The E36 was sold in the following body styles: saloon, coupé, convertible, wagon (marketed as “Touring”) and hatchback (marketed as “3 Series Compact”).
The E36 was the first 3 Series to be offered in a hatchback body style. It was also the first 3 Series to be available with a 6-speed manual transmission (in the 1996 M3), a 5-speed automatic transmission and a four-cylinder diesel engine. The multi-link rear suspension was also a significant upgrade compared with previous generations of the 3 Series.
The E36 was named in Car and Driver Magazine’s 10Best list for every year it was on sale.
The M3 model is powered by the S50 and S52 straight-six engines. It was sold in coupe, sedan and convertible body styles.
The BMW Z3 roadster and coupe models were based on the E36 platform.