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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 07-10-2002, 03:24 PM
goodfella goodfella is offline
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Anyone drive 330 and 325 and prefer 325?

Replacing my 325xi and thinking of 330i. A bit concerned about winter and don't want 330xi but loved the test drive in the 330i.
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2002, 04:03 PM
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Only reason to prefer a 325 is discipline, IMHO.
Or if you need a wagon. I would NOT have gotten the 325 if I had an option.
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2002, 04:03 PM
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Studies have shown a good set of winter tires perform almost as good as 4WD. Unless I was dragging through a rural area continually under heavy snowfall and I HAD to drive in it than maybe an Xi would do.

I plan on switching to a set of winter tires and rims for the winter, since I get plowed out by the condo assn and take the expressways to work. Most here usually take the day off when it snows. I love commuting then because the traffic is about 10% of normal.

BTW, don't drive the 330. You'll miss it if you have a 325.
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2002, 04:07 PM
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Compromise...

average the 325 and 330, get the 328i













































you will be happier with the RWD 330, get that one
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2002, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ObD
BTW, don't drive the 330. You'll miss it if you have a 325.
Damn right. There's a reason why I've never driven a 330i. Going from a WRX or an S55 to my car is bad enough... A direct comparison would be miserable.
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2002, 04:43 PM
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No, but I drove a C240 and C320 and decided the C320 was way too undersuspended, and the 240 was much better matched to the chassis.

Of course I doubt you'd ever have that problem in a bimmer.
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2002, 04:51 PM
ALEX325i ALEX325i is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ObD
...BTW, don't drive the 330. You'll miss it if you have a 325.
I used to drive an (E46) M3 and a 325i. Loved them both... The 325 could use more power though... But then again, that's why they make the 330, right? Power does corrupt...

Goodfella - I agree with ObD... Although AWD must make a difference under certain circumstances, I had the opportunity to own an A4 1.8T w/quattro and a 323Ci at the same time and really can't remember one winter day AWD made a significant difference (in NY winter at least)...
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2002, 04:58 PM
ALEX325i ALEX325i is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaz
No, but I drove a C240 and C320 and decided the C320 was way too undersuspended, and the 240 was much better matched to the chassis.

Of course I doubt you'd ever have that problem in a bimmer.
Come to think of it, that's probably why I kept my former A4 (Tiptronic - UGH!) for so long (40 months - that's an absolute record for me)... It's nice to drive a car that can "handle" its power... I mean, a car that "outhandles" its engine... Sorry, I think I'm not making myself clear... Got in @ 6AM today and won't leave anytime soon... I'm SO damn tired that I'm probably not making any sense... Hope you guys understand what I meant...
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2002, 05:50 PM
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2002, 07:45 PM
LIL RAJA LIL RAJA is offline
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i say get the 325, I used to have a 323ci and got a 330ci. Yes,it does have more power, but just not enuff. Now I am looking into m3s possibly. So if u get 330 then u will crave more. Just stick to the 325, it's a fairly nice car with enuff power. It's definately not under powered. ...
my 2cents. save the money for a vacation or something.

LIL Raja
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  #11  
Old 07-11-2002, 03:25 AM
geomax geomax is offline
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I agree with LIL RAJA, I test drove both the 330 and 325, and I did note that the 330 had a bit more umph - but not tons more (and not as much everyone likes to think or brag about).

The 325 could use more torque for off the line and mid range acceleration compared to the 330. I would still describe this range as quick compared to most cars, however. 2002 325's are tuned for greater HP (with a slight loss of torque) compared to the 323's. So once out on the highway, you'll find the 325 is very quick. I do about 80% highway driving, so this suits me fine.

My 325 was also $6500 less than comparably equiped 330. Nice to save a few $$. If I had the money, would I have gotten the 330? - Maybe. I still feel that the extra 40 ponies just isn't worth the extra thousands. Now, if the 330 had 250HP or 260HP (like the competition), and was priced the same as the current 330, then yes, I would probably go for it.

