Coupe or Convertible? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
#1 (permalink) Old 04-23-2004, 12:39 PM
n00b
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
consultant is an unknown quantity at this point
(Thread Starter)
I live in the Seattle area and am considering the purchase of an E46 M3 coupe or convertible. I currently drive an Acura TL Type-S and am itching for my first BMW experience. I bought the sedan thinking it would be best having two small children but have found I rarely use the back seats - we always take the SUV when transporting the kids. The trunk room is nice though but I don't use it that often. I'm regretting not having stuck with a sports car although I am extremely happy with the TL. I've always owned Japanese sports cars with front wheel or all-wheel drive.

I have always wanted to own a rear-wheel drive sports car and/or a convertible. My budget is about $45K. It HAS to be a 4-seater. A used E46 M3 seems like it is hands down the best choice (although I'm considering a low mileage Supra Twin Turbo with a sport top too.) The Audi A4 Cabrio would be an option if it didn't have such a wimpy engine, the new S4 Cabrio is out of my price range and I'm not interested in having a gas guzzling 8 cylinder engine.

I'm really interested in hearing some comments from people who have either driven both E46 3 series Coupes and Convertibles, or have driven any convertible and live in the Northwest (San Francisco up to Vancouver BC) or other areas of the country that don't have really dry weather (maybe the Northeast?)

It seems like the best idea is to do like my father and have a small, less expensive roadster (like a Z3, Miata, 350Z, etc.) as a third car. However I have neither the budget nor do I like having money sunk into assets that I am not getting a lot of use out of.

I know the covertible is 300 pounds heavier but all test drive reports say this makes no significant difference in the driving pleasure. Heck, you could throw a cold air intake on it and reprogram the computer to burn Premium only and the extra horse power would probably bring the acceleration in line with the coupe (but what's a half second difference anyway.) I know the trunk space is small but it sounds like it is only really bad with the top down and I would consider the back seats additional "trunk space". My other concern is road noise. I'm an audiophile and like listing to loud music alot. Obviously the acoustics will suck with the top down but how does the noise compare with the top up to a coupe? Living in my area of the country, it seems like the coupe is the more practical decision being less expensive, larger trunk, and ligther/more rigid. I'm really itching though to see what owning a convertible is like. This is a large expenditure though and I want to make the best decision possible. An insights would be greatly appreciated.
consultant is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 (permalink) Old 04-23-2004, 12:46 PM
You Can Has A Custom Title!!
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: UMBC, Maryland
Posts: 2,329
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
woobiee has a reputation beyond repute woobiee has a reputation beyond repute woobiee has a reputation beyond repute woobiee has a reputation beyond repute woobiee has a reputation beyond repute woobiee has a reputation beyond repute woobiee has a reputation beyond repute woobiee has a reputation beyond repute woobiee has a reputation beyond repute woobiee has a reputation beyond repute woobiee has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via AIM to woobiee
i know the E46 convertibles are one of the best out there!

have you looked into the Audi A4 Cabrio?

im a coupe person...the true sports car. IMO, for a convertible, i would go for a roadster (Z3, M, Z8, etc...strictly 2 seats)
woobiee is offline  
#3 (permalink) Old 04-23-2004, 01:36 PM
1st Gear Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
320CDI is an unknown quantity at this point
One of the main reasons I didnt order a convertable and went for the coupe is around practicality.

One simple thing - the rear seats do not fold down as the roll bars are built in or around them and I need my car to be able to carry long loads - I think you can have a ski hatch fitted but that was not enough for me!
320CDI is offline  
#4 (permalink) Old 04-23-2004, 04:01 PM
n00b
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ss3964spd is an unknown quantity at this point
Con,

I can completely relate as our situations appear very similar: trunk space not a huge factor, room for four is a necessity, doing duty - with refinement, as a four season vehicle is paramount, and a satisfying audio system is icing.

After looking at, and driving many candidates - including the TL-S (with which we spent some three days evaluating), Dear Wife and I recently bought a 2001 325i 5 speed convertible with the sport and premium packages.

I imagine many here would concur that the folding top car is not as rigid as the hard top - which is correct. Frankly though, the convertible's structure is so stiff that only very-very bad surfaces produce some shaking of the cowl/windshield frame area. Otherwise, the car is impressively solid. Perhaps not one's first choice for auto crossing but, unless you must have every last oz of handling, I suspect you would find the convertible satisfying.

As you suspect, trunk space is limited but not unmanageable. Rear seat space - ditto, but usable for short trips with tall people, or the inverse.

The top is a fully lined and insulated assembly. Therefore, for a convertible, the car is impressively quiet with the top raised. It may not be coupe quite but it is quite reasonable. Because it is so quiet sound quality from the stereo system is not horribly compromised. Indeed, our car came with the optional Harmon/Kardon system and it sounds very nice. Certainly not as full range and transparent as a Magnaplanar/Bryston combination but nice. Be sure to bring a car home with the H/K option.

Performance wise, I cannot comment on the M3's - I've not driven one. I can tell you this however, our 5 speed 325i felt much more lively than the TL-S auto we spent several days with. The TL-S was - I don't know....tooo, generic. I can only suspect that the M3 would be a hoot. I also think the 330i would be a nice compromise between the 325 and the M3. If you go with a 325 or 330 be certain to order the sport package. Great handling and not at all punishing. Stiffer than the TL and nearly as compliant. Automatics, in any car, sap some performance and lots of involvement so - unless you are the shiftless sort, do opt for the manual transmission

These cars have soul. You're gonna love it.

Regards, Dan
ss3964spd is offline  
#5 (permalink) Old 04-23-2004, 04:04 PM
2nd Gear Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
M3Rider is an unknown quantity at this point
If your willing to pay the extra $$$, get an E46 M3 Convertible, and a Removable Hardtop. It will look exactly like the coupe and you can remove it whenever you wanna go topless

My Car
2004 330ci
Exterior: Alpine White
Interior: Black
Options: <span style='color:red'>Performance Pkg</span>, <span style='color:green'>Cold Weather</span>, <span style='color:blue'>Xenon</span>, <span style='color:yellow'>Moonroof</span>
M3Rider is offline  
#6 (permalink) Old 04-23-2004, 05:12 PM
You Can Has A Custom Title!!
 
CiscoKid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Jersey, USA
Posts: 2,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
CiscoKid is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via AIM to CiscoKid
the convertable is a lil slower (.3 sec to 60) but if you get the hardtop option... it should be straight. I wouldnt feel safe doin 140 with a convertable w/o a hard top on it

CiscoKid is offline  
#7 (permalink) Old 04-23-2004, 05:17 PM
5th Gear Member
 
Silver4evr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,800
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Silver4evr is an unknown quantity at this point
IMO, I would go with the 330xi 4 door. Pick a year. Or a newer 330 performance package.

2004 E60 530is, Delivered 12/12/03, TiSilver/LGrey, PP, SP,PS, PDC, ACC, FRS, Step, Xenons, clear bra, body colored rear inserts. (Retired, 1983 henna red 320is)

2004 Corvette Z06 Commemorative Edition
Silver4evr is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com > BMW Model Specific Forums > 3-Series (E46, E90)


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fs: 1999 M Coupe All Original pkramer Classifieds Sell & Buy 0 11-04-2004 09:47 AM
Coupe De Grâce: 645Ci Stacy540i Bimmer Talk/Motorsports Talk 15 11-24-2003 07:56 AM
BMW considering adding crossover and luxury coupe Stacy540i Bimmer Talk/Motorsports Talk 1 11-24-2003 04:05 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome