2001 BMW E46 320i SE Touring


• Wonderfully clean
• Perfect family car
• Lots of BMW history

The Background

The E46 is the fourth generation of the automakers 3 Series line-up which ran from 1997 to 2006, marketed as compact executive cars thanks to their modest size and their lavish interiors.

Claimed to be 70% more rigid than that of its predecessor, the E36, the new and improved E46 body shell was a huge leap forward for the automakers. As well as this, aluminium components were introduced to the suspension, to help reduce the weight of unsprung mass throughout the car. Couple this with a rear-wheel-drive set up and a 50-50 weight distribution, it makes for a very engaging and enjoyable driving experience for anyone who slips in behind the wheel.

The History

Looking at the history of the E46 Estate, it’s quite clear to see that the utmost care has been taken with the car when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. Thanks to the total of 13 visits to BMW dealerships over the years for servicing and health checks, and the large maintenance bill which came alongside the major service in 2017. This major service bill includes replacements for the following; new front discs, calipers, and pads, suspension arms, cam cover gasket as well as a full service and filters, coming to a total of £1150.

A well kept and much loved E46 estate that’s ready to hit the road with it’s new owner, your mind will be well rested thanks to the excellent main dealer upkeep!

The Paperwork

There is a lovely amount of paperwork available with this E46, including a service book which shows the excellent service history through BMW main dealers as well as invoices for any work carried out for the vehicle. The V5C is also present and ready to be transferred to the new owner!

The Interior

Finished in a lovely Dove Grey cloth interior, which has been kept beautifully clean over the years, sometimes a difficult thing to do with such a light coloured interior, so it’s nice to see such a well presented example. 

The front seats are in great condition with only minimal signs of any wear, the drivers side seat on the right back bolster has some small signs of fraying on the corner, but aside from this, all of the stitching is completely intact and there are no rips or tears throughout. The door cards are in nice condition with the cloth areas seemingly untouched, however the dark plastic inlays do have scratching apparent due to usage. The headliner is well kept and doesn’t appear to be sagging with no damaged areas, too.

Carpets front and rear are nicely kept and still plush, no worn out areas or tears throughout the vehicle. The rear seats are very much the same as the front, in excellent condition with only minor signs of use such as some small signs of material stretching through the centre section of the bench, however the foam padding still appears to be as comfortable as it should be with no unwelcome flat spots.

The dashboard is clean and uncluttered, all of the screen printed text is visible throughout all of the controls and the gauge cluster does not present any unwanted warning lights. The gauges still work as they should and all of the numbers are plainly readable with no difficulty. The steering wheel, which includes multi-functional buttons for the infotainment system and for the cruise control settings, is in nice condition with signs of wear as to be expected of leather. None of the stitching has come undone and the wheel still has a lovely feel to it. 

The Exterior

E46’s are among the most well recognised BMW’s out there, and have been for quite some time now due to how popular they were (and are). The styling hasn’t aged much at all given the amount of years that have passed since this model was unveiled. The lovely Topaz Blue Metallic paintwork still shimmers in the sunlight.

At the front of the vehicle, both headlights are still well presented and don’t show signs of any cracks or damage, however there does seem to be some misting in the inner corners of the lenses which can be caused by either temperature change or some slight water ingress, this does not affect the functionality of the lights however and they still function as efficiently as they should. 

The front bumper appears to be in great condition with only some minor stone chips that we’re told have been touched in, to be completely expected of a vehicle of this mileage. The plastic trim which runs across the front bumper is in nice shape too, not showcasing the usual signs of fading, retaining its nice dark natural colour. Bonnet and wings are very much in the same category, no apparent corrosion is present and the paintwork looks to be very well kept.

The wheels are the original silver and only show some minor signs of age with some very small portions of curb rash and some minor corrosion - easily overlooked. The door panels and sills all look great, panel gaps are as they should be and the doors open and close as easily as you’d expect. Upon opening the doors there is some minor damage to the metal kick plates, however this is almost unavoidable on a used car - it’s exactly what kick plates were designed for, to take any impact directed at that area.

At the rear of the vehicle, the rear light lenses are in great shape with no cracks or signs of any damage. The rear bumper is also in great condition as is the plastic trim which lies under the tailgate, which is normally a very high wear area however this has been very well kept. The badge and model designator is present and in great condition too. A very honest car overall that has been excellently maintained throughout its lifetime!

The Mechanics

Powered by a 2.2L I6 petrol engine and mated to a 5-speed automatic gearbox, this E46 has plenty of grunt to pull its weight with ease and thanks to the autobox it makes gearchanges smooth as ever. Thanks to the extensive service history at main dealers this vehicle wants for nothing, any issues that have arisen in the past have been taken care of, and with a fresh MOT that will run until September 2022 you can keep your mind at ease!

The car drives as it should and starts at the turn of a key, without any signs of any unwelcome knocks, bangs or rattles, we’re told. This E46 Touring is primed and ready for it’s next adventure!

The Appeal

As fantastic as 3 series are in general, there’s just always something that is a little bit more special about an estate car. It has the functionality, it has the looks, and they’re becoming somewhat difficult to source in such a tidy condition with reasonably low mileage.

A great opportunity for anyone on the lookout for something practical that won’t break the bank - don’t miss this one!

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 2001
  • Make BMW
  • Model 320i SE Touring E46
  • Colour Topaz Blue
  • Odometer 82,982 Miles
  • Engine size 2171
  • Location Hampshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
10 bids from 9 bidders
  • tr•••• £2,950 20/10/21
  • Jo•••• £2,850 20/10/21
  • dj•••• £2,750 18/10/21
  • mi•••• £2,700 18/10/21
  • mi•••• £2,500 18/10/21
  • cl•••• £2,400 15/10/21
  • he•••• £2,300 14/10/21
  • Ad•••• £2,000 13/10/21
  • mi•••• £1,900 13/10/21
  • Sm•••• £1,500 13/10/21

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