Let me also add this: I have a standard, and I do agree that a 325 triptronic can be a bit pokey. But if you're not a performance nut, who cares? Also, I noted last winter when I put my 16" steel wheels on (which are lighter than the heavy 17" 44's), the car definitely had more zip. So, I've been shopping around for some light 16's which I may run year 'round (slightly better ride, too).

My .02

Last edited by geomax; 07-11-2002 at 03:30 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-19-2005, 01:33 PM
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dynosor dynosor is online now
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"Performance Nut" or Show Off?

You mean if you bought the car to show off, performance is much less important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geomax
....
The 325 could use more torque for off the line and mid range acceleration compared to the 330..... But if you're not a performance nut, who cares? ....
Discussion on E90 at link below sparked my reply to an old thread:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...86420#poststop
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2005, 03:23 AM
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This being my first experience with BMW, I wasn't very tuned in to all the driving nuances (sp?) I now am aware of when I test drove both the 330 and 325. But I do remember not being blown away by any huge performance difference. What I did get was all the options I wanted on the 325 (see sig.) for about what a semi equipped 330 would have cost me. And the 325 I tested had the SP while the 330 was normally suspended, I think this further decreased the feeling of a performance difference of one having less HP. The only thing I sorta wish the 325 had was the 330's sportier looking front end. All in all, the 325i is proving to be plenty peppy for me so far, even with tht 5sp Steptronic tranny (I love Sport mode!! )
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  #14  
Old 02-20-2005, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geomax
The 325 could use more torque for off the line and mid range acceleration compared to the 330. I would still describe this range as quick compared to most cars, however. 2002 325's are tuned for greater HP (with a slight loss of torque) compared to the 323's. So once out on the highway, you'll find the 325 is very quick. I do about 80% highway driving, so this suits me fine.
Perhaps the price difference between the 325 and 330 can be used to get a shorter final ratio, better CAI/exhaust/tuning?
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  #15  
Old 02-20-2005, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hecklerz
This being my first experience with BMW, I wasn't very tuned in to all the driving nuances (sp?) I now am aware of when I test drove both the 330 and 325. But I do remember not being blown away by any huge performance difference. What I did get was all the options I wanted on the 325 (see sig.) for about what a semi equipped 330 would have cost me. And the 325 I tested had the SP while the 330 was normally suspended, I think this further decreased the feeling of a performance difference of one having less HP. The only thing I sorta wish the 325 had was the 330's sportier looking front end. All in all, the 325i is proving to be plenty peppy for me so far, even with tht 5sp Steptronic tranny (I love Sport mode!! )
The 330i I built only cost me about $3700 more than the 325i I would have built with comparable optional equipment. Bear in mind of course that the 330i came with many more standard features than the 325. So in the end, it was quite easy for me to justify getting the 330i. Additionally, imo, the power difference was quite noticeable and the exhaust tune was much better. Anyway, you can't go wrong either way.
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:56 AM
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Performance threshold is key

Quote:
Originally Posted by hecklerz
This being my first experience with BMW, I wasn't very tuned in to all the driving nuances (sp?) I now am aware of when I test drove both the 330 and 325. But I do remember not being blown away by any huge performance difference.
Nobody thinks there is a "huge" difference in performance. For me the threshold of acceptability falls between the 325i and the 330i. The former is too soft to meet my needs, while the latter is able to impress me.

The difference is noticed when a staight flat road curves into a hill and you don't have to downshift from fourth at 2500 RPM to get meaningfull acceleration in the 330i, while the 325i bogs and you are forced to downshift.

Sure the 325i is fast when you use full revs, but I don't drive that way all the time.
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  #17  
Old 02-20-2005, 02:40 PM
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I consider my 325i my Training Bimmer ; my previous daily driver was a 1996 5-speed Toyota Camry, and I'd always had Toyotas that were given or bought for me by spouse or parents-in-law.

