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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 03-09-2005, 01:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
RAS
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Here's the story - I have a '99 E36 M3 Coupe. Low miles (26K), literally like-new condition, paid for, and everything works as it should. The car's a blast to drive. I daily-drive another car (Focus SVT), so the M spends rainy days in the garage (we have a lot of those in the Pacific Northwest).

But during the past few weeks I've caught the bug to upgrade to a new E46 Coupe w/ performance package. I'm less than thrilled with the E90 styling direction (although it looks better than I thought it might...) and concepts like Active Steering turn me off completely. n As such I'm thinking I might want to grab an E46 now before they're all gone.

I went and drove one and it was nice - the suspension is tuned much nicer than my friend's 325Ci sport suspension, and the car handles very well while still riding well over road irregularities. Turn in was sharp (slightly less than my M3) but the car actually felt flatter in corners. The only downside was that it felt slower off the line than I expected, even with the lower final drive of the ZHP package. Of course, it was a brand new car and the salesman was along, so I didn't want to romp on it too hard.

So, here's the concern - I LOVE driving my M3, and I have this fear that I'll miss it when it's gone. But then I also wonder if I'll regret not getting a new E46 if/when the E90 Coupe ends up looking like, well, something you're glad you didn't step in. Money's not the issue - if I go the E46 route, the M3 and daily driver go away and I'm left with almost exactly the same payment I have now. It comes down to deciding which one I want.

So, is there anyone else out there who's done a similar upgrade and is willing to share their thoughts?

Thanks.

-R
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