This car was the most affordable new BMW that Americans could buy in 1996, and we're talking way more affordable: $20,560 for the 318ti versus $25,950 for a 318i sedan and $32,990 for a 328iS coupe. For about the price of a two-door '96 Accord, you could get a genuine BMW! Granted, it had just 138 horsepower and looked kind of funny, but a BMW nonetheless.
This one has a five-speed manual transmission, which made it more fun to drive than a 328 with a slushbox.
Due to the digital odometer, I couldn't learn the total mileage on this car. It looks quite solid and the interior probably was decent before it got grimed up by junkyard shoppers. Did some expensive electrical or mechanical component fail? Did it just get too many parking tickets?
The "E36/5 compact" got this very racy ad in its homeland.