E46Fanatics - View Single Post - 2004 M3 to 2006 330Ci ZHP, Will
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:54 AM   #14
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Old Greg's Cavern
Posts: 12,671
My Ride: '13 128i, '04 330Ci
Originally Posted by bbenj10 View Post
I'm considering trading in my 2004 M3 w/ SMG and picking up a 2004 330Ci ZHP. Both cars have about the same miles (50K) and are in about the same good condition. My main reason for considering this is to switch from a SMG to a 6MT. I learned to like the SMG and after about a month of having the car was much smoother with it than when I got it. But I still wish I was able to row my own gears at times. I've looked at the conversion (way too much money IMO and would void the warranty I bought with the M3) and also looked at picking up another M3, but haven't found any that really wow me.

The 330 Ci ZHP I found on CL did wow me though. Black Sapphire Metallic over Black Interior. Love the look of the interior trim on the ZHP, and the price is good too. I assume gas will be almost a wash between the two, but maintenance would certainly be a little less on the 330. Just wanted to know what anyone's thoughts were on going from M to non M. I know I'll have less power, but I'm okay with that because it mainly would be used as a daily driver, which I think the 330 has enough power for. I also know the M3 isn't just a more powerful 3 series, it's a different car altogether. Do you think I'd miss the M3 that much if I had a clean '06 ZHP? Going to test drive it this weekend, I'm sure that will be the main deciding factor, but wanted to see if anyone had anything to add to help me decide.
You're going to miss the power and that's it (for daily driving). If you put an S54 into a regular E46 and raced an M3 around a track, you wouldn't get beat by that much. Maintenance costs will be much less. For example, a new M3 water pump is a few hundred dollars while a regular M54 water pump is $60.

Last edited by WDE46; 11-30-2012 at 10:55 AM.
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