BimmerFest BMW Forum banner

Manual transmission drivers- I just drove a 5 speed 325i

2906 Views 26 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Jeff_DML
Before I offically take decided to keep my 'Eclipse', I went and test drove a 325i with a 5 speed as a last resort. There were no 330 manuals and I haven't driven a 5 speed E46 since I met with Rob g in June so I wanted to refresh my memory of how it is.

I was surprised by how long the throw is to get into 2nd gear. I felt the 2nd gear was very close to the armrest. I then tried it wih the armrest in the up position but that wouldn't work because my elbow and back of my upper arm hit it and I felt uncomfortable.

Anyway, I was just wondering how you guys felt about the manual shifter and it's position compared to the armrest. It seems like something you would end up getting used to after a while and wasn't much of a big deal . . .

Also, is the 330's 2nd gear as long a throw as the 325's ?

I am pretty sure they have different transmissions !!
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
I've driven both back to back and they seemed the same to me :dunno:
I have driven both in manual. They seemed the same to me. I know what you mean about the center armrest. I had exact same problem and you know what? It is the position of the seat that matters. You need to find a sweet spot in the seat position. I don't have this problem anymore but you are right the throw is unnecessarily long.
I dont have a armrest so no problem for me:D

Jeff
the 325 is getrag transmission, the 330 is ZF transmission.

Hell, you know i have steptronic, so thats about as much info i can give ya:bigpimp:
Alan F said:


I am pretty sure they have different transmissions !!
I've often wanted to remove the armrest. That is one thing I'm DEFINITELY ambivalent towards.
I have a ZF transmission (xi thing) and I believe the throw is about the same. That's why I really like the UUC Rob Knob Magnum SS, you just nudge it and it slots into gear. All the effort is at the beginning, rather than the end, so you don';t have to shove it in gear while the armrest is ****ing with your reach.
Hi Alan,

Frankly, after years of super-slick Honda five speed manual trannies, I was happy to accept a Step on my Y2k 323i.

I, as you, was underwhelemed with BMW's stick, with its long, sloppy throws and grabby clutch.

Besides, BMW's (actually, GM's) step is the smoothest auto I've ever driven.

Looks like pure manual shifting is becoming a thing of the past; smg-type mauals will be the norm in a few years; after that, who knows.

Too bad, as a slick, neat shifter is still a thing of beauty.

Honda still makes one of the BEST shifters there is, anyone who doubts this should drive the new little Acura RSX.

BMW could learn a thing or two in this dept.

Ed
Alan F said:

I was surprised by how long the throw is to get into 2nd gear. I felt the 2nd gear was very close to the armrest. I then tried it wih the armrest in the up position but that wouldn't work because my elbow and back of my upper arm hit it and I felt uncomfortable.

Re: Re: Manual transmission drivers- I just drove a 5 speed 325i

EdCT said:


Hi Alan,

Frankly, after years of super-slick Honda five speed manual trannies, I was happy to accept a Step on my Y2k 323i.

I, as you, was underwhelemed with BMW's stick, with its long, sloppy throws and grabby clutch.

Besides, BMW's (actually, GM's) step is the smoothest auto I've ever driven.

Looks like pure manual shifting is becoming a thing of the past; smg-type mauals will be the norm in a few years; after that, who knows.

Too bad, as a slick, neat shifter is still a thing of beauty.

Honda still makes one of the BEST shifters there is, anyone who doubts this should drive the new little Acura RSX.

BMW could learn a thing or two in this dept.

Ed
Hello Ed,

it's not that I didn't like the shifting but more like I was just surprised by the long throw. The liked the clutch though I can see where some people complain about it's springy-ness (is there such a word ? ) and overall it was a very nice set-up.

One thing i would definitely agree about is that the Acura RSX has truly one of the best transmissions I've ever driven (only to be outshined by the NSX)) and Honda/Acura make excellent manuals :thumbup:

It's true that the Steptronic is an incredible Automatic as well. For me, I could have gone either way with my car (auto or manual), either one is great !!

