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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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Old 05-31-2006, 08:33 PM
johnnygraphic's Avatar
johnnygraphic johnnygraphic is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bay Area-California
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 853
Mein Auto: 330i Performance Package
E46 vs E90

I had the pleasure of driving a 2006 325i for the Memorial Day weekend some 500 miles over a bunch of different type of roads. It was a loaner since my car was in for service. (Sorry for covering this again but I felt it my civic duty to do it!)

The first thing I noticed was that it was very quiet. I could only hear a little engine noise and tire noise. That was it. Very nice ride too. It was a regular model, it didn't have the sport suspension, so I can't really comment on the handling too much. I'm not sure if it was my imagination or if the steering was over boosted, but I don't knoww if it had the active steering or not. The ride was quite isolated and very nice. The car did turn in nicely and the handling was adequate. I didn't really push it very hard since I don't like to do that very much in an unfamiliar car on public roads. The automatic was also very smooth-too smooth. Upshifts/downshifts didn't have any of that 'kick'. The transition between gears took a little too long and even at wide open throttle, there was too much 'padding' of the clutch. I also thougt it odd (I've never driven a auto BMW) that when you're in manual mode in 5th gear, if you stomp on the accelerator it will automatically downshift for you, that it will decide for you which gear you want to be in vs. just going wide open in that particular gear. I didn't really care for the seats (I had back surgery 5 months ago). Even though it has more adjustments (lumbar), I prefer the seats in my ZHP. So, I wound up with a sore back during my drive. It did not have Navi, so no iDrive. So, the radio display portion was just the regular type. It was quite irritating because my sunglasses washed out the display for the radio. I had to keep moving my sunglasses out of the way to see what station I was on. However, I was able to see the AC controls etc. And regarding the AC controls...FINALLY BMW figured out that simple rotary dials are much more intuitive to use. However, I'd rather see the dials that have a definite Start & End to them (Like 9 & 3). Is it just me or are my arms too short? (Keep the comments to yourself!). When I went to adjust the mirrors, it seems like I had to reach too far forward to get to them. I know I'll get hate mail for this, but, the window controls are where they seem to make the most sense. (I did get used to them being on the center console though...)

The trunk is very nice and roomy.

O.K. WHAT IS UP WITH THE KEY AND THE START BUTTON!!! Tough to get used to and I always had to think if I'm doing it right. The START button is kind of a neat idea, but, the whole "push it in until it clicks and then you can take it out but there will be a light on the dash until you put it back and then you'll have to push it all the way in until it clicks again to make sure you turn off the whole car" is a little annoying. Keep things simple.

AND, WHAT IS UP WITH THE SIGNAL STALK!!! Gently push to signal for 3 flashies, push until it clicks to make it stay, then, if it doesn't automatically turn off, push it the other way. Very tiresome. It takes too much attention away from driving to make sure you're not eternally signally. Logically, it makes sense, but in real practice, it's just plain over-engineering.

O.K. I think I'm thru. All in all, I missed my ZHP (Bottom line).

Thanks for listening & let the replies FLY!!!


Last edited by johnnygraphic; 05-31-2006 at 08:36 PM.
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