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General BMW Discussion Place to discuss all things BMW. And a place for E30, E36, and E46 owners to get to know each other! BMW News


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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 04:56:46 PM   #1
RevolutionRadio
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Default E46 vs. E9X

I know this is something that has been talked about million times, but Iím considering getting an M3 in 3-4 years from now. I know you can never go wrong either way. Itís either go for something that offers raw experience (E46) or something that offers refinement (E9X). Now the questions are:
1. Which M3 is gas friendly (not really, but not brutal I mean)?
2. Which one is cheaper to maintain?
aaannnd the big question:
3. Which breaks less often? Iím curious about this. Parts may be more expensive, but if it means that theyíre durable enough, I guess itís more practical and less stressful.


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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 05:06:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: E46 vs. E9X

M3s are both expensive to buy new and expensive to maintain used. You might want to look at other cars. Maybe Honda or Acura or Toyota or Lexus.
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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 05:14:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: E46 vs. E9X

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevolutionRadio View Post
I know this is something that has been talked about million times, but I’m considering getting an M3 in 3-4 years from now. I know you can never go wrong either way. It’s either go for something that offers raw experience (E46) or something that offers refinement (E9X). Now the questions are:
1. Which M3 is gas friendly (not really, but not brutal I mean)?
2. Which one is cheaper to maintain?
aaannnd the big question:
3. Which breaks less often? I’m curious about this. Parts may be more expensive, but if it means that they’re durable enough, I guess it’s more practical and less stressful.


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In terms of gas consumption I think they're about the same.. if gas mileage and maintenance are your two biggest criteria I think you're looking in the wrong area. Maintenance will be determined by: 1) how well the previous owner kept and 2) how many miles the car has. Don't buy a cheap example and expect to fix it up to save money because that will probably end up costing you more in the long run.

Best advice is to have a PPI done, buy fairly low mileage and get to know the previous owner.. one way or another.

Two of the best m cars imho so you wouldn't go wrong with either. If driving experience is more important to you I'd suggest the e46.. if lap times and going fast is more important to you the e92.

For me the deciding factor was an aesthetics thing. Was in your shoes not too long ago because I had to choose between them aesthetically which was very difficult. That will be subjective and what you like.
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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 06:49:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: E46 vs. E9X

E9xM3 is probably worse MPG. Heavier and 4.0L V8 vs lighter and 3.2L I6.

E9xM3 is very reliable but will need $1200 worth of throttle actuators and $1000 worth of brakes at some point. I have never gotten 20k miles out of a set of rear tires. Factory oil fill is 9L of $10 per L oil plus a $15 filter. Plugs are $10 each. Rod bearings can fail at any time and ruin the engine. Itís risk but only a few hundred have failed so far that we know of. $10k for a used motor plus labor. $2000 to change bearings preventatively.

E46M3 have their issues. Rear subframe, vanos, SMG trans, rod bearings.
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Old Thu, Mar-15-2018, 12:06:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: E46 vs. E9X

They both have their issues. If your first question is what's cheaper, maybe it's not the right car for you. I can tell you catching up on the entire maintenance + some light modification into my E46 M3 in the last 5 months has cost me about 15k. Maybe 8-10k of that was maintenance. I don't have to worry about most of them for about 30-100k miles though now.
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Old Thu, Mar-15-2018, 12:45:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: E46 vs. E9X

Great cars if you can DIY. Either car. Like most older high performance cars, potentially very expensive if you canít. Definitely have some cash on hand for repairs. I do all my own work. I canít afford to have the nice modded cars and pay someone to work on them.
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Old Sat, Mar-17-2018, 02:28:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: E46 vs. E9X

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevolutionRadio View Post
I know this is something that has been talked about million times, but Iím considering getting an M3 in 3-4 years from now. I know you can never go wrong either way. Itís either go for something that offers raw experience (E46) or something that offers refinement (E9X). Now the questions are:
1. Which M3 is gas friendly (not really, but not brutal I mean)?
2. Which one is cheaper to maintain?
aaannnd the big question:
3. Which breaks less often? Iím curious about this. Parts may be more expensive, but if it means that theyíre durable enough, I guess itís more practical and less stressful.


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Sounds like you'd be stretching your budget to get into one of these two. These cars are impractical, can be expensive to fix(noted by others), costly to maintain(rear tires for my E92, that lasted 8,000 miles were $600), gas mileage isn't good(avg 18.5mpg)(noted above for general maintenance), BUT a blast to drive! Have to pay to play. Unless you can do a bunch of things yourself or have a great indy shop that you trust, use it as a 2nd car, give it some serious thought before taking that leap.
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Old Wed, Apr-25-2018, 09:15:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: E46 vs. E9X

Best advice is to drive both and see which one you like more.
As far as my .02 the e9x series is a little too big for me. Just feels like a bigger car. And also diy on e9x blowsssssss.



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Old Thu, Apr-26-2018, 11:42:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: E46 vs. E9X

The DIY is growing for the E9xM3 now that the cars are 5-10 years old and more and more are out of warranty and in the hands of second or third owners who are more DIY oriented. Even rod bearings are DIY — I did mine myself in 2014 and there are extensive write ups and even video now. The best info for this car is at M3Post.
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Old Fri, Apr-27-2018, 10:50:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: E46 vs. E9X

Thereís not really a right or wrong answer, Iíve owned both e46 M3 and e90 M3 and I loved both. Its really all in preference and what you use it for. I wouldíve kept the e46 but with having 2 kids, itís really convenient having extra doors.

I felt a bit more connected to the road in the e46 but the sound of the V8 in the e90 is hard to beat. Both are going to have their fair share of expenses, and of course thereís always room for upgrades in wheels, tires, suspension, intake, exhaust, etc.

I will say though the ride comfort in the e90 is a lot better when going on longer trips, between the seats, longer wheel base, and the EDC, I donít feel too beat up after a long drive (might be partially due to getting older too though lol)

I think both are a good choice, just be prepared and have some extra money set aside for when things do break.


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Discussing E46 vs. E9X in the General BMW Discussion Forum - Place to discuss all things BMW. And a place for E30, E36, and E46 owners to get to know each other! BMW News at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)