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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 01-23-2004, 02:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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i want to get a 3-series coupe, but i cant decide on a 2000 328 or a 2001 330. i know they are very similar, but there are some small differences. like the 2001 has "lighter" steering. please respond with differences to help me decide.

i also can't decide on the specific options, please respond with your favourites.



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Old 01-23-2004, 02:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think the steering changed in 2002, not 2001? used

Your right, there aren't many differences between the 2. The biggest difference is the engine of course - 2.8 liter vs. 3.0 liter. The 328CI has 193 HP/206 TQ, the 330CI 225 HP/214 TQ.

As for options/packages, I'd recommend getting the sport package (12 way power sport seats, sport steering wheel, 17 inch wheels, sport suspension). BTW, the wheels on the sport package differ between the 2000 328CI and the 2001 330CI - you might like one more than the other - perhaps a deciding factor?

The premium package is nice if you like woodgrain across the dash and around the gear shifter. Otherwise, you can still get the sunroof and leather (2 items that come with the premium package) w/o finding one with the premium package.

I'd also recommend one with xenons, simply because most people that buy one w/o seem to want them after the fact, and/or attempt to install the OEM or aftermarket unit later.

I haven't heard the greatest of things about the Harman Kardon upgraded sound system, but perhaps somebody else can weigh in on that?

You can't go wrong with either car. Good luck in your search.
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Old 01-23-2004, 03:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I bought a 2000 328ci 2 years ago with sport and premium packages with the HK sound. I bought it because I liked the way it drove and I still thoughly enjoy driving the car. The HK sound is better than the standard sound but only marginally, if you are an audiophile you will hate it and want to rip either system out. It was a good option to get when new though as it was not a substantial increase in price. To put in an aftermarket system that would be an upgrade would have cost significantly more than the HK package price.
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Old 01-23-2004, 06:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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this is a no brainer,, 2001 330
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Old 01-23-2004, 06:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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thanks for the help


but WHY should i pick the 2001, besides the larger engine? used
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Old 01-23-2004, 06:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That's about the only reason, other than perhaps having a little more warranty remaining on a 2001.

If $ isn't a concern (the 330 will run you a bit more), get the 330 - it has everything the 328 does + more power.
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Old 01-23-2004, 07:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 01-24-2004, 04:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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330. This engine performs better than the 300HP Northstar V8 in my old STS. Youll also have a newer car with better resale, possibly remaining warranty, cheaper extended warranty etc.

2001 was the year for the lighter steering, but its a minor concern, and still feels better than just about everything else out there.

I like the luxurious look and dont like the carbon fiber or aluminum stuff, so mine has the Premium package with Xenons and I love it. According to Edmunds.com the sound systems were SUBSTANTIALLY improved in 2002 so dont worry about whether your potential pre-2002 car has Harmon audio, neither one of the systems is worth a hoot and youll want to upgrade as soon as possible. The 425W Bose system in my STS was one of the best ive heard in years and the BMW doesnt compare, although the tonality of the speakers is tighter and of a more european flavor of course.

Good luck.
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Old 01-24-2004, 09:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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330i. I agree that the hype over the steering in the '01's is way overplayed. The 330 has more power and as the newer model designation will give you better resale.
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