2000 BMW 330i M Sport E46


  • Only 60,000 miles in 23 years on the road
  • Fresh MOT
  • Completely original and unmodified
  • Full history proving recent maintenance work

The Appeal

For decades, the BMW 3-Series has been the de facto benchmark by which all other D-segment executive sport saloons the world over are judged. Part of establishing this status, the ‘E46’ generation that took the 3er through the turn of the century raised the bar for quality, technology and engineering prowess in its sector. It also hails from a time when BMW design was smart, evolutionary and carefully judged, meaning that 25 years on from its 1998 launch the car has aged much better than one imagines the Bavarian marque’s loose-handed and downright belligerent current styling philosophy will…

As there was no four-door M3 in this generation, the 330i M Sport is the fastest and most highly specified factory saloon to be had from the E46 era. The 330i’s ‘M54’ three-litre straight-six produces around 230 horsepower and 220lb/ft of torque, a healthy advantage over lesser models, while this pre-facelift example’s M Sport package adds BBS-alike 18” alloy wheels and a subtle but effective body kit on the outside. Inside, its mid-grey leather and tessellating patterned black trim add a coolly understated mix of luxury and sportiness that befits the car as a whole. All told, this lovingly maintained machine is a heck of a lot of car for the money.

The History and Paperwork

  • Single family ownership from 2000-2022
  • Pre-delivery inspection sheets included in paperwork
  • V5 present, and fresh MOT
  • Comprehensive service history with dealer stamps in original service book
  • Invoices for maintenance work including replacement of worn-out parts
  • Original BMW-stamped toolkit present and correct in fold-out bootlid shelf
  • BMW warning triangle also present in boot

The Interior

  • OEM six-disc CD autochanger included, but removed; new Bluetooth system installed instead
  • Grey Montana leather with sport seats, Individual anthracite headlining and ‘Alu black cubes’ trim
  • Air conditioning, cruise control, Harmon/Kardon audio system
Inside, this 330i’s grey leather upholstery presents excellently in the round, with only some minor door-side front bolster wrinkles to show for its age. The leather on the steering wheel is lightly smoothed but otherwise unblemished – although that can’t be said for its twin-pronged plastic downward spoke (which is easily remedied). The black cube-effect trim on the doors and dash, which loosely imitates carbonfibre without straying into direct fakery, is for the most part in as-new condition save for the front passenger door showing a couple of scratches near the door handle. The lower trim on the driver’s door also has a few scuffs from people’s shoes swinging in and out of the car. Meanwhile, the ‘Anthracite’ headliner is immaculate from front to back, as is the leather transmission lever.

But we are nit-picking here, because the overall condition is so good that there are only minor details to say against it. Even a perfectionist would not take long to sort out the few surface marks present.

The Exterior

  • Topaz Blue with ‘MV1’ alloy wheels
  • Complete original M Sport bodykit
  • Clean arches all around
This 330i is notable for having the more subtle, version-one design of M Sport front bumper, which was updated to a more aggressive three-grille design quite soon after this car was built (2000 was only the third year of the E46 saloon’s eight-year production life, so this is an early car). Some of the black plastic has become a little bit sun faded and there is an unfortunate gouge on the passenger-side front wheel rim, but otherwise this car presents supremely well for a 23-year-old saloon – so much so that it hardly looks its age. 

The seller states that when they bought the car, an independent BMW specialist found it remarkable to see one of these in such good condition and found no rust around the wheel arches – something extremely common on E46s, but seemingly absent here.

The Mechanics

  • M54B30 engine with automatic transmission
  • Evidence for thorough maintenance work following any MOT advisories over time
  • Original and unmodified
As the AE86s and 200SXs of the world have become too old and/or rare to use as entry-level drift cars, so the widely available and highly affordable rear-wheel-drive platforms of ‘modern classic’ BMWs are becoming the weapon of choice for thrill seekers looking to thrash them ragged. This example has avoided that fate, thanks to the family who owned it from new for 22 years and treated it as their collective pride and joy as it was passed down the generations. As such, it has been looked after consistently well throughout its life and this is why it presents so well today. This includes, as per the accompanying invoices, replacement of any worn or corroded parts to keep the car in top condition.

