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View Full Version : Lets discuss: e36 m3 vs. e46 m3


328IScreamer
11-25-2009, 12:44 PM
I am currently a very happy owner of an e36 m3. In the future I plan to move up to an e46 m3 but I have always been curious, what is necessarily better about an e46 m3? How much faster ar they if at all? Better handling? I have never actually driven an e46 and am curious to hear what you guys have to say on this topic.

328IScreamer
11-25-2009, 03:39 PM
surprised this isn't a hot topic...

Furious
11-25-2009, 04:47 PM
simple answer is drive one....


/lock

Darkness95m3
11-25-2009, 05:13 PM
Two different cars.

Sickbimmer
11-25-2009, 05:17 PM
In a straight line the E46 is much faster. Handling might be better to but feels heavier as well. Nicer ride as well.

328IScreamer
11-25-2009, 08:16 PM
I know they are different
It's the differences I am interested in finding out

M3_Kid
11-25-2009, 08:20 PM
I know they are different
It's the differences I am interested in finding out

well said..haha

SamE30e
11-25-2009, 08:29 PM
One has ITB's, one doesn't.

propr'one
11-25-2009, 08:39 PM
e46 has much more power, feels very different. E46 is a bigger, heavier car. I feel the e36 is more nimble, but i've spent 4 years in a e36 and mabye an hour in a e46 m3.

You really have to drive both. All things considered, the e46 is a lot more car.

T.Dot_E30
11-25-2009, 08:48 PM
It's the natural progression of a species. :D
Expect it to be better in every way.

The only downside is the heavier weight, due to all the new technology. Maybe also the more expensive insurance (atleast for me it was)

Which one is better for you?, is the more appropriate question.

Ant118
11-25-2009, 08:57 PM
Overall the I find that the E46 M3 is a better daily driver. Has the power and has a awesome driver seating postion. Now driving both E36 and E46 on the street. I like the E46 as more as a daily and the E36 as a track car. Hence why my E36 is a track car lol. Also the E46 looks more aggresive, and is a great looking car. My 0.02 cents is, if its a DD id get the E46 baised of course. But the E36 will be better on fuel, insurance and parts.

driftnut
11-25-2009, 09:15 PM
either ways you still get alot of gurls lol

lvan
11-25-2009, 09:25 PM
E46 M more refined.

RMPMOTORS
11-25-2009, 09:32 PM
E46 M3 actually has a real M motor, while E36 is a US spec Modified version of the M52.

E46 is solid lifter, and can rev higher. But more maintanance.

Both good cars, but different cars.



*th-up*

lvan
11-25-2009, 09:34 PM
Also E46 M ran until 2006. Not sure about Canadian models, but late model E46 comes with a blue tooth and other neat features.
I would pitch in more and get a E46 M.

bmwm5lover
11-25-2009, 10:02 PM
I wouldn't consider an M3 unless it was an e46 M3 or a EURO e36 M3.

Nick_V
11-26-2009, 12:09 AM
I wouldn't consider an M3 unless it was an e46 M3 or a EURO e36 M3.

That's what I'm sayin. I'm sure we'll start to see a bunch being brought over here. I always thought that I wanted an E36 M3, but swore I'd wait for when they turned 15....

M3Power99
11-26-2009, 01:44 AM
I went from a 99 M3 to 2004 e46 M3...

e36M3
- Daily street driving, e36M3 felt it had more power (mostly 2nd/3rd gear under 5k). More nimble, better road feel.
- I felt like I could toss it in to any corner and be in total control.
- As soon as you hit 6k e36 felt like it lost all power.

e46M3
- Go past 4-5k in RPM, e46M3 feels like a rocket... and keeps going faster
- Better handling but you don't feel the road as much.
- Better in every respect interior and drive comfort
- Way better in styling IMO

I think most of the issues I have with e46 is the extra weight, it just feels heavier.

For day to day street driving (fun aspect not comfort) you are better off with e36M3. If you are willing to push it a little then e46 M3.

King Luis
11-26-2009, 09:09 AM
having not driven the e36 m3 i can say that the e46 m3 on the street is like a gt car although i find the seats a little uncomfortable on long hauls.
at the track (coming from an e30), your really feel the weight of the car but it's predictable. the over steer i find snaps a lot quicker than an e30. power is always there, like said, just over 4000rpm and it's like vtec kicked in yo.

lvan
11-26-2009, 09:21 AM
having not driven the e36 m3 i can say that the e46 m3 on the street is like a gt car although i find the seats a little uncomfortable on long hauls.
at the track (coming from an e30), your really feel the weight of the car but it's predictable. the over steer i find snaps a lot quicker than an e30. power is always there, like said, just over 4000rpm and it's like vtec kicked in yo.