I decided, in 2002, that I wanted to buy my own car, all by myself, so I test drove pretty much every near-luxury model (G35, CTS, IS300, 9-5, CL, TL, A4; didn't test drive a Mercedes because, I, The Manual Transmission Princess, went to "Fletcher Jones Motorcars, Mercedes Benz, Newport Beach" three times, having been told that a manual was available, and they could never find it once I got there! )

I had $34,000 in cash, so I ordered a 325i, which I love (and so does my Oldest Tax Deduction [17 years old; he has a 1991 Nissan 240SX; we need a graphic of an old person (me) painfully getting out of a very low car here - any lower, and that car could be a bed! ])

Once the Oldest Tax Deduction turns 21, I'll probably let him have Karl Bimmer, my 325i, which will have well over 190,000 miles/304,000 kilometers by then. I'd like something a tad bigger; I was considering a 530i, but my wallet is daunted by the thought of coughing up over $50K for a new one (I try to pay cash, if possible).

However, the E90 is supposed to be somewhat larger than the current 3-Series; I love the manuverability of the 3, and if it's a tad larger, that would suit me just fine (especially since the Tax Deductions are getting their own cars, now). I've started saving up for the next Bimmer, and I'm thinking about the 330i; I'm actually thinking about European Delivery ; I hear that Santa Barbara BMW has a good ED specialist!
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  #18  
Old 02-20-2005, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hecklerz
This being my first experience with BMW, I wasn't very tuned in to all the driving nuances (sp?) I now am aware of when I test drove both the 330 and 325. But I do remember not being blown away by any huge performance difference. What I did get was all the options I wanted on the 325 (see sig.) for about what a semi equipped 330 would have cost me. And the 325 I tested had the SP while the 330 was normally suspended, I think this further decreased the feeling of a performance difference of one having less HP. The only thing I sorta wish the 325 had was the 330's sportier looking front end. All in all, the 325i is proving to be plenty peppy for me so far, even with tht 5sp Steptronic tranny (I love Sport mode!! )
That was my feeling. I drove both and didn't think the power difference was that much greater between the two. Then again, I was coming from a 260hp Acura which felt much more powerful than the 330. So I guess while I knew I was coming down in power, I didn't feel there was that much of a difference. And certainly in my daily life driving around LA, the power difference is a non issue.
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  #19  
Old 02-21-2005, 06:10 AM
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norihaga norihaga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodfella
Replacing my 325xi and thinking of 330i. A bit concerned about winter and don't want 330xi but loved the test drive in the 330i.
I've had no problems with my 330 in the winter, using dedicated winter tires.

With DSC on, it's pretty much idiot-proof unless you're going to try driving through a 2-foot drift for extended periods...

With that said, I like the 325 fine, and if you are buying new, it may be worth going for to save money. If you're buying used or CPO, the price difference (and purchase price) is relatively small, and it becomes a little harder to justify the smaller engine (given that you don't significantly save weight, improve fuel economy, or reduce the maintenance requirements).

As far as the driving experience goes, you have to decide for yourself, but I think the extra torque of the 330 gives you cornering options you don't necessarily have in the 325. You might feel, of course, that the tendency to low-speed throttle-induced oversteer of the 330 is a bit thuggish or untidy in a heavy German sedan. I could see an argument for the 325 as a more enjoyable driving experience being made there.

Edit: again, everyone's mileage seems to differ, but I found the 3.0 to drive significantly differently. The extra torque and broader power spread of the 3.0, while hardly comparable to an E46 M3, made the difference for me between a car that favored maximum corner speed at all tiimes, and one that likes to square off lower-speed corners - i.e., anything under 45mph. Sort of 250 two-stroke v. liter-class sportsbike. Not sure this would be noticeable in the xi cars.

