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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to the Susan Komen event this morning and drove the following:
1) 2002 330Ci with Step, PP, SP, heated seats and the 18inch wheel option

Compared to my 2001 330Ci - my steering was a little bit heavier. FYI my car is retrofitted.
The only other differences I really noticed were the DBW reacted quicker which I've noticed on all 2002's Ive driven in the past. That slight delay is now gone and the 18 inch wheels are louder on the highway and have a little harder ride.

I am happy I finally got to drive a car with the 18" wheel option. I know now there is not one reason I could think of too get them. I noticed no difference in the handling, the ride on the highway was a lot louder (both my car and this one had Michelin pilots) and they do not look nearly as nice as the M68's

2) 2002 330Cic - step, PP, SP, Heated seats - This car definitely should be an Automatic.
First let's start with the power compared to a Ci. The only place I really noticed the difference in power was off the line. Where my car leaps off the line, the Cic kind of takes off with some ease. It doesn't jump !! But once you get going, I really did not notice any other difference as far as power. Also in the Cic I did not notice ANY difference in the reaction of the DBW like I have in other 2002's, maybe it was due to the extra weight this car was carrying or something :dunno:

Call me crazy but the handling is just as good though I wasn't on an Auto x course or anything. In the twisties the car handled excellently.

With the top up this car is as solid as can be. Besides for a little extra hissing of windnoise coming from where the front and the back side window meet, the car was at least 95% as quiet.

My only complain besides for that windnoise was that the power top is pretty slow going up and down . . .

One other thing, steering feel was a little heavier in the 02 Cic then the 02 Ci.

This goes to show you that BMW is NEVER consistent on there steering feel . . .
Out of the total of 5 2002 330's I've driven (this includes the loaners I had)
3 of them were heavier then the other 2 . . .:dunno:

Overall I got back into my car and was happy with it . . .
 

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But, it sure was fun with the top down, eh? What do you mean, it SHOULD be an automatic?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
johnlew said:
But, it sure was fun with the top down, eh? What do you mean, it SHOULD be an automatic?
It was fun with both the top up or down . . . it was an excellent car and I would love to have one someday.

Unlike a lot of others here, I sincerely feel that some cars should be Manual's (like an M3 or a Z3) and some should be Automatic.

The 330Cic is a very Sporty & comfortable convertible but it's not a Sports car. I think the Automatic teamed up with it is the perfect match.

BTW I look at my Coupe the same way but it has a slight edge more towards the sporty side. Meanwhile I think it Coupe is on the borderline . . . it could be a Manual or a Auto.

Now Porsche's . . . stick all the way :thumbup:

BTW- do you get that slight hissing sound from inbetween the side windows ?
 

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Alan F said:


It was fun with both the top up or down . . . it was an excellent car and I would love to have one someday.

The 330Cic is a very Sporty & comfortable convertible but it's not a Sports car. I think the Automatic teamed up with it is the perfect match.

You should try one sometime with the hardtop on, just great.

The Step does team up beautifully.

I don't seem to have a hissing, mines tight, but as a caveat, I do where hearing aids and they automatically adjust for unwanted noise. Also, I don't have the windows and top up much.:)
 

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Alan-
Sounds like you had the same impressions I had. The 3Cic is like no other convertible I've been in, there are many fewer tradeoffs with having the soft top (as in cowl shake, lack of useability, rigidity, visibility, etc, etc.). It would make a great daily driver, imho.
 

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Josh (PA) said:
Alan-
Sounds like you had the same impressions I had. The 3Cic is like no other convertible I've been in, there are many fewer tradeoffs with having the soft top (as in cowl shake, lack of useability, rigidity, visibility, etc, etc.). It would make a great daily driver, imho.
It is all of the above and the most rigid four seat convertible I've been in. More fun to drive than my SLK roadster.
 

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Alan F said:


It was fun with both the top up or down . . . it was an excellent car and I would love to have one someday.

Unlike a lot of others here, I sincerely feel that some cars should be Manual's (like an M3 or a Z3) and some should be Automatic.

