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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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Old 02-17-2010, 09:50 PM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Question To Buy: M3 e36 or M3 e46 convertible? Or just a cheaper 330 instead?

I'm new to the BMW world and am considering between used low mileage M3 convertibles in both generations but can't decide between the e36 and e46 versions? they both seem to have their pluses and minuses. I'm so confused and am wondering if the extra bucks are worth it for an M3--maybe I should just get a 330 or 328 and be done with it. Are M3s that much better than 330s and 328s? Any advice and experiences would be greatly appreciated as I have some very good used car buying opportunities for any of these options. Thanks in advance for your answers (if there existing threads on this issue please direct me).

I just posted on both e36 m3 and e46 m3 forum threads in the interests of fairness!
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:27 PM
MJS MJS is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 ///M3
I would drive all the cars you're looking at and see what you like.
46 & 2 just ahead of me...

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Old 02-22-2010, 05:14 PM
caseypaige caseypaige is offline
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If I were you I would research a bit more on the BMW 3 series and ///M model the difference is HUGE!! You cannot compare the models you listed to an M3. It's true they all have they're pluses and minuses, it's all on what you are looking for. If you are looking for performance and wanna get around go w/ the M3, and if you can afford the payments too. However, the e46 2001-2006 model shouldn't run you SO much per/month or out the door price if you go through a private seller but as you should know the dealers bring the sale price higher than the kelly blue book so they can make they're $$. Also to ME I find it wasteful if you get an automatic M3. This car is full of FUN and the thrill is amazing w/ a manual option. I am an M3 owner and it's by far the best car I've ever had!! So let us all know later what you end up getting. GOOD LUCK!!
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:12 PM
eshelman eshelman is offline
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kiril, i have owned e46 m3 and e46 330ci convertibles. the 330 is a great car but between the two there is no comparison-- highly recommend the m3. good luck!
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:26 PM
cali311soca cali311soca is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 M3 6sp
I never liked the look of an M convertible... Just an opinion though. When it comes down to choices, it's still an M3. But maintenance prices are going to be more expensive for an M car, i.e. oil changes, servicing, brake pad replacements etc...
Friends don't let friends drink Monster and drive
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:03 PM
GPerera GPerera is offline
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Location: MIami
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Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
I have to agree with my fellow M3 owners, the M3 is a completely different expierence. It has to be what you want.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:47 AM
S.khakh S.khakh is offline
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I've briefly driven both m3 and 330 and in all honesty on the road the m3 wasn't any different to drive, it just has the extra kudos of being an M car so it depends on you, if you want an M definatly go for the E46 with a great service history as it will hold value and cost you less in repairs(good service usually means well looked after, but not always)

Having said that my list of dream cars does include an E46 M3 clubsport manual with all the extras and not a 330ci
(I'm sure CSL is amazing but I don't track race so it doesn't make the cut)
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:57 AM
Rob 379 Rob 379 is offline
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Location: Kangaroo Point, SYDNEY
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Mein Auto: 2006 M3; 2008 335i Coupe
We currently have in our family a 330i (daughter at Uni), a 335i (spouse for the time-being) and an M3 (me).
My choice is the M3. Comfortable, safe and it's different.
Once you have driven a M3 for a bit, there is no going back.
It took me 12 months to get used to the SMG.
After 30,000 kms, the car had a settled pesonality of it's own.
I drive it as my day car everyday. I can't wait to get in it at the end of each day.
It is fantastic.
Best of luck with your decision.
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