Thread: E46 vs 128i
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:15 PM
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thumper_330 thumper_330 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2012 K1600GT, 2008 M3
Well... indirectly I sort of did what you did. I loved my 330i to death and in some ways still regret getting rid of it. Anyway, I got a 135i (as seen in sig) so I'll keep the engine out of the discussion... so a comparison...

I love the 1'er. It's like a reborn E46. The dash and interior are very similar in layout and feel to the E46... to the extent that from behind the wheel it feels extremely familiar the first time you sit in it. Visibility is better though because of the tall greenhouse.

Driving feel... well I had the "late 2001" steering so it wasn't the lighter "pre-mid-2001" steering that caused so much wailing and gnashing of teeth. So steering is similar but not identical. The run flat tires are a lot of that, and suspension changes to deal with the RFT's mean that steering feel is different. Not necessarily worse... just different. I have days when I swear I can feel more... days when I swear I feel less. YMMV.

Seating position... almost identical to the E46 again. I sit a smidge closer to the dash in the 1'er because I think the pedals are a bit further forward... but it's only really an issue if I'm trying to get into the car with a bag or something in my arms... which I shouldn't be doing anyway.

The only place I think the 1'er falls behind the E46 is in maintainability. As you mentioned there's no dipstick... but the car has become far more computerized (as have all of them). The E46 had a certain mechanical elegance to it that meant that maintenance was a snap... loved the oil filter on top of the engine and the fact that the entire front of the car would basically "unclip" to allow major maintenance. But really... the complexity of the 1'er is no worse than just about any other car out there these days... they've all become so computerized in the race for better efficiency and power... not to mention repair lock-in.

Still, despite that I wouldn't go back to the E46. Maybe a ZHP... but I digress; the 1'er is definitely an evolution of the E46... in fact the 1'er bears more similarity to the E46 in my opinion than the E90 ever did... and don't get me started on the F30, which kind of makes me think it's more of a kid sister to the E60 than the E90 or E46... but I digress.

You can't go wrong with the car. Just make sure you get it with real cogs... the auto just isn't good in the 1'er in my opinion. I went with a DCT because of knee trouble... but if a traditional auto was my only alternative choice on the 1'er I probably wouldn't be driving one today. It's part of the reason I decided to spend the extra on the 135i.

2001 E46 BMW 330i Sport Package 6MT *SOLD*
2004 BMW R1150GS - *SOLD*
2004 E60 BMW 545i Sport 6MT - *SOLD*
2012 BMW 135i - Deep Sea Blue / Terracotta / DCT *SOLD*
2012 BMW K1600GT - Vermillion Red Metallic
2008 BMW E90 M3 - Interlagos Blue / Silver / 6MT
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