E46 Coupe VS. Sedan Handling - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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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 11-09-2012, 09:16 AM
mhw58 mhw58 is offline
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E46 Coupe VS. Sedan Handling

My friend is trying to decide whether to buy a coupe or sedan. He prefers the looks of the coupe but also knows the sedan has advantages in room and ease of backseat entry. Has anyone driven both and can compare the handling of the two. Any other advantages or disadvantages of the two? I read some threads about the coupe and sounds like the doors are very heavy and not easy to open in tight quarters. Resale value any different?
Thanks for your input!
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:26 AM
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cwsqbm cwsqbm is offline
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The handling is essentially the same, if they have the same suspension - ie a ZHP coupe and ZHP sedan will handle the same. The rest is personal preference.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:43 AM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Originally Posted by cwsqbm View Post
The handling is essentially the same, if they have the same suspension - ie a ZHP coupe and ZHP sedan will handle the same. The rest is personal preference.
+1. Coupes sell for more than sedans. That is universally true, not just for BMW 3ers. Coupe doors are always longer and heavier than sedan doors and harder to open in tight spaces.

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Old 11-09-2012, 11:04 AM
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j_schroeder j_schroeder is offline
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The doors suck, windows do not have frame, as s result of thst the drivers door tends to be noisy due to aged weather stripping, also you have to close the windows when the doors are closed otherwise the window won't seat right. But all that being said I love my coupe, and majority of the coups came standard with sport suspension and the painted door trim. Also the doors are not that bad in tight spaces (shame on you if you try to weasel into a small space w/ your bummer in the first place)

2001 330CI
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:33 AM
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mawana mawana is offline
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Structurally, the sedan is more rigid! Does that contribute to better handling even by a small delta, can't say.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:50 AM
RivMcLean RivMcLean is offline
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I drove both and bought the Coupe. The sedan was confortable to drive, but the Coupe felt more agile on the road which is what I was looking for, a sportier drive. This was my first BMW and not knowing anything between the two models at that time I bought by seat of the pants feel. It comes down to personal preference. No wife, no kids, no need for extra doors
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:56 AM
heztheone heztheone is offline
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I owned both, coupe and sedan, Coupe ZSP and current Sedan ZHP, they handle somewhat the same, the Sedan has a slight edge

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Old 11-09-2012, 12:53 PM
emrocha4 emrocha4 is offline
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I have the sedan and not the coupe. But, I have owned Coupes before with a Camero and the door thing is deffenetly a negative part of having a coupe in general. Love my Sedan!!!
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:14 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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Coupes rule, sedans drool!

One annoying issue with the coupe is the fold-down rear seats... they creek. If you're getting a newer model with active bi-xenon headlights, simply sign on the dotted line. This is a feature not available on the sedan and it is really an awesome advancement in headlight technology. If you drive on twisty roads at night, like I do, it's a must have option. IMO.

If you're not familiar with it, when in "A" active mode, the headlights turn with the steering wheel to help you look around corners better. Outstanding!!!
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:07 AM
Y2K_Bimmer Y2K_Bimmer is offline
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I bought my sedan partially because of the doors being smaller. Really like being able to open the door behind me to throw my stuff in rather than flipping the driver seat forward. I suppose when you hit forty practical makes you smile more often than looking cool.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:36 PM
grayghost grayghost is offline
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Being fairly tall (6'2"), I like the larger doors and door openings; gives me more room to get in and out without bumping something. I guess the large doors might be a slightl disadvantage in tight quarters, but can't really say it's been an issue.
Theorically, the sedan is more rigid than the coupe, partly becsuse the coupe has the fold down rear seats. I doubt very much that the difference would be noticeable to anyone but a professional race driver. (And my coupe does quite well on the track.) I figure my (intentional) lack of moon roof more than makes up for the loss of rigidity due to the folding seats.. I've never noticed the fold down seats creaking or making any noise and they have come in handy many times. I can carry 10' and even 12' lumber when properly padded.
If I were buying again, I would definitely go for the coupe again...
2004Ci 6sp manual, sport pkg, Titanium Silver/gray leather, UUC Swaybars, H&R springs, Blistein Shocks, UUC SSK, CDV delete, Autobaun miles (European Delivery)
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