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Old 12-19-2004, 07:32 AM
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Pinecone Pinecone is offline
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Location: Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2002
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Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
Originally Posted by TD
And E46s have almost all of the same problems that plagued E36s. Maintenance issues are not a factor between these two, IMO.

Does anyone notice that no one ever asks-

'91 E30 M3 vs 1996 328is? They're both $14K. Pros/cons?

It's because we all know that the two cars are nothing alike, even though they are both 3-series that cost roughly the same amount of money.

The same thing applies here.

There is A LOT of difference between an E36 M3 and an E46 330. Maybe not as much as between an E30 M3 and an E36 328. But almost darn close.

They are two totally different cars. If you drive both, your question pretty much answers itself. Either you want the M3 (and are willing to tolerate any cons that come along with it) or you don't. It's really more about the M3 than anything else. How bad do you want it?
Well, I own an E36 M3 (and have done some driving in a non-LTW 95). We test drove an E46 330Ci with Sport Suspension. There is no comparison. M cars are in a different league. If the choice was mine, I would get the E36 M3 in a HEARTBEAT.

As for the long term maintenance situation I have not seen the same info that they have the same problems as the E36 M3 had with water pumps and such.

But the big difference is the E36 M3 is right at the point of needing this maintenance, while the E46 has a ways to go. Also, if the E46 is CPOd or still in warranty (and you buy th eextended warrranty) you can get that work done for "free".

Lots of reasons back and forth. But when it comes to pure driving pleasure, the M cars win.
Terry Carraway

'95 Alpine M3 LTW
'00 Dakar M Roadster
'02 Topaz M3
Red/White SRF #4 (Chassis 561)
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