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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 09-20-2005, 04:37 AM
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mistercindy mistercindy is offline
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Used E46 or new E90? What are your experiences?

I test drove a manual E90 on Saturday and loved it. I plan to drive a used E46 next weekend. But I'd like to hear of experiences from those who have driven each car at some length.

I ask because, as a general rule, I don't buy new cars. I normally buy something a couple of years old with low mileage. So, part of me wants to buy a low mileage two year old E46 for considerably less money, but if the E90 is a genuinely better car in the eyes of those who've driven both, then I'll consider a new one.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2005, 05:02 AM
JoeK JoeK is offline
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I think the E46 is nicer looking and the interior is more driver-focused, but the ride in the E90 is a bit better.
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2005, 05:31 AM
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There is no comparison. Some people prefer the look of the E46, I do not. The E46 is archaic in every sense of the word. I never liked the feel of the E46 tranny, the throws are long and sloppy compared to the E90. The E46 lacks the power and refinement the E90 has. Yes the dash is more drivers oriented in the E46 but it looks so dated, the guages and cluster, the radio etc. Since the E90 is a new model the E46 will start to decline more rapidly in value after the first year of the E90. The E46 has been around since 1998, and then it was an update on the E36, from 1992. The E90 is a radical change in all aspects. I understand buying the car a few years after new not to take the depreciation hit, but do you need a new car now or can you wait? You may be able to purchase a demo E90 or something like that. However, the value of the E46 should drop a bit more and it would be a good deal. Drive both and see what you like better, that is the acid test. I love my E90 and all the modern amenities it has, and the added comfort convenience, power and improved gas mileage. Best of luck to you!
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  #4  
Old 09-20-2005, 09:20 AM
matwags matwags is offline
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e46 vs e90

I have a 2002 5 speed 330i SP.

Yesterday I drove a 330i 6 speed. I have to admit that I came away underwhelmed by the power of the e90. I felt that the 6 speed, for lack of a beter term, was ratchety. I love 2nd gear in my car, where the e90 2nd felt like any other gear. I felt like it was missing the low end grunt, and the outburst of power after 4000 rpm that mine has.

I think that the new interior is nice, but not that much different than mine. I noticed that the wider center console dug into my right calf, has anyone else noticed this?

Some people really like the new exterior. I find that it is blander than the e46, particularly the butt.

I am not dissing the e90, so please don't flame me. I thought the new 330i would blow me away. I was really kind of bummed out after the test drive. I am going to do another test drive and see if yesterday was an abberation.

Cheers,

Matt
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  #5  
Old 09-20-2005, 09:44 AM
alpinewhite325i alpinewhite325i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapezzul
There is no comparison. Some people prefer the look of the E46, I do not. The E46 is archaic in every sense of the word. I never liked the feel of the E46 tranny, the throws are long and sloppy compared to the E90. The E46 lacks the power and refinement the E90 has. Yes the dash is more drivers oriented in the E46 but it looks so dated, the guages and cluster, the radio etc. Since the E90 is a new model the E46 will start to decline more rapidly in value after the first year of the E90. The E46 has been around since 1998, and then it was an update on the E36, from 1992. The E90 is a radical change in all aspects. I understand buying the car a few years after new not to take the depreciation hit, but do you need a new car now or can you wait? You may be able to purchase a demo E90 or something like that. However, the value of the E46 should drop a bit more and it would be a good deal. Drive both and see what you like better, that is the acid test. I love my E90 and all the modern amenities it has, and the added comfort convenience, power and improved gas mileage. Best of luck to you!
Thanks for the unbiased opinion.
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  #6  
Old 09-20-2005, 09:48 AM
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The E90 is a better car, obviously they wouldn't come out with a car that is worse than its prior gen. The only reason to take the E46 of the E90 is if you like the styling of the E46 better.
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  #7  
Old 09-20-2005, 09:50 AM
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The E46 and E90 are both fine cars. The E90 is the better performing car.
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  #8  
Old 09-20-2005, 12:39 PM
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ase2dais ase2dais is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapezzul
There is no comparison. Some people prefer the look of the E46, I do not. The E46 is archaic in every sense of the word. I never liked the feel of the E46 tranny, the throws are long and sloppy compared to the E90. The E46 lacks the power and refinement the E90 has. Yes the dash is more drivers oriented in the E46 but it looks so dated, the guages and cluster, the radio etc. Since the E90 is a new model the E46 will start to decline more rapidly in value after the first year of the E90. The E46 has been around since 1998, and then it was an update on the E36, from 1992. The E90 is a radical change in all aspects. I understand buying the car a few years after new not to take the depreciation hit, but do you need a new car now or can you wait? You may be able to purchase a demo E90 or something like that. However, the value of the E46 should drop a bit more and it would be a good deal. Drive both and see what you like better, that is the acid test. I love my E90 and all the modern amenities it has, and the added comfort convenience, power and improved gas mileage. Best of luck to you!
i agree, plus I cant see paying 36/48/60 mos for an old body style, that by the time I done with the payments and ready to sell it, Id be competing with more newer body styled cars, thereby dropping my resale price considerably.
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  #9  
Old 09-20-2005, 12:56 PM
Krochelli Krochelli is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ase2dais
i agree, plus I cant see paying 36/48/60 mos for an old body style, that by the time I done with the payments and ready to sell it, Id be competing with more newer body styled cars, thereby dropping my resale price considerably.
You can't be arguing that a 3 year old car will depreciate less than a new one. That's just not true. Your E90 will depreciate >40% over 3 years, like it or not.

