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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

View Poll Results: Manual 325i or auto ZHP?
Manual 325i 55 55.56%
Auto ZHP 44 44.44%
Voters: 99. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-10-2017, 11:04 PM   #41
Overboost
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Slushboxes are for girls.
LOL

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Old 05-10-2017, 11:53 PM   #42
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Auto vs. manual threads are just as retarded as oil threads.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:30 AM   #43
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Slushboxes are for girls.
I am girly man then.
I really thought I'd hate the auto, but I don't. And i really hate non-steptronic autos.
It's not nearly as bad as E34/2 autos vs manuals performance wise.

As long as I get my 35mpg or better at 75mph, it's all good. I don't need blinding acceleration when I can cruise at 80 and still be in the 30s on mpg, and still get a good jump off the light and hold second into the left hander to beat people to the onramp.


of course I've never actually driven my car in auto, or even sport except a coupe minutes during the initial test drive to make sure it worked. Not even once...

It would come down to color condition and options for me between the two.
I picked the loaded 2wd auto, over the stripper xi stick. Don't regret it a bit.
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Old 05-11-2017, 02:05 AM   #44
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to answer this question, probably the manual 325.
but really if those were my 2 choices i wouldnt bother with the e46 then tbh
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Old 05-11-2017, 03:09 AM   #45
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For the purposes of this exercise, I would say no ZSP and no mods.
well if they're both new then the 330-zhp. even though it's automatic.

325i manual is still slower than the 330-zhp automatic. a non-ZSP standard suspension 325i is crap. so are the seats and steering wheel. I mean it's not as engaging as the manual is, but still the overall feel and feedback of a 330-zhp is going to be better in just about every category.
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:14 AM   #46
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LOL

Well will you look at that.... A girl's race car.
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:15 AM   #47
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Hahaha. Yes sir!

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Old 05-11-2017, 06:39 AM   #48
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Hahaha. Yes sir!

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Old 05-11-2017, 08:42 AM   #49
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Exactly why I bought the automatic. Living in Orange County and traveling out to Willow Springs Raceway every week
We still need to go for a ride/drive My car's at Dr. Bimmer's in Lincolnton today.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:55 AM   #50
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a non-ZSP standard suspension 325i is crap.
Not if you value comfort and practicality.
Especially not if it is your daily driver, and your city doesn't have the best roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex323Ci View Post
so are the seats and steering wheel.
The standard seats are very well set up & hold passengers well in place, comfortably. Sure, the sport seats look fancier, but I always find the bolster uncomfortably pushing against my upper thigh when left foot rests on the dead pedal. My torso slides around in the sport seats around corners / on ramps. It's as if the bottom half of the seat is too tight, and the top is too loose. Never felt this way with my old standard seats.

Sport & M3 steering wheel again, they look fancier, and that's about it. I will give that the M3 wheel has a nice thickness to it, but the button layout on both is awkward and requires your thumb to do yoga every time you change the volume.
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Old 05-11-2017, 09:17 AM   #51
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We still need to go for a ride/drive My car's at Dr. Bimmer's in Lincolnton today.
I just got a xenon ballast from those guys last week. $25.00. FTW!