Last edited by norihaga; 02-21-2005 at 06:18 AM.
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  #20  
Old 02-21-2005, 10:26 AM
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wag-zhp wag-zhp is offline
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Anyone drive 330 and 325 and prefer 325?

Nope!



I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the 325, I'm just answering the question.

If it weren't for the 330, It's very possible that I would have bought a G35. Dollar for dollar, 325 vs G35 just gets spanked in too many catagories. The only saving grace for the 325 is the steering feel and nimble handling. Those are both very important to me, but so is raw power.

Financially the 325 makes more sense than a 330, and the G35 makes more sence than either bimmer. If I were to go strictly by preference... well, I bought a 330.
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  #21  
Old 02-21-2005, 12:28 PM
st_o_p st_o_p is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wag-zhp
Nope!



I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the 325, I'm just answering the question.
Wrong!

There is somebody - I did drive 325 and 330 (same config), and I prefer the 325.

Basically IMHO the more power is not worth the extra bucks+extra engine noise. But my car is just a daily driver, and I don't race.
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  #22  
Old 02-21-2005, 03:55 PM
Nefilim Nefilim is offline
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One thing I do like more about the 325i (my dealer has them as loaners) and especially the 2.5l I6 is that it's much smoother than my ZHP, I'm not sure it's entirely because of the under square engine, I have a feeling the exhaust in the ZHP puts more vibration into the car. Anyways, the 325i can be more pleasant doing commuting, smoother & quieter. For more aggressive driving the ZHP and I guess to a lesser extent the 330i is more fun.
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  #23  
Old 02-21-2005, 04:04 PM
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Can't go wrong with a 330. But, I'm still happy with my manny-tranny 325 after 4 years (knocking on wood).
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  #24  
Old 02-21-2005, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hecklerz
This being my first experience with BMW, I wasn't very tuned in to all the driving nuances (sp?) I now am aware of when I test drove both the 330 and 325. But I do remember not being blown away by any huge performance difference. What I did get was all the options I wanted on the 325 (see sig.) for about what a semi equipped 330 would have cost me. And the 325 I tested had the SP while the 330 was normally suspended, I think this further decreased the feeling of a performance difference of one having less HP. The only thing I sorta wish the 325 had was the 330's sportier looking front end. All in all, the 325i is proving to be plenty peppy for me so far, even with tht 5sp Steptronic tranny (I love Sport mode!! )
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick330i
The 330i I built only cost me about $3700 more than the 325i I would have built with comparable optional equipment. Bear in mind of course that the 330i came with many more standard features than the 325. So in the end, it was quite easy for me to justify getting the 330i. Additionally, imo, the power difference was quite noticeable and the exhaust tune was much better. Anyway, you can't go wrong either way.
Knowing what I do now about the 2 models, I have to agree with you. I hadn't really researched BMW's when I went to the dealership (price, options, features) since at the time I wasn't planning on getting one. I should have known resistance would be futile . Though I couldn't be happier with what I drove home, I'm sure I over paid by some margin. The next one will be a more educated decision
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**Looking for an E39 540, 530 or X5

----------

Retired:

*2006 E90 325i- Ti-Silver Metallic, Black leather, Heated seats 6Sp Step. , ZPP, ZSP, NAV, Adapt.-Xenon, BT to iPhone

*2004 E46 325i- Silver Grey Metallic, Black Leather- heated, 6sp Step. , ZSP, ZPP, Xenon, Nav- V.26, BT to Blackberry
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  #25  
Old 03-16-2005, 07:00 PM
cityscapex5 cityscapex5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodfella
Replacing my 325xi and thinking of 330i. A bit concerned about winter and don't want 330xi but loved the test drive in the 330i.
Go for the 330 - and a coupe if you can find one (lower, longer, wider and meaner looking) i test drive a 325 with step several years ago and thought what the heck was all the buzz about BMW's,. i eventually bought a 330ci and now i know.
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