2004 BMW E46 318Ci ES


• Very low mileage example
• Full service history
• Extremely clean shell
• Beautifully kept interior

The Background

The 3 series is one of BMW’s most recognisable cars, especially in the E46 form we have here. 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 saloon 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

Originally sold to the first owner at BMW Menzies Stirling on the 1st of September in 2004, at the sale price of £22,700, the vehicle continued on a very well looked after and regularly maintained life with the initial owner all the way up until 2020 where the car was sold on to an elderly woman. 

After a year of ownership, the car passed hands onto the current owner who has only owned the vehicle for a matter of weeks - a purchase he couldn’t help himself to after seeing the condition of the car.

Throughout its entire life it has been maintained at a BMW main dealership and put through an MOT every year. The most recent service listed on the paperwork available is not at a main dealer but by a very trusted local garage, using genuine parts to ensure the car is as healthy as it could be.

The Paperwork

Nothing is missing here. The original leather wallet is abound with the original BMW booklets supplied upon the purchase of the vehicle - among this paperwork is also the original bill of sale for the car at Menzies Stirling which also lists the optional extras added to the vehicle upon ordering.

The V5 is present in the current owners name and MOT certificates are valid showcasing that the mileage is genuine thanks to the owners religiously putting the car through its MOT every year regardless of how much it would be used. 

The Interior

Incredibly well preserved - thanks to such little use over the car's lifetime alongside such great care taken with the vehicle, the inside of this 318Ci would fool you into believing it was brand new. The beautiful grey leather interior is all still plump and comfortable with no flat spots, bolsters are in exceptional condition too which is extremely desirable when it comes to leather. 

The stitching is all intact and there are no splits or tears that we could find. The rear bench is very much the same - if not better! It looks like it has never been used at all. The door cards all appear to be unmarked with the leather in wonderful condition alongside the Myrtle wood trim showing no apparent signs of damage.

The floor carpets are all present in a matching colour to that of the seats and the anthracite headliner (which was an optional extra) and show no signs of heavy wear - we were quite surprised at how well kept this BMW is!

The dashboard contains more of the Myrtle wood surrounding the gear selector and running along the length of the dashboard, all of which is in great condition with no apparent scratches or cracks noticed. The gear knob is also made from this lovely dark wood. All of the buttons and switches within the cab work as they are expected to, and all of the screen printed text and logos depicting what does what, is all very visible. 

The Exterior

Finished in a beautiful Titanium Silver paint job, along with cross spoke alloy wheels and white indicator lenses, all of the body panels appear to be in great shape with no signs of any damage or major repairs - all of the arches appear to be free of rust and so does the bodywork throughout the engine bay - strut towers are in excellent shape which goes to show how well maintained the car is.

Front and rear light clusters are in great shape, the lenses are clear with no big scratches or fading, and no apparent cracks or water ingress - they look fantastic for their age and the xenon beam is still strong and sharp. 

Overall, it is very difficult to pick any flaws with this 318 coupe, it truly is such a well preserved piece of machinery and has to be seen up close and personal to be appreciated the way it deserves to be.

The Mechanics

Mechanically, this car wants for nothing. The 2.0 litre inline 4 cylinder fires up on the turn of the key sounding healthy, poised and ready to go. 

No unwanted rattles or knocks can be heard on start-up which is to be expected thanks to the extensive main dealer service history the car has been through throughout its lifetime. The car powers through the 5-speed manual transmission easily and smoothly, no crunches or grinding with a tight gear stick position and healthy clutch biting point.

The steering is still noticeably tight and precise which makes this car an absolute pleasure to be behind the wheel of - no unwanted play in steering position and no unwelcome noises on slow turns. Thanks to the car's eager 50-50 weight distribution and rear wheel drive setup, alongside the optional sport suspension, it’s extremely easy to maneuver and  place the car exactly where you want it to be at any given time.

Overall, this car has been beautifully preserved and it shows, even just by standing back and looking at it, but it becomes all the more obvious when you climb inside and begin your journey. Thanks to careful and religious servicing and upkeep as well as the car being put through its yearly MOT, the car has never needed any major work, and by the looks of things it probably won’t for quite some time yet!

The Appeal

The E46 is one that's appearance has stood the test of time. Even after 17 years, this car still is a joy to look at and has somewhat of a cult-like following, especially in the motorsport and drifting world today. 

This is a remarkably well kept example, and definitely has to be among one of the cleanest examples we have had the pleasure of seeing - inside and out.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 2004
  • Make BMW
  • Model E46 318Ci ES
  • Colour Titanium Silver
  • Odometer 30,000 Miles
  • Engine size 1995
  • Town Glasgow
  • Location Scotland
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
22 bids
  • ronda_s•••• £5,200 19/10/21
  • reynold•••• £4,900 19/10/21
  • topcat.•••• £4,700 19/10/21
  • reynold•••• £4,500 19/10/21
  • ronda_s•••• £4,300 19/10/21
  • topcat.•••• £4,100 19/10/21
  • ronda_s•••• £4,000 17/10/21
  • topcat.•••• £3,800 16/10/21
  • ronda_s•••• £3,700 15/10/21
  • djc_1 £3,500 14/10/21

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