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2006 BMW M3, 2002 Honda S2000, 2005 Lexus GX470
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6,807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking at these for a while and they look pretty sweet. Not an M3, but it's the next best thing in the 3-series lineup.
From what I was able to find out they came with 3.0 I-6 @225hp.
What I would like to know is how reliable are these cars? Of course, reliability can be argued back and forth, but we all know some cars have more "common" issues than others.
As for the performance and handling, I'd expect it to be pretty similair to other 3-series BMW's (excluding M3) with some extra oomph from the 3.0L over the 2.5 and sharp steering.

Any information is much appreciated. :beer:

Rule #1:
 

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E46 330ci coupe
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27,612 Posts
My brother has one. Had it for about 6 years now. The only things he's done so far:

Tires
Rear shocks/bushings etc...
Alternator
Battery
Passenger side mirror (don't drunkenly back your car into the garage:thumbup:)

They're definitely solidly reliable. His has about 100,000 miles on it and it's been basically trouble free and is still BMW smooth.

Having a BMW master tech best friend can't hurt either.
 

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941 Posts
Good thread... I'm looking at picking up one of these as well.

In fact, I'll ask a question that I've been wondering about which may[/] be useful to the OP.

Using the specs shown on edmunds.com, the 330Ci Coupe and 330i Sedan are the exact same weight. However, the Coupe is 0.4 seconds faster to 60 than the Sedan at 5.9 (sedan is 6.3), while having a longer braking distance at 120 feet rather than 117 feet for the sedan.

Are the specs on edmunds false or does the coupe have different gearing and worse brakes than the sedan?
 

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2,702 Posts
What I would like to know is how reliable are these cars? Of course, reliability can be argued back and forth, but we all know some cars have more "common" issues than others.[/IMG]

How many of these get posted per day here?

Do you fit this mold?
- Young and image conscious
- One vehicle owner, so need a reliable daily driver
- Can't afford your dream german luxury sports car, budget minded
- Limited wrenching ability


If that's you, I can't think of a better purcahse than a highly finicky german luxury vehicle with no warranty. Having just come home from helping a buddy pull a transmission (needs complete rebuild) on one, here are some common issues:

- Engine
- Transmission
- Suspension
- Cooling
- Electrical
- Interior
- Exhaust
- Body
 

· Registered
2006 BMW M3, 2002 Honda S2000, 2005 Lexus GX470
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6,807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How many of these get posted per day here?

Do you fit this mold?
- Young and image conscious Young, yes
- One vehicle owner, so need a reliable daily driver Yeah
- Can't afford your dream german luxury sports car, budget minded Got me there
- Limited wrenching ability Somewhat
If that's you, I can't think of a better purcahse than a highly finicky german luxury vehicle with no warranty. Having just come home from helping a buddy pull a transmission (needs complete rebuild) on one, here are some common issues:

- Engine
- Transmission
- Suspension
- Cooling
- Electrical
- Interior
- Exhaust
- Body
Well...that's kinda like the whole car just broke down?
 

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E46 330ci coupe
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27,612 Posts
\


If that's you, I can't think of a better purcahse than a highly finicky german luxury vehicle with no warranty. Having just come home from helping a buddy pull a transmission (needs complete rebuild) on one, here are some common issues:

- Engine
- Transmission
- Suspension
- Cooling
- Electrical
- Interior
- Exhaust
- Body
So...what you're saying is, common issues on the E46 330Ci are the entire car? C'mon, that reads like the dropdown menu on a car parts website. And maybe your buddy can't drive?

@MightyDSM - Like with any used car, get it checked out, drive it, take your time and find the right one. There's nothing on this car that is more prone to fail than any other car.
 

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1,116 Posts
I drove one about a week ago and came away completely underwhelmed. It's a nice car, this one had everything minus the ZHP. Steering felt good and so did the brakes. Power was ok but was expecting a little more punch, clutch was too light, ride could have been firmer.

There were a few problems that were car specific that may have been clouding my judgement though. It was not in the best of condition. It also didn't help that I just jumped out of a G8 GT and I was floored how much I enjoyed that car.
 

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3,189 Posts
I've driven dozens of E46s, but never owned one. I can't speak to the reliability but they are great cars to drive.
Not exactly FAST, but definitely quick enough to have a great time with on almost any road.

DOIT
 

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3,687 Posts
one of my friends has an e46 323i sedan, one of my other friends has an e46 m3. handling for both is frankly absurd. they just handle exactly how you want a sporty car to handle. i cant imagine the 330ci would be any different.
 

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S2000, E320
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8,152 Posts
Good thread... I'm looking at picking up one of these as well.

In fact, I'll ask a question that I've been wondering about which may[/] be useful to the OP.

Using the specs shown on edmunds.com, the 330Ci Coupe and 330i Sedan are the exact same weight. However, the Coupe is 0.4 seconds faster to 60 than the Sedan at 5.9 (sedan is 6.3), while having a longer braking distance at 120 feet rather than 117 feet for the sedan.

Are the specs on edmunds false or does the coupe have different gearing and worse brakes than the sedan?


Coupe is a tad heavier than the sedan so that explains the braking. Also that 5.9 result sounds like the sedan was a ZHP, maybe Edmunds got their data wrong or had a ringer.

Both sedan and coupe 330's should clock in the low 6's and mid/high 14's
 

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2,466 Posts
I'm cross shopping a lot of cars right now and I've loved the e46 since they came out. I'm not sure I can justify the cost of maintenance over a newish Civic Si, WRX, etc.

I'd love one but I know it will cost more to maintain and fix than other cars that can be had for the same or less money.
 
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