E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Everything Else > The Off-Topic > General Off-Topic

General Off-Topic
Everything not about BMWs. Posts must be "primetime" safe and in good taste. You must be logged in to see sub-forums.
Click here to browse all new posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-01-2013, 09:38 AM   #1
Hogan773
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 790
My Ride: 2002 325xi
Opinions on best replacement cars for E46

I realize this is very subjective but every once and awhile I start thinking about what will happen if I have an accident (doesn't take much to "total" my 2002 XI in the insurance company's mind) or a tranny failure or something that will finally be the death knell to my car.

So I think about what direction I would head in getting a replacement. Not saying I am gonna go pick an exact model today, but just some ideas.

Since many of you on the board are by definition "car guys" I'd be interested in opinions of the following:

1) What is the MOST RELIABLE brand of 4 door sedan that still has some sportiness. Doesn't have to be a new car, could be used. No Camries. And no Mercedes or Lexus. For some reason I just can't every see myself buying either of those. No domestics either - I ain't going Ford Fusion or whatever.

I might get flamed by some, but I've had Hondas earlier in life and have an Odyssey now (I have 3 little kids), and I like Hondas in general. The new Accord gets good reviews although I can't say I LOVE the styling, but it is ok I guess. New Mazda 6 gets great reviews and looks pretty slick. How about Audi and VW? Obviously BMW is a contender although honestly I like the E46 look and haven't liked the newer styling as much. The newest model is OK but buying a brand new 3 series is freakin expensive for what you get. Kia Optima also looks slick. How is reliability on Kia vs Honda?

I could see going Audi or VW....I like the whole "German" thing.... but in your experience are they just as bad or worse as BMW in terms of maintenance? In terms of maintenance I want to DIY small stuff (oil, fluid and filter changes, brake flush, MAYBE pads and rotors if I get the guts) but probably am not realistically going to do axle replacements, control arm bushings, major surgery to the engine, etc. So will I find that Audi and VW have an equal or worse ability to crop up BS stuff like cracked CV boots every few years, leaking hoses of all sorts, clunky swaybar links, etc etc that has kept my indy in good $$$ during my ownership of the BMW?

Also ease of doing basic oil changes etc would be a factor.

Basically I want a fun to drive car, 4 doors, where I can do my own basic scheduled maintenance but beyond that my car isn't gonna be taking itself to the hospital every year for some $1500 this, that or the other thing.

Thoughts?
Hogan773 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 10:06 AM   #2
tachi1247
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 659
My Ride: '04 330i
Re: Opinions on best replacement cars for E46

You're not going to find another 4 door that is going to be anywhere near as sporty or well balanced as your e46 without spending serious cash.

The new audis are just as expensive as a BMW so you can cross them off your list. The g35/37 or new q50 is probably worth looking at, but they are still going to be expensive if the other cars you're considering are an accord or a new Mazda 6. If you're lucky, BMW will make a 2 series gran coupe which should be cheaper than a 3 and probably about the same size as your current car (New 3 series is the size of an e39).

Outside those options you can look at a Subaru legacy as it has awd which will at least provide some driving fun. Lastly, if you're going fwd, the new Mazda 6 is hard to beat. Probably the best (dynamically) fwd midsize car you can get right now, plus it's nicely equipped so you wouldn't be down grading too much. Combine that with the fact Mazda is a very small automaker so you won't be passing 5 other identical cars on your way to work, and it's the best of a lot of bad options.

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
tachi1247 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 10:25 AM   #3
Marshmallow
Yacht Club Libertarian
 
Marshmallow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: South Joisey, Mid MI
Posts: 2,014
My Ride: E46, E30, Quattro
Opinions on best replacement cars for E46

I must say that for about $30k, my mom's Kia Optima is fantastic. She bought the turbo when it first came out about 2 years ago. This was before the Limited came out but I think her's is better because it doesn't have the chrome wheels but rather a set of discontinued wheels from only the first model year I believe. It has some awesome features like 274 hp, air conditioned seats, and a panoramic sunroof. It is sadly FWD, but it is faster than my day's S2000.
__________________


2003 BMW 325xiT "Audrey"
1987 BMW 325i "Lydia"
1990 Audi 90 Quattro Sport 20v "Chloe"

Marshmallow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 10:47 AM   #4
beasted86
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 293
My Ride: '02 BMW 325i
If you like Hondas, the 1st gen TSX is a good option. My brother has one, and I could see myself owning one. Very easy to work on and still a little luxury. Not as good handling as the E46, but more standard options (bluetooth, HID, etc), better overall gas mileage and more interior and trunk space.

