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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #51  
Old 03-07-2005, 01:13 AM
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Double Vanos Double Vanos is offline
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New wheel looks like it came from a ricer car. Not good.
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  #52  
Old 03-07-2005, 07:17 AM
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Moderato Moderato is offline
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I think the original leather M3 wheel was the best, "if it aint broke....."
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  #53  
Old 03-07-2005, 07:44 AM
jerrykdc jerrykdc is offline
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You think it is an issue here, look at a Corvette.

I really like the new Corvette and to me it is still one of the best buys out there but the steering wheel is awful; it looks like it came out of a Malibu. A friend who dealt in classic cars once told me that the most important thing in a car are the parts that are at eye level in determining where to spend your money on a car for resale. Clearly, the steering wheel stares at you and if it looks like crap, it doesn't make a good impression on the overall car. Sometimes I just can't understand US auto makers. We should appreciate the fact that BMW gives us the options that they do in so far as the steering wheel.
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  #54  
Old 03-07-2005, 08:04 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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This is an interesting comment. With the final run of a model line it seems kinda strange that BMW is changing features. I noticed a 330ci yesterday with the LED tail lights. I wondered why BMW decided to make a change like this at the end of the run.

I too prefer the smooth leather M steering wheel, but the perforated may be a good comprimise between that and the alcantara wheel. It may provide better grip with higher durability. But, I don't think "comprimise" should be a word used to describe a BMW. Seems to come up more and more these days.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jetstream23
Is it just me or does anyone else think that new cratered wheel is hideous? I like the alcantara wheel but I don't love it. I know I prefer it to this new one but probably not over the M3 leather wheel (without the dimples ).

This is a very, VERY strange move IMHO. I was going to say that maybe longterm wear tests are showing the alcantara to not hold up so well and thus they are changing the wheel. BUT, the alcantara wheel was just added to the M3 Competition Package.

So now, basically, there are 3 different steering wheels for the sportiest BMW 3ers....

1. Alcantara on the 330's with Performance Package (except 2005 330ci, cic) and M3's with Competition Package.
2. Leather sport wheel on the M3 (non ZCP).
3. New leather dimpled wheel only on 330ci,cic in 2005.

What is going on? Engineers with too much time on their hands???
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  #55  
Old 03-07-2005, 09:21 AM
andy_thomas andy_thomas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr530i
This is an interesting comment. With the final run of a model line it seems kinda strange that BMW is changing features. I noticed a 330ci yesterday with the LED tail lights. I wondered why BMW decided to make a change like this at the end of the run.
It's quite normal to make small sheet-metal changes part-way through production, to stimulate flagging demand. But the LED rear lights you mention came into production in March 2003, barely more than half-way through the E46 coupe's life. Within the last 12 months one tends to find greater equipment levels appearing as standard, which has the dual purpose of maintaing some competitiveness and expiring old inventory of E46 bits, which will rapidly become worthless/unsaleable otherwise.
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  #56  
Old 03-07-2005, 11:15 AM
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JonathanIT JonathanIT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icemanjs4
But after spending an intimate week in Germany/Italy/Austria with the wheel, I've come to love it.
I just put an Alcantara M wheel on my car last month, and I love it. Although I admit, I have not been "intimate" with it yet... maybe I'll take it on a romantic european vacation this year

If I had my pick of any of the three M wheels, I think I'd pick that new perforated wheel last. Although it still is a vast improvement over the old standard sport wheel. Too thin and wispy.

--J.
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  #57  
Old 03-07-2005, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shades
Why don't they just put the regular M3 leather wheel in this package?That perforated leather wheel looks like it belongs in a Japanese car,not a BMW.















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  #58  
Old 03-07-2005, 12:17 PM
jetstream23 jetstream23 is offline
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Wait a minute! Isn't this being done mid-way through the production cycle? Are all '05 330 ci, cic's getting this wheel or only the ones manufactured in the final months. It sounds like there was a supplier problem or something....very weird to make this change now. They also ran out of Orient Blue paint apparently.

What's next? All 2005 330 ci's manufactured in the final month will have black leather interior only ????
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  #59  
Old 03-09-2005, 02:42 PM
jl5555 jl5555 is offline
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I'm really glad to see that these were the only changes to the 2005 MY convertible. I just picked up on 2/22 in Munich a sparkling graphite 330cic, SP, CP, xenon, 6 speed. Up until this year I had picked up my previous 3 cars post-midyear changeover and benefited somewhat from the midyear "enhancements". I was a bit worried with a week 7 build that I might miss out on something significant.

