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      10-06-2012, 01:53 PM   #1
rickyjones1209
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E46 m3 compared to 335i

Still very much loving the 335i. It's a lovely motor and a great blend of looks, performance and comfort. I don't think I'll swap it if I'm honest but I've always wanted an m3. I can't afford an e92 so would have to 'make do' with an e46. I've been in e46 m3's before but never driven one so I'd like to ask how it would compare to my current motor?

Am I silly to even consider it? I know if I keep the 335i I will be investing in a jb4 which I know will transform the car but in theory I could swap it for an m3 and have 3k change in my pocket and not have to spend anything on mods. Sounds appealing.

I fear insurance and fuel will be more though? Minimal perhaps.

I'd be interested to hear any thoughts.
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      10-06-2012, 05:13 PM   #2
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Diffrerent cars mate!.........i had 2 e46 m3's for over 3 yrs ownership and now have the 335i.
If u had started with e46 m3's and then onto 335i it would be fine but going backwards to an older model car u might regret it.
Unless your doing trackdays etc, i would stick with the 335 as they are much better daily drives/road cars and e46 m3's much much better on track.
On road driving u will deffo mis the torque and comfort of the 335i and with the M3 u really need to ring its neck to get the best out of it.
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      10-07-2012, 01:27 AM   #3
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Diff keep the 335 and jb4 it
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      10-07-2012, 02:25 AM   #4
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Keep the 335i for sure, e46 is old stuff now.
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      10-07-2012, 02:39 AM   #5
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I think you're all right. Every time I drive it I think why even consider an m3. It's a lovely car I think I'll be keeping it.

Keep saving for an e92 m3 I reckon
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      10-07-2012, 03:44 AM   #6
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Having owned a E92 335d and now an E46 M3. Even just driving slowly the M3 feels special. It's more of an occasion. The leather is of better quality and the interior more focussed Around the driver.

It's a great car to thrash also. It's more raw than the refined 335 motorway muncher.

The diff alone is worth it for me. Makes the standard diff in the 335's feel pony.

Both wonderful cars. But why change for the sake of it.
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      10-07-2012, 05:54 AM   #7
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Like a few guys have mentioned as a road car / daily driver and tuning ability the 335i is better whereas for tearing down country roads and for that sound the e46 m3 is much better!
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      10-07-2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dxb335d View Post
Even just driving slowly the M3 feels special. It's more of an occasion.
I completely agree on this point. This is often overlooked these days as it seems everyone is just interested in outright power and speed.
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      10-07-2012, 06:03 PM   #9
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Diffrerent cars mate!.........i had 2 e46 m3's for over 3 yrs ownership and now have the 335i.
If u had started with e46 m3's and then onto 335i it would be fine but going backwards to an older model car u might regret it.
Unless your doing trackdays etc, i would stick with the 335 as they are much better daily drives/road cars and e46 m3's much much better on track.
On road driving u will deffo mis the torque and comfort of the 335i and with the M3 u really need to ring its neck to get the best out of it.
+1
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      10-07-2012, 06:13 PM   #10
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Lets be fair, one was designed as a out and out high performance track/road car and the other for upper management cruisers. BMW know their markets well enough to make the 2 cars similar but, at the same time totally different. I love my 335i but it certainly isnt a full blown M car by any stretch of the imaginantion.

The argument over which is fastest will always pop up because the 335 is so easy to tune but, that is the same for all na v fi cars. Willy waving points the M3 will win every time in my opinion.
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      10-07-2012, 06:13 PM   #11
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The e46 M3 is a nice motor if you plan on driving it hard but for everyday i'll keep the 335, My e46 had too many rattle's and started getting annoying also the SMG box is crap get a manual one if you do get one.
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      10-08-2012, 01:46 AM   #12
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You could sum up the differences by saying that the strengths of one are the weaknesses of the other.

