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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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  #1  
Old 11-26-2008, 04:08 PM
bavarian06 bavarian06 is offline
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The battle: e46 m3 or the e92 335i

Hi, I asked this question on the E92 forum and almost everyone uanimously favored the E92. So I've decided to ask the M drivers. So here it is...

The lease on my 330i is coming up and after much consideration of getting the Audi S5, I've decided to stay with BMW. However, I'm currently torn between getting the '09 335i or a farily new e46 m3 (with less than 30K miles on it).

I've driven both cars before so I have a fairly good feel of them. I have to agree that the e46 chassis seems very "raw" compared to the e92; potentially a plus or negative depending on the driver. Since I'm looking for a driver's car versus a tourer, I have to give the overall experience points to the m3. However, with a car that is roughly 6 years old, its definitely showing its age. The e46 doesn't have the sleek body lines nor does it carry some of the modern amenities of the e92. But my gf did make a compelling point and asked why I would want to drive a very similar car; given that the interior of the e92 is liken to the e90, minus two doors.

With the release of the e92 m3 and the firm hold of the 335 engine, the used e46 m3 market has turned extremely soft. With that being said, amazingly, the out-going m3 makes the better economical decision. What do you guys think? I'm looking for a car where I can truly enjoy; where I wouldn't hesitate to take it to the tracks on sunday, be confident to race it, and still be able to cruise back home and to work with it on monday.

my scoresheet

e46 m3
+ overall experience
+ LSD
+ high revving NA engine
+ carry the M badge, slightly more exclusive
- starting to look old
- lacks the modern comforts and technology (iDrive, comfort access, adaptive headlamps)
- heavy clutch pedal
- expensive maintenance costs

e92 335i
+ torque monster engine
+ a baby e92 m3
+ the modern amenities (mp3 player, iPod usb port, etc)
- expensive compared to the M3, lesser of a value
- electronic DSC (can be really intrusive at times)
- car still has a lot of mechanical and electronic bugs
- long term reliability of turbos
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2008, 06:35 PM
Billy30 Billy30 is offline
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here my vote:

M3

You will enjoy it at the track!!!
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2008, 04:35 AM
p-houston p-houston is offline
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I have both a e46 m3 and a 330d sport e90- I know its not the 335i that you chat of but similar in many ways--M3 all the way mate
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2008, 12:51 PM
DaveyBoy05 DaveyBoy05 is offline
 
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??? M3 !!!!
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2008, 04:25 PM
MVF4Rider MVF4Rider is offline
 
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M3. Besides, once you hit 3500 rpms, the M3 is putting down more torque on the pavement, and by the time you reach the upper rpms it's exponetially more. M3 is way more fun to drive, own, and mod. There's 335i's out there right now with more miles on them than 5 year old M3s. Lots of M3 owners never bought them to be used as daily drivers. I'm hoping the market stays soft so in 6 months when I'm back in the states I can scoop one up myself as my new daily driver (and to keep miles off my Z4 M). I'll leave the 330xi here.
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2008, 06:53 PM
cvb cvb is offline
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The 335 is a luxury car first and foremost. It has awesome raw speed (I have the same engine in my 535), but it's a tame driving experience, the car is heavy and it has no LSD. And a new one will cost you MUCH more than an M3.

The M3 is a very raw, sporty car. There's simply comparison with the 335 in terms of driver enjoyment and smile factor when you rev it to 8000 RPM, throw it around corners and blip the throttle on downshifts. You can still drive it every day in relative comfort, although it wouldn't be my choice to take across the country.

If you are really going to hit lapping days, you'll be sorry if you don't go with the M3.

Oh, and I think the styling on the M3 was the pinnacle of BMW design. Not my opinion that it looks old.
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2008, 07:41 PM
___lk___ ___lk___ is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvb View Post
Oh, and I think the styling on the M3 was the pinnacle of BMW design. Not my opinion that it looks old.
not available for comment:



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  #8  
Old 11-28-2008, 11:14 AM
///MMM ///MMM is offline
 
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a baby e92 m3

that says it all...stay with the real thing...no contest....accept no substitutes
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  #9  
Old 11-30-2008, 11:05 PM
blord1124 blord1124 is offline
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You said it yourself in your question... you are looking for a driver's car.

The E46 reinvented the yardstick when it came out. To this day, it is still a considerable benchmark that all manufacturers seek to surpass. Audi comes out with the S5 (for example) in 2008 with similar specs to the E46 M3.... which is pushing a decade old.

The E46 is raw. It's a driver's car.

You don't have to take my word for it... Top Gear and countless other programs and magazines argue is one of the best all-around sport coupes ever built. Keep in mind "all-around best" doesn't mean it's the "fastest" or "nicest" or has the most "amenities." It is, what is says - the all around best of all the worlds.

The iPod issue you mention can be fixed... make sure you pick up an E46 with the MKIV Nav system, and get an Intravee II. It's full ipod integration.

As far as speed is concerned, see www.dinancars.com

As far as amenities are concerned, they are just about the same. I personally don't like the whole console setup of the new E90/92 (335 or M3). BMW didn't upgrade in my opinion from the E46 in that respect. Plus the V8 engine, if you are a die-hard M3 fan - was a bad move. In the 135/335 current model - the F/I 6 cylinder is a can of worms that most M3 driver's don't care for. Anyone can throw a turbo on a car and crank out more bhp (Honda, Subaru, Mits etc) and lb/ft - it's much more difficult to crank out NA bhp and lb/ft.

