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-   -   E39 540i 6MT vs E46 330i 5MT (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=691827)

jkomets 07-19-2009 09:58 AM

E39 540i 6MT vs E46 330i 5MT
 
Simple question: which pulls better at stock?

I have the choice to get one or the other for approximately the same price. I like both cars very much, and I can't seem to decide. For example, I like the luxury that the 540i offers, but the 330i is smaller and sportier, so in the end performance is the deciding factor for me.

LowDog 07-20-2009 05:26 PM

I have the 540 and before that i had a E46 (320 Diesel), i like the E46 more. The 540 is a effin boat to drive.

Many330i 07-20-2009 05:29 PM

54o dude, that's a V8; better low-end torque, but I wouldn't trade my car for it!

jkomets 07-20-2009 07:20 PM

So general 330i consensus on performance?

Rog323 07-20-2009 07:21 PM

depends on year, color, interior. tranny...,
I would take the e39 if it was manual, sports pkg...

Snik 07-20-2009 07:25 PM

540 dude, that car is a beast

ejheverest 07-20-2009 07:57 PM

ZHP>540i w/ sport package >330i

GRIDLOCK 07-20-2009 09:23 PM

That E39 540 6MT will blow the doors off of that E46 330i. :str8pimpi

ZiMMie 07-20-2009 09:24 PM

depends on what windshield fluids they both running.

Snik 07-20-2009 09:31 PM

^ what he said.

czechchamp 07-20-2009 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GRIDLOCK (Post 10332233)
That E39 540 6MT will blow the doors off of that E46 330i. :str8pimpi

+1, with this being said if you dont need/want the extra room 330i > 540i

bluejeansonfire 07-20-2009 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GRIDLOCK (Post 10332233)
That E39 540 6MT will blow the doors off of that E46 330i. :str8pimpi

this is true. According th dragtimes.com, the stock e39 540s are running in the low 14s, trapping mid-upper 90s. A well-driven stock 330 should do a 14.4@95. But a 330 can be made to run with a 540 NA, and can be made to destroy it with almost any level of boost, as long as it isn't an auto. The auto 330 is a failure of a car, with boost it is made tolerable, but the detriments to performance from the auto in the 330 are staggering.

A schricked+hedders+tune+3.46 diff 330 manual should eat most mild mod 540s.

GRIDLOCK 07-21-2009 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluejeansonfire (Post 10332691)
this is true. According th dragtimes.com, the stock e39 540s are running in the low 14s, trapping mid-upper 90s. A well-driven stock 330 should do a 14.4@95. But a 330 can be made to run with a 540 NA, and can be made to destroy it with almost any level of boost, as long as it isn't an auto. The auto 330 is a failure of a car, with boost it is made tolerable, but the detriments to performance from the auto in the 330 are staggering.

A schricked+hedders+tune+3.46 diff 330 manual should eat most mild mod 540s.

Mods this, and mods that...any car can pretty much be made to take off like a rocket, but for simple sanity, we're talking bone-stock here.

Snik 07-21-2009 01:56 AM

^ totally agree.
As if a 540 can't be supercharged, cammed up, stroked out, diff swap, exhaust, headers or whatever....

I'd honestly take a 540i 6sp over a 330 ZHP. No lie, those E39s are solid, timeless beaties that shrink around you for such a large car, and the 540 is just a nasty torque monster.

I'm torn right now as I think I want a different BMW next year and I'm undecided between the E39 and E46 chassis.

jkomets 07-21-2009 06:17 AM

Well, it looks like I just have to drive both again and decide for myself, because everyone is voicing exactly what I have been thinking! :P I won't have time to do so for another few weeks, I'll respond with my results.

EDIT: To all those speculating about what if I get auto, I know what an atrocious fail it is to drive a BMW without really driving it, and shifting is the one thing I will never give up in a car. :)

fmzip 07-21-2009 07:44 AM

I test drove a 540 before I bought my 530. The car was too much of a boat, very front heavy with that V8. The 530 offers the best of everything IMHO.

If I HAD to keep one, it would be the 530i Sport........with or without the supercharger from my 330cic since it's interchangeable;)

http://home.comcast.net/~fmzip/BMW/DSC_4316.JPG

bluejeansonfire 07-21-2009 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snikwad (Post 10333501)
^ totally agree.
As if a 540 can't be supercharged, cammed up, stroked out, diff swap, exhaust, headers or whatever....

I'd honestly take a 540i 6sp over a 330 ZHP. No lie, those E39s are solid, timeless beaties that shrink around you for such a large car, and the 540 is just a nasty torque monster.

I'm torn right now as I think I want a different BMW next year and I'm undecided between the E39 and E46 chassis.

Quote:

Originally Posted by GRIDLOCK (Post 10333225)
Mods this, and mods that...any car can pretty much be made to take off like a rocket, but for simple sanity, we're talking bone-stock here.

absolutely true

I'm talking about the possibilities in ownership. My car went through everything I listed and a whole lot more.

To me modding BMWs is a lot of fun. And you become a pioneer, a record breaker. Why so easy? most people dont go to the track or do any quantitative comparisons.

I'm not sure I could deal with either car in NA form.

czechchamp 07-21-2009 09:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jkomets (Post 10333894)
Well, it looks like I just have to drive both again and decide for myself, because everyone is voicing exactly what I have been thinking! :P I won't have time to do so for another few weeks, I'll respond with my results.

EDIT: To all those speculating about what if I get auto, I know what an atrocious fail it is to drive a BMW without really driving it, and shifting is the one thing I will never give up in a car. :)

:thumbup:

DarkJoker 07-21-2009 06:09 PM

540 sport package all the way

i regret buyin my 330 every time i sit and drive a 540 manual

vaio76109 07-21-2009 07:06 PM

540 is faster in a straight line, the 330 is more fun to drive. Realistically they're both pretty slow, so get the one that's more fun to drive and handles better.


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