All aspects of handling, high rev performance, sharp 'on your toes' responses, steering feedback, rear end grip (diff), exhaust note, on-limit behaviour, turn-in, driver orientation and balance (performance/handling ability) are all outstanding on the M3

Comfort, low down torque, long distance cruising ability, relaxed effortless performance, are all areas where the 335i excels.

In the end it depends on your driving orientation. If comfortable long trips and around town effortless performance are your main priorities, then the 335i is unbeatable and an M3 will feel rather hard edged and unforgiving in comparison.

If Sunday morning back roads and the pure thrill of driving is where your heart lies, the 335i will feel rather soft and imprecise.

Personally what I'm waiting for is a tri-turbo diesel with 380hp, 500+ nm, M3 programmable suspension, M-diff (or iX) and performance brakes. I'd be able to dial in comfort or sport ride, have massive punch around town and on back roads, the ability to haul it back down quickly, low rev cruising ability and great economy. It would lack the M's thrilling exhaust and would feel slightly heavier but for today's situation I think it would make the ideal compromise and feel a LOT faster than even an E9x M3
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      10-08-2012, 05:47 AM   #13
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Get the JB4 fitted and you will wonder why you even considered changing. Unless as everyone has pointed out you want to use it on the track every weekend.
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      10-08-2012, 07:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveC View Post
You could sum up the differences by saying that the strengths of one are the weaknesses of the other.

All aspects of handling, high rev performance, sharp 'on your toes' responses, steering feedback, rear end grip (diff), exhaust note, on-limit behaviour, turn-in, driver orientation and balance (performance/handling ability) are all outstanding on the M3

Comfort, low down torque, long distance cruising ability, relaxed effortless performance, are all areas where the 335i excels.

In the end it depends on your driving orientation. If comfortable long trips and around town effortless performance are your main priorities, then the 335i is unbeatable and an M3 will feel rather hard edged and unforgiving in comparison.

If Sunday morning back roads and the pure thrill of driving is where your heart lies, the 335i will feel rather soft and imprecise.

Personally what I'm waiting for is a tri-turbo diesel with 380hp, 500+ nm, M3 programmable suspension, M-diff (or iX) and performance brakes. I'd be able to dial in comfort or sport ride, have massive punch around town and on back roads, the ability to haul it back down quickly, low rev cruising ability and great economy. It would lack the M's thrilling exhaust and would feel slightly heavier but for today's situation I think it would make the ideal compromise and feel a LOT faster than even an E9x M3
Plus 1.


Also, depends on what you like in terms of looks....the e46 looks a bit outdated now IMO....even the 92 looks outdated now!!!...with so many F series on the road!!!
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      10-08-2012, 07:41 AM   #15
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Get the JB4 fitted and you will wonder why you even considered changing. Unless as everyone has pointed out you want to use it on the track every weekend.
I've got an E92 335i and I'm very happy with it; however, I also ran an E46 M3 CS for over 4 years and 60k miles and if you think sticking a JB4 onto a 335i turns it into an M3 you're very much mistaken IMO. The 335i is without doubt a better GT and is ok on a twisty, undulating, road if you don't go beyond 7 or perhaps 8 tenths. However, if you want to push the standard chassis just isn't up to it; the CS would almost say to you "come on, let's go" in those circumstances whereas the 335i is more "I'm not really up for this, any chance you could back-off a bit"? As I say, I really do like the 335i but I think mine would benefit far more from suspension upgrades than it would from extra power and torque; the Dynamic Pack offered by Birds would be very tempting were it not for the price!
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      10-08-2012, 07:59 AM   #16
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^ totally agree

Jb4 makes the problem worse as you are going so much faster when you realise this!

