Last post on Mar 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Sedan
Apr 26, 2003 (11:25 am)
I'm interested to know if they're comparing the Euro E36, which had a completely different engine (340 hp vs 240 for the US).
I had a 1997 E36 M3 (US), which I absolutely adored. That car was my first BMW, and the torque added a huge amount of confidence on the hills of San Francisco as compared to the Acura Integra GS-R I traded out of.
There's really no comparison between it and my new E46 however. The new M3 is simply a much more raw, extreme car than the E36. Overall, the E36 M3 more closely resembled my 2001 330i than it does the new M3. I wouldn't hesistate to commute the 45 miles to work in the E36, but am looking for a little "commuter" car to accompany the new M3.
The suspension seems mostly comparable, but the bigger 18" tires (especially the fat ones in back) lend the ride a much rougher and "go-kart" feel than the E36, and the engine dynamics are completely different (it revs like a GS-R with torque, to 8000 rpm). The E36 engine revs much more closely to the 330i.
I am going to check out the 330i performance package, which I suspect with the extra 10 hp, re-ratio'd gears and re-tuned suspension is going to be a very close replica to the old M3. Heck, if it's really compelling, I might even try to convince my wife it's the right car to replace the current sedan.
#22857 of 30250 brave1heart
Apr 26, 2003 (1:57 pm)
I'm still partial to the non-M E36s(though I MUCH prefer the E46 dashboard. But, as scipio1 noted, the E46 M3 is a mucn more visceral driving experience than the garden variety E46-never mind the E36 M3. Don't get me wrong, I love the E36 M3, but it just doesn't posess the "in your face" character of it's E30 and E46 bretheren.
#22858 of 30250 abc246 other options
Apr 26, 2003 (6:13 pm)
I agree with the other posters. If after another test drive in a non-sport 330i, it's still too firm, consider (in this order) an Infiniti G35 (non-sport), an Acura 3.2TL or a Lexus ES300.
This is in order from firmer/faster to softer/slower. But all are great cars.
#22859 of 30250 E36 vs E46 M3 and stuff
Apr 27, 2003 (2:45 pm)
Took the M3 to the church retreat this weekend. Stuffed it to the gills (Baby Jogger, Child Seat, Baby, Pak n Play, 2 suitcases, wife, fishing rod, cooler, 3 portable lawn chairs, Baby suitcase, Baby toys and some Beer -- necessary part of all church retreats). I then drove about 70 miles each way. Average speed 80.3 mph, OBC fuel efficiency 26.8mpg, top speed 95mph.
I drove it about 3 miles down this dirt road. It handled great off road.
The E46 M3 is stiff -- there is no doubt. It is not going to coddle your backside and you will be able to feel almost any imperfection in the road. Surprisingly though it has such powerful ability to damp bumps, you can actually safely travel much faster over road bumps and dips in it than in any Cadillac or even car based SUV. You will feel them more in the M3, but your tires will spend more time on the pavement and you will have more control than these other cars -- shipo correct me if the vocabulary is not right -- is damping the right word?
Nevertheless, every single time you reach a sharp turn in the road and take it without braking in 3rd or with entry braking and apex accelleration in 2nd, you will just smile from the depths of your soul and you will realize why you love feeling the small imperfections in the road. The E46 does not isolate you from the road and your senses. (This is meant as a generalization for all of the E46 vehicles).
E36 vs E46 M3. (I have driven both, but I own the E46) The E46 is twice the road racer that the E36 is. The torque is unbelievable, the handling is much tighter. 95% of those who drive both cars would strongly prefer the E46. That said, the E36 is a tremendous platform for autocrossing. In the Houston area, it seems that the serious autocrossers prefer the E36 because it has so much more oversteer than the E46. On a cone course, the E46 has a real tendency to push (understeer) and this is its downfall amoung those who are take autocrossing seriously. With that said, it seems that on most of the autocross courses here in town, the E36 M3 will be slightly faster than the E46. If you were to race the two cars on a traditional race track with larger radius turns and longer straightaways (with the opportunity to use more than 2nd gear), the E46 would not lose to the E36. Likewise, in a straight line, there is no competition.
#22860 of 30250 Windshield Washer Spray Pattern
Apr 28, 2003 (8:00 am)
The spray pattern of my 325i windshield washer is way-off, too low and to one side. The spray nozzels are mounted in plastic and I can't see a way to adjust them. Does anyone know how to adjust the spray pattern? Thanks for all suggestions.
Apr 28, 2003 (10:34 am)
How do you manage to avoid slippage with a clutch on those SF hills?
I am planning to plunk money down for a 3-series this winter. Would prefer the manual trans, but it seems the automatic would a better bet for handling the streets in Pacific Heights. And I found that the clutch on my prior BMWs tended to overheat in the all too frequent stop-and-go freeway traffic.
#22862 of 30250 E36 vs E46 and autoX
Apr 28, 2003 (10:38 am)
WEIGHT!! of course
Apr 28, 2003 (10:41 am)
At least consider SMG before going ahead with this sin (getting an automatic of course just a joke)
#22864 of 30250 Begging for input....
Apr 28, 2003 (2:12 pm)
I am going to be ordering any day now (2004 330Ci), and I am in a bit of a dilema. I am 6-3 and don't give a fig about having or paying for a moon roof. I much prefer having the extra headroom and knocking $1,000 off the price of the car. Question is: will I be crying when it's time to sell? If it is going to make it virtually impossible to sell in three years, I would be more likely to bite the thousand-dollar bullet now and save myself the hassle later. If I were leasing, this wouldn't be a problem, but I have decided to buy... so it is a consideration. Help?
#22865 of 30250 New Tires Needed - 325i Sport Package
Apr 28, 2003 (3:36 pm)
I love my 2001 325i (sport package, 225/17/45), but it's time to start searching for new tires. With over 31k on the Continentals, I'm betting that I'll need new skins by end of summer. Any suggestions? We live in the Bay Area (No. Calif.), and I drive it to SF 3-4 times a week. I want to stay with a fairly sticky tire that keeps the road, especially on slick SF streets and rainy freeways.
Any suggestions would be great, though I'd like to keep this at or below $150 per tire.