The 330Cic is a very Sporty & comfortable convertible but it's not a Sports car. I think the Automatic teamed up with it is the perfect match.

BTW I look at my Coupe the same way but it has a slight edge more towards the sporty side. Meanwhile I think it Coupe is on the borderline . . . it could be a Manual or a Auto.

Now Porsche's . . . stick all the way :thumbup:

BTW- do you get that slight hissing sound from inbetween the side windows ?
I dunno, Alan. Just because the cabrio doesn't have the same performance of the coupe or sedan, doesn't mean that it wouldn't benefit fromt he enhanced performance, control, and fun of a manual transmission. IMO, I couldn't stand driving an automatic no matter what car it is :dunno:

btw, the 330Cic is no slouch. I passed some cars that should be faster, e.g. E36 M3s. 2 of them in every session. Of course, the 330 got left behind in the straights pretty badly :p

 

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Hmm, interesting review on the cic. I've never driven a ci or even an i, so I don't have a comparison of the steering. It seems to be very similar to the 99 M3 that I drove a while back. I did drive a 2002 Saab Viggen convertible about a month ago though, and the thing is a POS compared to the cic. I hit a turn hard and thought it was going to roll. The steering and suspension combined with the FWD make it nearly impossible to handle under heavy acceleration from a standstill.

As for the time to raise/lower the top, I timed my cic the other day and it took just over 20 seconds. I guess it can seem slow sometimes, but I don't really notice anymore. The nicest part is the completely automatic design - no latches or locks to mess with.

In regard to the manual/auto, we opted for the auto since my wife has to deal with a very long commute often in 0-10mph traffic. She wasn't interested in messing with a stick any longer after doing that for over a year in our last car. We've both been driving sticks from the day we got our licenses. I do also like being able to kick back with the top down and not worry about shifting, though I occasionally miss the control. The step is a substitute, but it's not a stick - you obviously don't get the throttle control that you do with an actual clutch. I absolutely agree that it is a good match for this car, but if I ever get an M3 (or maybe an M6), it will be a manual (if they still make them...)

I also have not noticed any hissing between the windows, but I have only driven with the top up maybe 5-10% of the time thus far in my past 2 months. I was driving last night in the rain and noticed very little noise even at 85MPH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
rawskyb said:
Hmm, interesting review on the cic. I've never driven a ci or even an i, so I don't have a comparison of the steering. It seems to be very similar to the 99 M3 that I drove a while back. I did drive a 2002 Saab Viggen convertible about a month ago though, and the thing is a POS compared to the cic. I hit a turn hard and thought it was going to roll. The steering and suspension combined with the FWD make it nearly impossible to handle under heavy acceleration from a standstill.
Just to clarify the steering difference. I am sure it had nothing to do with the car being a Cic vs a Ci.

It's more of an issue of the variances from car to car. I've driven 330i's that are heavier steering then other 330i's (both MY2002)

I've driven Cic's that had lighter steering then 'i's or Ci's

It seems that BMW is not consistant with their steering feel ?

Is it THAT big of a difference ?!?! Not really, only to those of us here who seem to have massive OCD issues ;) ;)

BTW I include myself in that last statement :)
 

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And a question. I have a 330cic and have not been able to find a place I can take a drivers school with it. All I've seen require a rollbar for convertibles. How does one get track time with the convertible? Retrofitting a rollbar on this vehicle is not trivial...

-Charles
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
nate328Ci said:

I dunno, Alan. Just because the cabrio doesn't have the same performance of the coupe or sedan, doesn't mean that it wouldn't benefit fromt he enhanced performance, control, and fun of a manual transmission. IMO, I couldn't stand driving an automatic no matter what car it is :dunno:

btw, the 330Cic is no slouch. I passed some cars that should be faster, e.g. E36 M3s. 2 of them in every session. Of course, the 330 got left behind in the straights pretty badly :p
Nate you are probably right . . . I shouldn't jump to that conclusion without at the least driving one first with a manual.

Do you find the 330Cic as quick feeling as your 328Ci or does it feel more sluggish ?