Wow more oversteer despite everything. I wonder if someone came back and said, here is your e30 "IS" as before accident condition, would you still keep it besides your E46 M3 as a winter car or something? Or would you just sell it and keep the M?

325ixE30
11-26-2009, 10:00 AM
I think E30 M3 vs E36 M3 would have been a better topic. lol

NOTORIOUS VR
11-26-2009, 10:05 AM
It's simple... the newer car is better @ everything.

StikiGreenZ
11-26-2009, 10:43 AM
A better comparison would be e36 M3 vs e46 330.

The e46 M3 is not in the same league as the E36 M3.

Jon@Bimmersport
11-26-2009, 10:51 AM
It's simple... the newer car is better @ everything.

Quality of the E46 is not near E36 in my opinion. I had E36 before, and now still do...I was in the market for E46 M3 but one thing that really "grinds my gears" is the fact when you pull the door handle, or close the door...you hear this "cheap" plasticy clunk and I HATE that for a HIGH end german car, felt like an HK knock off IMO. Not to mention how common that piece is to break lol.

How many of you E46ers replace coolant tanks, and how many E36 guys replace them?

E46 M3/E36 M3 Euro pulls and pulls the higher you go, for US Spec 3.2L an M50 manifold will cure you falling powerband, but it wont make it like a euro/S54 thats for sure..unless sunbelt cams come into play.

T.Dot_E30
11-26-2009, 11:12 AM
Quality of the E46 is not near E36 in my opinion. I had E36 before, and now still do...I was in the market for E46 M3 but one thing that really "grinds my gears" is the fact when you pull the door handle, or close the door...you hear this "cheap" plasticy clunk and I HATE that for a HIGH end german car, felt like an HK knock off IMO. Not to mention how common that piece is to break lol.

How many of you E46ers replace coolant tanks, and how many E36 guys replace them?

E46 M3/E36 M3 Euro pulls and pulls the higher you go, for US Spec 3.2L an M50 manifold will cure you falling powerband, but it wont make it like a euro/S54 thats for sure..unless sunbelt cams come into play.

I'd still take an e46 m3, if insurance wasn't $1k more per yr for me i probably would have bought one.

StikiGreenZ
11-26-2009, 11:20 AM
Quality of the E46 is not near E36 in my opinion. I had E36 before, and now still do...I was in the market for E46 M3 but one thing that really "grinds my gears" is the fact when you pull the door handle, or close the door...you hear this "cheap" plasticy clunk and I HATE that for a HIGH end german car, felt like an HK knock off IMO. Not to mention how common that piece is to break lol.

How many of you E46ers replace coolant tanks, and how many E36 guys replace them?

E46 M3/E36 M3 Euro pulls and pulls the higher you go, for US Spec 3.2L an M50 manifold will cure you falling powerband, but it wont make it like a euro/S54 thats for sure..unless sunbelt cams come into play.

There are obviously pros and cons to each car. It boils down to weighing the pros and cons. I'm fairly certain the pro's (E46 M3) far outweigh the cons.

Jon@Bimmersport
11-26-2009, 12:04 PM
Yea you guys are right about pros/cons but its still small things that bug you when you drop that kind of coin even though you can find ones for 25-32K (I found one 27k with 70km on it MINT - but had small things i didnt like). I mean...E90 is all plastic everywhere but hell I'd jump on the M car if I can afford it (maybe in the next life).

I guess it all boils down to what options you have in your price range and condition of each example - my decision factor at least.

Note: that tank issue doesnt apply to E46 M but E46 in general...another pro, wide fenders for E46 M3 is a HUUUGE plus, and the quad exhaust. 6 speed isnt a big deal as that tranny mates to any M5X,. S5X block.

street_racer
11-26-2009, 12:10 PM
The e46 m3 is faster, but the e36 m3 is not a push over.

From what i have seen, a stock e46 m3 puts down about 270-280 rwhp depending on dyno. I had my stock e36 m3 dyno at 213 rwhp. So the difference is only about 60 rwhp.

NOTORIOUS VR
11-26-2009, 12:40 PM
Quality of the E46 is not near E36 in my opinion. I had E36 before, and now still do...I was in the market for E46 M3 but one thing that really "grinds my gears" is the fact when you pull the door handle, or close the door...you hear this "cheap" plasticy clunk and I HATE that for a HIGH end german car, felt like an HK knock off IMO. Not to mention how common that piece is to break lol.