Value-wise, a new car is never a good option---but we all like new toys
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2005, 01:06 PM
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ase2dais ase2dais is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krochelli
You can't be arguing that a 3 year old car will depreciate less than a new one. That's just not true. Your E90 will depreciate >40% over 3 years, like it or not.

Value-wise, a new car is never a good option---but we all like new toys
taken and agree that newer cars will depreciate faster,

but i still hold dear my opinion, that I cant see paying 36/48/60 mos for an old body styled car, which will likely loose its appeal much faster in years to come.

If i like to buy a used car, had get a yr old use car that just came out with a new body style, and be still hip for a least 2/3 yrs to come.
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  #11  
Old 09-28-2005, 10:01 AM
jexner325 jexner325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ase2dais
taken and agree that newer cars will depreciate faster,

but i still hold dear my opinion, that I cant see paying 36/48/60 mos for an old body styled car, which will likely loose its appeal much faster in years to come.

If i like to buy a used car, had get a yr old use car that just came out with a new body style, and be still hip for a least 2/3 yrs to come.
First, You're assuming the buyer would be getting a loan. Second, appeal is subjective and really has no impact on depreciation. Supply and Demand; Economics 101. Many people dispise the look of a Bentley, but i imagine it's resale value is fairly good. If you want to stay hip with a new car, get a lease and you won't have to worry about it, but i would rather own my car and keep it in good shape for years to come then essentially rent a car to stay hip.
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  #12  
Old 09-28-2005, 10:50 AM
r_liebo r_liebo is offline
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Owned 2 E46s, now driven E90 several times

Originally I disliked the E90 styling. It has now grown on me considerably, and although the E46 is still more classically beautiful, it now looks small and dated to me.

As to the drive, as others have echoed here, I was a bit disappointed with the acceleration "push" in the E90. I drove both manuals and auto's and wasn't as "wowed" as I expected from 0-60 numbers allegedly in the low sixes. I remember the last E46 330 sport I drove a few years back, and it felt a lot faster albeit with 20K miles on the odo. Not saying it was actually faster, but certainly felt that the torque in the E46 gave a much more fun push in the back during hard acceleration. That push just isn't there in a new E90 -- 330 or 325.
That being said, the E90 power was more linear, and these cars definitely get noticably stronger as the engine breaks in. As to whether an E90 with 15K miles will feel as strong as the E46, that is anyone's guess. I'm betting that it will. Also, just a "seat of the pants" impression -- not based on actual numbers. The car is is still plenty quick, particularly the the 330, just not "fun fast" like some other cars on the market with similar acceleration numbers.

This was the only aspect missing a bit for me with the E90. I think the E90 is superior in every other way. It is bigger, has more cargo room, more contemporary, much more technologically advanced, better gas mileage, and the handling is unbeatable, particularly with the sport package. You also get a fresh design that will be less likely to bore you after a year or so (E46's have been around for quite a while now).

The last thing to consider is that there will be bugs if you buy any first year car, so you are taking a bit of a chance there. The E46 has all the bugs worked out over the years, but you are also getting a used car, so pick your poison to some extent.
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  #13  
Old 09-28-2005, 11:05 AM
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peakpro peakpro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistercindy
I test drove a manual E90 on Saturday and loved it. I plan to drive a used E46 next weekend. But I'd like to hear of experiences from those who have driven each car at some length.

I ask because, as a general rule, I don't buy new cars. I normally buy something a couple of years old with low mileage. So, part of me wants to buy a low mileage two year old E46 for considerably less money, but if the E90 is a genuinely better car in the eyes of those who've driven both, then I'll consider a new one.