You can find one used for anywhere from $7000 - $15000 depending on condition.
beasted86 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 11:22 AM   #5
klax
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Arizona
Posts: 607
My Ride: '04 325i
I've been thinking the same thing lately but I can't find anything I like enough to replace the E46. It's got to be a manual trans and rear wheel drive. I've found several that I like but aren't offered in RW drive. The instrument panels in new cars have way too much bling (in my opinion) and that isn't making it any easier.
klax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 11:31 AM   #6
jfoj
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Fairfax, VA USA
Posts: 10,581
My Ride: '06 330CiC, '03 M5
Cadillac CTS-V!
__________________
Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
jfoj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
klax
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Arizona
Posts: 607
My Ride: '04 325i
Actually the Cadillac ATS is not a bad choice, I saw one yesterday and they look pretty nice. I'd have to drive one and ask myself how much I want to spend.

Sorry - didn't mean to hijack the OP, hope he's getting some ideas.
klax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 12:05 PM   #8
BimmersGarage
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Dallas, TX (USA)
Posts: 2,191
My Ride: E46 330i
Send a message via Skype™ to BimmersGarage
^
Cadi's CTS are nice.. FE & RWD + 4 doors. But, you'll have to pay to play. But, you already say no domestics.

I'd say Mazda6 is the best balance for "sportiness" (more in feel than true performance mind you, that's what you give up), Reliability and price in economy-sedan category. Other than basic maintenance + fuel expense, you really don't have much else to worry about in these Mazdas. This is from first-hand experience plus what my friends have experienced with their Mazdas (~ '05 Mazda3 sedan, '07 Mazda6, & '10 CX-7). Solid all around beaters.

Since you have 3 little kiddos...
I suggest you look perhaps at their new CX-5s with the updated 2.5L motor. Compact CUV w/4 doors with the suspension component-layout Very similar to our old 3-series (blasphemy, I know). But, I'd say if you look at it without the body/shell, you'll think you were looking at an E46.
(NOTE: the old 2.0L engine is a real donkey, avoid it at all cost.)

Last edited by BimmersGarage; 08-01-2013 at 12:06 PM.
BimmersGarage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
LeMansteve
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: USA - GA
Posts: 1,752
My Ride: '04 330i 6mt ZSP ZPP
If you don't want the surprise $1,500 repair bill each year, don't even think about anything with a turbo. More parts, more complexity, greater chance for a large repair bill later in life.

I second the vote for the TSX.

Also don't discount the Lexus IS or Mercedes C. Both great cars. Not quite on-par with an E46, but still very good. The Lexus is probably more reliable.

The previous Cadillac CTS was a close 3-series imitator.

The new Mazda6 is supposed to be very good despite being FWD and low on power.
__________________
BMW CCA member - Peachtree Chapter
LeMansteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 12:20 PM   #10
Hogan773
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 790
My Ride: 2002 325xi
Personally don't like the Caddy styling - too Stealth-Fighter for me.

I am willing to go used, and cost is an option but I am fortunate enough to be able to afford a decent budget. I do have a "VALUE" gene in my body that stops me from spending $75k on a car that is going to be a daily driver through the winters in Chicago, and which is generally spending 90% of it's time subject to 45 mph speed limits in my suburb (i.e. while I would love to get a Porsche Cayman or something and I could indeed afford it, it isn't really practical for me or my family at this point in life).

Mazda 6 does seem to get good ratings.

What about a 3 or 4 yr old used Audi? Am I correct in assuming that it will be equally finicky in terms of its maintenance "issues" as I've had with my E46?

What about a VW Passat or Jetta? Are they also maintenance wh%res? Or are they just blah blah driving cars that I might as well buy an Accord? I kinda like their "spartan Teutonic" styling....
Hogan773 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 12:26 PM   #11
tachi1247
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 659
My Ride: '04 330i
I wouldn't expect anything different from your BMW with an Audi.

