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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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  #1  
Old 12-27-2012, 02:47 PM
x5alpine x5alpine is offline
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325xi sport or 330xi non-sport?

I'm looking at buying either a 325xi with sport pkg or a 330xi but without the sport package, which one would be the better buy?
325xi, 107k-$10500
330xi, 118k-$12500

Thanks!!
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2012, 02:58 PM
emrocha4 emrocha4 is offline
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What year are they? I have the 330i sport pkg and love it. there are so many 325 out there. Meaning that everyone is selling them. You dont find as many of the 330xi so people love them and keep them. I got mine for $9000.00 and it had 122,000 and it is clean. So I would try to get it for less either one. look at KBB.
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2012, 03:12 PM
x5alpine x5alpine is offline
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the 325xi is a 2004 and the 330xi is an 05. I love the power of the 330xi but the sport pkg on the 325 is just so nice. btw, I cant find a 330xi with sport pkg where I live
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2012, 03:20 PM
emrocha4 emrocha4 is offline
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Well all the X means it is is all wheel. find a 330i sport that is what i have. See my pic of it in my garage.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2012, 03:21 PM
emrocha4 emrocha4 is offline
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Like I said the 325 are a dime a dozen in my opinion.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2012, 03:49 PM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x5alpine View Post
I'm looking at buying either a 325xi with sport pkg or a 330xi but without the sport package, which one would be the better buy?
The presence of the sport package on 'xi cars is only sport seats and 3-spoke sport steering wheel. There is no difference in suspension between those two cars.

If you can get by with less HP and (IMHO) better seats, the 325xi is the better deal.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2012, 03:59 PM
emrocha4 emrocha4 is offline
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No there is more than then that. It also included cruise control. The car was also given sport seats which provided better bolstering and support than the stock seats. They also had adjustable thigh supports and were available in manual or power. The sports package also offered 17-inch wheels standard, which came with staggered lower profile tires. Rear-wheel-drive models ordered with the Sport package also received sport suspension, which offered improved handling by way of firmer springs.
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2012, 04:17 PM
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OfTheLost OfTheLost is online now
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OP, i see that youre located in Reno. Other than personal preference is there any legitimate reason you need all wheel drive in the desert? AWD gets worse gas mileage and it harder on a transmission, and thw set up on these cars makes certain repairs harder to do. If i were you i would find a regular 330i with a sport package, then you could get the extra power at a cheaper price
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2012, 04:20 PM
emrocha4 emrocha4 is offline
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OfTheLost, is right that is the perfect thing to do!
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2012, 07:09 PM
x5alpine x5alpine is offline
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1st, Reno gets a lot more snow than you think, haha, and is 15 min from the closest ski resort, and the 2nd reason I want an xi is because I'm a very avid skier
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  #11  
Old 12-28-2012, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x5alpine View Post
, and the 2nd reason I want an xi is because I'm a very avid skier
Then you should be looking for a touring with ZSP. Skis go inside with no need for an ugly, noisy, gas robbing roof rack.
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  #12  
Old 12-28-2012, 07:12 AM
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Given that both are xi, I'd go 330 > 325 as the engine makes a the biggest difference (outside of manual vs automatic). Just look at how many 325i owners' first posts are "how do I make my car faster."

If comparing automatics, the 330xi wins because the 330xi has the same gearing as the 325xi. If comparing manuals, the 330xi wins because it has the 6-speed. The only 325 I'd consider would be the Touring, because no 330 Touring was imported.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emrocha4 View Post
No there is more than then that. It also included cruise control. The car was also given sport seats which provided better bolstering and support than the stock seats. They also had adjustable thigh supports and were available in manual or power. The sports package also offered 17-inch wheels standard, which came with staggered lower profile tires. Rear-wheel-drive models ordered with the Sport package also received sport suspension, which offered improved handling by way of firmer springs.
Not really.

