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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > LCI e90 335i or e46 M3



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      11-07-2012, 07:29 PM   #1
erik2810
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LCI e90 335i or e46 M3

So I currently have a 2009 335i e90 but am considering going to an e46....thoughts?
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      11-07-2012, 07:34 PM   #2
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Out of warranty, I'd say he M3 is the better ownership prospect.
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      11-07-2012, 07:47 PM   #3
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I was in the same boat.
Drove an e36 m3 for 9 years sold it with the intentions of getting an e46 m. My dad has an e93 which I was very impressed with. Although after owning an m for almost a decade I couldn't bring myself to even consider the 335's.

Just one thing I couldnt get over with the e46, it was designed in 1999 so while its an awesome car it's out dated. The n54 is an awesome engine and once I saw the capabilities of the motor I quickly changed my mind.
With that said I do miss the e36 only b/c it would of made a great track car but mine only had 88k on it.
I do plan on an e46 m down the road to fill that void. For now I'm enjoying the hell out of my e92.
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      11-07-2012, 08:49 PM   #4
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Depends on warranty IMO. If the 335i is still in warranty, go that route. If not, E46M is never a bad choice.
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      11-07-2012, 09:24 PM   #5
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My previous car was a E46 M3. It's the better drivers car, by far. Out of the many cars i've owned i'd say this ranks up there with my old S2000 for best drivers car. But the E46 3 series was plagued with many flaws that could occur at any time and cost you thousands. Search E46 M3 VANOS, Exhaust Hub, SMG Pump, Window Regulator, Subframe tear, Guibo, Trailing arm bushings, etc. If you can fine a low mileage and well maintained E46 M3, get that. A rule of thumb is don't buy the cheapest E46 M3 available because that could eventually end up being the most expensive one.

The E9x 335i is a great car if you want straight line acceleration. Though it feels like driving a Toyota Camry after driving a M3 for a while. $1500 in mods and you get 400+ hp to the wheels. With that you would destroy any E46 and E9x M3 in a straight line. The major flaws to the E9x 335i is the High Pressure Fuel Pump and Turbo Wastegate rattle. Those are very expensive to repair but fortunately now they are covered under an extended warranty so its a free fix for you. General consensus is that the E9x 335 is a much more reliable car.
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      11-07-2012, 09:27 PM   #6
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Only if you can find a somewhat low mile E46 M3 that has been very well maintained with 6MT.
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      11-07-2012, 09:35 PM   #7
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owned a few e46 m3's, great car but getting pretty dated and no faster then 335. i'd keep the 335.
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      11-07-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
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E46 M3 coming from a tuned N54 owner.
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      11-07-2012, 10:33 PM   #9
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Previous e46 m3 owner....now an e90 335 owner. M3 was great on the track, but 335 is better as a daily driver.
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      11-07-2012, 10:41 PM   #10
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I wish i waited and looked harder for an M3 before buying my 335i. It was extremely difficult to find one with a manual that didnt have 150k miles... so i gave in. Im sure once im FBO i wont regret it, but damn, those E46 M3s are pieces of art
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      11-07-2012, 10:46 PM   #11
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had a 330i e90 and sold that to get a e46 m3 and sold that to get a 335i i would say 335i bceuase it fells better i think and tune it little and its quick as shit.. as for the e46 there old man.
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      11-08-2012, 09:35 AM   #12
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e46 m3 if you're looking for a more fun car, 335i if you're looking for tuning capabilities.

e46 m3 + drop, exhaust and some nice rims and it'll make you smile everytime you drive it, i promise

(i've owned both e92 335i and e46 m3 in the past)
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      11-08-2012, 10:20 AM   #13
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Thanks for all your comments. The e90 is out of warranty and is currently my daily driver. Based on the general consensus, looks like the 335 is probably still the best bet for my needs/location...driving in the DC area with a fun car is not fun, generally speaking
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      11-08-2012, 11:23 AM   #14
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This is exactly the choice I was making. Initially I was looking for an E46 M3 coupe or perhaps a Z4 M Coupe. It was very difficult to find late model low mileage E46 M3 even in California. I was looking for a E46 M3 that was a 2005 or 2006 model year with not more than about 60k miles. There were very few around, especially the '06 (mostly convertibles). Prices were $28k-33k.

I had to look at dealer cars because I needed to finance the purchase. That also restricted me to '06 and newer due to the difficulty in financing older cars.

Now add to that: The few cars I did find were all SMG. I knew about the SMG pump issues and the very costly clutch replacement. I had not (and still have not) talked to a single SMG equipped M3 owner that had anything good to say about that transmission. I know one guy that swapped his M3 from SMG to 6MT.

The only 6MT E46 M3's at a dealer were at Enthusiast Auto... in Ohio. Just too damn far from SoCal.

Since there were no more CPO E46 M3, I needed to find a car with a good maintenance history and clean Carfax. Not too many owners, non-snow states only. I didn't find anything locally. When I found M3's at dealers out of state, they were frequently slow to respond to my e-mails and could not come up with documentation on the cars they had.

Looking at CPO 335i was my back-up. I wasn't really taking it that seriously. Most were overpriced (in the $35-39k range) and about 99% were automatic. 335is were rare and usually around $45k.

Then I found my car: '09 CPO 43k 6MT, no Nav, iDrive or Premium, 19" ZCP style wheels, etc, obviously an enthusiast's special-order car. It was at a BMW dealer in CA but 600 miles away. Carfax was clean (2-owner), dealer e-mailed me the service records. HPFP had already been replaced.

They even delivered it to me in an enclosed trailer...

Pluses:

E46 M3:
True M car
Simpler engine (NA)
0-60: 4.9
Limited slip diff
Better suspension tuning - no run flats
More collectible

E92 335i
Engine has similar HP more torque (stock)
0-60: 5.0
Drastically better tuning possibilites
Better fuel economy
Available with CPO
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      11-08-2012, 12:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoTempoLimitN54 View Post
E46 M3:
True M car
Simpler engine (NA)
0-60: 4.9
Limited slip diff
Better suspension tuning - no run flats
More collectible
Thanks for pointing that out. I can't believe the 335i doesn't come with a LSD. Anytime i'm in a turn all i get is wheel spin. It absolutely sucks compared to the E46 in turns.

Theres just some intangibles to owning a M car. The sound, the crisp handling, the steering... everything. The 335i just doesn't have it. But it does have straight line speed which is fun. If the E46 M3 was more reliable, i would've kept it longer until the new F8x M3s came out.
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      11-08-2012, 12:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FNG View Post
My previous car was a E46 M3. It's the better drivers car, by far. Out of the many cars i've owned i'd say this ranks up there with my old S2000 for best drivers car. But the E46 3 series was plagued with many flaws that could occur at any time and cost you thousands. Search E46 M3 VANOS, Exhaust Hub, SMG Pump, Window Regulator, Subframe tear, Guibo, Trailing arm bushings, etc. If you can fine a low mileage and well maintained E46 M3, get that. A rule of thumb is don't buy the cheapest E46 M3 available because that could eventually end up being the most expensive one.
+1 on this

bought s2k because i am afraid of potential issues with M3. previously had e46 M3 and 335i
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