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Old 08-09-2012, 07:17 PM   #15
fiveightandten
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,297
My Ride: '03 330ci / '98 M3
I've only had mine for a few months, but I love it. I sold a WRX wagon that I owned for years and replaced it with the 330ci. The WRX was faster, had much more cargo room, was super reliable, was a damned monster in the snow, was easy to drive people around in, and was an amazing car overall. I also have an E36 M3 that I bought in 2006 and have been obsessed with ever since. As much as I loved my WRX, I love the way the M3 drives, and how I feel in that car (don't care about anything but just *driving* it). An E46 was the most logical thing to get a car that has that feel that I could daily drive.

I searched for about a month for an E46 with the following wishlist:
-Had to be a 330
-Had to be a manual
-Had to have sport package
-Had to be either red, blue, or white
-Had to have under 120K miles
-Had to been in good condition, and within a certain budget

After about a month of searching, I found a 2003 Japan rot 330ci, ZSP, ZPP, manual, 100K miles, about 5 hours drive from me, within my price range. The ad went up on cars.com on a Thursday morning. I took the day off work the next day and was at the sellers doorstep about 24 hours after the ad posted. Everything checked out, I left a deposit on the car. The following weekend, my girlfriend and I took my WRX down for the trip to pick up the 330ci. We picked it up, and she drove the WRX home while I was in my new to me E46. Being in the 330, and seeing the WRX rolling down the highway knowing what the drive was like for her, I was happy with my decision and enjoyed the super smooth E46 and that great BMW handling and steering feel the whole way home. I got home at 1am, unloaded stuff, helped her to bed, and got back in the car to drive it *more*. Took it out for a little drive around some nearby back roads I like. Yeah, I was happy with the purchase. I got up at 7am the next day (a Sunday) to take it out for a drive again.

I was still reluctant to let the WRX go. So I held on to it just to be sure I was making the right decision (the WRX is a much better car on paper). The 2 cars sat next to one another in the driveway for weeks. Every day I would stand by the table with the key cup on it...look outside at both of them, and grab the key to the 330ci. After a month or so, the 330ci won me over, and I was detached enough from the WRX to sell it. The WRX was awesome. I put it up for sale at about $2K over the price of any other WRX selling in my area. It sold in less than a week to the 2nd guy that came to see it, $200 under asking price. It had more miles than the 330ci I just bought, and I got more money for the WRX than what I paid for the 330ci. This helped me justify my frivolous, purely emotional decision to get rid of a perfectly good car.

I haven't looked back since. I would be lying if I said I wasn't apprehensive about the winter after living with an AWD monster for so long. But so far, i'm so happy with the E46. I love driving the car so much. Sell it? Not for a while.
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