The passat and jetta used to be better cars. Once VW switched the the current generation and went with the VW for everyone mindset the cars are no better than a civic or camry. The new golf (which is still a european car) seems to not be affected so maybe a 2015 GTI would work, but I'd avoid the two products coming out of Chatanooga if you consider yourself a driving enthusiast.
tachi1247 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 01:31 PM   #12
Brad W
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 441
My Ride: 2003 330ci
the Caddy CTS-V is pretty bad ass, but I don't like the stealth fighter angles of its exterior (lol, typed this before seeing what you just said about them). I think Audi's are so vanilla looking. They can be dressed up, but for the most part they are just boring.

I don't know enough about the VW's anymore. Sometimes I see what that looks great, and then other times I'll see what that looks terrible.

In addition to the E46's I was looking at, I was also searching for Honda's. I like the coupes. don't hate
__________________

ZPP, ZSP, ZCW
Brad W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 01:34 PM   #13
Hockeyguy02
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Vancouver BC
Posts: 318
My Ride: E46 m3
Lambo. Go big or go home
__________________

CarbonBlackCinnamon
30% Tint/Black Grilles And Gills/CF Wrapped Trim/MeganRacingExhaust/DepoSmokedCorners
Hockeyguy02 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 01:42 PM   #14
captkhaos
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Posts: 84
My Ride: '02 330Ci
IMHO the best thing you could do is shop around for another E46. You know the car. You know how to keep it running and you know how it drives. There's a lot of them out there too.
Just my .02
captkhaos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 01:55 PM   #15
Hogan773
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 790
My Ride: 2002 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by captkhaos View Post
IMHO the best thing you could do is shop around for another E46. You know the car. You know how to keep it running and you know how it drives. There's a lot of them out there too.
Just my .02
Spoken like a true E46 Fanatic!

My current E46 is probably among the best out there since it is single owner (me) and only has 72K miles. So if I ever have to replace it I am hard pressed to think I'll go buy another one, but who knows.

Anyone have a view on Mazda/Honda reliability and Volkswagen reliability? Is Mazda gonna be more like a Honda in terms of "it just runs" or is it more of a nitchy player?

How about Lexus IS?
Hogan773 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 01:58 PM   #16
jfoj
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Fairfax, VA USA
Posts: 10,581
My Ride: '06 330CiC, '03 M5
2005 E46 with lower miles, shop it around.

NO AUDI's, you WILL BE sorry!!
__________________
Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
jfoj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 01:59 PM   #17
ac_2007
Registered User
 
ac_2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 7,024
My Ride: F32 M4, E46 M3/325i
- 2011+ Ford Mustang (V6 or V8, both are great)

- 2009+ Infinity G37

- 2007+ BMW 335i Coupe

- 2009+ BMW 335d Sedan
ac_2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 02:04 PM   #18
saxual328ci
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,509
My Ride: 2004 325ci
I had the same dilemma a few months ago. I put on paper what I want in a car...my top three. 1. Good gas mileage. 2. Safety 3. Comfort. I looked at the Hondas and they didn't drive comfortably. After having an accident I really need to be comfortable. Vw Jetta was okay but I didn't get good gas mileage. Plus it was a 4 cylinder. Which made me add another must have. Drive. I love rear wheel drive and the handling of a bimmer. Audi looked fine but I didn't like the seats.

So back to another BMW. I have a few mechanics that know their stuff around them. I know what it will cost to maintain them. If I could find an Acura I might consider that. jeep Cherokee are sweet. They don't feel like an SUV. Good gas mileage. Drive sporty.

Tough call. My vote ... Find another bimmer or get a Honda
__________________
Clean
saxual328ci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 02:07 PM   #19
Drewfus2101
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 626
My Ride: N/A
My next car will be a newer GTI.
Drewfus2101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2013, 02:09 PM   #20
GRIFFIN
NWS
 
GRIFFIN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California
Posts: 1,700
My Ride: 04 330i zsp,zpp,zcw
Cts-v
__________________

** Removed - Please stop - Tim330i **
*NWS GIF REMOVED*
*GIF REMOVED*
* Continuing to put animated images in your sig will get you banned - Tim330i *
**You make me so horny.- Tim330i **
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedges View Post
I can honestly say that because of Griffin, i am desensitized to alot of wierd stuff!

Last edited by GRIFFIN; 08-01-2013 at 02:09 PM.
GRIFFIN is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use