Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-27-2016, 10:21 PM
Gibbo Gibbo is offline
Registered User
Location: Rye
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: Bmw 330
Which should I buy - 325ci or 330ci convertible?

Hi guys,im new to this forum,need a bit of help and advice please,im looking at buying an bmw convertible,and im not sure which 1,i like 325 ci and the 330ci ,which 1 is best,and what should i be looking out for when i view them,im not looking to spend mega money,prob 3k to 4k,most of the ones on autotrader ebay etc have all done between 99000 and 130000,is the mileage a major issue or do they last for ever,any help would be greatly appreciated,also any specialist sites that i dont know about,with cars for sale as well,cheers guys,have a good day
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 04-28-2016, 07:01 AM
Rob@BA's Avatar
Rob@BA Rob@BA is online now
'Fest Sponsor
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 441
Mein Auto: 5 Series. 3 Series.
Hello and Welcome to Bimmerfest, Ask this in the E46 section and i am positive you will receive answers!
__________________
Coding Specialist at Bimmer America LLC. E-Series and F-Series Remote Coding + NAV Updates. 10% off with promo code: "Rob"

Visit us at www.BimmerAmerica.com for the Complete BMW Enthusiast Source: News, Coding, Navigation Map Updates, Parts, Accessories, and Buying Guides.

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-28-2016, 09:39 AM
tim330i's Avatar
tim330i tim330i is offline
Bimmerfest.com Founder
Location: SF
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 11,722
Mein Auto: Ti Silver 03 M3
Welcome to Bimmerfest! I've moved your question to our E46 3 Series forum, you'll get more feedback in here. Have you driven both? The 330 power is nice so I suggest that if the deal is right. Make sure you get a pre purchase inspection and plan on putting money into the cooling system and suspension unless those have been taken care of.

Tim
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-28-2016, 10:36 AM
Solidjake's Avatar
Solidjake Solidjake is offline
Zero. Leaks.
Location: NYC
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 18,071
Mein Auto: 02 330i 6MT
330
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-28-2016, 11:03 AM
cvx5832 cvx5832 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Walnut Creek, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 974
Mein Auto: 325Ci, 325Cic, C300
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
Hi guys,im new to this forum,need a bit of help and advice please,im looking at buying an bmw convertible,and im not sure which 1,i like 325 ci and the 330ci ,which 1 is best,and what should i be looking out for when i view them,im not looking to spend mega money,prob 3k to 4k,most of the ones on autotrader ebay etc have all done between 99000 and 130000,is the mileage a major issue or do they last for ever,any help would be greatly appreciated,also any specialist sites that i dont know about,with cars for sale as well,cheers guys,have a good day
Choose whichever, but I'm not sure how good your experience will be with a $3k E46.
__________________






Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-28-2016, 11:47 AM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is online now
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 38,183
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Your projected budget is unrealistic....you`ll likely need significantly more than that amount for a decent car, otherwise you`ll end up with a neglected car that will kill you with repairs....
That said, an E46 `vert is a heavy car, the extra 50 HP offered by the 330CiC will be very welcome.

You should heed the old saying "There`s nothing more expensive than a cheap BMW"
__________________
The road goes ever onward....
(R.I.P. Jever)

*Please support the Disabled American Veterans*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-28-2016, 06:59 PM
OlgaMPM OlgaMPM is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: UK
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 218
Mein Auto: E46
The one with three pedals!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-28-2016, 08:05 PM
MoparJim MoparJim is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Fresno, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 484
Mein Auto: 1967 Barracuda convert
Budget is about 1/3 what you need for a decent car. When I did the research prior to buying our '04 last year I concluded that there was absolutely no reason to even look at a 325. We spent about twice what your budget is and still had to have the trans overhauled (which we knew at purchase time) for an additional $3,200...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-28-2016, 08:41 PM
joeyrs416 joeyrs416 is offline
2009 750i
Location: Markham, Ontario, Canada
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 388
Mein Auto: 2009 750i
I just got my vert last month. It didn't matter to me whether 325 or 330. Just be patient and go for the one with the best condition. Test drive, listen to the engine, look for any leaks, check the history. I ended up with a 2005 330Ci manual with M package (Canadian version of ZHP) with 80k miles. Only 2 previous owners and the last one had her for 8 yrs and only summer driven. I had to pay though to get all those benefits. My budget was same as yours but it became 3 to almost 4 times that. Good luck!
__________________