I hope the manual is not on it's way out like many here beleive but you never know . . .
My solution...UUC SHORT SHIFT KIT.
hack, i LOVE that new sig. it's awesome
The HACK said:
My solution...UUC SHORT SHIFT KIT.
No, the 323/325 have a longer shift throw than the 328/330. I just learned this recently.

And I too have had that concern about shifting and the armrest. Nate and I once argued about it and decided that we were both right. My car doesn't have an armrest and I think that anything higher than the existing console would only impede my movement. He insisted that the 'rest helped him. :dunno: Guess I'll have to try an E46 with an armrest.
Alan F said:


Also, is the 330's 2nd gear as long a throw as the 325's ?

I liked the armrest with the stock shifter, and absolutely love it with the UUC. With the UUC, I don't even have to move my arm to shift. I think it helps that I don't have the seat set all the way to the floor, nor set all the way back. If the armrest wasn't cut back on the driver's side, it would probably bother me, though.

I once sat in a Lotus Esprit, and I practically had to prop my whole arm UP onto the center console to reach the shifter.
Not attempting to steal the thread....

Hack - love the sig man. Very creative. :thumbup:

You forget your wheels in the overlay? Maybe you ran out of space. :dunno:
The HACK said:
My solution...UUC SHORT SHIFT KIT.
I went form a Honda to a 325i and noticed the long throw into 2nd right away. After about 2 months with it I hardly notice it anymore. Actually I love the gearbox. The clutch is a different story.
i really like the shifting action on the 325.

after three hours of stop and go trying to re-enter MASS. from maine (2 sets of tollbooths just back everything up) this past weekend in the 911, let me tell you i have a much renewed enthusiasm for how effortless things work in the E46.

is it a sports car? nah. i don't think so.

FWIW, even the throws on the 6 speed m3 gearbox seem longish to me. (this is in reference to the shortshifting mechanism on the M roadster/coupes).

i still hate the clutch, but the gear shifts are so positive and effortless that i can't help but love the 325 all over again.
Is your CDV still in, blackdawg?
It's pretty effortless to take out, and it DRAMATICALLY improves the driving experience.
Re: i really like the shifting action on the 325.

blackdawg said:

FWIW, even the throws on the 6 speed m3 gearbox seem longish to me. (this is in reference to the shortshifting mechanism on the M roadster/coupes).
ya, the throws are kinda long. One thing about the M3 and M5 that I notice is that the shift knob is much higher than other BMWs. This is great for quick shifts without taking your hands off the wheel for too long. The ideal shift knob would be level with the steering wheel. This makes the throws seem longish though. Contrast this to the M coupe, which has a very short knob. I do love the throw and shift action in the MZ3 though.
Re: Re: i really like the shifting action on the 325.

nate328Ci said:


ya, the throws are kinda long. One thing about the M3 and M5 that I notice is that the shift knob is much higher than other BMWs. This is great for quick shifts without taking your hands off the wheel for too long. The ideal shift knob would be level with the steering wheel. This makes the throws seem longish though. Contrast this to the M coupe, which has a very short knob. I do love the throw and shift action in the MZ3 though.
nate--have you driven an E46M3? Can't remember...
Re: Re: Re: i really like the shifting action on the 325.

atyclb said:


nate--have you driven an E46M3? Can't remember...
No, just played around in it. Felt very similar in shifting to the E39 M5, which I have driven a lot.

I have driven the MZ3 though :p
It was getting too busy...In fact I'm considering showing 1 mod per image and using Plaz's script to rotate the images.

Also I don't consider the wheels an upgrade.
sp330i said:


Not attempting to steal the thread....

Hack - love the sig man. Very creative. :thumbup:

You forget your wheels in the overlay? Maybe you ran out of space. :dunno:
1 - 20 of 27 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.
Top