BimmerFest BMW Forum banner

BMW pre-newbie...

716 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  FSelekler
Hey all...thought an introduction may be in order.

I'm going to be in the market for an e46 Convertible in the fall or winter and figured I'd need to get up to speed on my choices before I write a check. So...get ready for lots off left-field questions. I promise to check archives first...

My story...I've been a sportscar buff from a baby..parents had scores of britcars and a Mustang...I've since owned an MG, two Miatas and have been active in the online Miata community since 1996. Unfortunately, my beloved '99 LS bit the dust last week...hit by an ambulance running a red light (no lights, no siren). You can see pics here.


My wife and I had planned to buy a 4 seater convertible in the winter of 2002 since we have a baby on the way...and we're gonna try to stick to that. I don't want to buy a ragtop in the heat of the sales season and I don't want to buy a car we'll just have to do with one for now. We've never been a single-car couple, so we'll see how we fare on that front as the summer progresses.

I'm already going crazy not having a drop-top...and the rental Ford Escort (blech...) I'm driving right now isn't helping matters much. So I figure if I hang out here, I can live vicariously thru you folks, gain some knowledge and make some friends in the process...even if you are all snooty propeller badges...



PS - Hey here?
See less See more
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Welcome to the board.

Many things will obviously depend on your funds and priorities. Your basic choices in the E46 category are the 325, 330, and the M3 convertables.

One good news, if you are going to wait until later in the year, is that BMW starts the new model years in October; so you can get a MY2003 in late 2002 and there are always some sort of minor improvements here and there. Check out Euro Delivery, it is a very good option. It reduces the prices (except M cars) and allows you to have a great vacation in Europe with your new car.

As for your choices, not that I have a CiC, it is some what difficult to choose, I am sure many will give you their opinion.

The 325 is a very fine car with enough power for most who value open air motoring more than performance with significant savings over the 330 CiC. However, if performance is as important, then the 330 is a good option with enough grunt for 99% of situations in daily driving and with few minor additional cosmetic options as well; but at probably $5,000 more. The 330 CiC draws the cost all the way up to almost an M3 coupe; which makes choosing a little more difficult. Of course, if the purpose is really a drop-top more than anything else, then M3 coupe is not a factor at all. As for the M3 convertable, you would be looking at around $60K price depending on options including taxes. Many consider that rediculous as the M3 is very performance oriented, and a convertable body does not fit that picture too well with flexing of the body and stiff suspension setup, but obviously a personal issue.

In short, you will have to drive each one of them, provided they are within your reach, and determine the most important factors for you. Majority of sales of convertables are with 325s, few 330s and even fewer M3s. M3 also will make you wait a little longer than the other two 3 series; probably 3 to 4 months longer.

Good luck.
See less See more
Welcome! Ouch! Sorry to hear about your Miata, glad you are okay.

Test drive a 325 or a 330 with a moonroof open on a nice day, then re-consider if you really need to have a convertible.

Also, the back seat of the current 3-series coupes are very easy to get kids in and out of , the front seats not only tilt forward like on all cars, but they elevate up and move forward as well as tilt so the sedan vs coupe factor was a non-factor for me (2 kids here, youngest is finally in a booster seat!)
See less See more
Thanks for the tips...I'll make some clarifications...

Convertible is the only choice. Performance is a close second...I'll have that third garage bay primed for a pure driving car once middle age creeps in. An M3 convertible would be great, but I don't see any sense in spending that kind of cash on a car. Just my opinion.

I'll probably buy used to avoid the rapid (tho in BMWs case...slight) depreciation. I've only purchased one car new and that was during last fall's finance bust. With my wife quitting her job next week, a mortgage and a baby on the away...I have to be a little frugal. I'd like to find a 2000 or 2001 coming off lease...but I'll take a '99 if it's a good deal.

See less See more
Then best bet is always a pre-certified one from a BMW dealer.

for 2000 and 2001, test and watch for steering feel, a retrofit was offered for the light-steering syndrome :)
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.