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Old 08-13-2013, 09:21 PM   #41
pnirenstein
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Well that's a rather dense and generalizing opinion.
Agreed...the e46 coupe is far from worthless. What if you can't afford an m3? Or want to pay for the extra maintenance? Some people have plenty of cash but don't want the extra power and just want to blend in but still have a cool car.

What about all the grand touring two doors? Too much of a blanket statement.

Back to the original handling debate. I drove the two back to back. There is NO distinguishable difference. True, maybe the stig could feel a distinction but most people buying the e46 aren't professional race car drivers.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:25 PM   #42
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good video... but i gotta say, its the first video commentary that i've seen on a public road, and with you on camera blazing on public roads (saw a few motorcycles going in the opposite direction) at 1:30 made me shake my head. sorry to be a buzzkill, but i would never risk driving like that on what looked to be a tight windy road, let along try to commentate a an amateur video.

and for the record, the car has 18 inch rims, those are style 71's.. came on my car as well, nice upgrade option to sports package
Thanks for the feedback. The bikers were actually going very fast in the opposite direction which made it look like I was going quicker than I was. The road was also pretty wide. But you are right, I could have slowed down a bit.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:30 PM   #43
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The best handling e46 chassis would be a non-sunroof 328i sedan with sport package and no fold-down seats. 330 is heavier (by some amount) otherwise I would have said 330 sedan.

Sedans are better than coupes because they have the added rigidity of the B-pillar. If you took a coupe and welded a mini roll cage in front of the doors/windows to act as a B-pillar, then it would be equal.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:17 PM   #44
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The best handling e46 chassis would be a non-sunroof 328i sedan with sport package and no fold-down seats. 330 is heavier (by some amount) otherwise I would have said 330 sedan.

Sedans are better than coupes because they have the added rigidity of the B-pillar. If you took a coupe and welded a mini roll cage in front of the doors/windows to act as a B-pillar, then it would be equal.
By that margin a 323i would be the best handling... ZHP might be the best due to revised control arms and stickier factory tires in a similar configuration. At the point that it's a no sunroof, no fold down seat sedan we are splitting hairs.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:28 PM   #45
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Coupe vs Sedan handling

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Agreed...the e46 coupe is far from worthless. What if you can't afford an m3? Or want to pay for the extra maintenance? Some people have plenty of cash but don't want the extra power and just want to blend in but still have a cool car.

What about all the grand touring two doors? Too much of a blanket statement.

Back to the original handling debate. I drove the two back to back. There is NO distinguishable difference. True, maybe the stig could feel a distinction but most people buying the e46 aren't professional race car drivers.
If they just want to blend in then they should go buy a chevy malibu. A 2 door E46 is nothing more than an m3 without the performance and to me an M3 is worthless without the performance. Its like buying a 6 cyl mustang, most of those people that buy that car would love to have the GT but they couldn't so they bought the looks of it without the performance. Im sure there are the exceptions to this where a person is truly looking for better gas mileage or doesn't care about performance, but most of the people that buy that car do so to try to look like they have the real deal. Take the cars on this forum for example. As soon as most of these kids here buy a coupe they start throwing M parts on them to try and make it look like something its not. I'm actually not at all against coupes, if you look at my sig I own 2 of them now, but a coupe should have the guts to back up its looks and the E46 coupe does not. There isn't a person on here that drives a non m coupe that doesn't wish it was an M, which proves my point that the E46 non M is bought by most people to try to look like something they are not.

Don't take my comments the wrong way. We are simply having a discussion and these are just my opinions on what I feel and they are not necessarily right or wrong.

Concerning your study it is irrelevant because unless you drove two cars with completely refreshed suspension and they were set up identical then its not relevant. You can't take two cars with different service histories and who knows how many miles and what condition they are in, run them back to back and call it a study. It just doesn't work like that. Especially since there is much information out there that proves that the non M sedan is much more rigid therefore making it a more stable car in the corners than the coupe.




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Old 08-13-2013, 10:39 PM   #46
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What on earth are you doing riding in the back?!
2,000 mile trip across good old `murica with a few friends 3 days ago. Really like how my car feels as a passenger and as a driver.
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I am going to install M3 fender grill on my 323ci.
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IMO, the euro clear corners looks too aftermarket/ricey.
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This 323 would most likely handle and drive better than a stock e46 m3.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:50 PM   #47
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Agreed...the e46 coupe is far from worthless. What if you can't afford an m3? Or want to pay for the extra maintenance? Some people have plenty of cash but don't want the extra power and just want to blend in but still have a cool car.