My car is great fun when making swift progress and a hoot in a straight line and exiting bends. But I don't get the feedback I need to really throw it into a corner at the limit. With jb4 the lack of lag and big torque can give unwelcome suprises mid bend. NA will always win the feedback battle.
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      10-08-2012, 08:15 AM   #17
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I've got an E92 335i and I'm very happy with it; however, I also ran an E46 M3 CS for over 4 years and 60k miles and if you think sticking a JB4 onto a 335i turns it into an M3 you're very much mistaken IMO. The 335i is without doubt a better GT and is ok on a twisty, undulating, road if you don't go beyond 7 or perhaps 8 tenths. However, if you want to push the standard chassis just isn't up to it; the CS would almost say to you "come on, let's go" in those circumstances whereas the 335i is more "I'm not really up for this, any chance you could back-off a bit"? As I say, I really do like the 335i but I think mine would benefit far more from suspension upgrades than it would from extra power and torque; the Dynamic Pack offered by Birds would be very tempting were it not for the price!
I said nothing of the JB4 turning a 335i into an M3 just that he will forget about changing. This imo will be due to the difference it makes and of course depends on what you want to use it for. Using an M3 CS to it's full potential on the UK roads will be almost impossible due to the massive holes and other road users everywhere.

Using a tuned 335i to it's full potential (power wise) can be done on every non rush-hour slip road and will be just as fast as the M3 in that situation. Up to 70mph of course

Last edited by nicktyler; 10-08-2012 at 08:22 AM.
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      10-08-2012, 09:06 AM   #18
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Get the JB4 fitted and you will wonder why you even considered changing. Unless as everyone has pointed out you want to use it on the track every weekend.
Defintely try this first
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      10-08-2012, 12:14 PM   #19
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I think part of the problem is I don't know what I want!!!

I do love the civil 335i as a cruiser and everyday car. It's undeniably quick but smooth in its torquey delivery so its easy to drive. I do like these characteristics but I also crave for the urgency and poise of the m3.

I agree that there are times where the 335i feels uneasy when being pushed. In fact I don't ever explore its boundaries as I'm not sure the car would appreciate such punishment. I feel I wouldn't have the same thoughts about an m3 but I'm put off by the perhaps dated look of the e46 and I fear that I'd find it tiresome having a car that's not as easy and forgiving to drive.

For now I think I'm keeping what I have. I'll sort a jb4 out after Xmas. I'm hoping to have a company car in the next 12 months so if this happens the car would have to go in place of a toy/track car. Maybe a vx220 turbo.....but that's a whole new thread
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      10-08-2012, 12:55 PM   #20
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I could be tempted by a z4m roadster..

E46 M3 running gear, more modern looks, roadster fun... Plus they are getting pretty cheap!
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      10-08-2012, 01:28 PM   #21
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I really don't think the E46 M3 looks dated. It is a stunningly aggressive looking car which carries much presence. It's an icon that will go down in Automotive history.

Chris Harris rates it as his best all time Performance car over the last 50 years!!

I have driven mine in heavy traffic, it's a manual it it was far from tiresome. Not as easy as an auto 335i but not exactly hard. It isn't an Atom LOL....
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      10-08-2012, 01:40 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyjones1209 View Post
I think part of the problem is I don't know what I want!!!

I do love the civil 335i as a cruiser and everyday car. It's undeniably quick but smooth in its torquey delivery so its easy to drive. I do like these characteristics but I also crave for the urgency and poise of the m3.

I agree that there are times where the 335i feels uneasy when being pushed. In fact I don't ever explore its boundaries as I'm not sure the car would appreciate such punishment. I feel I wouldn't have the same thoughts about an m3 but I'm put off by the perhaps dated look of the e46 and I fear that I'd find it tiresome having a car that's not as easy and forgiving to drive.

For now I think I'm keeping what I have. I'll sort a jb4 out after Xmas. I'm hoping to have a company car in the next 12 months so if this happens the car would have to go in place of a toy/track car. Maybe a vx220 turbo.....but that's a whole new thread
If you don't know what you want then keeping the 335i does indeed sound like the best plan! As for the JB4, I assume one of those - or a remap from somone like Evolve -would give you more straight line grunt and if that's what you crave then fair enough. I'm certainly not against more straight line go either but for me the weakness with the standard 335i is more the chassis than the engine and hence that's what I'd address first. All IMO of course and I do accept that not everyone wants the same from their car; for me a 335i that handles like my old M3 CS would do very nicely!
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