I don’t think I’ve ever found the 3-series Compacts - particularly the E46 versions - all that appealing.
It’s all down to the looks. As if that sheered off, awkward looking rear wasn’t bad enough, the E46 Compact gained a weird set of googly-eye headlamps. What would make someone buy one over a regular E46?
Now though, I get it. In 325ti form this little hatchback paved the way for the likes of the M135i and M240i. It’s lighter than the equivalent E46 3-series coupe/saloon, has a quicker steering rack, and - crucially - can now be picked up rather cheaply.
Around £1500 will get you a tidy example. A 2.5-litre, naturally-aspirated straight-six up front gives 192bhp, fed to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox, or a five-speed automatic.
Unlike the old E36 Compact which used an E30-derived torsion beam rear suspension setup (which is either a good or a bad thing, depending on who you speak to), the E46 Compact gets an independent multilink setup lifted straight from the regular 3er.
If you’re anything like us that should sound appealing, but if you need an extra nudge, know this: the 325ti - particularly in manual form - has proper future classic potential. The 325ti population is dwindling, and values of the remaining examples look to have bottomed out.
The example you see here perhaps doesn’t have the best wheel/colour combination, but it looks to be good value at £1495 with a reasonable 104,000 miles on the clock.
If you see one of these for a decent price, snap it up: we’ve a feeling they’ll be getting pretty expensive before long.