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Old 05-11-2017, 12:52 PM   #52
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I have a ZHP w/Steptronic (80k miles). After a filter change and 3 drain/fills with Dexron VI, it is a joy to drive. The shifts were quicker than at 40k miles with stock fluid.
I just sold my 325xi with 5m. Although I'll miss it, I wouldn't take a 325 anything over a 330 anything... BUT condition is more important at this point than auto/manual.
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Old 05-11-2017, 03:40 PM   #53
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Not if you value comfort and practicality.
Especially not if it is your daily driver, and your city doesn't have the best roads.
i drive it for performance and not comfort. i'd get a 5 series or a Buick if that was what i wanted. certainly there are others with different needs. but comparatively performance wise the non-sport suspension/wheels are nowhere near the Sport suspension.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostFlame View Post
The standard seats are very well set up & hold passengers well in place, comfortably. Sure, the sport seats look fancier, but I always find the bolster uncomfortably pushing against my upper thigh when left foot rests on the dead pedal. My torso slides around in the sport seats around corners / on ramps. It's as if the bottom half of the seat is too tight, and the top is too loose. Never felt this way with my old standard seats.
i've only seen two people in over 10 years on the forum switch from Sport seats to Standard. Both had back issues. Hundreds of others have switched to sport seats and are happy with the sportier feeling. but sure, they aren't for everyone, thats why there is an option.
Bolstered seats only job is to keep the person in it from moving around. not sure how bolstered sport seats are making you slide around when the Lazy-boy non-sport seats keep you planted. that just makes no sense to me. although if someone is of a robust stature i can see them not fitting inside the bolsters and thus falling out of the seat since one wasn't inside the bolsters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostFlame View Post
Sport & M3 steering wheel again, they look fancier, and that's about it. I will give that the M3 wheel has a nice thickness to it, but the button layout on both is awkward and requires your thumb to do yoga every time you change the volume.
the job of the steering wheel is to connect the driver's input to the car. to steer the car. the Sport/ZHP/M3 steering wheels do this with a thicker wheel, gripper material (in this case), less spokes to get fingers caught in, and thumb grips. any button controls for a radio are last priority. it's a steering wheel and not a radio volume controller.
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Old 05-11-2017, 03:43 PM   #54
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robust stature


Quote:
Sport/ZHP/M3 steering wheels do this with a thicker wheel, gripper material (in this case), less spokes to get fingers caught in, and thumb grips
Sport wheel doesn't have thumb grips, unless you count the spokes themselves. Wish it did...
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Old 05-11-2017, 03:50 PM   #55
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Sport wheel doesn't have thumb grips, unless you count the spokes themselves. Wish it did...
sorry, thought we were comparing the 330-zhp steering wheel to a non-Sport stock bare bones four spoke steering wheel. as we know the 330-zhp option got the Alcantara wheel early on and then the Leather/Perforated leather wheel after. both have thumbgrips.

*oops, i see i was replying thinking of the 330-zhp wheel. but thread moved to comparing the benefits of ZSP i see my error and adding confusing. you're correct. sorry
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:07 PM   #56
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Well considering that 95% of the E46s here are daily drivers, those are all valid considerations.
Being stuck in stop & go traffic every day, I'll gladly give up 10% perceived performance improvement to gain 50% comfort.

I find sport seats and sport steering wheels more impractical versus their vanilla counterparts.
And yes, I'll occasionally want to cruise & hold the wheel at the 6 o'clock position. 4 spoke allows that.

And c'mon, whoever is getting their fingers stuck in the steering wheel spokes shouldn't really be doing anything performance related
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:21 PM   #57
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Alternate thread title: How much do you value a stickshift in your E46?



Everything else being equal, naturally (condition of the car, etc etc).


I would choose the manual every single time. I would rather have my manual 325 than an smg m3, and I would really love an m3. Had a manual ZHP previously and just wouldn't be able to enjoy it with an auto at all.

So I would say I very much value the 5-speed in my car!!


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Old 05-11-2017, 06:59 PM   #58
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I have owned 2 manual 325s and currently own a ZHP auto. The ZHP is much more fun to drive, even with lack of 3rd pedal. I also have a 330i 5 speed sport that I would take over both but the ZHP is still much faster than the 325 and given all of the other bits that come with a ZHP it wouldn't even be a thought to go with the 325i.
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:42 PM   #59
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I have owned 2 manual 325s and currently own a ZHP auto. The ZHP is much more fun to drive, even with lack of 3rd pedal. I also have a 330i 5 speed sport that I would take over both but the ZHP is still much faster than the 325 and given all of the other bits that come with a ZHP it wouldn't even be a thought to go with the 325i.
ok so you're saying?:
1) 330i-ZSP 5 speed
2) 330i-ZHP automatic
3) 325i manual
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Old 05-12-2017, 01:45 PM   #60
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ok so you're saying?:
1) 330i-ZSP 5 speed
2) 330i-ZHP automatic
3) 325i manual
Exactly. But that's just what I can say from personal experience.
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