(1) 330xi came standard with 17" wheels (because of item #5). Neither 325xi or 330xi had staggered wheels. Only RWD 330i/330Ci got staggered wheels with the Sport Package.
(2) 330xi came standard with power (non-sport) seats - optional on the 325xi.
(3) At least by 2005 (not sure when and don't feel like looking it up), cruise control was standard on ALL E46s in the USA.
(4) 2005 330xi came standard with HK stereo.
(5) All 330's have bigger front and rear brakes than 325's.
(5) What the RWD models get with the Sport Package doesn't apply to this discussion.
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  #13  
Old 12-28-2012, 12:19 PM
Fishful Thinking Fishful Thinking is offline
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Screw everyone's opinions, just go drive them and decide from what your gut/butt are telling you. "Value" is purely subjective.

That being said, condition matters more than engine size. Get the best condition car you can afford, period, 'cause these aren't cheap to fix. Look for the car with the most complete service records. Good luck!
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  #14  
Old 12-28-2012, 01:54 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Originally Posted by emrocha4 View Post
Like I said the 325 are a dime a dozen in my opinion.
They are, but very rarely burn oil.
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  #15  
Old 12-28-2012, 02:24 PM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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Go with your gut on this. You probably already have an inclination for one car over the other. As long as the car as been taken care of and serviced correctly, sounds like either would suit your needs.
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  #16  
Old 12-28-2012, 02:33 PM
Tommy D Tommy D is offline
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OP, since you asked, 330
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  #17  
Old 12-28-2012, 11:42 PM
lgr122 lgr122 is offline
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330 for sure, bigger engine is always better and you can add sport to it bit later if you want.

Unless you already found very pretty 325 for good price and can't get your eyes off anymore...
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  #18  
Old 12-29-2012, 12:58 AM
x5alpine x5alpine is offline
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thanks!, I really want the power of the 330xi but the 325xi's interior just feels so much better because of the sport wheel and seats. I'm leaning toward the 325xi more. Its also the cheapest. What about an 02 x5 4.4i? grey on black but it doesn't have sport pkg?

Thanks!!
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  #19  
Old 12-29-2012, 11:36 AM
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I say you go with the 330xi. It's easier to install nicer seats in the 330 than squeezing more power out of a 325.

Do either (or both) have the cold weather package? You know, it comes with a nice little pass through bag just for skis... You may be the only person I've ever met that could/would actually use it... Mine just responds to pressure changes in the cabin (like, say, when i roll down the windows) by filling with air, busting out of it's case, and flailing about the backseat like a cross between one of those air-filled thingies at a used car dealership and a busted air cylinder.
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  #20  
Old 12-29-2012, 11:50 AM
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I assume the bumpers are all the same? You can always add a steering wheel later on but the sport seats are nice.
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  #21  
Old 12-29-2012, 03:38 PM
x5alpine x5alpine is offline
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Yea, good ideas, what about the suspension?, is there a big difference in the way the sport and non-sport handle?
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  #22  
Old 12-29-2012, 04:15 PM
Tommy D Tommy D is offline
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I read the sports package on the XI models that there is no suspension differences due to the AWD. Is this true?
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  #23  
Old 12-29-2012, 06:25 PM
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I do not believe the xi models have sport suspension due ot clearenace and front diff issues.

TO me, the whole point of getting the sport package is the suspension and handling improvements. THe seats and sport wheels etc are nice, but it's the improved handling that matters.

My 325i with MT and sport package (along with Hotchkis sways) would leave that 330xi in the dust!! Unless you're dragging from a dead stop or plan on racing at speeds well above legal limits, the 325i willl be all you need. There isn't a significant difference between the two when it comes to power. The 330 non xi with auto has the same 0-60 as the 325i with MT. 325i MT to 330iMT is about 1/2 second difference. If that is important to you, go for the 330.
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  #24  
Old 12-29-2012, 06:49 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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I originally had a 325i, then sold it for a 330ci. Get the 330xi, you will regret not getting it later on due to the extra power it has over the 325xi. The transition from 325i to 330ci was a noticeable jump in power. There is no way the 325i can compare to the low end power of the 330ci.
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  #25  
Old 12-29-2012, 06:54 PM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy D View Post
I read the sports package on the XI models that there is no suspension differences due to the AWD. Is this true?
That is correct. The XI (either 325xi or 330xi) has only one suspension, period.
It is stiffer (for roll control) and higher (for clearance) than the standard suspension.
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