BMWs That Will Be Missed: The 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.
BMW E46 Compact 10 photos
Photo: BMW
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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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