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View Full Version : 3 Series decision (Influence me!!!!)


PunKanadian
11-25-2004, 05:11 PM
Hey Hey,

In the midst of shopping for a three series. Torn between 98/99 328is and 2001 330ci. Need some advise from some knowledgeable people (this board seems to have many).

Obviously I could buy the 328is for less, and the 330ci has more power (on paper anyway). I've read all the stats, but I need info on things like build quality, reliability, handling, road feel and that incomparable x-factor that just makes you happy to drive the car.

Please weigh in with your opinions and facts about these topics so I can stop pulling my hair out.

Justin e36
11-25-2004, 05:26 PM
330ci would be my choice hands down.

e36's are known to be more reliable... however you also have to factor in the age of the car. Those e36's are going to need some maintenance soon while your 330ci will be fairly trouble free for a good few years at least.

On top of this, I'd look at which car would keep its value. Let's face it, e36's are depreciating FAST. They're soon to be 3 generations old of the 3-series. They're more dated looking and becoming less desirable. At least 2001 will still "sound" fairly new if you wanted to sell your car 3-4 years down the line.

To be honest, I don't know which car handles better. I've driven a moddes 328is which was slammed... and a stock 330ci.. but that's an unfair comparison.

I just feel the 330ci is a smarter choice. Much higher return on your investment too.

That's my two cents... completely my personal opinion. But hope it helps you some anyway---and by the way, if it helps any... this is coming from an e36 owner, so I'm not biased towards e46's. :)

PunKanadian
11-25-2004, 05:31 PM
Thanks. That does help a bit. One thing that's throwing me off is that I think the E36 is better looking hands down. It does look older but it's got that classic GT car shape. The E46 looks great too, but it's more rounded and looks more like a sedan (even with 2 doors). Not as fierce I guess.

Argh!!!

BMW_7
11-25-2004, 05:58 PM
Yeah, I know what you mean, the E46 is too round and not as mean..
And I don't know about problems but aren't first year built cars always have more problems? Wasn't there a steering issue with early e46's too? The last year E36 probably will be virtually trouble-free. Then there is the question of depricatoin, but the higher year E36 will always keep its value if it's low km and well maintained/ has sport package.

It depends on what you want, really, If I bought a 330Ci I would check it out really good too.

chopper
11-25-2004, 06:32 PM
I'd go 330ci as well for manyof the same reasons. The e36 is losing a lot of value because of the model changes over time. You will also get access to a lot of cool features with the 330Ci that wernt around in 98/99.

Power-wise, you can make up the difference between the two with some simple mods to the 328. If you really like the E36 style, why not a 1998 M3 instead? Power problem solved and value will be kept better as well.

PunKanadian
11-25-2004, 07:01 PM
Funny you should mention it. I've been looking at a bunch of e36 M3's 97-99. It's basically my dream car. This only problem is from what I've read and just looking into it, maintenance and repair costs are rediculous for the M3 and this is prohibitive. If it cost close to the same to maintain, that would be it.

Gamite
11-25-2004, 07:38 PM
If you're going to buy a 330, I would seriously consider the E36 M3

SpudBoy
11-25-2004, 07:42 PM
I would go for an e36 M3 over the e46 330 all things considered.

If you prefer the look of the e36 then the cost savings will more than pay for repairs. e36 328i rocks... I had one way back when.

good luck *smoke*

Justin e36
11-25-2004, 07:43 PM
Funny you should mention it. I've been looking at a bunch of e36 M3's 97-99. It's basically my dream car. This only problem is from what I've read and just looking into it, maintenance and repair costs are rediculous for the M3 and this is prohibitive. If it cost close to the same to maintain, that would be it.

not true.. maintenance costs are not much more expensive than any other e36. Parts are a bit more expensive, but regular wear and tear items aren't too much... labour is still the same.

PunKanadian
11-25-2004, 08:39 PM
Awesome. It looks like I'll be steering my search for the e36 ///M3. This was mucho helpfull.

Thanks

Antz_Marchin
11-26-2004, 01:43 AM
There is only one choice in the $$range/selection that you are looking at. E36 ///M3.......nothing else. I was in the same situation last year and look back and laugh now. Looks better, faster, anything with an M on the back properly cared for will hold it's value better than anything else,.... faster. Also, DON'T compromise. I searched for 10 months for my car..........turned down plenty of E46 325/330Ci's wrong colour combo M3's, etc. Found my car cheaper than any E46 I was interested in, with the perfect colour combo/option list and with less Km's than most '01 E46ers that I saw. E36///M Maintenance will not cost you more than any other BMW especially an E46 (make sure it has maintenance records though). E36 328 is nice but.....If you have the $$ to spend on a 330, you shouldn'e be asking yourself what kind of car, but asking..... Estoril? or Dakkar?

d12
11-26-2004, 01:52 AM
well old m3 faster then 330 but NOT by much ( 5.6 vs 5.9 )... not to mention 330 got updated design, MUCH better interior, you can find one still with CPO warranty (mine is until 2006), much more sexier...

but i guess i'm biased :D