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ash00

E36 or E46?

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Hey gang,

I'm not sure if the car A.D.D is kicking in again, but it maybe time for a newer DD.

I have that 91 318is that has been nothing but a sweetheart. I probably won't sell it, but just use it sparingly as things are starting to show age.

There's a nice e36 M3 (s52) popping up on my friend/enemy Craigslist or save a little more for another dream car: a 03-04 330i ZHP.

Which is the lesser of two evils?

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e36 m3 - significantly less expensive, both in initial cost and maint. lots of aftermarket support. much more "connected" road feel.

e46 330 zhp - newer platform, more refined, more electronic, more toys

it is kinda like comparing any generation of 3 series to the next gen after it. they are all good, but get better each time...depends on $$$$. i have an e36 and an e46. e36 i drive because it is a blast. e46 we take on road trips because it has all the amenities.

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Which is the lesser of two evils?

Mike Miller, the tech editor of the Roundel, will tell you that the build quality on the e46 is much better than the e36. With the e36, it seems, BMW was pressing cost-cutting and then dialed it back a little with the next generation.

With that said, I owned a e36 318ti and besides the cooling system, it was a pleasure -- I had no complaints.

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My take on the 36/46.

E36 was the transition platform. The E30's were servicable and starting to get more electronics. The E36s still had some parts/assemblies from the E30 and these were servicable. Some of the newer assemblies designed just for the E36 were less likely to be serviceable. By the time you get to the E46, a lot of the normally servicable items from an E30 are now gone.

Build quality- The E46's just feel more solid. (probably cuz they weigh 1k more than an E36?)

I'd still like an E30 318 for a commuter. Sure, the E46 has more luxury/power/etc..., but I'd at least stand a chance of fixing an E30 and not towing it to a shop or the dealer. Ideally, I'd like to use my DeRosa as a commuter, but it can't work out with my job.

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Hey Steve-- good to hear from ya! How was the snowball rally?

Yeah good points- I still can't beat the serviceability of the 318is, but this would be for daily driving purposes- and the E46 ZHP would fit the bill no matter what I do. Or..i'm just getting older and want something a little more comfy, but can still whiz through Hwy 9.

I guess I should drive both and see. My main concern is the maintainance costs of a e46. I don't want to be stuck with going to a shop for every small thing that goes wrong and a light associated with it.

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E46 is a superior car. I used to own an E36 M3, and I am not a big fan of it. It sat in the garage most of the time, unless I needed A/C that day, I would rather drive my tii

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