How Much Have Cars Improved Over The Last 20 Years?

How Much Have Cars Improved Over The Last 20 Years?

If you think a newer car is heavier and over-hampered by emissions equipment, then you’re not much of a thinker. Our example here shows the modern BMW 3 Series is larger, packed with more safety systems and equipment, has a smaller engine, but makes more power and drives better. While the new 3 Series isn’t noted for its reliability ratings, the much-loved E46 was plagued by, amongst other things, bad plastics in the cooling system, a complicated and fragile variable valve system, and a rear differential bushing that likes to go bad.

When it comes to the $4,750 or so price difference over the modern 3 Series after taking inflation into account, it’s absurd to complain about the cost of safety and emissions equipment. Besides the improved engine and transmission technology, the modern car has an infotainment system that feels a world apart and still doesn’t impact the cost negatively.

Of course, the added emissions and safety equipment costs money but it’s an inconsequential cost in this example, and people’s safety and the quality of the air we breathe are essential. We wouldn’t stop you from buying one of each, though – the E46 still holds up as a fun driver’s car, but the new one is faster, safer, more comfortable and cheaper in comparison.