BMW M3 (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)

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kaiv Thu, Dec-17-2015 05:44:27 AM

The perfect daily driver?
What makes a perfect daily driver?
To me, two things: 1) driving experience and 2) cargo space.

My quest for the perfect DD began with a 1997 740i. I enjoyed that car so much that I replaced it with the cleanest and newest E38 Sport I could find. For those not familiar with E38s, the short wheel base Sport is a very special car, and the late 2001 is the pinnacle of that chassis IMHO. There was a multitude of upgrades over the regular model which made an already great car that much better.

To this day it is one of my favorite cars ever. It was a fantastic cruiser with unparalleled smoothness and great grunt. Just a terrific car and very understated! The cargo space was limited though, with a relatively small trunk for a large sedan and rear seats that didn’t fold. I wanted more cargo so I reluctantly sold it.

I then briefly looked for an E39 540i Touring. But only the elusive 2003 M-sport has the exact same drivetrain as the E38 sport and I wasn't willing to compromise on that. They made few of these in sedan form and finding a Touring is virtually impossible.

The next logical step -or so I thought- was an X5. In my mind the X5 would combine the auto V8 power I loved from the 740i and the cargo space I wanted. I got a nice 2005 4.4i Sport with just about very option you could find… but I could never fall in love with how it drove. The dampening seemed too stiff and I couldn’t get over how portly it was. And it had none of the magical smoothness of the E38. Sold that too.

What to do next? I missed driving an actual car. I wanted something smaller, lighter, something that handles well.
I also missed having an E46 which IMHO is one of BMW’s all time greatest. So I set out to find an E46 touring.

Must haves were:
1) non SULEV
2) sport package
3) RWD

The search turned out to be more difficult than I expected. First, the wagons are rarer than the sedans and coupes (and owners know that and thus ask for a premium). Second, being in California I came across a lot of SULEV versions. For those not familiar, this is a special “super ultra low emission vehicle” version that had a ton of extra emission components like a metal fuel tank with built-in pump that costs upwards of $6k to replace if the latter takes a crap O_O (a standard fuel pump costs $150 and takes 10min to replace!). Then most non-SULEVs seemed to lack the sport package; and finally it seemed like every 5MT example I came across was an xi with AWD. :banghead:

Eventually I found one that seemed nice enough and snatched it up (even though it’s an automatic :facepalm: )

Here are the specs:

2004 BMW 325i Touring
Japan Red
Grey Interior
ZPP - Premium Package
(Wood trim, Power seats, Auto dimming rear view mirror, Rain-sensing wipers, Moonroof)
ZSP - Sport Package
(3-spoke steering wheel, Sport seats, 17” sport wheels, Sport suspension)
HID headlights
Heated front seats
HK Premium sound
Rear PDC

The car is a one (female) owner and had dealer maintenance and warranty all the way up to 100k (140k now).

Grey interior with wood trim. Every E46 owner’s wet dream :rulaiz:

The car needs some TLC and it’s the slowest BMW I’ve owned… but strangely I’m loving it! The ergonomics, the feel, it’s just great! I have to say it’s good to be back in an E46.

Hopefully this journal isn't premature and I get to turn this wagon into something a little more special in the future.

Thanks for reading! #csb #tldr

Go_diego_go Thu, Dec-17-2015 05:54:07 AM

Re: The perfect daily driver?

ftc3 Thu, Dec-17-2015 06:00:25 AM

Re: The perfect daily driver?
In before its sold! jk! Nice find and can't wait to see what you have planned! I'm sure one of your famous auto --> manual swaps is in the future

Namniek Thu, Dec-17-2015 06:03:51 AM

Re: The perfect daily driver?

Originally Posted by Go_diego_go (Post 1067288547)


Originally Posted by ftc3 (Post 1067288552)
In before its sold! jk! Nice find and can't wait to see what you have planned! I'm sure one of your famous auto --> manual swaps is in the future

Everything is covered in here, except congrats! :thumbsup2:

kaiv Thu, Dec-17-2015 06:25:57 AM

Re: The perfect daily driver?
Ahah. I guess an S54 6MT would be nice. At this point I wouldn't know how to wire it up but I guess I could hit up our resident wiring/programming genius Terraphantm :D

Original Thu, Dec-17-2015 07:01:07 AM

Re: The perfect daily driver?
Nice congrats! Rare stuff.

Alex Thu, Dec-17-2015 09:40:36 AM

Re: The perfect daily driver?
Very nice car! I have also fallen in love with the 740. I'm trying to find one to replace the merc. Can't wait to see what you do with this wagon!

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Radmobile Thu, Dec-17-2015 01:34:22 PM

Re: The perfect daily driver?
Congrats Kevin. Like finding a needle in a haystack. I was unaware of the sulev aspect. How does one know whether it is an sulev or not? I am a big fan of the touring cars as a happy medium between car and SUV. Excited to see what you have in store.

I know someone selling a set of genuine BBS LMs with red center caps if you'd be interested for this car. Came off an e46 M3.

FK Thu, Dec-17-2015 03:54:08 PM

Re: The perfect daily driver?
If I didn't have my LeMans 4.8is, I would be in an E46 Touring. Love it.

M3n00b Thu, Dec-17-2015 04:14:23 PM

Re: The perfect daily driver?
Congrats man! I love MBZ/BMW/Audi wagons.

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