I can't say I've noticed that on my friends E46 M3's that I've driven.

How many of you E46ers replace coolant tanks, and how many E36 guys replace them?

Small price to pay IMO... a coolant tank is what? $60? Even if you have to replace it once a year (which I doubt) it's not that bad if you compare the two cars. The E46 is better then the E36 in every way technically speaking and from a performance stand point.

E46 M3/E36 M3 Euro pulls and pulls the higher you go, for US Spec 3.2L an M50 manifold will cure you falling powerband, but it wont make it like a euro/S54 thats for sure..unless sunbelt cams come into play.

The E46 M3 will still pull away on a lightly modded US M3. While giving you a quieter more comfortable ride for DD'ing... and a fast track car then an E36 when it's time to have some fun.

The e46 m3 is faster, but the e36 m3 is not a push over.

From what i have seen, a stock e46 m3 puts down about 270-280 rwhp depending on dyno. I had my stock e36 m3 dyno at 213 rwhp. So the difference is only about 60 rwhp.

LOL... 60 RWHP is A LOT. Don't kid yourself.

Jon@Bimmersport
11-26-2009, 12:48 PM
I can't say I've noticed that on my friends E46 M3's that I've driven.



Small price to pay IMO... a coolant tank is what? $60? Even if you have to replace it once a year (which I doubt) it's not that bad if you compare the two cars. The E46 is better then the E36 in every way technically speaking and from a performance stand point.



The E46 M3 will still pull away on a lightly modded US M3. While giving you a quieter more comfortable ride for DD'ing... and a fast track car then an E36 when it's time to have some fun.



LOL... 60 RWHP is A LOT. Don't kid yourself.

$60 maybe in the US, not up here - keep it apples n apples. Plus coolant, and being able to do it. half the people attempted to break the hoses (im not trying to talk down - but its fact). So if you bring it in, then add labour for any shop, I dont even wanna bring the dealer into this lol.


Any E46 has that door problem, working where I do - you can understand how many E46 doors I open.

E46 M3 is better in performance no doubt, it has to be as a new generation for that model - but let me ask you this, if you take $40k thats your budget for your car (please dont say save it and buy a house). What would you do? Incl taxes/ if any labour for ANY part you get. I'd take the E36 no douubt! Not to mention, i would buy one of those 20k US E36 M3 with like 40xxxx miles to do it.

When thinking of these cars, keep in mind - compare apples and apples...not what is on the market right now in autotrader.

Just keep in mind, I am just stating another opinion/aspect of this discussion - no arguement here as the market examples as of now, Ill take the E46 M3 unless you are considering US examples.

Just out of curiosity, what is your "lightly" modded? Our eurospec E36 M3 will pull E46 M3 no question

NOTORIOUS VR
11-26-2009, 01:25 PM
$60 maybe in the US, not up here - keep it apples n apples. Plus coolant, and being able to do it. half the people attempted to break the hoses (im not trying to talk down - but its fact). So if you bring it in, then add labour for any shop, I dont even wanna bring the dealer into this lol.

I really cannot see it being that much of a PITA to change a reservoir but then again I've never needed to as I don't own one. :P

Just out of curiosity, what is your "lightly" modded? Our eurospec E36 M3 will pull E46 M3 no question

Stock for stock I have a hard time believing the eurospec E36 will take an E46 M3 :)


anywho... I need to pass by and grab some LiquiMolly off you guys tomorrow... My S4 need an oil change *th-up*

King Luis
11-26-2009, 02:00 PM
Wow more oversteer despite everything. I wonder if someone came back and said, here is your e30 "IS" as before accident condition, would you still keep it besides your E46 M3 as a winter car or something? Or would you just sell it and keep the M?

i'd honestly keep both cars and make the e30 a track car. it was much more fun to drive even though it lacked in power compared to the e46 m3.

as a daily, the e46 m3 does its job perfectly. my only real complaint is the seats are a bit uncomfortable over time and i wish the interior was a bit more special some how.

Jon@Bimmersport
11-26-2009, 05:32 PM
I really cannot see it being that much of a PITA to change a reservoir but then again I've never needed to as I don't own one. :P



Stock for stock I have a hard time believing the eurospec E36 will take an E46 M3 :)


anywho... I need to pass by and grab some LiquiMolly off you guys tomorrow... My S4 need an oil change *th-up*

See you then...maybe Charlie will let me take you in the Eurospec (highly doubt it tho lol).

StikiGreenZ
11-26-2009, 05:48 PM
Is the Eurospec stock? If not, I hardly call that a fair comparison Jon!

Can't really compare modding a 1998 car to a 2003+ car. I've ridden in quite a few E36 M3's lately, they're getting old (unless you find a rare one with under 100K, not likely at a good price anyway!)

Jon@Bimmersport
11-26-2009, 06:00 PM
stock 3.2L S50B32

Catless exhaust, it basically makes it the same crank HP...but keep in mind the E46 M3 has the weight disadvantage, but the rear end sort of even things out.

NOTORIOUS VR
11-26-2009, 06:53 PM
See you then...maybe Charlie will let me take you in the Eurospec (highly doubt it tho lol).

hehe... that would be interesting :D

propr'one
11-26-2009, 11:33 PM
Jon, charlie's euro is a 3.2? I thought it was one of the 45? (with the s50b30 euro)

///MG
11-26-2009, 11:38 PM
E36 feels more like a go-kart.... When I drive it I feel completely in "touch" with the road.

E46 is very refined... It feels like it almost drives itself.

My 0.02...

///MG
11-26-2009, 11:43 PM
(BTW... I've been driving the E36 M3 for over 2 years and I only drove the E46 M3 2 or 3 times)

Darkness95m3
11-27-2009, 09:31 AM
Just my .02. The European version of the e36 M3 compared to the e46 M3 is just as fast if not faster on the race track. The down side of the US e36 M3 was the power of the engine. I have seen video of the European e36 M3 beating the e46 M3 on everything except interior comfort.

Sickbimmer
11-27-2009, 10:53 AM
Remember, We are talking about the north amaerican e36 m3 and the north American e46 m3. Back on topic guys.^^

Jon@Bimmersport
11-27-2009, 01:32 PM
Remember, We are talking about the north amaerican e36 m3 and the north American e46 m3. Back on topic guys.^^

Considering we are in Canada, the euros are avail as an option :) Also if the user is upgrading to E46, the E36 has the option of a swap - I mean, it will beat the E46 M3 as Darkness agrees plus it is more interesting than just an E46 M3.

Ivan,

The car is #41, but we have put a euro 3.2L for the project this winter. The s50b30 was a good candidate, but we might be putting that engine into a seperate car all together. You guys will see next year.

A comparison that is possible and will likely happen - VF-E E36 M3 US Spec vs 3.2L Eurospec

lvan
11-27-2009, 03:14 PM
Just my .02. The European version of the e36 M3 compared to the e46 M3 is just as fast if not faster on the race track. The down side of the US e36 M3 was the power of the engine. I have seen video of the European e36 M3 beating the e46 M3 on everything except interior comfort.

IMHO, If we got that car in NA many E36 M3 guys would not slap SC or do extensive mods to keep with G35 and other Jap crew. Let alone the resale value. My 0.02c.



I always wanted to know why we in NA get hoaxed. It's like ****ing a hooker.

///MG
11-27-2009, 05:46 PM
IMHO, If we got that car in NA many E36 M3 guys would not slap SC or do extensive mods to keep with G35 and other Jap crew. Let alone the resale value. My 0.02c.



I always wanted to know why we in NA get hoaxed. It's like ****ing a hooker.


It gets worse... When I was in Europe over the summer I was looking at the Euro M3s and they were twice the car of my US M3... Not only did the engine outperform the US spec but they came with either an SMG or a 6spd manual... alcantra interior... BOSH/HELLA xenon headlights... I'm sure there were other differences too between the REAL European M3s and US specs. (BTW - the 45 "Euro" M3s that made it to Canada were not really EURO SPEC.)

Nick_V
11-27-2009, 06:03 PM
I'm sure there were other differences too between the REAL European M3s and US specs. (BTW - the 45 "Euro" M3s that made it to Canada were not really EURO SPEC.)

Brakes, too. It sucks that they dumb the cars down for NA, but I always wondered why they wouldn't at least make the cool stuff optional for the enthusiast crowd over here.

Jon@Bimmersport
11-27-2009, 06:38 PM
It gets worse... When I was in Europe over the summer I was looking at the Euro M3s and they were twice the car of my US M3... Not only did the engine outperform the US spec but they came with either an SMG or a 6spd manual... alcantra interior... BOSH/HELLA xenon headlights... I'm sure there were other differences too between the REAL European M3s and US specs. (BTW - the 45 "Euro" M3s that made it to Canada were not really EURO SPEC.)

What do you mean? What would be the differences...:confused:

arek
11-27-2009, 08:07 PM
I like the seating position in the E36, you feel more in control, and it just feels like a smaller 'tighter' package. hard to explain.

E46 , you kinda need to work it... feels bloated

E36 is just easier and fun to toss.

BMXWill
11-27-2009, 08:10 PM
What do you mean? What would be the differences...:confused:

I think the euro ones came with/option of rear fogs, power rear windows in the coupes, The light under the hood, the oil temp gauge instead of the L/100km. Those come to mind right now, there are probably more.

///MG
11-27-2009, 09:30 PM
I think the euro ones came with/option of rear fogs, power rear windows in the coupes, The light under the hood, the oil temp gauge instead of the L/100km. Those come to mind right now, there are probably more.

"The 45" had power windows in the back too. The main difference is the SMG transmission.

As far as the rear fogs are concerned - all european cars are required to have a rear fog light.

ZiMMie
11-28-2009, 12:06 AM
"The 45" had power windows in the back too. The main difference is the SMG transmission.


no they dont.The 45 were all 94 model's and rear pwr windows didn't come in effect till late 96 in Europe, when bmw release a retro kit for all e36's. They became standard i believe in 97+ Yes there was retro kit available but now its NLA.:mad:

I went from a 99 M3 to 2004 e46 M3...


e46M3
- Better in every respect interior and drive comfort.


For day to day street driving (fun aspect not comfort) you are better off with e36M3. If you are willing to push it a little then e46 M3.

Better Interior Maybe, But Drive Comfort, Definitely NO. A basic 325i nonsport has a better comfort ride than the e46 and the e36 M's.

Also if ur e36 M rides "harsher" than ur stock e46, you should look into your suspension component. stock for stock, and e36 M suspension feel much more comfortable than an e46. If you car feels like it rides better then go take a ride in an e36 M with good bushings all around and then compare to the E46 which is more harsher. They both have an almost identical suspension geometry. t

Now back to topic as for what is a better car stock for stock, E46 M3.
Hands Down. 70% More Chassis rigidness than the E36's. That sold me right thurr.

black bnr32
11-28-2009, 12:14 AM
Stock for stock is lame. I think the extra aftermarket support for the 36 is worth noting.

NOTORIOUS VR
11-28-2009, 06:01 PM
^^^ The E46 has a lot of aftermarket support too probably just as much actually. Just there is a lot you don't have to do with the E46 because you already have a real ///M motor :P

Darkness95m3
11-29-2009, 10:56 AM
Also if ur e36 M rides "harsher" than ur stock e46, you should look into your suspension component. stock for stock, and e36 M suspension feel much more comfortable than an e46. .

The 94 and 95 M3 suspension was a much stiffer then the 96 and later model years. People in California complained that the ride was not comfortable. So in 96 they changed to a softer set up. I remember reading that in a magazine, that's when I bought a M3 it had to be a 95 model year.

ZiMMie
11-29-2009, 11:54 AM
The 94 and 95 M3 suspension was a much stiffer then the 96 and later model years. People in California complained that the ride was not comfortable. So in 96 they changed to a softer set up. I remember reading that in a magazine, that's when I bought a M3 it had to be a 95 model year.

Yes u right i was referring to 96+ e36's.
that also why the 94/95's sits lower the the later model m3's due to the springs/shocks the came with.

ScotcH
11-29-2009, 01:18 PM
The 94 and 95 M3 suspension was a much stiffer then the 96 and later model years. People in California complained that the ride was not comfortable. So in 96 they changed to a softer set up. I remember reading that in a magazine, that's when I bought a M3 it had to be a 95 model year.

Yeah, it's like a 10% difference ... not much stiffer at all.

The e46 M3 is a beast ... it's in a different league than the e36 M3. I loved my 96 M3, and my 95 M3 track car is super fantastic. But my 03 as a daily driver is just wicked. Fun to drive, easy on gas (when you cruise in 6th gear), and really wakles up when you need it to. Yes, it's a bit harsher ride overbumps, but on smooth roads, the suspension is ridiculously good.

Best oif both worlds: e46 M3 daily, and a e36 track car :)

Jon@Bimmersport
11-29-2009, 05:17 PM
Yeah, it's like a 10% difference ... not much stiffer at all.

The e46 M3 is a beast ... it's in a different league than the e36 M3. I loved my 96 M3, and my 95 M3 track car is super fantastic. But my 03 as a daily driver is just wicked. Fun to drive, easy on gas (when you cruise in 6th gear), and really wakles up when you need it to. Yes, it's a bit harsher ride overbumps, but on smooth roads, the suspension is ridiculously good.

Best oif both worlds: e46 M3 daily, and a e36 track car :)

plus the interior *love*