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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 01-14-2005, 07:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi all,

My name is Hutch and i am brandy new to this forum and more or less to the world of BMW's. I mean dont get me wrong i have always loved and drooled over them but now i am in a position to buy one in the near future! With this new excitment comes the delema of what to buy?! As im sure you all know there are about 8 billion different 3 series alone many of wich i am not compleatly familiar with, so i figured what better place to get some heads up then on a BMW forum ! Ok, so im interested in a 3 series something fairly sporty but not terribly expensive..... trust me i am under know dillusion that im going to get an M3 but i would like something sporty with the potential for upgrades and more speed . Any advice or thoughts would be much apprecaited. Thanks in advance.

-Hutch-
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well I'd say...get either a 325 Ci/330 Ci....or an M3....

Of course you'd want the Ci's to have the Performance package.....which is a much better for acceleration. And if you want speed...the only way to go is by getting those Ci's manuals.

Hey! The Ci's also come in convertibles...so in the summer time if you like convertibles....you can get the CiCs....but the Coupes look much better.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by BMWLotAttendant@Jan 14 2005, 10:23 PM
Well I'd say...get either a 325 Ci/330 Ci....or an M3....

Of course you'd want the Ci's to have the Performance package.....which is a much better for acceleration. And if you want speed...the only way to go is by getting those Ci's manuals.

Hey! The Ci's also come in convertibles...so in the summer time if you like convertibles....you can get the CiCs....but the Coupes look much better.
[snapback]271871[/snapback]

Hey,

Thanks alot, what about the 328's? i have heard alot of good stuff about them? But you are saying the Ci is the sports package to look at? again thanks alot for the info very helpful!

-Hutch-
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Old 01-14-2005, 11:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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OK so you don't want anything EXPENSIVE.. so what does that mean?
Understand that many people can interpret that in many different ways.

For me, a college student, if I had to buy a BMW NOW..... I'd probrolly have to say either an E30 or an E36. You see, the E30's were from the late 80's to the early 90's. They were the more boxy fashions and thier still rather cheap, most likly under $5k. The E36's were made from the early 90's to 1999. They have many possible upgradesand you can find them in nice condition for just under $10k depending of course. Finnaly, there's the E46 variation, made from 1999 to i think this year. T

Now since your posting in the E46 branch....
The cheapest E46 would be the 323i made from 1999 to i think 2000 (2001?). You'll always find the coupes to be more expensive, only because thier more "sporty" looking. I personally have the 328i. It's 2.8L (193hp) is realtivly quick and has more horsepower than the 2.5L in the 323i and 325i of 2001 to now. Getting anything after 2001 and you'll be paying over $20k for one in excellent condition, of course depending on your location and whom you buy it from.

Now if you had the money, and just want a nice sporty car that has the potential to upgrade in the future, I'd get the 330Ci, it has about 230hp, chipping it can get you to around 238hp and 226lbft. Of course, that'll put you rather high in the market, a used 330ci in my area right now fetches $19,750 with 70k miles!!

M3's, The E30 M3's (~$10k in real good shape, low miles) are sporty little guys with 192hp i think from a 4 cylinder. Thier cute cars that drive like crazy on the highways around me. They're also kinda rare, not that they are hard to come buy, but you don't see too many, at least not in my area. The E36 M3's (<$10k but <$25k) have alot of add on potential to thier 240hp six. They also have an M3 in that body style from the mid 90's in a 4 door sedan version, good if you want the room. Then come the Creme of the Crop. The E46 variation, 333hp from a six with a price tag (used) still above $30k in most cases.

If you want to go down the upgrading route, understand that you'll have to pay, and pay dearly for those upgrades. Factor that into your price tag. Add another $5k for a safe margin for just in case senarios and upgrades. For an E46, intakes will come around $300 to $500+, exhausts ~$1000, suspension $1000 - $2000, blah, blah blah. I'm sure that you'll catch on to what's hot and what's not in pricing once you investigate more on yourself.

(Oh and just a note, don't trust everything that I or anyone else types in here. Most of us are amatures in this, some more. It's aways best to discover these things for yourself)

I hope that in some way, in all this wording, i've helped. If you want more specifics on the 328i, I can give you some, or at least try to.

Dough

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Old 01-15-2005, 12:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hey Dough,

Thanks for the great reply, First off, when u think not to expensive think your price range i too am a lowly college student . my price range will probably max out around 12k or so. Also i didnt post this exclusivly in this forum, i posted it in all of the 3 series forums because i felt that i would have a wider range of replys to get good info to work with . Thanks for the great info, any suggestions on where to start looking in the new england area (im located in RI)? im not afraid to drive to look at a nice car eather . Again thanks for the great info.
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Old 01-15-2005, 03:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, you didn't say you were a college student....I was assuming you wanted the best....to me the best means spending money...and you gotta spend in order to get new...

The 325Ci/330Ci start at....$31,700/$37,300.....

The best thing for you would be to get an e36 M3...those are in your price range.
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Old 01-15-2005, 06:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by BMWLotAttendant@Jan 15 2005, 05:07 AM
Yeah, you didn't say you were a college student....I was assuming you wanted the best....to me the best means spending money...and you gotta spend in order to get new...

The 325Ci/330Ci start at....$31,700/$37,300.....

The best thing for you would be to get an e36 M3...those are in your price range.
[snapback]272107[/snapback]

Thanks alot for the heads up! sorry for the confusion.

-Hutch-
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Old 01-15-2005, 07:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just did a quick check in my area (NJ) for M3 in the E36 style. At $10k, you'll find an M3, more than likly around or greater than 100,000mi. Be aware that though M3's are great, they do tend to cost more in any repair just because, it's an M3. If I were you, I'd get an E36 328i. It's got just under 200hp and though it's 40hp less than the M3, it'll have less mileage, don't get me wrong, it'll still be high. Don't forget:

4-door is cheaper than 2-door which is cheaper than an M3.

Dough
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Old 01-16-2005, 12:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by BMWLotAttendant@Jan 14 2005, 08:23 PM
Well I'd say...get either a 325 Ci/330 Ci....or an M3....

Of course you'd want the Ci's to have the Performance package.....which is a much better for acceleration. And if you want speed...the only way to go is by getting those Ci's manuals.

Hey! The Ci's also come in convertibles...so in the summer time if you like convertibles....you can get the CiCs....but the Coupes look much better.
[snapback]271871[/snapback]
used

It seems you prefer the coupe over the sedan, which is fine, but your bias seems to have resulted in some confusing information for a person who admitted to knowing little about the E46, and came here looking for some clarity.

The performance package is not exclusive to a CI. In fact, it was first available in 2003 in a sedan only - 330i. It's now available in both a sedan, coupe, or convertible (and only in the 330). As for it being 'much better for exceleration' - it's roughly a 1/2 second faster to 60 with equal drivers. If you were to pit a 330 vs a 330 w/ Performance Package, the standard 330 could easily make up for the extra 10 HP with a little added driver skill.

As for speed - the coupe is no faster than the sedan.
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