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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.

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Old 07-31-2004, 09:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey everyone,
Noob question!
Looking into an E46 and want to know if someone can point me out to yearly model guides or listings of what changes have been made to the vehicle each year since 1999.
I am also wanting to know so I can recognize at a glance the differences between, say a 2000 and a 2002 or 2004...

thanks
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Old 07-31-2004, 11:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The 99-01 models are all the same as far as I know, in 2002-2003, the front bumper and rear bumpers were given a facelift (mostly front), and in 2004, the headlights and corners became more swept back, mainly the bottom left of both corners are now cut off... Kinda hard to explain w/o pics.

Also, in 99-00 the model #s were 323 and 328, in 01-04 the #s are 325 and 330. Somewhere in there was an e46 318, but i dont know when, and now there are 320s but not in the US.

This is pretty much the extent of my knowledge for changes in the e46.

Oh and in 2004, Alcantar interiors were introduced, + the M-sport stuff was added onto 330 ZHPs.
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Old 07-31-2004, 12:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The model changes you mentioned 323,328 to 325,330 were due to bigger engines hence the 23,28,25,30 numbers (Im sure you know this though) -

I noticed the 04 have the LED tail lights as well and Ive heard they added bluetooth phone connection in interior..

The rearview side mirrors changed in 02 - they now look more like the M3 used to (it no longer looks as if a brick was placed on the door)
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Old 07-31-2004, 07:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Engines are a part of it...in 1999 the M52 was Technically Updated (turned it into a M52TU) offered in a 2.5L and 2.8L In 2001 the M54 came out which is a 2.5 and 3.0L with Double Vanos offered on both engines...it's pretty damn good if you can look at it and say that's an E36 or E46...and even more impressive if you can say that's an E46 with an M45B30. :P it's hard to tell vehicles on the same engineering platform apart from eachother real easily.
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Old 08-01-2004, 12:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Forgot to mention:

in 02+ all coupes come standard with clear tails

Adaptive headlights are available on 04+ (headlights move wiht the road i.e. corner)

LED tails added in 04, if you stomp on the breaks, they light up much brighter than normal to warn drivers.

i know there are more tech options i am missing, but you get the jist of it.
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Old 08-01-2004, 02:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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to the forum!

I also recall reading that the 2001 325/330 had a boosted power steering pump that decreased the amount of effort needed to turn the steering wheel ( and also decreased the amount of "feedback" from the steering wheel). This was corrected in 2002+. Not a major thing. BMW was trying to decrease the amount of effort to turn the wheel, say in a parking lot, and in so doing made some people mad because it diluted the feedback from the wheel.

I can't say, I never drove a 2001, but 2002 is just perfect!!!
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Old 08-01-2004, 03:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Also the side blinkers were moved in the 2002 models to follow the wind-lines along the doors instead of being toward the middle of the side. I think '04 also added a third head rest in the rear standard in the 04 sedan models.
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