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Car Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How much road noise makes it through those Michelins and into the cabin? I'm hearing something that sounds a lot like tire/road noise, but I can't be 100% sure since the car is used. It's just louder than my last car, so I can't tell if it's normal. BTW I love this car. :D
 

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I like cookies.
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It is easy to tell if it is tire noise because the noise changes or goes away depending on the road surface.

The E36 isn't really a loud car, most cars have trouble getting rid of road and tire noise. And, the performance tires on your M3 are louder than most non-performance tires
 
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Jetfire said:
How much road noise makes it through those Michelins and into the cabin? I'm hearing something that sounds a lot like tire/road noise, but I can't be 100% sure since the car is used. It's just louder than my last car, so I can't tell if it's normal. BTW I love this car. :D
Remind me, what car(s) are you comparing the noise to?

There is noise. How much is somewhat tire dependent. And even the same tires might be relatively quiet when new and get louder as they wear. IIRC from my 330i (which had Pilot Sports) they do transmit a significant amount of noise.

Of course, come out to a CCA event and we can do a quick car swap to compare.
 

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Here since day one
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I recall my friends E36 M3 being on the louder side of things and my E46 with the Michelin Pilots are definitely louder then Continental's are

I have an extra set of wheels with Continental all-seasons tires for winter use and when I put them on my car it is almost like I traded it in for a luxury car. It is soooo much quieter.

Also, I am basing my comparison on loaner cars which have had the Contential high performance tires and those are also considerably quieter then my Michelin Pilots

Personally I like the noise the Pilots make and I love the performance I get out of them. They are one of the best tires I've ever had on a performance car.
 

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Car Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh, I'm not complaining about the performance. :D I just seem to hear a significant amount of tire noise, and I want to make sure it's tire noise. I'll probably be at the go-karting in August - maybe someone will be around to compare.
 

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Fibrenew Guy in Raleigh
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Yo Jetfire, welcome to 3-series ownership.

Funny to hear you guys talk about tire noise...my exhaust is so loud I can't hear my tires. :thumbup:

Seriously though. Our 330Cic is quiet as hell with the Pilot Sports, so I dunno!
 

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Car Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Well, that's because the E46 is an isolated platform that in no way resembles the pure driving excitement of my M3.

quickly runs and ducks to avoid flying poo

Seriously though, you're absolutely right - both of the 330s I drove were pretty much dead quiet when it came to road noise. That's why I'm curious. I think it's fine, though.
 

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Jetfire said:
Well, that's because the E46 is an isolated platform that in no way resembles the pure driving excitement of my M3.

quickly runs and ducks to avoid flying poo
Oh Sh*t . . . TD now has a partner . . . you guys can email each other about how great the E36 M3 is and how isloated and how buick-like our E46's are :rolleyes:

(you didn't think one of us E46 guys was gonna leave this comment alone :) :) )
 
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Alan F said:


Oh Sh*t . . . TD now has a partner . . . you guys can email each other about how great the E36 M3 is and how isloated and how buick-like our E46's are :rolleyes:

(you didn't think one of us E46 guys was gonna leave this comment alone :) :) )
The ex-E46 E36 M3 list is growing...

First SteveMD dumped his 330i SP 5-spd for an E36 M3/4.

Then JST turned in his 323Ci SP 5-spd at lease-end and bought an E36 M3C.

Then I dumped my 330i SP 5-spd for an E36 M3/4.

Then JD dumped his 325i SP 5-spd for an E36 M3/4.

Then ARCHER decided to replace his SUV with an E36 M3/2 (which got sidelined upon learning his wife was pregnant - I think he's still on a lookout for an E36 M3/4).

The JetFire cancelled his 330Ci order to buy an E36 M3/2 instead.

And that's just in our little world here...

But, seriously, it depends on what you want out of your car. The E46s are VERY good cars and fit the needs of many enthusiast drivers. However, in purely visceral terms, they do not compare tot eh E36 M3s. And many/most E46 buyers would probably say that that is a good thing.
 

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Rest in peace, Coach
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Jetfire said:
Well, that's because the E46 is an isolated platform that in no way resembles the pure driving excitement of my M3.

quickly runs and ducks to avoid flying poo

Seriously though, you're absolutely right - both of the 330s I drove were pretty much dead quiet when it came to road noise. That's why I'm curious. I think it's fine, though.
It was a major shock to my system to go from my Z3 1.9L to the 323Ci...The 323Ci when I first bought it was DEAD QUIET.

But then I got used to the 323Ci and went back to the Z3 a few times, and I was shocked to find that I can't hear myself think when driving the Z3 (maybe a good thing).

But as far as feel goes, the only thing that's still rather lacking on the 323Ci is clutch feel...There's no solid contact point to speak of. Otherwise I think my 323Ci is there on the feel department, it's probably as communicative as my old Z3.

Still think it can afford to lose about 200 lbs, but I'm sure we all feel that way about all our cars.
 

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TD said:


The ex-E46 E36 M3 list is growing...

First SteveMD dumped his 330i SP 5-spd for an E36 M3/4.

Then JST turned in his 323Ci SP 5-spd at lease-end and bought an E36 M3C.

Then I dumped my 330i SP 5-spd for an E36 M3/4.

Then JD dumped his 325i SP 5-spd for an E36 M3/4.

Then ARCHER decided to replace his SUV with an E36 M3/2 (which got sidelined upon learning his wife was pregnant - I think he's still on a lookout for an E36 M3/4).

The JetFire cancelled his 330Ci order to buy an E36 M3/2 instead.

And that's just in our little world here...

But, seriously, it depends on what you want out of your car. The E46s are VERY good cars and fit the needs of many enthusiast drivers. However, in purely visceral terms, they do not compare tot eh E36 M3s. And many/most E46 buyers would probably say that that is a good thing.
But you are not comparing apples to apples. I don't see anyone dumping their E46 M3 for an E36 M3 or an E46 330 for an E36 328. Of course, in a raw performance perspective, a non M E46 is not going to compare to an E36 M3. But the fact that it comes close is pretty impressive. But then, an E36 M3 does not compare to an E46 M3.
 

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A sudden sense of liberty
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Big Al 330i said:


But you are not comparing apples to apples. I don't see anyone dumping their E46 M3 for an E36 M3 or an E46 330 for an E36 328. Of course, in a raw performance perspective, a non M E46 is not going to compare to an E36 M3. But the fact that it comes close is pretty impressive. But then, an E36 M3 does not compare to an E46 M3.
I'll compare apples to oranges all day long if I can only have one piece of fruit and they cost the same.

Of course it is to be expected that M cars are more visceral than non-M cars. It's also true. In some metaphysical sense, it may be "unfair" to compare an M car to a non-M car, but in the end I have to decide where to spend my money, and with the M3 I get a more involving driving experience, more performance (especially in around-town driving) for a much lower cost than the equivalent (in terms of price) E46 model. The E46 M3 can blow my doors off. So will a Saturn V and a Vantage, but since I can't afford any of those, I don't care.
 

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Car Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Big Al 330i said:


But you are not comparing apples to apples. I don't see anyone dumping their E46 M3 for an E36 M3 or an E46 330 for an E36 328. Of course, in a raw performance perspective, a non M E46 is not going to compare to an E36 M3. But the fact that it comes close is pretty impressive. But then, an E36 M3 does not compare to an E46 M3.
Actually, in raw performance terms, the 330Ci comes pretty close to the E36 M3. It's definitely a battle of driver skill.

I bought the M because it just FELT better to me. It's louder, has heavier steering, is less luxurious inside, and definitely shows the marks of being designed ten years ago. Some of that is better than the 330Ci, while other parts aren't...but the good far outweigh the bad FOR ME. The 330Ci is just as good, but it's less of a "hard driving" car and more of a cruiser. I would say that many E46 owners would agree and say this is a good thing.

And you're right - I'm comparing an M car to a non-M car, which is unfair in some ways. But for what I wanted, it was perfectly fair. I wanted a car under $40,000 that gave me high performance acceleration, world class handling, and the comfort to drive in bad traffic every day. The M3 does everything I want better than the 330Ci for less money - and in my case, I found a car with low enouhg mileage to make me happy. It doesn't give me the luxurious feeling I get when I step into an E46, but that matters less to me than pure performance.

To give you some more insight into my decision, I'll tell you that the S2000 was very high on my list. In fact, I came very close to walking in and ordering one several times. Where the S2K lost was in the comfort department - I saw myself LOVING the car on weekends, but hating it for those hour-long trips through downtown D.C. with the top up.
 

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Car Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey, what good is the Internet if it isn't good for debates like this? :)
 

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To each his own, right?

Sadly I may have to replace my M3/4 :cry: The wife and I are expecting and she has no desire to learn to drive a manual. So maybe a 5 series or A6 for her and a e30 325is for me? Getting depressed just thinking about it...
 
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Big Al 330i said:
Jetfire, I wish you the best of luck with your car. My post was not meant to question your purchase. I just think it is unfair to compare the two cars head to head. That's all.
My only comment on that is that, "fair" or not, most people compare cars on the basis of price. Back in 2000, a used '98 or '99 M3 was about the same price as a new 330. Now, a used 2001 330 is about the same price as those '98 and '99 M3s (and a non-loaded new 330).

So these cars DO compete directly because most people establish their budget FIRST and then compare cars within that budget. And E46 M3 and a used E36 M3 do not compare at all price-wise. In fact, you can get 2 '96-97 M3s for the price of 1 E46 M3.
 

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TD said:


My only comment on that is that, "fair" or not, most people compare cars on the basis of price. Back in 2000, a used '98 or '99 M3 was about the same price as a new 330. Now, a used 2001 330 is about the same price as those '98 and '99 M3s (and a non-loaded new 330).

So these cars DO compete directly because most people establish their budget FIRST and then compare cars within that budget. And E46 M3 and a used E36 M3 do not compare at all price-wise. In fact, you can get 2 '96-97 M3s for the price of 1 E46 M3.
They DO NOT compare directly. You are expecting a non M car to behave like an M car and that just isn't going to happen. They are there to serve different markets. The M3 is BMW's version of a "sports car". I would say its competitors are Porsche and the Corvette. Would you compare a new 330 to either one of these?
 
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Big Al 330i said:

The M3 is BMW's version of a "sports car". I would say its competitors are Porsche and the Corvette. Would you compare a new 330 to either one of these?
The E36 M3 was made in coupe, convertible and sedan form. The E46 M3 is currently made in coupe form but a wagon variant is strongly rumored. These body styles follow the bodies available for the non-M 3-series cars (either generation). And none are pure performance cars like the Porsche and Corvette are, being built on platforms that are single-purpose platforms.

Considering I traded my 330i EVEN for my E36 M3 SEDAN and considering that both are about the same size (externally and internally) with 4 doors and a 5-spd tranny and have similar HP figures, I'd say they compete directly.

The E36 M3 and the E46 330 are much closer to being direct competitors to each other than either is to the IS300 or G35 or A4 or C-class or X-Type.

We must get over the dillusion that the E36 and E46 M3s compete with each other. The price difference makes that a ridiculous proposition. And the E36 M3s do not compete with the Porsches from their era either. Again, huge price differences and a significant performance differential make comparing them ridiculous as well.
 
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