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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 12-17-2012, 12:40 PM   #21
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M3. As mentioned, there was a thread on this a week or two ago.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:57 PM   #22
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Drive both of them and decide. Having driven both of them I can honestly say the M3 is a beast while the ZHP is more tame. The ZHP is however more comfortable and a very competent daily driver. Want more info, search.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:00 PM   #23
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People are right, this topic is gone over and over every month.

Now the M3 isn't for everyone, but for what you want the car for its the M3 without doubt.

The "Performance Package" 330 is really no different from a similar year 330 with "ZSP/Sport Package". If you're in Canada their equivalent M Sport even more so.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:11 PM   #24
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I'm liking the sedan version of the E46 more each day. The stock M3 front bumper is (imo, don't get offended)
well no one can say Your opinion is incorrect as its correct for each person...
But I find it contrary to the mass numbers of enthusiasts who spend money to switch to the M3 bumper more than ANY other bumper for the E46.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:43 PM   #25
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Hi new on this forum.

Joined because I am planning on taking the BMW plunge. I drove a E90 3 series convertible last fall in Europe, very smooth at 240km/h on the Autobahn Since then I have been in love.

I have narrowed my personal choice to a 330ci ZHP or an E46 series M3.

This would be my summer car and my local autocross machine.

Would like to get some feedback from the forum on which would be a better choice (if there is one) and why it would be better!
you'll be far more successful if you tell us what you are looking.
Better for what?????
what are you going to use the car for?
they are based on the same platform, but they are such different machines.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:46 PM   #26
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Unless talking sedan vs coupe, I can't think of a single thing a non-M E46 would do better than an M3. M3 is superior in every way. If you're talking ride comfort and isolation... there's always Lexus.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:56 PM   #27
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You cannot compare a package to an ///M car

Rephrase the question.
Is a 330 better than an M?

NO.

The only thing better on the 330, would be the cost of parts.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:01 PM   #28
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you'll be far more successful if you tell us what you are looking.
Better for what?????
what are you going to use the car for?
they are based on the same platform, but they are such different machines.
Interesting point. I was looking at the purchase as can I still be competitive at autocross and enjoy my ride to work?

My preference would be to stay in stock class, basically limited to shock upgrades. So, better for autocross I suppose.

I am very hands on when it comes to car maintenance, including repairing a leaking transmission on my Mazdaspeeed6.

I appreciate everyone's feedback, it helps to make a decision. It was interesting to note that someone said, stay with the RX8. I'll be dead before anyone gets the keys for that out of my hands.. and I don't want to autocross it anymore. well money talks

This decision is not limited to $$. I'm not made of it, but I'm not afraid to spend it either. (within reason). It's hard to justify owning 3 cars when the wife gives me the eye when I take up the garage space and leave her in the driveway...

Looks like the M3 is the way to go!
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:03 PM   #29
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m3 has higher gas consumption.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:06 PM   #30
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I feel like these threads are made by bitter [insert generic import] owners to get us to fight amongst ourselves on whether a ZHP, ZSP, ZCP (ok clearly, I am not an expert on the three letter denominations) when in reality they're all awesome cars!
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:15 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evolv View Post
Joined because I am planning on taking the BMW plunge. I drove a E90 3 series convertible last fall in Europe, very smooth at 240km/h on the Autobahn Since then I have been in love.

I have narrowed my personal choice to a 330ci ZHP or an E46 series M3.
Okay....hi and welcome to the forum

Just want to tell you that if and when you get your BMW, do maintenance first. Make sure the car is sorted out completely....that means it will cost you money do to things right You do not want to "cheap out" on this....trust me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by evolv View Post
This would be my summer car and my local autocross machine.

Would like to get some feedback from the forum on which would be a better choice (if there is one) and why it would be better!
After reading page 2 I can see you autocrossed the RX8. Nice car by the way People are telling you to go with the ///M. It is an awesome car with lot's of power out of the box so to speak. I would suggest learning the car and get used to the dynamics first before getting the ///M and taking it to autocross (but that's just my opinion)....accidents happen and I'm sure you have seen several while autocrossing. Keep in mind that if you get the ///M everything will cost more. Part of the cost of membership so to speak, but keep that in mind. Parts and cost of maintenance for the 330 will be much cheaper for sure...and you won't find yourself sleeping on the couch...

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Originally Posted by choxor View Post
No, you haven't. They are not the same car. Period. They don't have the same maintenance costs. They don't drive the same. The differences are WELL documented. The ZHP vs M3 discussion has been beaten to death. There was a thread about this in the LAST TWO WEEKS.
Agreed but OP most likely missed the thread....to the OP....it does get old hearing the same discussion over and over so just bear with the flack.....

choxor has a good point...the two cars you are talking about have very different personalities. The ZHP having a much more "refined" attitude while the ///M is much more "in your face" performance wise. The ///M has about 100hp more than the ZHP and better suspension/brake systems out of the box so to speak I used refined for the ZHP because both cars have excellent drivability but I find the ZHP is more suited for daily driving duties whereas the ///M is more suited for having a blast joyriding it...once you get used to the ///M you should have absolutely no problems driving it...you'll just want to have more horsepower....it's very addicting, isn't it Alex?