Just for the sake of conversation I was glad to see a few more added standard features that my 2004 330cic did not have. The 2005's have lumbar support standard (even without the premium package), and the homelink transmitter, and the non-premium package "metallic" interior trim is now a much nicer "brushed" style. I can't imagine this car with the wood trim, yuck.

(pics included, yes, that's Gunther behind me!)
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  #60  
Old 03-09-2005, 02:58 PM
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The HACK The HACK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetstream23
...very weird to make this change now.
BMW has made mid march changes EVERY SINGLE YEAR since the introduction of the E46 in 1998. Running changes are implemented in either March or September of each year.

Light Yellow Metallic was replaced by Sahara Beige in March of 2000. Topaz blue was replaced by Mystic Blue in March of 2002. Your vaunted ZHP package was introduced in March of 2003. There's a long list of changes like this in the middle of a production year that I can't remember off the top of my head.
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  #61  
Old 03-09-2005, 03:08 PM
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icemanjs4 icemanjs4 is offline
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[QUOTE=jl5555The 2005's have lumbar support standard (even without the premium package), and the homelink transmitter, and the non-premium package "metallic" interior trim is now a much nicer "brushed" style. I can't imagine this car with the wood trim, yuck.
[/QUOTE]

Did you say they now include the homelink transmitter? I just picked up my 330iZHP on 2/17 and there was no homelink built in, I had to have that added as a dealer installed option. Also, when did the lumbar become standard?
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  #62  
Old 03-09-2005, 03:40 PM
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Shades Shades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atyclb















'
Looks OK in your Lotus and you only have perforated in the smaller parts of the wheel. I guess i'm just not a big perforated wheel fan.I prefer all leather.
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  #63  
Old 03-09-2005, 04:45 PM
jl5555 jl5555 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icemanjs4
Did you say they now include the homelink transmitter? I just picked up my 330iZHP on 2/17 and there was no homelink built in, I had to have that added as a dealer installed option. Also, when did the lumbar become standard?
You betcha, all of those now standard. Though my guess is that this change might be for the 330cic only. As for the lumbar being standard now I couldn't really say when. What I do know is that none of these things was standard on my similarly equipped March '03 build 2004 330cic. Perhaps some of these changes didn't flow through to your very, very, very late build sedan.
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  #64  
Old 03-09-2005, 05:06 PM
andy_thomas andy_thomas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK
BMW has made mid march changes EVERY SINGLE YEAR since the introduction of the E46 in 1998. Running changes are implemented in either March or September of each year.

Light Yellow Metallic was replaced by Sahara Beige in March of 2000. Topaz blue was replaced by Mystic Blue in March of 2002. Your vaunted ZHP package was introduced in March of 2003. There's a long list of changes like this in the middle of a production year that I can't remember off the top of my head.
Indeed - and March 2003 was particularly big. If you increase the "model year" count by one year for every running change, we (or rather BMW NA) should be up to about MY2012 by now. As it is, they only use the really important ones. In which case, how do you define an important running change for marketing purposes? One for the dealers, perhaps
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  #65  
Old 03-09-2005, 05:27 PM
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JonathanIT JonathanIT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icemanjs4
Did you say they now include the homelink transmitter? I just picked up my 330iZHP on 2/17 and there was no homelink built in, I had to have that added as a dealer installed option. Also, when did the lumbar become standard?
This is why there is no more "Premium Package" for the 330cic; they made all the included options standard except for BMW Assist, which is now an idividual option on the 330cic. They kept the "Premium Package" with the same features available on the 325cic. So these items are not standard on the 325cic, just the 330cic. 330i options/packages packages are slightly different (try getting adaptive Xenons )

BTW, I LoVE that color! Sparkling Graphite is the best addition to MY2005. So, maybe I missed the story somewhere; why did you need to make the switch from an '04 to '05 cabrio?

--J.
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  #66  
Old 03-09-2005, 11:45 PM
jl5555 jl5555 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanIT
This is why there is no more "Premium Package" for the 330cic; they made all the included options standard except for BMW Assist, which is now an idividual option on the 330cic. They kept the "Premium Package" with the same features available on the 325cic. So these items are not standard on the 325cic, just the 330cic. 330i options/packages packages are slightly different (try getting adaptive Xenons )

BTW, I LoVE that color! Sparkling Graphite is the best addition to MY2005. So, maybe I missed the story somewhere; why did you need to make the switch from an '04 to '05 cabrio?