2009 750i Imperial Blue Metallic, Style 253 Wheels
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-04-2016, 09:48 PM
chet31 chet31 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Madison WI
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 437
Mein Auto: 05 330i convertible
Buy a car that's in good condition. 330 is nice, but not necessary, you're in a vert, enjoy the ride. If you want a car that's really quick, don't buy a vert in the first place, in fact, don't buy an E46 in the first place. Good luck w/ your purchase.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-05-2016, 10:49 AM
Art Teach 325Ci Art Teach 325Ci is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Ohio
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 328
Mein Auto: 2005 BMW 325Ci Conv 3peds
I'll chime in as a 325Ci convertible owner. If the added power is something that is really important to you then like others suggest you might want to go with the 330, that being said having owned my 325 for about six months now and I can't think of a time that I was driving and was left wanting more power (I'm a fairly reserved driver though usually stay at five mph over, and no lead foot). There have been a few times where I downshift for a little bit extra though so maybe if you are looking at automatics it might be an issue.

I have to agree with the others if you are only spending $3000 you might find yourself spending the same on repairs and deferred maintenance.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-08-2016, 05:28 PM
hockeynut's Avatar
hockeynut hockeynut is offline
Casey!
Location: Austin, TX
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 17,607
Mein Auto: '04 330cic
I've got an '04 330 convertible 6 speed, had it since new, just about to hit 58k miles.

By all means get a manual. Automatics, esp with BMW's laughable "lifetime fill" are just waiting to fail.

Check that the cooling system was replaced (radiator, water pump, etc) ideally every 60k miles. Its a big weak spot in the E46.

The 330 had a few extras that the 325 lacked but the biggest is extra HP (225 vs 184) and it makes a big difference as the E46 isn't a light car.

Service records! You want a well maintained car. If it wasn't well maintained then walk away. As I mentioned above, BMW tried to go cheap with "lifetime fill" so check to see that the previous owner did the transmission, diff, etc fluids. Ideally you want a car from a BMW CCA member who followed Mike Miller's "Old School Maintenance Schedule".

As folks mentioned above, $3k isn't nearly enough Figure $10k for decent car. You'll save money by spending more money.

Good luck - they're fantastic cars and you'll smile everytime you drive it!
__________________
SteveH

"Now I guess I'll have to tell 'em...That I've got no cerebellum" - The Ramones, "Teenage Lobotomy"
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-09-2016, 08:35 PM
chet31 chet31 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Madison WI
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 437
Mein Auto: 05 330i convertible
Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeynut View Post
I've got an '04 330 convertible 6 speed, had it since new, just about to hit 58k miles.

By all means get a manual. Automatics, esp with BMW's laughable "lifetime fill" are just waiting to fail.

Check that the cooling system was replaced (radiator, water pump, etc) ideally every 60k miles. Its a big weak spot in the E46.

The 330 had a few extras that the 325 lacked but the biggest is extra HP (225 vs 184) and it makes a big difference as the E46 isn't a light car.

Service records! You want a well maintained car. If it wasn't well maintained then walk away. As I mentioned above, BMW tried to go cheap with "lifetime fill" so check to see that the previous owner did the transmission, diff, etc fluids. Ideally you want a car from a BMW CCA member who followed Mike Miller's "Old School Maintenance Schedule".

As folks mentioned above, $3k isn't nearly enough Figure $10k for decent car. You'll save money by spending more money.

Good luck - they're fantastic cars and you'll smile everytime you drive it!
Well, this narrows the field down a bit.
Reply With Quote
Reply

See More Related BMW Stories


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2015 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms