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      09-22-2012, 02:44 AM   #1
Second Lieutenant

Drives: '13 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan 6MT
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada

iTrader: (0)

E36 Buying Decision - M50, M50TU or M52?

A friend of a friend is looking to get started with BMWs. He is looking into picking up a 6-cylinder E36 manual with LSD, so either a 325is or a 328is. Being the resident BMW owner I was asked for my opinions, but I started out with E46s and always had cars under factory warranty so I wasn't much help

So, I will ask you guys and hopefully learn a few things myself.

He found an M50-equipped car (but we're not sure if it is the M50TU) and an M52-equipped car. The former is $2k cheaper but obviously a few years older and 20k km (12k mi) more mileage.

All others being equal, which engine would you guys pick? From what I can gather, all 3 have similar output but:

M50: breathes the best so a bit more "sporty"
M50TU: has VANOS so torque under the curve is much improved
M52: the best daily driver with more torque everywhere but less "sporty"

Though, with newer technologies come with finicky maintenance. How different are the 3 engines in terms of upkeep?

Thanks in advance for your input!