What about all the grand touring two doors? Too much of a blanket statement.

Back to the original handling debate. I drove the two back to back. There is NO distinguishable difference. True, maybe the stig could feel a distinction but most people buying the e46 aren't professional race car drivers.
IMO the coupe was the most beautiful car ever made until the Audi S5.

Also there are so many variables, tires, shocks, springs, bars, tire pressures, camber, transmission and engine tune, to name some, that an example of either could out perform the other. The sedan is stiffer but suspension tune can compensate for a lot.

As for only the M3 being of use, what if you just want a daily driver with enough refinement but some ability to handle spirited driving? It isn't all about fast.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:08 PM   #48
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As for handling IMO most of you are splitting hairs. my family has owned several E46's, and in terms of handling they are all about the same. I have to disagree about the 328i though, in my experience the 330i feels more well rounded in terms of handling. IMO the coupe version feels better to me due to the increased power, and feels a little better in corners (none of them beats my XI though, lol), and I agree that BMW intended the coupe to be a sportier version of the 3 series. I'm not fully sure though, because I've only driven a 330ci in the coupes
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:15 PM   #49
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Coupes in general (mainly non-M) just come off as poserish, IMO. They try to mimic sports cars (Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche) by having two doors but don't have the engine to back it up.
LOLWUT?

And 4-doors are ugly on small cars like the 3-series. Plus the roof is taller, the trunk is taller, it's just ugly altogether. You can't make a family car out of something that has no real back seat. The poser is the guy that couldn't afford a 5 or a 7 and went with a 3 sedan.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:21 PM   #50
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A 2 door E46 is nothing more than an m3 without the performance and to me an M3 is worthless without the performance. Its like buying a 6 cyl mustang, most of those people that buy that car would love to have the GT but they couldn't so they bought the looks of it without the performance. Im sure there are the exceptions to this where a person is truly looking for better gas mileage or doesn't care about performance, but most of the people that buy that car do so to try to look like they have the real deal. Take the cars on this forum for example. As soon as most of these kids here buy a coupe they start throwing M parts on them to try and make it look like something its not. I'm actually not at all against coupes, if you look at my sig I own 2 of them now, but a coupe should have the guts to back up its looks and the E46 coupe does not. There isn't a person on here that drives a non m coupe that doesn't wish it was an M, which proves my point that the E46 non M is bought by most people to try to look like something they are not.

Don't take my comments the wrong way. We are simply having a discussion and these are just my opinions on what I feel and they are not necessarily right or wrong.
You are entitled to your opinion; however, my critique of your initial post is that it grouped all coupe owners into this preconceived bucket which is inaccurate.

Two cents from a "twenty something" who didn't buy his to pose as an M3.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:24 PM   #51
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If they just want to blend in then they should go buy a chevy malibu. A 2 door E46 is nothing more than an m3 without the performance and to me an M3 is worthless without the performance. Its like buying a 6 cyl mustang, most of those people that buy that car would love to have the GT but they couldn't so they bought the looks of it without the performance. Im sure there are the exceptions to this where a person is truly looking for better gas mileage or doesn't care about performance, but most of the people that buy that car do so to try to look like they have the real deal. Take the cars on this forum for example. As soon as most of these kids here buy a coupe they start throwing M parts on them to try and make it look like something its not. I'm actually not at all against coupes, if you look at my sig I own 2 of them now, but a coupe should have the guts to back up its looks and the E46 coupe does not. There isn't a person on here that drives a non m coupe that doesn't wish it was an M, which proves my point that the E46 non M is bought by most people to try to look like something they are not.

Don't take my comments the wrong way. We are simply having a discussion and these are just my opinions on what I feel and they are not necessarily right or wrong.

Concerning your study it is irrelevant because unless you drove two cars with completely refreshed suspension and they were set up identical then its not relevant. You can't take two cars with different service histories and who knows how many miles and what condition they are in, run them back to back and call it a study. It just doesn't work like that. Especially since there is much information out there that proves that the non M sedan is much more rigid therefore making it a more stable car in the corners than the coupe.




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My reply came off a lot meaner than I wanted it to. I apologize. But not everyone wants their 330 to be an M3. Sure maybe many on this forum. But think about the million owners that aren't on this forum. Where I live a Malibu stands out a lot more than a 3 series. BMW = Basic Marin Wheels. I've driven a 360 a few times, cool car you got there.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:30 PM   #52
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LOLWUT?

