Questions about E46 325\330i and xi
I am looking at a early to mid 2000, E46 325\330i to buy by the end of the summer if not sooner. This will be a daily driver to and from work and any shopping I do (I do all of the grocery shopping). The car will also be used at BMWCCA Drivers schools - hopefully 2 per year (Mid-Ohio and Putnam Park).
It will be a second car housed in Ohio - we have a minivan as the wife's main vehicle. We also currently have a '97 Accord Wagon EX with about 114,300 miles on it.
I am looking at a car in Indiana - 2001 325i with 89K miles for less than $10K (manual, 4 door, silver metallic with gray interior, M54 engine). They advertise the car with a sport package and recently found out it is really a xi - AWD.
So - based on the above I have the following questions:
1) How can I tell if the car has the sport package? I am somewhat used to having a strut over the engine in sport packages but I need to find out if the sport package also does not come with it.
2) AWD - how well does the AWD work in a BMW? We get snow and if it works well - especially with traction control and steel wheels w\winter tires - how well would it drive in the winter? Good enough or be a handful no matter what?
2a) Does the AWD make it prohibitively expensive for other work\maintenance? I do plan on having more time to do work myself.
If AWD makes a difference - I would seriously consider an xi model and hopefully give me more options. I also realize that I will also be looking at cars with 80K+ miles on it...
The bad thing that I heard a lot about xi is cv joint. So if you are going to get it, make sure you inspect the boot a lot.
1)  ZSP - Sport Package
The sport package has been available on all E46 3-series cars. It typically included:
A 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel
Sport seats with adjustable thigh support and heavier, more pronounced side bolsters.
Sport wheels and tires (larger wheels with a different design and lower-profile tires)
Sport suspension calibration (stiffer springs/shocks). Note that 2001 and up coupes got the sport suspension as standard equipment.
2) AWD system is a fixed 38F/62R split. Worked good for me when I was in the Northeast. Here is a helpful thread. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=765596
2a) + 1 on the CV joints. I had both my outer joints replaced, and one of my inner joints is leaking now.
Sport package on xi is just wheels, seats, and steering wheel. Easiest way to check is the steering wheel.
AWD works great. No subframe issues to worry about. Reman axles are only $100 each- not a hard DIY either.
Thanks for the info everyone. Not sure what I am going to do yet but I appreciate the information. Now I know what to look for with the sport packages. I have a friend that has several BMWs and he just suggested snow tires and not worrying about the xi.
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