Does the Cic's extra Horsepwoer make it feel lighter on it's feet then the 328 ?
 

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cwa said:
And a question. I have a 330cic and have not been able to find a place I can take a drivers school with it. All I've seen require a rollbar for convertibles. How does one get track time with the convertible? Retrofitting a rollbar on this vehicle is not trivial...

-Charles
At least around here, the Porsche Club will let convertibles out in the beginner run groups with only the factory pop-up bars for protection. You have to run with the top up these days, though, OR use arm restraints. The other options besides an aftermarket rollbar, again under local rules, is the factory hardtop. But I've no idea if BMW even *has* a factory hardtop for the 3-series...
 

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rhenriksen said:


At least around here, the Porsche Club will let convertibles out in the beginner run groups with only the factory pop-up bars for protection. You have to run with the top up these days, though, OR use arm restraints. The other options besides an aftermarket rollbar, again under local rules, is the factory hardtop. But I've no idea if BMW even *has* a factory hardtop for the 3-series...
Yes, they do have a factory hard top.

TDE allows any cabrio to run in any group. The red (instructor) and yellow, advanced groups, have to have a roll bar, at least pop-up, though.

Check your local club.
 

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Alan F said:


Nate you are probably right . . . I shouldn't jump to that conclusion without at the least driving one first with a manual.

Do you find the 330Cic as quick feeling as your 328Ci or does it feel more sluggish ?

Does the Cic's extra Horsepwoer make it feel lighter on it's feet then the 328 ?
They are pretty similar, it seems. I think my car is faster though. Horsepower to weight is similar though, although with intake and chip, my car has about as much torque as a 3.0L, so with ~400 lbs less weight it should be faster :p

The 330 certainly "sounds" faster :p
 

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nate328Ci said:


Yes, they do have a factory hard top.

TDE allows any cabrio to run in any group. The red (instructor) and yellow, advanced groups, have to have a roll bar, at least pop-up, though.

Check your local club.
Oh, that reminds me -- a convertible E46 M3 spun offtrack July 13 at a PCA DE, and came this close (||) to rolling the car. He went off driver's left (to the inside) of turn 7 @ TWS, and what saved him.. the right front wheel SNAPPED.

It was impressive, half the spokes broke clean off where they attached to the wheel hub, the other half broke off the rim. Then the force was transferred to the rotor, so that broke off the rotor hat as well. The instructor's take was that the wheel letting go absorbed enough energy that the car didn't roll. He'd already taken a 'duck & cover' position waiting for the earth to rise up overhead...

I'm still waiting on a friend to shoot some pictures of that wheel over to me.
 

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rhenriksen said:


Oh, that reminds me -- a convertible E46 M3 spun offtrack July 13 at a PCA DE, and came this close (||) to rolling the car. He went off driver's left (to the inside) of turn 7 @ TWS, and what saved him.. the right front wheel SNAPPED.

It was impressive, half the spokes broke clean off where they attached to the wheel hub, the other half broke off the rim. Then the force was transferred to the rotor, so that broke off the rotor hat as well. The instructor's take was that the wheel letting go absorbed enough energy that the car didn't roll. He'd already taken a 'duck & cover' position waiting for the earth to rise up overhead...

I'm still waiting on a friend to shoot some pictures of that wheel over to me.
Someone told me when I at TWS that he had come up on an E46 cabrio that rolled a few times on the Nurburgring. Said they were going very fast when they rolled, faster than the car was designed to roll at. The passenger compartment was intact, driver walked away with his helmet on, but the passenger was killed by flying debris w/o a helmet, a muffler to be exact. Cars are pretty safe, but I don't think that I would want to drive a convertable as fast as an M3 without a fixed cage. I was only driving the cabrio because the car I was driving, an E39 M5, started eating the clutch, slipping VERY badly in my first session.

btw, a Ferrari F355 went off in front of me in turn 1. He was a bit ahead, and we saw the dust cloud as we were approaching the turn, all of a sudden, the Ferari pops its nose to the top of the hill and gets back on behind me. I passed a 355 :p
 
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