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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!

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Old 02-22-2011, 09:03 AM   #1
josephmech
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My Ride: 2001 325i sedan 5m
New car 330xi or 330i or M3 or mini cooper

Have 325i doing coolant system overhaul but have been thinking of getting another car. Mini would be good for fuel mpg. M3 would be awsome for sports car performance and handling but insurance would cost more. Then another option would be 330i or xi the xi would be good for handling but harder to find and more money ? Would like to hear feed back will keep my 325i and give to wife since sick of working on chevy cavalier.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:08 AM   #2
daguzz
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Go for the Mini...
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:17 AM   #3
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The wife has a MINI Cooper S with a few mods (17% pulley, CAI). It's really fun to drive, but my M3 is 8 billion times better (exact scientific measurement). Both will handle the twisties with ease, but the M3 has way more power. It's also a FWD vs RWD thing, so pick the one you prefer. I also find the M3 to be more comfortable.

If you had to compare the Cooper S to a 325, I'd say go Cooper S. I used to have a 325Ci and the MINI could take it with ease. Now, if you're talking regular Cooper, I wouldn't even bother.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:19 AM   #4
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My vote goes for the M3, especially since you didn't put an argument out for the Mini. Then again, I'm a sports car guy. If it handles well, goes fast, and is reasonable on fuel economy, I'm all for it. Of course, insurance is just a setback. My next car is going to be a 335i coupe, for sure.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:44 AM   #5
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I've raced quite a few MC-S on the highway and my '06 325ci 5-speed manual would pull HARD on those suckers. This was back in 2006/2007
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:50 AM   #6
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Buy honda. /thread
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:54 AM   #7
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M3, Obviously.

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Old 02-22-2011, 11:35 AM   #8
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M3 or 330i+ awesome mods
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:40 AM   #9
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Fanboys on this website will always recommend an M3 even if it's not in your options list.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:41 AM   #10
R0B
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusticles View Post
Fanboys on this website will always recommend an M3 even if it's not in your options list.
I have a question for you... M3 or Mini cooper?
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:49 AM   #11
josephmech
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too bad they dont have the best option in my opion would be 335dxi or all wheel drive diesel with manual tranny of course. Europeans have this choice but not usa. We need to save money then we should do away with epa and use the european car standards. Euro 5 for emissions? Seriously though I think a 330i with a 6 speed manual should be good for me. I have also considered jetta TDI wagon. Wish bmw had diesel wagon for sale in usa.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:51 AM   #12
mack89
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I'd go for 330 for daily car,,

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Originally Posted by GoingNuts View Post
Buy honda. /thread
Cmon, no love for toyota? They can automatically accelerate
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:52 AM   #13
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M3 if it's a realistic option.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:53 AM   #14
TerraPhantm
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You live in AZ, don't even think about getting the xi.

Have you actually gotten an insurance quote for the M3, or are you assuming it'd be more? If you didn't get the quote, do so - you may just be surprised. My rates only went up ~$150/year when I upgraded from my 2003 330i to my 2005 M3 (if I went from 03 to 03, the increase would've been less).

My vote is for the M3. Otherwise, I'd say 330i/ci ZHP. I don't want to start a whole ZHP vs non debate, but if your current car has sports package already, a 330 won't feel that special too you. The ZHP has *just* enough extra tweaks that it feels nice. Of course once you throw modding into the picture, there's very little difference.

Mini is cool too, but I don't have experience with one so I can't comment.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:45 PM   #15
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330 or M3. Mini is overpriced girl's car.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:00 PM   #16
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Buy whatever you want but Mini. Wtf? What kind of dilemma is that? Wait, buy Dacia Logan and have a peace of mind, Bmw's make you too confused.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:15 PM   #17
josephmech
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:r ead:mini is in the mix since it has good gas mpg filling my 325i with premium 15 gal @ 3.30 gas in az. However I like to go fast occasionally. Now 325i 2001 184 hp is a little weak. When you floor it it really takes off. What is the cost 4 M3 2002 is gonna be like 20K
http://cosprings.craigslist.org/cto/2224152677.html
on craigslist?
want the xi for handling thats why the WRX and EVO handle so good however I am sure they have more advanced awd system
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:23 PM   #18
josephmech
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your current car has sports package already, a 330 won't feel that special too you

No my current car is the base car 325i manual sedan 110,000 miles
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:01 PM   #19
netsatwork
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I had a 2008 MINI S for about 2 years before I got my ZHP sedan and I owned both for about a month. I alternated cars during that time and found that the ZHP did not disappoint in any way even though it was a lot bigger. Sure, it had that new car excitement, but 8 months later I rarely miss my MINI. The MINI did feel a lot different, but the added space in the back (for my 4 year old) and general comfort of the BMW made it a better choice for me as a daily driver. The turbo 4 was ok, but it doesn't match the sound and feeling of the smooth inline 6 (although the supercharged MINIs do have a nice exhaust pop and burble to them). The overall community that you get when you own a MINI is better IMO (no offense), but it is getting diluted as more and more people buy the cars. One comment about the community where BMW shines is in the technical information available; MINI people were more concerned about buying stickers and stuffed animals than posting diy tutorials. When I miss my MINI the most is when I am going to take a left at an intersection going 45 or so and knowing that in my MINI i really didn't need to hit the brakes in order to make it. There is a very connected feeling about the momentum in a MINI that the heavier 330i can't match.

If you can handle the smaller size, I would say a MINI S might be a good choice especially over a 325. A nicer 330i is a great choice if you need the space and can handle the cost. I can't comment on the M3 since I've never had the chance to drive one, but my guess is that if you are worried about buying a 330xi then a decent M3 is probably not a good choice for you. I'd love an M, but I am not financially ready to maintain one the way I would want to. Side note, I also don't see the need for an xi in AZ.

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Old 02-22-2011, 02:55 PM   #20
jason330cic
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If you're not worried about the price of gas I would get the M3. A M3 can easily cost about an extra $1000 a year for gas compared to the other cars.
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