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Dino

e46 m3/e90 330i/e87 130i

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I currently drive an e36 M3 Evo which is being sold in the next few weeks. It's my 3rd one and I've owned these cars for 5 years and I feel like a change.

So what do I get next?

I've driven e46 M3, 120d M, 320d M and a VW Golf R32 - all of them at the Nurbugring and all have impressed me (particularly the 120d!!)

I can't stop looking at 130i/330i/e46 M3s on auto trader of late and really it's got to be one of them but I do like the Golf R32s as well.

Thoughts, experiences, opinions please. e46 M3 is the obvious choice but whilst IMO it is a much better car than the e36 I'd be replacing it with it's still a very similar car fundamentally. Whilst I would love one I'm thinking the slower but newer 130i or 330i might actually be just as much fun with less running costs (or am I way off the mark there?)

I don't really care about outright speed. I had seriously considered the 120d M sport but the only real mileage I do is when I'm on Euro trips or 'ring trips and I'm not quite ready for committing to diesel just yet. Also I can't justify having a track toy and a daily car so whatever I get has to do it all, perhaps with more emphasis on daily confort more than outright track ability.

I test drove a 130i M Sport (manual) today as well as a 330i M Sport (auto) and I loved them both. Oddly enough the 330i auto felt faster than the 130i manual, but I loved the 1ers more vocal and direct character (330i felt quite muted). I was VERY impressed by the 3.0 lump, silky smooth and had a great sound to it.

My budget isn't huge - 8k but could push it to 9k if I really had to. The cars within my budget are average/high average 1ers or high mileage 3ers. Incidently the 1 I drove today was 20k and the 3 was 122k but you'd be hard pressed to know it had covered that kind of mileage compared to the way the low mileage 1 drove.

As for a Golf R32 - would this car satisfy me as much as the RWD BMWs do and would? (The VW V6 sounds so good though)

Enough rambling from me - what do you lot think?

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Welcome to Tyresmoke +++

Having owned an R32 and driven all the cars you've mentioned, my honest opinion is to go for the 120d - it's a brilliant car and it costs (compared to the rest) bugger all to run.

The car tax on the R32 and E46 will be the killer, as it will on the 330i. Still love the sound of the VR6 in the Golf though :)

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Whilst the 120d makes sense I'm not ready for a derv. We have a 320d M Sport that is the family workhorse and that covers around 20k p/a. 80% of my journeys are fun so I'm not giving up on petrol yet!

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Go the 130 then, unless you can stretch to a 135... :D

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If you can get a 130i or 330i for that money, they'd be my choice.

I've owned 2 x E46 M3's from new and they're fantastic cars - but if I was buying a car at £9k I'd not want the associated running costs that come with them - tyres at £1000-£1200 a set for example.

I wouldn't buy the R32 purely because you've mentioned how much satisfaction you've had from RWD cars - and the R32 feels completely different. It's an excellent car, but if you're 'into' feedback then you're not going to get it in the same way as you will from a RWD.

By the way, the car tax on the 130i/330i isn't anything like as bad as you might think. It falls into Band K at 221 - so £250 p.a.

I know that because I've discovered that my 35i does too! I was stunned.

Edited by MrMe

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Go the 130 then, unless you can stretch to a 135... :D

135i are way out of budget and I don't want a coupe - I prefer the breadvan looks of the hatchback.

If you can get a 130i or 330i for that money, they'd be my choice.

I've owned 2 x E46 M3's from new and they're fantastic cars - but if I was buying a car at £9k I'd not want the associated running costs that come with them - tyres at £1000-£1200 a set for example.

I wouldn't buy the R32 purely because you've mentioned how much satisfaction you've had from RWD cars - and the R32 feels completely different. It's an excellent car, but if you're 'into' feedback then you're not going to get it in the same way as you will from a RWD.

I am leaning towards the 130i or 330i as the prefered choices and it's a difficult decision to make. I might just buy the best car out of the two models I find within budget and spec I suppose. R32 was a bit of a wild card choice but I see your point there.

Strangely enough my M3 seems to be making a fightback for keeping it. It feels so bloody good to drive at the moment :o

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Strangely enough my M3 seems to be making a fightback for keeping it. It feels so bloody good to drive at the moment :o

That always seems to happen - but when you get a new toy, you always end up thinking it's better, even if it's a retrograde step +++

Edited by Mook

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Here's an odd one - according to Evo magazine the 330i laps the West Circuit of Bedford Autodrome faster than a 130i does. I've just dug out both of their tests and the 330i is the more composed car when driving fast. Heavier car + slightly less power. I suppose the general set up of the larger 330i seems to make for a better car on the limit.

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So ask yourself how often you'll be driving it on the limit and then decide whether that's more important than what you (seem) to want to do...

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It's a hard choice but I'm leaning towards the 330i, it's bigger, more practical and looks classier.

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Decision made and a deposit paid on a beautiful 330i SE in Monacao Blue :)

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Cool. Enjoy it.

Oh, and pics when you get it +++

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Shame its not a M Sport but it was massively under budget and really quite undervalued (the owner used wewantanyrcar.com as his valuation + £200!) so I went to have a look.....at night......at a dirty car.....! Ok it was only dust and dirt from where the car had been sitting under a tree for a couple of days but under the petrol station lights (and my torch) it looked very very clean if you looked past the dust and dirt (a contradiction in terms I know!)

Drives spot on and rides well considering it has run flats, is a good spec, has all the documentation and history, 2 keys, HPI clear etc. Apart from a small scratch on the bottom of the rear bumper and a small mark on the front wing I couldn't fault it. After a fairly decent and varied test drive I knew I wanted it. A deal was struck and I am due to collect in less than 2 weeks time icon_smile.gif It would have been sooner but I have to wait for my buyer to collect the M3 first.

I thought I'd start a journal even though 1) I don't have the car just yet! & 2) I'm sure it's going to be nowhere near as interesting or as long as my previous M3 journal!

Basic spec of the car:

2005 (55 Reg)

330i SE

62,500 miles

Monaco Blue Metallic

Black leather interior

SE trim (with all the usual stuff you get)

BMW Professional CD/Radio

CD changer

Heated leather seats

Electric lumbar support

Brake assist

Exterior handle illumination

Rear Park Distance Control

Headlight wash

Auto lights

Auto wipers

Bluetooth phone prep (God send!)

Cruise control

Shame it hasn't got sports seats but can't complain for the price I got it for. I have a few plans for it especially as it came in way under budget icon_smile.gif

I don't have any pictures yet but here are the pics lifted off the advert. I pick the car up in just over a week.

380dcd22.jpg

68a11fb0.jpg

a9edaafb.jpg

8a1afa08.jpg

bf93d84a.jpg

ea97559c.jpg

545e37db.jpg

31a8c5d3.jpg

dc9b1330.jpg

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Only just saw this, the engine in the 330i is a real gem and an engine and chassis I sorely miss now I drive an Audi.

Have a read of the review of my old one in my sig whilst you are waiting for your new motor. +++

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Have a read of the review of my old one in my sig whilst you are waiting for your new motor. +++

I already read it a couple of weeks ago +++

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Bloody hell - my ex neighbour has got a Beemer with one letter different in the reg :roflmao:

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