I got a 1987 BMW 325iS as my very first car.
It had about 155k miles.
I had it for 13 years.
While it had a few issues over the years (ECU, radiator fan, brake master cyl, clutch, routine stuff like brakes and timing belt; expected after 200k miles+), it was VERY reliable.
The engine was glorious to rev and got good mpg.
The ride and handling was great, and was perfect after getting H&R+Bilsteins.
Very fun and easy to live with.
Sadly, my car's life was ended by an errant elderly man driving a beat up Toyota, who hit it while it was parked.
It had 300,000 miles on it, and was still fun to drive every day.
I loved my car dearly, and will be getting another BMW. R.I.P, my old E30.
Fun engine with a peaky, strong powerband that comes alive above 3000rpm or so.
Loves to rev, and makes beautiful music.
Manual transmission was smooth as butter.
Quick, precise steering.
Very tossable, with a tendancy towards oversteer (you'll spin it in the wet if you aren't careful).
Clutch has a firm feel, and the steering is weighty for precision at speed.
Simplistic and somewhat dated styling but, when clean, they are still beautiful cars.
They aren't always easy to find anymore, but if you find one in good condition, an E30 BMW will steal your heart.
This car has a cult following, and for good reason.
If they started producing the E30 again, I'd tell them to leave it as is.
Maybe little things, like more modern engine management electronics or something, but people still love the E30 exactly because it is a fun, light-weight sports car, unburdened by excessive insulation, wood trim, and modern luxury amenities.
Not that I don't love the newer BMW's, but the E30 still has a unique character that has not been reproduced, by BMW or by anyone else, and it is still a worthwhile car because of that.
I agree the 1987 325is is the greatest 3 series of all time. I have owned one since 1992. Recently i bought another e30, a 1989 325i 5 speed. Its a good car but the 325is e30 is by far a better car in all aspects. It's quicker, heavier and more solid. And more importantly the rear diff is the key to its performance. I am e30 for life!!!!!!!!!!!!!