BMWs That Will Be Missed: The E46 Compact

BMW E46 Compact 10 photos
Photo: BMW
BMW E46 CompactBMW E46 CompactBMW E46 CompactBMW E46 CompactBMW E46 CompactBMW E46 CompactBMW E46 CompactBMW E46 CompactBMW E46 Compact
Before the E46 Compact was launched, an older brother was dealing with the hardships of being called ugly. That was the E36 Compact, a car that was doomed to be replaced from day one due to its design.
The E46 Compact had a different design from the E46 3 Series, paving the road for the 1 Series, which became be a stand-alone BMW model. The compact was launched in 2001 and was designed to challenge the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sport Coupe and the new Audi A3.

The Compact received the same suspension, engines and transmissions as the E46 saloon and had 5 choices of engine. The first, entry level E46 Compact had a 1.8-liter petrol engine with 114 HP and 175 Nm of torque and it was called 316ti. The 318ti had a 2-liter petrol engine with 141 HP and 200 Nm whilst the high end petrol engined version of the Compact was named 325ti and had a 2.5-liter petrol engine developing 192 HP and 245 Nm.

There were also 2 diesel engines available on the 318td and 320td. Both of them had 2-liter engines producing 114 HP with 280Nm of torque for the 318 and 150 HP with 330 Nm of torque for the 320.

Being outsold by the C-Class Sport Coupe and the A3, BMW decided to pull the plug on the Compact series (E46 and E36) in 2004 and develop a brand new model, called the 1 Series, which will prove to be a best seller for the Bavarian manufacturer in the years to come.
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