Thanks in advance.
Passed on your past experience go with the E46.

It's a great car and you will get 90% of the driving pleasure that a new e90 will bring.

I think it terms of value for money the answer is clear.
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2005, 12:06 PM
Xens Xens is offline
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Keep two things in mind:

E46 definitely FEELS faster without a doubt, due to more road and wind noise. I thought an auto 2001 325i was faster than my 330 taking off but when I stared at the speedo it was obvious that it wasn't accelerating as fast driven hard as my 330i driven gently. It's a sense of speed, for some reason the E90 doesn't feel super fast, but if I turn my head and look out the side windows I get the same feeling of speed, just not outwards from the windshield.

Second of all, everyone's test driving brand new cars now so they are not broken in, not even the slightest bit, I know my car definitely drives better now at 500 miles than when it was at 20, I think optimal performance will come around 10k - 20k. Can't wait to hit that!
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  #15  
Old 09-28-2005, 02:35 PM
squirtdad squirtdad is offline
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I have to question whether used is always the better value ....In the san jose area it seems that used car prices are high .I am seeing a 2003 325i 40k (well equipped sport, prem, leather) 'on special' for $29k.

Depending on what a person has to have for options.... it looks like a base e90 can be had for about $30k add sport and halogen and you are at maybe $32 k for a great car.

Having a zero mileage car that you know exactly how it has been cared for has, for me anyway a great value..... and if you plan on keeping the car for any length of time, could be priceless
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  #16  
Old 09-28-2005, 02:40 PM
De_UnKnOwN_1 De_UnKnOwN_1 is offline
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The E46 is an amazing car, I canít give you an unbiased opinion since I havenít driven the E90, and I own an E46 and am in love with it. It is an amazing car, the handling, spottiness and power. I have the 325i and I think the power is great. You wont be disappointed. But the only way to see for your self is to test drive.>>
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  #17  
Old 09-28-2005, 03:23 PM
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cntlaw cntlaw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peakpro
Passed on your past experience go with the E46.

It's a great car and you will get 90% of the driving pleasure that a new e90 will bring.

.

I love this great statement of encouragement.
I never driven a E46, so not really sure if it is true that E46 has 90% 'drivng pleasure' of a E90. But, he will definitely be very happy with a 2002/3 E46 handling department comparing what he is driving now a 2000 E320 W210
And, is he really ready to give up the spacious W210 and squeeze into a tiny E46/E90?
cnt
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Old 09-28-2005, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistercindy
I test drove a manual E90 on Saturday and loved it. I plan to drive a used E46 next weekend. But I'd like to hear of experiences from those who have driven each car at some length.

I ask because, as a general rule, I don't buy new cars. I normally buy something a couple of years old with low mileage. So, part of me wants to buy a low mileage two year old E46 for considerably less money, but if the E90 is a genuinely better car in the eyes of those who've driven both, then I'll consider a new one.

Thanks in advance.
How did the E46 test drive go?
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  #19  
Old 09-29-2005, 12:40 PM
jexner325 jexner325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistercindy
I test drove a manual E90 on Saturday and loved it. I plan to drive a used E46 next weekend. But I'd like to hear of experiences from those who have driven each car at some length.

I ask because, as a general rule, I don't buy new cars. I normally buy something a couple of years old with low mileage. So, part of me wants to buy a low mileage two year old E46 for considerably less money, but if the E90 is a genuinely better car in the eyes of those who've driven both, then I'll consider a new one.

Thanks in advance.
I like the E46; drives like a champ but there is a lot of knick knack stuff (window regulators fail regularly); but can't say that isn't in the E90 either. If you can wait, buy a year used E90; that way you can get a better idea from E90 owners who have had their car for more than a year what they think. Just a side--a lot of E46 posts show that the car drove like a dream for the first 30K and then it all changed--people tend to get bored with a car after three years. So you will get a better idea of what you can expect on an E46 vs. E90 simply due to a historical perspective. I have 78K on my E46 and so far it has been reliable, fun, and worth it. I would reccomend it!
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  #20  
Old 09-29-2005, 06:03 PM
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the_s_rabbit the_s_rabbit is offline
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The only e46 I've driven that feels like it will handle as well as the e90 is a 330 ZHP. If there were more of them around here, I would have seriously considered it. Actually I did seriously consider it. But the jerk at the dealership didn't want to deal with me, so I told him where to go. It took them 2 more months to sell it.

For me it would have to be ZHP, or even M3...some of those have a price point low enough to compete with a new 330.
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