And 4-doors are ugly on small cars like the 3-series. Plus the roof is taller, the trunk is taller, it's just ugly altogether. You can't make a family car out of something that has no real back seat. The poser is the guy that couldn't afford a 5 or a 7 and went with a 3 sedan.

Am I a poser because I didn't want the maintenance that came with a 5 or 7 and liked the practicality and speed/weight of a 3 sedan. In my opinion the coupes are ugly looking without the aggressive bodywork of the M3. I cringed when the man called that a beautiful car. But hey we all have our opinions
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I am going to install M3 fender grill on my 323ci.
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IMO, the euro clear corners looks too aftermarket/ricey.
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This 323 would most likely handle and drive better than a stock e46 m3.

Last edited by Swater330i; 08-13-2013 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:41 PM   #53
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Am I a poser because I didn't want the maintenance that came with a 5 or 7 and liked the practicality and speed/weight of a 3 sedan. In my opinion the coupes are ugly looking without the aggressive bodywork of the M3. I cringed when the man called that a beautiful car. But hey we all have our opinions
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:46 PM   #54
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I'm sorry that you don't have an m3
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I am going to install M3 fender grill on my 323ci.
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IMO, the euro clear corners looks too aftermarket/ricey.
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This 323 would most likely handle and drive better than a stock e46 m3.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:47 PM   #55
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The best handling e46 chassis would be a non-sunroof 328i sedan with sport package and no fold-down seats. 330 is heavier (by some amount) otherwise I would have said 330 sedan.

Sedans are better than coupes because they have the added rigidity of the B-pillar. If you took a coupe and welded a mini roll cage in front of the doors/windows to act as a B-pillar, then it would be equal.
The weight difference isn't at all noticeable compared to the extra power and brakes of a 330. I've only noticed the weight difference on a vert.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:50 PM   #56
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There isn't a person on here that drives a non m coupe that doesn't wish it was an M, which proves my point that the E46 non M is bought by most people to try to look like something they are not.
Sure your opinion can be wrong. I'm the example that proves this. I bought my 330Ci new and could have written a check for a new 360 if I wanted too, so the M3 would have been well within my grasp. First I could care less what others think of what I drive. I buy cars because I love them. Had my first BMW when virtually everyone who saw it had no idea what it was. BMW was unknown and people thought me silly for spending the money on it rather than getting a better car. It looked too plain for them. Not enough chrome.
I got the non M here because I wanted a well rounded car. Perfectly balanced between appearance, lux, and performance. Elegant in its ability to do all things equally. An M doesn't fit that bill. Looks too Johnny racer, rides too rough, gets low gas mileage, isn't best at low revs, and parts costs are ridiculously stupid. And why waste money on sky high insurance.

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Old 08-13-2013, 11:51 PM   #57
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Sure your opinion can be wrong. I'm the example that proves this. I bought my 330Ci new and could have written a check for a new 360 if I wanted too, so the M3 would have been well within my grasp. First I could care less what others think of what I drive. I buy cars because I love them. Had my first BMW when virtually everyone who saw it had no idea what it was. BMW was unknown and people thought me silly for spending the money on it rather than getting a better car. It looked too plain for them. Not enough chrome.
I got the non M here because I wanted a well rounded car. Perfectly balanced between appearance, lux, and performance. Elegance in its ability to do all things equally. An M doesn't fit that bill. Looks too Johnny racer, rides too rough, gets low gas mileage, isn't best at low revs, and parts costs are ridiculously stupid. And why waste money on sky high insurance.
Thank you for this post Stinger9.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:51 PM   #58
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Personal preference, gentleman. Personal preference.

I'm with Mango, sedans just have that German appeal to them.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:54 PM   #59
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My reply came off a lot meaner than I wanted it to. I apologize.
No need for apologies for infractions as insignificant as yours. Got to develop somewhat of a thick skin here to blend in. It's just the way we have fun.

You're an interesting addition to the mix here. Hope you find it interesting enough to hang around for a while and contribute.

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Old 08-14-2013, 12:03 AM   #60
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No need for apologies for infractions as insignificant as yours. Got to develop somewhat of a thick skin here to blend in. It's just the way we have fun.

You're an interesting addition to the mix here. Hope you find it interesting enough to hang around for a while and contribute.
Thanks. I'll definitely be sticking around. The M3 has always been on my radar. Love my E39 M5 but it just isn't the same around corners.
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