--J.
As you might recall one of the midyear 2003 MY enhancements was that they simply from March build on started calling the cars 2004 MY. Don't ask me why, they just did. I had placed my order in January and shortly thereafter they announced the midyear changes. I lucked out in some respects getting in at the very beginning of a new year (with price increase I might add.) So, as of this month the car is 24 months old, time for a new one! So, if anyone is in the market for a gently used, 2004 330cic in mystic blue with blue top and grey interior and 6 speed give me a buzz!

Oh, I should also add that the entire rearview mirror package is now standard with the transmitter and auto dim feature. I really missed the auto dim feature in my MY 2004 non-premium package 330cic.
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  #67  
Old 03-10-2005, 03:27 PM
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JonathanIT JonathanIT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jl5555
As you might recall one of the midyear 2003 MY enhancements was that they simply from March build on started calling the cars 2004 MY. Don't ask me why, they just did.
I think for that year in particular, it was because of the facelift redesign on the coupe/cabrios. I think maybe in other countries they aren't afraid to make such drastic appearance changes in middle of a MY, but here in the US people would freak out and just not be able to deal with it, I guess.

Sounds like you did pick up the '04 at just the right time; I don't even recall seeing very many on the road at all until around even when I got mine in January '04. Two years later and it still looks brand new! And for that reason I bet the resale value is terrific. I'm just curious, how many miles did you put on in 24 months?

--J.
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  #68  
Old 03-10-2005, 10:11 PM
jl5555 jl5555 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanIT
I think for that year in particular, it was because of the facelift redesign on the coupe/cabrios. I think maybe in other countries they aren't afraid to make such drastic appearance changes in middle of a MY, but here in the US people would freak out and just not be able to deal with it, I guess.

Sounds like you did pick up the '04 at just the right time; I don't even recall seeing very many on the road at all until around even when I got mine in January '04. Two years later and it still looks brand new! And for that reason I bet the resale value is terrific. I'm just curious, how many miles did you put on in 24 months?

--J.
Ah yes, the facelift. LOL, how could I forget??? I was moving up from a 2002 325cic so was just happy to be in the more powerful car. I think if I recall correctly that I did like the redesign somewhat.

I'm not as optimistic on the resale, we'll see as it's for sale now. It's got 20k on it now after 24 months.
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  #69  
Old 03-11-2005, 12:40 PM
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JonathanIT JonathanIT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jl5555
Ah yes, the facelift. LOL, how could I forget??? I was moving up from a 2002 325cic so was just happy to be in the more powerful car. I think if I recall correctly that I did like the redesign somewhat.

I'm not as optimistic on the resale, we'll see as it's for sale now. It's got 20k on it now after 24 months.
Wow, less than 10K a year.. that's pretty low mileage. I'm curious, since you like to "upgrade" your cabrios to newer models so often, do you find it easier to purchase/re-sell instead of lease? Your approach seems unusual, since you wouldn't have to worry about selling your car everytime if you leased.

--J.
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  #70  
Old 03-11-2005, 02:37 PM
jl5555 jl5555 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanIT
Wow, less than 10K a year.. that's pretty low mileage. I'm curious, since you like to "upgrade" your cabrios to newer models so often, do you find it easier to purchase/re-sell instead of lease? Your approach seems unusual, since you wouldn't have to worry about selling your car everytime if you leased.

--J.
If you only knew In actuality I've been changing cars every year since 2001. Yep, 4 cars since then. The only reason I kept the current cic for 24 months is due to the surruptitious timing of the 2004 model year in my favor.

I'm currently buying the cars as opposed to leasing the cars for a couple of reasons. The first reason is as I just mentioned; I like a new car every year. Not easy to find a place willing to do a reasonable 12 month lease.

Secondly, I live in Missouri. Here, you can apply the selling price of your previous car against the purchase price of your new car. It doesn't matter if it's private party, dealer, whatever. So, I only pay "incremental" sales taxes every year on the new ride. That's a good savings and theoretically equal to what the lease sales tax would be.

And third, I do European Delivery. There are subtle differences in that program if you happen to be leasing. They clip you somewhat on the lease term as it starts as soon as you pick up the car in Munich. When I finance the car, the first payment doesn't come due until 45 days after I pick the car up (roughly the time the car arrives in the states). This allows me almost 2 months of float on the car and more flexibility on the timing of replacement.
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  #71  
Old 03-11-2005, 08:39 PM
Lori Lori is offline
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Sparking Graphite looks nice. What a gorgeous little convertible you have there.
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