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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 > 05 330 ZHP vs 06 330



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      01-09-2010, 01:22 AM   #1
SeattleBMW24
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05 330 ZHP vs 06 330

I have been looking for a car for a while now and think i have limited my choices down to a BMW. I have found a 6-speed 2005 and 2006 BMW for similar prices ~20k.(negotiated price for the ZHP and asking price for the 06). The ZHP only has 36k whereas the 06 330 has 50k. Its a tough decision cause they both are really nice cars. ZHP is black with alacantra and cloth interior. It has the premium package. 2006 330 is black on black. It has the sport and cold weather package (might have the prem too) I like the looks of the ZHP from the front, but the back definitely shows that it is an older car. The mods I would be looking to do would be visual - (corners, rear lights, tinting) and improved sound system (possibly NAV). If I got the '06, I would probably try to put in a short shifter. Anyone have some words of wisdom before I buy? Especially anything to do with reliability. Thanks for any advice anyone can provide.
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      01-09-2010, 01:50 AM   #2
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I owned an '05 performance package 330i sedan. Reliability was exemplary, with one note: After 30,000 the Alcantara steering really, really showed it's age. It was badly worn. Beware: you will need to replace the fabric here.

The steering rack on the ZHP was the E46's best example, including my three E46 M3s. In fact, some members at M3forum.net changed their M3 steering rack to the ZHP version. It was that good. However, you should know I think my E90 steering is better than either of E46 steering systems I've mentioned.

The exhaust note on the ZHP was also better sounding than the E46 M3. It definitely sounds better than my 335i.

The ZHP does not have a true short throw shifter. It's simply a shorter shifter.

When all is said and done though, the only model year I'd take the ZHP over would be an '06 (but only comparing the highest motor offering each year, sans an "M" motor. Yes, I know the '06 330 had more horsepower than even the ZHP).

I liked the uniqueness and relative rarity of the performance package 330. It offered an even lower suspension than the sports package, more horsepower and torque, a shorter rear axle ratio, different cams, and the best looking rims BMW has ever put on any of its vehicles. The body-skirting looked good, too. But I could take it or leave it.
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      01-09-2010, 02:09 AM   #3
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You won't go wrong with a 06 330i. I sure didn't when I bought mine.

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      01-01-2011, 08:11 PM   #4
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Which one is faster? 330ci ZHP vs. 330i?
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      01-01-2011, 08:30 PM   #5
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I had a ZHP, now I am driving 06 325i, I really miss the ZHP. I think the E90's are more reliable than E46. If you are looking for a reliable bmw buy the E90 330. If you want to mod and you're into fun driving AND you have the funds to maintain go with E46 ZHP. You won't regret my friend.
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      01-01-2011, 08:46 PM   #6
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I agree with the others, go with the zhp. Very nice setup.
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      01-01-2011, 09:17 PM   #7
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I went with the 06 330i, but I still do a double take every time I see a ZHP.
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      01-02-2011, 11:43 AM   #8
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ZHP is probably better and feels more raw.
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      01-02-2011, 06:12 PM   #9
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ZHP for the perfect suspension stock. E90 will need BMWPerformance suspension swap (or aftermarket if you don't care about the OEM factor) to give that great sport and super-composed cornering feel. Ditto for exhaust... ZHP sounded great because was a factory-tuned kit. E90 will need a BMWPerformance exhaust (or aftermarket) to sound as nice.

Looks are another thing... E46 ZHP was perfection. In mine and many others opinion e90 didn't hit its stride "looks-wise" until the LCI so a 2006 will need a fair share of exterior mods to "sort" to the same aesthetics as the box-fresh e46 ZHP you've found.
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      01-02-2011, 06:38 PM   #10
tony20009
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Take your mechanic with you to look at both cars and buy the one that s/he feels in a better vehicle mechanically. As you are buying relatively inexpensive variants of BMWs, I suspect the car that will cause you the fewest headaches will be the one to get.

None of us here can tell you which car is better mechanically as we haven't seen them.

Best of luck.
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      01-02-2011, 07:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
Take your mechanic with you to look at both cars and buy the one that s/he feels in a better vehicle mechanically. As you are buying relatively inexpensive variants of BMWs, I suspect the car that will cause you the fewest headaches will be the one to get.

None of us here can tell you which car is better mechanically as we haven't seen them.

Best of luck.
What he said.

I will say the E90 is more forgiving on long trips than the E46.
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      01-02-2011, 07:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilpixel View Post
You won't go wrong with a 06 330i. I sure didn't when I bought mine.

I wish I had 162s I hate my 159s and I have to put them on because my other wheels are wrapped with summers.

BTW, OP I think you can lower the price on the 330i. My KBB of my car is about 22k....I have every option from the factory except the illuminated door sills and the sport package. God I hate that I don't have the sport package.....
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      01-02-2011, 09:43 PM   #13
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The 05 ZHP is probably the ultimate non M E46. But it is an E46. You'll be buying a car that in about a year will be 2 generations old. And the E90 platform definitely improved on things like the HVAC and audio system. There is also an issue of known weak spots in the E46 like shock tower mounts, suspension bushings, window regulators, etc. I would be inclined to go with the E90. I've had 2 E46's, which performed well. But I still have to say that I much prefer the refinement of the E90 platform.
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      01-02-2011, 10:57 PM   #14
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I test drove used ZHP MT sedan under 30K miles and after reading a lot of good things about this car was somehow disappointed by the clutch (I was told later that e46 CDV was much worse than e90). Everything else was great, although, honestly, it seemed to me too civilian and relaxed... I was driving Honda Prelude at that time - fwd aside it felt much sportier.

E90 SP suspension felt much stronger, but the car also felt heavier, although, the car is not really this much heavier looking at numbers.

I bought 328i e90 eventually.
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      01-03-2011, 12:01 AM   #15
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Couple weeks ago my e46 died to protect me and my family. it was a 325 w/ sport package. When i went looking for a replacement I was pretty much ONLY looking for a ZHP to replace it. Found an e90 330 6MT at a great price. Went to drive it and.....I didn't want an e46 anymore.
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      01-03-2011, 12:18 AM   #16
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the e90 is a huge step up from the e46 platform. remove the run flats and uve got a keeper!
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      01-03-2011, 01:30 AM   #17
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I was also between a ZHP & e90.

I went with the E90 ZSP because :

Acceleration is about the same
E90 is roomier
E90 is current gen
Audio/interior/electronics/controls are better on the e90
E90 330i is also rare-ish
E90 has smoother power
BMW perf exhaust "fixes" the car with 6hp and proper sound

...but that's just my 2 cents
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      01-03-2011, 01:36 AM   #18
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Agree with last several comments. Aside from practical needs I have an E91 because it is more modern than an E46.
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      01-03-2011, 10:01 AM   #19
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      01-03-2011, 11:50 AM   #20
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      01-04-2011, 06:17 PM   #21
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Ever since the very first time I sat in an e90, my e46 felt outdated.
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      01-04-2011, 06:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilpixel View Post
You won't go wrong with a 06 330i. I sure didn't when I bought mine.

Second!
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