Earlier models had a 3.0-liter engine with 291 hp, but from 1995 until the end of production, the bigger 3.2-liter with 321 hp was installed. Unfortunately, in America, the E36 M3s had only 240 hp due to emissions regulations which crippled the otherwise pretty powerful BMW engine (via Road and Track).

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Even though the lack of power didn’t affect performance that much, US-spec models had somewhat problematic interiors, which proved very fragile. The car sold in sufficient numbers, but customers felt a bit shortchanged.

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3. BMW X1

We all know that compact SUVs are one of the best-selling car classes and that all car companies want a piece of the action. BMW has a pretty extensive SUV lineup, which in 2008 became richer for X1, the smallest member of the family. However, the X1 is not a genuine BMW and, besides the design, hasn’t got any fundamental BMW features (via Motor Trend).

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Underneath the body lies the Mini Countryman platform with longitudinally positioned engines powering the front wheels. Also, since it is not a genuine BMW, the early models haven’t got an X-Drive all-wheel-drive system. The standard models are front-wheel-drive, which is heresy for BMW.

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2. BMW M1

Back in the mid-1970s, BMW thought that it would be appropriate to enter the exclusive sports car market. Basically, BMW needed a halo car, but the company didn’t have experience and turned to Lamborghini. At first, it looked like the deal was a good idea, but Lamborghini didn’t deliver on time, so BMW disbanded the partnership and finished the project by itself. In 1978, the BMW M1 debuted (via BMWM).

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The heart of this sports car was BMW’s famous M88 six-cylinder engine with 3.5-liters of displacement. It had advanced fuel injection, and 273 HP, which was a pretty high number for the standards of the day. However, the customers were unimpressed, although the car was good-looking and fast. In three years, BMW made just over 450 cars. Calling M1 one of the worst cars BMW has ever made is a bit of a stretch. However, the financial hit, and embarrassment this model caused to the brand cannot be ignored.

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1. BMW 324d E30

Today, BMW sells most models with diesel engines, especially in Europe. The diesel technology proved an ideal match in most cases. The oil-burners can never have the same sound or feel as the thoroughbred six-cylinder engine. However, the start of BMW’s diesel offensive was very modest and in the form of 324d. It was one of the worst cars this company ever produced (via BMW Guide).

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Introduced in 1985, the six-cylinder diesel was significantly underpowered (86 HP), slow and heavy. It was complicated and not very reliable. It turned the light and nimble E30 3-Series into a terrible driving car. Some buyers found it appealing but soon regreted the choice.

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