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Old 01-19-2018, 05:55 AM   #1
French Guy Martin
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325ci or 328ci ?

Hi everyone,

I am starting to look for a used e46 coupe running on gas and with a manual transmission here in France. At first I was looking for a 330ci but it's difficult to find ones in great shape (i've been looking for 4 months now), given that I'd like to pay less than 9k€ if possible.

However, I've started looking into 325ci and 328ci. I know that I'd like an e46 from 2003 or after, because of the 6 speed transmission and the rear subframe issues on the high-torque models that were supposedly corrected with the phase 2 (and the phase 2 models look way better imo).

This is why I've been wondering if it would be better to look for a 328ci or a 325ci. If I get it correctly, the 2.5l replaced the 2.8l in 2001, although performances were almost the same.

If I forget about the 6spd and the rear subframe, is there any major difference between the 2.5 and 2.8 that would tip the scale for one or another ?

Thanks for reading me, and sorry in advance if I've done any language mistake.

Martin
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:28 AM   #2
514BM
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325ci or 328ci ?

Hey martin, welcome to the forums.
A few issues with what you wrote.

1. Only 330s built after 03/2003 got the 6 speed transmission. All the rest got 5 speed.

2. The phase 2 you are talking about is what we call a facelift. It involves mainly cosmetic differences such as headlights, fenders and hood. The facelift occured on 02+ for sedans and 04+ for coupes/convertibles. I personally don’t like the facelift on coupes/convertibles but find it attractive on a sedan.

3. The 323 and 328 were only built in 1999 and 2000. The 325 and 330 replaced them in 2001. They share a very similar engine, the m52tu and the m54. It is good to know that many m54 owners report oil consumption whereas this was apparently not an issue with the older m52tu.

4. As far as I know, subframe issues were fixed in 2000 after the 323 and 328. So 325s and 330s shouldn’t normally experience subframe issues (but it can still happen).

Bonne chance !

Last edited by 514BM; 01-19-2018 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:28 AM   #3
French Guy Martin
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Thanks for all these info, I learned a lot !

I thought the 6 speed came with the facelift on all models but you were right.

I think I'll go for a 325 or 330 then. In terms of fuel consumption, does a 330ci with a 6 speed consume more than a 325ci with a 5 speed manual ?

And is there any other major difference between these 2 ? Or does it just depend on personal preferences now ?

Merci
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:46 AM   #4
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I have owned a several e46's ( 2x325; 2x330; 1x320) and can't say they're is a huge difference in fuel efficiency between models. My 325xi actually consumes more fuel than my 330i but that is likely down to weight, height, transmission version and the climate & conditions driven. My 325 convertible also had about the same km/L due to extra weight. My 330xi had a big diff in fuel economy and was about 3L more per 100km than my 330i but it's difficult to do a direct comparison as one was Auto and winter driven and the other manual and summer highway.

The biggest difference is in Power. My first e46 in 2001 was a 325. If I knew then what I know now it would have been a 330.
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:59 AM   #5
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Find the newest & most well maintained 325ci you can find.
Subframe issues are only really prevalent on 323 / 328 models.

The 2.5L M54B25 engine in the 325 is much less prone to oil burning compared to the 3.0L.
330 also suffers from oil pump nut and some harmonic balancing issues.

Fuel economy is the generally the same between both cars, mostly due to gearing.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by French Guy Martin View Post
Thanks for all these info, I learned a lot !

I thought the 6 speed came with the facelift on all models but you were right.

I think I'll go for a 325 or 330 then. In terms of fuel consumption, does a 330ci with a 6 speed consume more than a 325ci with a 5 speed manual ?

And is there any other major difference between these 2 ? Or does it just depend on personal preferences now ?

Merci
Bonjour Martin et bienvenu! Votre anglais est tres fort! Aucune faute de traduction.

Le sixieme rapport sur la boite de 2003+ a ete ajoute a fin d'améliorer la consommation, mais comme dit BMW-North, il n'y a pas de grande difference entre les deux options.

Bonne chance!
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Last edited by Spannerhead; 01-19-2018 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:14 AM   #7
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You can read up on all the E46 models and their differences in the wiki.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index.php/BMW_E46
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:32 AM   #8
French Guy Martin
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Ok thanks everyone, I guess I'll have to make up my own mind then, everyone seems to have different preferences ^^

Et merci Spannerhead

A mint condition 330ci seems to be the perfect option though, but they're so incredibly difficult to find.

To any EU member here, do you know if it's worth looking for used cars on german websites ? I've seen a lot of them modified, I'm not sure if it's worth spending time there. I heard the import papers aren't that difficult to fill though.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:41 AM   #9
514BM
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Originally Posted by Spannerhead View Post
Bonjour Martin et bienvenu! Votre anglais est tres fort! Aucune faute de traduction.

Le sixieme rapport sur la boite de 2003+ a ete ajoute a fin d'améliorer la consommation, mais comme dit BMW-North, il n'y a pas de grande difference entre les deux options.

Bonne chance!


Wow spannerhead I didn’t know you could speak french. Is it your native language ? If not well congratulations, french is extremely hard to learn and your answer was flawless.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:47 AM   #10
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Wow spannerhead I didn’t know you could speak french. Is it your native language ? If not well congratulations, french is extremely hard to learn and your answer was flawless.
Non, malheureusement. J'ai habite dans une petite ville pres de Nice 5 ans quand j'etais petit et il faut dire que je ne me suis jamais remis... Merci pour les mots gentils.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:05 AM   #11
514BM
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Non, malheureusement. J'ai habite dans une petite ville pres de Nice 5 ans quand j'etais petit et il faut dire que je ne me suis jamais remis... Merci pour les mots gentils.

Oh that’s why. I don’t know how it sounds in person but I have to admit your written french looks pretty good.
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