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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 09-12-2011, 01:22 PM   #1
Jsquared83
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CTS to E46?

Hi everyone, been lurking for a while and just signed up today.

My current 2010 Cadillac CTS lease is up after the new year and I've been just starting to look at replacements. The Caddy is a solid car, but I'm beginning to miss my old 2006 e90 325i. Naturally, I'm looking to be in a lesser price range, say around 10k and the e46 is on my short list as well as some older Cadillacs, 2000-2002 Eldorados and Sevilles. Why am I looking at e46's and caddy's you ask? Good question. Going into the CTS buy, I thought it combined some of the sportiness of the 3 series as well as the bigger car feeling of an older luxury car. Well it does both decently but there's just something visceral missing in the ride. I drive approx 90-100 miles a day so a 100k+ mile V8 may not be the best idea from a gas price and durability standpoint even though the northstar engine is supposedly a solid powerplant.

My questions are.. Has anyone made the switch from caddy to e46 or vice versa? I see a lot of e46's with well north of 100k miles, are these motors really capable of 2-300k+ miles? Any particular years to stay away from?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:53 PM   #2
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I don't see this as a clever switch. Going from a warrentied car to a old bmw e46 isn't gonna be a fun thing. I am sure it'll be quite a downgrade as well, these new CTS are pretty good inside and out.
I do not recommend
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:57 PM   #3
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The northstar V8 is a good motor, caddy's will last a long time, well over 100k. So will e46's, I had mine until 180k, sold it about 4 months ago and just saw it driving around town the other day just fine! If you keep up on maintenance you will have nothing to worry about.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:06 PM   #4
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I don't see this as a clever switch. Going from a warrentied car to a old bmw e46 isn't gonna be a fun thing. I am sure it'll be quite a downgrade as well, these new CTS are pretty good inside and out.
I do not recommend
They are nice, definitely. However, I've had another nagging issue with it recently. The seats/driving position is causing occasional moderate pain in my lower back. Brought it to the dealer numerous times to no avail. Started a case with GM as well, they were somewhat sympathetic and offered a few lease payments but that's all. Regardless, it will be a downgrade of at least 6-7 model years and several more miles on the clock but I do not wish to buy out my current car for about 18k when my lease is up and keep a $300/month payment. I would like to purchase a used luxury brand car, cash, no payments and I've pretty much narrowed the search to a used Caddy if I decide the luxury first route or the e46 if I go with the sport first.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:35 PM   #5
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Ok, then you can try buying a post 2003 e46 with automatic transmission. These models don't suffer from the reverse gear problem as mentioned another thread.
If you do want the stick, then you can buy a post 2001 car, 1999 and 2000 years have weak subframes and they crack after high mileage.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:58 PM   #6
Jsquared83
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Ok, then you can try buying a post 2003 e46 with automatic transmission. These models don't suffer from the reverse gear problem as mentioned another thread.
If you do want the stick, then you can buy a post 2001 car, 1999 and 2000 years have weak subframes and they crack after high mileage.
I would great prefer an auto being I sit in north jersey traffic every day. Thanks! decent mileage '03s seem to be right at the top of my price range. Is there any specific number of miles that I should look to be under? I've always thought of 100k as that tipping point for most cars, any different with BMW?
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:06 PM   #7
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Find an 03 or up with a good service recored.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:10 PM   #8
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I would great prefer an auto being I sit in north jersey traffic every day. Thanks! decent mileage '03s seem to be right at the top of my price range. Is there any specific number of miles that I should look to be under? I've always thought of 100k as that tipping point for most cars, any different with BMW?
I don't think of 100k as a tipping point however I do believe there is a higher degree of maintenance related issues with bimmer's. Our 00 E46 323i has 327k and our 06 E90 325xi has 97k. Preventive maintenance is the key above 100k in my opinion. Just my two and a half cents worth...
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:44 AM   #9
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I don't think of 100k as a tipping point however I do believe there is a higher degree of maintenance related issues with bimmer's. Our 00 E46 323i has 327k and our 06 E90 325xi has 97k. Preventive maintenance is the key above 100k in my opinion. Just my two and a half cents worth...
Wow on the 327k.. I should also add that I'm not a DIY guy at all. I'm guessing I have a lot to learn if I want to dabble in the higher mileage cars.
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:16 AM   #10
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I don't think of 100k as a tipping point however I do believe there is a higher degree of maintenance related issues with bimmer's. Our 00 E46 323i has 327k and our 06 E90 325xi has 97k. Preventive maintenance is the key above 100k in my opinion. Just my two and a half cents worth...
327k you have to post a pic now!
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:57 AM   #11
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yes you have to learn to DIY. On BMWs, most things aren't too bad at all to DIY. Relatively simple cars to work on.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:33 PM   #12
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If $10k is your max, and mileage is important look at an Acura TSX. I'd stay away from an e46 for budget driving using a shop for all maintenance.
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