In 2019 there were a handful of minor-to-moderate advisories on the MOT, most notably corroded brake pipes and offside-front lower suspension arm, but these issues were all attended to soon afterwards, as per the invoices included. An October 2022 invoice mentions a non-specific “seat repair” – unlikely to have been significant, at £70. The original service book shows main dealer stamps until 2004, then specialist garage stamps from 2017 onwards.

When manoeuvring the car for the photoshoot, we found that it started up without hesitation and ran smoothly at all times. The seller also reports that it runs through the gears without issue and is always superb to drive.


The E46 was a strong generation of 3-Series that has, from a style and driving point of view, aged very well. Condition wise, though, few E46s outside of collector-pampered M3s age quite as well as this 330i M Sport. For most of its life it has been the pride of a family of drivers, whilst the seller who bought it from them has loved using it.

A car this good deserves and owner who will continue to treat it right as previous owners have done. It has averaged just over 2600 miles per year so far, uncommonly low for a model that would typically do the daily grind, but the combination of turbine-smooth straight six with an unobtrusive auto gearbox would make it a formidable cruiser for any distance, with the sort of finely honed chassis to keep you entertained when you find somewhere empty and twisty. It was the complete package when new, and is a veritable bargain now.

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.

UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.

A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.

All bidding, buying and offers are subject to our Terms and Conditions.

Please see our FAQs here and our Terms & Conditions here

Vehicle specification
  • Year 2000
  • Make BMW
  • Model 3 Series 330i
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 60,437 Miles
  • Engine size 2979
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Hartley Wintney
  • Location Hampshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
14 bids from 11 bidders
  • ja•••• £4,000 25/09/23
  • St•••• £3,900 25/09/23
  • di•••• £3,650 25/09/23
  • mo•••• £3,500 25/09/23
  • ja•••• £3,300 25/09/23
  • re•••• £3,200 25/09/23
  • si•••• £3,100 25/09/23
  • ca•••• £3,000 25/09/23
  • mo•••• £2,750 25/09/23
  • mu•••• £2,500 25/09/23

The Gallery

The safest way to buy a classic car online

Car & Classic's secure payment system protects buyers and sellers. At the end of the auction, the winning bidder transfers payment into a third-party escrow account. Once the transfer of the vehicle is complete, both parties confirm they are happy with the sale and the money is released to the seller. More about buying with us
Safe, secure payment process

About Max Bids

The max bid process allows you to bid without any hassle.

Enter your maximum bid and we will then bid on your behalf to ensure you're the highest bidder - just enough to keep you in the lead and only up until your maximum.


Car & Classic prevent auction snipers from bidding in the last seconds to win an auction.

Auctions are extended by 3 minutes if anyone bids within the last 2 minutes to allow other bidders to react and counter-bid.

Auto-bidding increments

  • If your maximum bid is equal to or below the reserve price, your maximum bid will be applied in full if you are the highest bidder.
  • If you are the highest bidder and place a maximum bid above the reserve, we will automatically put in the reserve as your first bid.
    • Once the reserve has been met, Car & Classic will make sure you are the highest bidder using only the bidding increments stated below.
    • We will keep you in the lead up until your maximum bid OR the increment closest to your maximum bid, providing your maximum bid is enough to cover the increment value.

Bid Amount Increment
£0 to £9,999 £100.00
£10,000 to £49,999 £250.00
£50,000 to £99,999 £500.00
£100,000 + £1,000.00

Automatically outbid immediately

When you place a max bid and are outbid immediately that means that another bidder has placed a max bid limit which is higher than yours.

You can bid again and we will use our automatic bid system to try and get you as the highest bidder.

Matching max bids

When there are two max bids of the same value, the one placed first remains the lead bidder.

What are pre-bids?

A pre-bid means you\'re able to place a bid before the official start of the auction.
You will be notified whether or not you are the highest bidder when the auction starts.

Problem with your bid

Bids are contractually binding. To help protect you, we have some rules in place if we think it's been mistyped. Please check and amend what you have entered.