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:-)
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today, I test drove a 325Ci auto, first time driving a bimmer, i loved how 'tight' the car felt even just sitting in it..

anywho, i want a manual but it seems everywhere i turn, manual e46's are rare at best..

around here, the majority of e46 drivers are soccer-mom types but i still thought there would be more demand for manual bimmers than this..

this is just my observation, i just thought it was odd that manual bimmers are rare.. :eek:
 

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Odd but true. About a month ago I ordered a 2003 330i SP 5-speed because there wasn't a *single* 2002 330i SP 5-speed on the west coast. There were lots of 325i and 330i autos available.

It's doubly odd because 3-series BMWs mesh so well with a manual. Presumably you get a BMW because of the driving experience, and many would say this experience is accented by manual shifting. Maybe increasing numbers of people don't get BMWs for the driving experience.

Also traffic is getting worse in many areas, so that's one arguement for an auto. Counter-argument: if traffic is really so bad you inch along for hours at a time, how much driving enjoyment can a BMW provide anyway? You can inch along in just about anything. Just some thoughts.

Americans tend to like autos -- it's a cultural thing. Lots of factors cause this. Getting a 3-series auto just extends this existing tendency to BMWs. But the new 5-speed auto transmissions are better than past versions, so that helps some.

I drove a 330i auto and it worked very well. Not like the manual 5-speed, but pretty good -- plenty of torque. I've heard the 325i is impacted more by an auto.

-- Joe
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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I never seem to have a problem finding MT cars on lots, new or used. I will say there are quite a few used/CPO manuals out there. I was at Crevier earlier this evening and there were at least 2 CPO 540i 6MT there.

I've even recently seen a X5 3.0 MT new on a lot.
 

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My TARDIS is a BMW
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When I got mine at the beginning of this year, the dealer said that the ratio of autos to sticks in the 3 series was something like 3:1. It's all those folks that got flush in the market before the crash and are now buying the marque for status but can't or won't drive a stick.
 

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When will then be now?
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Funny thing: the only manuals I see on lots are stripper sedans or loaded coupes. :dunno:

I could be wrong, but I think I remember Franco telling me Cutter only stocks automatic 3ers; all [their] sticks are ordered.

Michael
 

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Rest in peace, Coach
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New Century BMW in Alhambra ALWAYS stock a stick of 330i and 325i around for test drives, at least everytime I stopped by.

Center BMW in Sherman Oaks area also always stock sticks...At least when I was shopping they seem to always have a stick version of everything available.
 

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TMS
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jgrgnt said:
I could be wrong, but I think I remember Franco telling me Cutter only stocks automatic 3ers; all sticks are ordered.

Michael
While I was waiting for my car, someone was looking for a manual Ci and asked a dealer to see what similar cars were bound for the West Coast. I believe they posted that the dealer discovered there were roughly 30 manual equipped coupes headed for the Western region in that _quarter_.

:D
 

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My TARDIS is a BMW
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eugeneDC/TX said:
hence a majority of us owners here at the Fest ordered instead of buying off the lot
I actually could have bought a stick right off the lot, but they didn't have the options I wanted so had to order. But they did have very few sticks available, and with weird (at least to me) options, and cetainly none with SP.
 

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When will then be now?
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nate328Ci said:


I've even gotten manual service loaners...
I'm jealous. All I got was a Corolla DX.
 

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TMS
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My local dealer had one 330 stick I was able to drive. Among other things, it was not a coupe. Ordering was the only way to go.

My original point is that it would seem that manual-equipped coupes are somewhat rare.
 

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OMGWTFBBQ
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nate328Ci said:


Twice, once a Z3 and a Alpine White 328i (non SP). This was a few years ago. Most I have seen recently are autos, though some of the Z3s may have been manual still.

Even got a black/black 540i SP :p
The only loaner that I've gotten to drive from a BMW dealer was the 2001 325xiT that I took for a test drive before ordering my wagon. I havn't torn any subframes or anything, so I haven't had to take it in yet.
 

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pedal layout supports heel-toe?

While we're on the manual issue, when I test drove a 330Ci 5-speed at the dealer last month I didn't check pedal spacing for heel-toe operation. [I've been driving my wife's old auto for the last three years.] How is the fit?
 

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TMS
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Re: pedal layout supports heel-toe?

mwette said:
While we're on the manual issue, when I test drove a 330Ci 5-speed at the dealer last month I didn't check pedal spacing for heel-toe operation. [I've been driving my wife's old auto for the last three years.] How is the fit?
A little tight for me depending on the shoes I'm wearing, but then I have size 12 feet.
 

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I agree that manuals are much tougher to find. In my experience, I was able to find them about 1/2 the time. When I could find the manual trannys to test drive, the dealer either had one on the lot ready for sale, or I was driving an employee's demo car. Those guys know what to take for themselves I guess. Other times, I had to settle for the auto with the test drives. I have basically driven a manual my entire life, so there was no question how I was going to order. When I finally got the chance to drive the manual, I was so pleased, I couldn't stop grinning.

As for who owns BMWs, I have to agree that there are a fair number of people who seem to own it for the badge, especially down here in south OC. It's amazing to know that I could probably blow 3 out of every 4 330s I see on the road because of the ratio of auto to manny owners. Not that I'd be racing, of course. Although, I wouldn't mind getting up on Ortega Hwy for a nice pass and run!
 

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mgs333 said:
today, I test drove a 325Ci auto, first time driving a bimmer, i loved how 'tight' the car felt even just sitting in it..

anywho, i want a manual but it seems everywhere i turn, manual e46's are rare at best..

around here, the majority of e46 drivers are soccer-mom types but i still thought there would be more demand for manual bimmers than this..

this is just my observation, i just thought it was odd that manual bimmers are rare.. :eek:
really??? I was helping out a female friend shop for a 330i auto and she got nothing but 5spds from at least 3 dealers.
 

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When will then be now?
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NewBmwGuy said:
As for who owns BMWs, I have to agree that there are a fair number of people who seem to own it for the badge, especially down here in south OC...
I'm still fascinated by the number of people on this board who are from Irvine (or OC for that matter).

I hereby declare Orange County "Bimmer Capital of California."

Michael
 
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