Find out the full background of any BMW E21 with the help of our dedicated BMW E21 VIN decoder.

BMW vin decoder

How to Check BMW E21 VIN Decoder?

The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) for a BMW is a distinctive 17-character code exclusive to every BMW automobile. This identifier is not only unique to each vehicle but also encodes details about the vehicle’s model year, type, engine size, and additional characteristics, making it an essential tool for identification and information.

The VIN of a BMW E21 can be located in various places on the car such as:

  1. On the dashboard on the driver’s side, which can be seen from outside through the windshield.
  2. The jamb of the driver’s side door.
  3. In the engine area, either on the firewall or the radiator support.
  4. On the car’s registration and title papers.

By following these steps, you can easily access a wealth of information about any BMW vehicle, ensuring a deeper understanding of its heritage and features.

The BMW E21 is the first generation of the BMW 3 Series compact executive cars, produced from 1975 to 1983. As the successor to the BMW 02 Series, the E21 brought forward a new design and set the tone for the 3 Series that would become one of the most popular and influential car series in the world. This generation was available with a range of inline-four and inline-six petrol engines. Below is a table summarizing the key engine variants offered in the BMW E21 lineup.

BMW E21 Engine Overview

Model Engine Code Configuration Displacement Power Output Production Years
315 M10B15 4-cyl, 8-valve 1.5 L 75 hp 1981–1983
316 M10B16 4-cyl, 8-valve 1.6 L 90 hp 1975–1980
318 M10B18 4-cyl, 8-valve 1.8 L 98 hp 1975–1983
318i M10B18 4-cyl, 8-valve 1.8 L 105 hp 1980–1983
320 M10B20 4-cyl, 8-valve 2.0 L 109 hp 1975–1977
320i M10B20 4-cyl, 8-valve 2.0 L 125 hp 1975–1979
320/6 M20B20 6-cyl, 12-valve 2.0 L 122 hp 1977–1982
323i M20B23 6-cyl, 12-valve 2.3 L 143 hp 1977–1982


  1. The E21 marked the introduction of the 3 Series as a key player in the compact executive car segment, setting a standard for the class.
  2. Initially, the E21 was offered with carbureted engines, but later models introduced fuel injection (i.e., the “i” in 320i and 318i), enhancing performance and efficiency.
  3. The introduction of the 323i with a 2.3-liter inline-six engine represented the top-of-the-line model, offering significantly more power and refinement compared to the four-cylinder models.
  4. The 320/6 and 323i models were notable for introducing the inline-six engines to the 3 Series, which would become a hallmark of the series in future generations.
  5. The E21 was succeeded by the E30 3 Series in 1982, which continued the evolution of BMW’s compact executive car formula.

The BMW E21 established many core principles that would define the 3 Series for decades, including a focus on driving dynamics, a range of powerful yet efficient engines, and a comfortable, driver-oriented cockpit.

What you can get from checking your VIN of your BMW E21

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No one desires a vehicle with undisclosed damages. This could lead to paying more than necessary or encountering safety concerns on the road.

Mileage rollbacks
Mileage rollbacks

Mileage manipulation is a more widespread issue than you may realize. It not only results in overpaying for the vehicle but can also lead to significant repair expenses.

Recorded images
Recorded images

Understanding the vehicle's appearance in the past is crucial for gaining insights into its history and identifying any areas of damage or vulnerability.

Safety recalls
Safety recalls

Manufacturers usually issue safety recalls to address dangerous defects. Ensure that your vehicle does not have any such defects before driving it.

Ownership changes
Ownership changes

Understanding the number of previous owners a vehicle has had is important in determining its sales history. This information can provide insights into any potential underlying problems.

Theft records
Theft records

We thoroughly examine millions of records from both international and local law enforcement agencies to ensure that a vehicle has not been reported as stolen in any country.

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Car history report

Avoid costly problems by checking a car’s history. Just enter the VIN and get a full report.

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