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Old 07-23-2010, 12:42 PM   #1
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My Ride: 328i & M5
E36 M3 Coupe or E46 330CI

I'm picking between an 01-03 330CI or an E36 M3 Please help !!!

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Old 07-23-2010, 07:15 PM   #2
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I was in the same boat, the only one that's going to appreciate what you have is yourself and a few enthusiasts if you go with the e36 M, other than that people are just going to see an old BMW, if that's something that matters to you, consider it.

I couldn't be happier going with the 330Ci, it's much newer, way better interior and similar performance. I realized that the only reason I was considering the e36 was because of the M badge and power, but I could get that and more out of the 330Ci so the choice was obvious for me, just my experience.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:28 PM   #3
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Oh yeah, it depends what you're looking to get out of the car in the first place.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:56 PM   #4
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It's not a fair comparison as you're looking at the Ci but I've driven both an E36 M3 vert 5MT and a 330xi auto as daily drivers, and I'll tell you from my findings:

-got a lot more attention, styling wise
-I didn't like the throttle pedal too much, it's a bit light, but once you get used to it then you're fine
-Handling was good (with the AWD), turn in and road feel were comparably "good"
-Power needed a bit more torque; great pickup but once you got the hang of it, there wasn't an enormous bit
-Loved the interior even though it had regular seats.

-A lot stiffer ride (now please note the XI is a lotttt softer, pre-LCI so it even had the soft springs compared to newer XI's and 330i)
-interior :/
-Steering feel is wonderful, 330 feels numb after this. Although the power assist may not be for you if you are in tight parking lots
-Power is there, noticeably more torque throughout the range
-Personally I was not and still am not a fan of the E36 styling. It looks dated at this point but this is subjective.
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:33 PM   #5
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I loved my 330ci with sport package and 18s.

Its quite a step up IMO.

Just bite the bullet and do e46 m3...
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:14 AM   #6
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Compared to my ZHP, the E36 M that I drove felt noticeably torquier - particularly at the lower rev ranges (I'd have no problems accelerating up hills in 4th or 5th gear at 2k RPM... I can't say the same for my ZHP). Headers might help there, since from what I understand, they give a pretty significant torque increase. I'll also admit that I'm not sure if the E36 I drove had any power mods (I know it had a short ram intake, but as far as I knew, those were more for the sound than anything else).
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