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Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
M3.

You might as well be asking 330 or m3.

i find these "ZHP or M3" discussions to be funny as the ZHP is even remotely close to an M3. it's just a 330, guys. relax.
Agreed. 10 hp difference between the ZHP and regular 330 isn't too much to brag about. If you're looking to get the ZHP it's because of all the other things added to make the ZHP different....not performance...still a very good car though

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Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
Nope. That's anyone who knows these cars. Any E46 (ZHP no exception) will need a new suspension. Since most people upgrade anyway, you end up with the same car whether you start with a 330 with a blown suspension or a 330 zhp with a blown suspension.

The only thing different (function wise) is the diff and 10 hp. both easily remedied. my point is for anyone not to get worked up in searching for a zhp. if you find one, great. if you don't, get a 330. both need to be rebuilt anyways (if you like cars)
Again a lot of good points for you to consider here OP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex323Ci View Post
People are right, this topic is gone over and over every month.

Now the M3 isn't for everyone, but for what you want the car for its the M3 without doubt.

The "Performance Package" 330 is really no different from a similar year 330 with "ZSP/Sport Package". If you're in Canada their equivalent M Sport even more so.
Alex, I will start out by saying that if OP haven't autocrossed, then it is always better to start out with something with a little less horsepower and "learn" the car first. Then get more later on....of course I can't talk too much since I happen to own both. With that said, if performance is what you really want then I agree with Alex and say the ///M is what you want but like I said earlier, be prepared to shell out lot's cash to do all the required maintenance. You also want to lurk over at M3Forum.net and "research" the car to know all the good and bads of ///M ownership.

for instance...for 2003 and older there was the rod bearing issue those cars had...and for 2004 - 2006 it was VANOS. Then if you had SMG that was a whole other issue. There are lots of good gouge to be found so take the time and do the research or eventually we all will hear about issues you are experiencing with your "new to you" BMW...

I happen to own both the ///M and 330i ZHP and love both for what they are. Currently, my ///M is in hibernation (storage during winter months) not because I have to but because I can. I pretty much use my ZHP for daily driving duties and drive it about 95% of the time. If you have additional questions regarding either cars, feel free to send me a PM

Good luck!
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:31 PM   #32
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if it's not a DD and you will autocross, M3 for sure...
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:35 PM   #33
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if it's not a DD and you will autocross, M3 for sure...
Funny.. my first time autocrossing I was running the same times as E46 M3s on dedicated track wheels and tires (RS3s) while I'm only on V12s. Maybe it depends on the course but I think the 330 being some 300 lbs lighter helps it through the cones some. of course i'd rather have a mint M3
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:58 PM   #34
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funny.. My first time autocrossing i was running the same times as e46 m3s on dedicated track wheels and tires (rs3s) while i'm only on v12s. Maybe it depends on the course but i think the 330 being some 300 lbs lighter helps it through the cones some. Of course i'd rather have a mint m3
lsd...
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:04 PM   #35
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The lsd is only the tip of the iceberg
Those fender vents on the M3 totally separates itself from non-Ms on the track.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:53 PM   #36
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well no one can say Your opinion is incorrect as its correct for each person...
But I find it contrary to the mass numbers of enthusiasts who spend money to switch to the M3 bumper more than ANY other bumper for the E46.
Everyone wants M3 everything, especially the "new generation" of owners.
If M-tech was standard on the M3, it would probably be the one topping sales.

I judge looks subjectively, maybe others factor in the reputation that comes with the design.




My subjective opinion, is that parked next to this stockish M3, my car looks much better:

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Old 12-17-2012, 04:55 PM   #37
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lsd...
right and my point was, first time out, i was running the same times as m3 without lsd.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:01 PM   #38
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OP you pretty much answered your own question by asking it.....zhp
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:27 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by ///MPR77 View Post
You cannot compare a package to an ///M car

Rephrase the question.
Is a 330 better than an M?

NO.

The only thing better on the 330, would be the cost of parts.
Is the 330 more reliable as well, or just cheaper for repair and parts?
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:45 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by ac_2007 View Post
Everyone wants M3 everything, especially the "new generation" of owners.
If M-tech was standard on the M3, it would probably be the one topping sales.

I judge looks subjectively, maybe others factor in the reputation that comes with the design.




My subjective opinion, is that parked next to this stockish M3, my car looks much better:

Agreed. Although I think part of that is because the E46 sedans generally look better than the coupes

(Please pardon my auto-correct)
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