Lastly, build quality is better on M cars. They have to justify the "I'm twice as expensive as a non-M BMW" price tag. BHP and lb/ft alone don't justify that.
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  #10  
Old 11-30-2008, 11:11 PM
jkcma jkcma is offline
 
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  #11  
Old 12-01-2008, 05:56 PM
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SmokedE46 SmokedE46 is offline
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im no M driver... but M3... duh
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  #12  
Old 12-01-2008, 06:18 PM
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Edev Edev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ___lk___ View Post
not available for comment:



what you trying to say?
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  #13  
Old 12-01-2008, 06:19 PM
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Edev Edev is offline
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oh, and go for the e46 M. simply beautiful car.
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  #14  
Old 12-01-2008, 06:36 PM
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edgar620 edgar620 is offline
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M not a hard one but I'm bias
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2008, 06:07 PM
john1in2 john1in2 is offline
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M3

Do not feel bad about owning an older, slightly out of date car. Ever do a cougar? ooops, off topic!

I still love to drive my E36 325is a couple of times a week. I don't miss the luxory in that car and don't feel that I missed anything with the M3 as opposed to the newer M3s and that fancy dual turbo engine in the 3 series. You seem like the kind of person who doesn't need fancy stuff, so I am here to comfort you that you will quite enjoy the M experience and not feel bad about missing out on the zippy 3. I think prices will keep coming down making the M a good financial decision.
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E36 Stats: 1995 325is: 125Kmi; TSW Rims; Bilstein shocks; K&N panel filter; Pioneer/ Polk audio CD/MP3; Conforti Chip; NGK Iridium plugs. Original owner.
E36 Replacements: drivers seat leather (1), wheel bearings (3), water pump (1), radiator (1), rear brake light assembly (1), battery (3).
E46 Stats: 2004 M3, 45Kmi (3rd Owner)

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  #16  
Old 12-18-2008, 03:54 PM
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BmwE36 BmwE36 is offline
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Take the M, you won't regard it one bit.
Unless maybe when it comes time for maintenance.
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  #17  
Old 12-21-2008, 09:18 AM
Heracles Heracles is offline
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FOr your stage in life, M3.

If you had a family, or needed more space, id go with a 335.

Personally im at a stage that I feel a coupe is an incredible inconvenience...lol Im only 35 and we have one daughter. Coupes are just a PITA.
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  #18  
Old 12-28-2008, 12:05 PM
rowanm rowanm is offline
 
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M3 all the way buddy!!!!!!!! 335i big mistake....that engine wont last ...guaranteed.......
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  #19  
Old 12-28-2008, 12:47 PM
rsxtypes7900 rsxtypes7900 is offline
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I was in the same type of situation a while back. Was looking at both cars, drove both cars and the M handled much better than the 335 and was not too much harsher on the roads I drove on.

And for the price, the M is the clear choice, why spend 15k+ more on a 335 for a few "upgrades" (I say that because I do not think the interior design is much of an upgrade at all).

Good Luck on your purchase
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  #20  
Old 12-28-2008, 04:11 PM
Rob 379 Rob 379 is offline
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335i or M3

I have the E46 M3. its done approx 35000 kms. My wife has a 335i coupe - purchased new in May 08. The M3 leaves me with a smile (even at my age) every time I drive it. The 335i is a luxury coupe - you can feel the weight around a corner. And I actually prefer the looks of the E46. I do like some of the gizmos in the 335i though.
My answer - M3 every time.
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  #21  
Old 12-28-2008, 04:47 PM
Dyno might Dyno might is offline
 
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  #22  
Old 01-03-2009, 01:20 PM
mrbenyong mrbenyong is offline
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m3
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  #23  
Old 01-03-2009, 05:27 PM
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madunix madunix is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 E46 M3
i see 335's everywhere, i rarely see M cars, i'd go with what your gf said, why go with a car you'll see everywhere? not to mention u can def. see the difference between a reg 3 series compared to a M3 from the front, sides, and rear. it is truely unique and i personally don't like the new sleek designs of cars that are comming out nowadays. go with a 06 M3 and trust me you won't regret it.
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  #24  
Old 01-03-2009, 05:40 PM
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ffej ffej is offline
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Get the M3.

Though, for those that are calling it "raw", I would disagree. It's extremely luxurious, actually. Not quite the bells and whistles that an E9X has, but it's far from spartan. In it's stock form, an E46 M3 is a bit bloated and floaty. Call me biased, I guess, but I like the feel of my 2900lb race car on 700lb springs

Even the engine isn't raw. I think a far more accurate description of the engine would be "Animal". It really is a thing of beauty. I love opening it up when I can wrestle the keys away from my spouse...

That said, I've never seen a car react so incredibly well to a suspension change - The wife's 05 ZCP M3 has TCKline Double Adjustable coilovers with 500#f/600#r springs, and Vorshlag camber plates. The difference was incredible. It took it from a car that wasn't terribly comfortable as a DD and wasn't terribly agile on track to a car that was better at both! The street ride is slightly compromised, but oh MY! does it do exactly what you want to do when you tell it. YMMV, preference-wise, and these comments are coming from a guy who doesn't mind a 3-4 hour drive to the track in a 2900lb car with 700lb springs.

Get the M3.
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  #25  
Old 01-04-2009, 08:07 PM
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BMWE46///M3 BMWE46///M3 is offline
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I have had my M3 for about a year. I have never driven a 335 but I love my M3.
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