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Introduced in Europe as the Compact, the BMW 3 Series 318ti was first imported to North America in 1995. The body style of the 318ti Compact is that of a 3-door hatchback. Never very popular in the US market, it has received a good reception in the rest of the world, where this body style is better received. The official designation of the model is E36/5.

In Europe there are a number of engine options, including a 1.6 liter and diesel models, but in North America only the larger 1.8 liter was brought over when it debuted in 1995. It was enlarged to 1.9 liters in 1996 for more torque. Originally only made with a solid roof, in 1996 a "California" model with a large canvas sunroof was introduced. The canvas roof was still an option on all 1997 ti's.


Tips and Techniques

arrowRepair, installation and modification tips from



arrowSome reviews from the Internet archives:

Please don't call it a hatchback and Bad Boys On Dirt from the Roundel.

1998 BMW 318ti from the Auto Channel.

1996 BMW 318ti from the Chicago Sun-Times.

Short Test of 1995 BMW 318ti from Motor Week.

BMW has got your number from the Detroit News, October 25, 1995.

Inside an itty-bitty BMW from the Washington Post, July 19, 1995.

More 318ti


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