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View Poll Results: E46 M3 or 335i

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  • E46 M3

    14 42.42%
  • 335i

    19 57.58%
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Thread: e46 M3 or 335i

  1. #26
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    this

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by mikolo-n54 Click here to enlarge
    Tried finding an e46 6mt and in good condition for months. Hopless.. Ended up with an 07 e90 335i with 54k in great condition with a warranty. Tuned a week after I got it and drove the $#@! out of it for the last 2 years. I probably wouldn't still have it if it wasn't for the warranty, 6-7k in repairs over 2 years. (valve stem seals being the worst at 4k!!) My buddy has got an e46 6mt, I love the way it handles but feels gutless after driving my car. Also the interior on e46s imo are not as well made/wear quicker.

    Either way both are good choices but I'm glad I ended up with my n54.
    2011 335is DCT, moving to Italy, looking for new car friends Click here to enlarge

  2. #27
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    I've owned a 440HP 335i, tuned/worked on countless n54s in the area including driving many of them down the 1/8mi and smashed more e46s/sat in/drove/etv than i care to remember. The e46 looks good and handles amazingly. Interior is OK definitaley not as nice as a nicely equipped e90. I do like turbo'd e46s though. If...... IF..... big IF..... you could find a low milage 6MT e46 and knew for SURE you were going to turbo it, i say e46 M3. The problem is that good, low milage e46 M3 MT are very hard to find. Then when people do find them, the price of the turo kits turn them off and they change their mind and they're stuck with this slow ass M3 wishing they had an N54. If you can't find the exact e46 M3 you want go N54 for sure. Being that close to Terry is a major plus in the N54 department too. If I lived that close to Terry I wouldn't even consider an M3, I'd be looking for a loaded MT e90 for sure.

    my .02
    2011 335is DCT, moving to Italy, looking for new car friends Click here to enlarge

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    You guys obv know where I work. I wanted to get something different this year: top 2 choices were E46M and 335i. At work, I drive both all the time with different mod setups...and I drive stock ones as well. I know exactly what does and doesn't work on both platforms. For me at this time, I went with the E46M3. I wanted a hardtop, cloth car in Silver Grey or White with only 2 options - heated seats and bixenon. It took 6-7 mos to find one, but I did find a SG with the exact (lack of) option package I wanted.

    The cars have very little in common really, other than the price range. While it would be really easy to SC my car, I will not do it b/c I really like the E46M for what it is - a scrappy, 8k RPM I6. Not knocking FI E46M3s they are amazing but just not what I want in the car. Prob bc Ive been spoiled by a 620hp DCT E92M - which is generally the baddest ass thing I've ever driven daily on the streets.

    Street race/performance - Stock for stock, in a street race from a dig, the E46M3 has to be boiled to keep up with a 335i. Add a JB/Cobb and the E46M is left in the dust with no effort, duh.

    Interior - 335i is nicer when it comes to fit/finish etc. I like the E46 ergos and simple design, but it is obv an older car.

    Chassis - Stock for stock the E46M steering/chassis/braking/responsiveness is worlds above a 335i. Fully modded suspension the 335i is pretty good, but you need to install M3 parts and high end suspension to get there. It's also a good bit heavier. Add the same dampers etc. to the E46M and its still much better.

    Looks - E46M3 is a neck breaker. My stock body car is lowered on stock 18s and it really gets a ton of positive comments. More than what I got in the E92M on Forgelines, which was a really good looking combo. 335i is nice looking, but not classic. E9XM styling is classic. E46M styling is classic, almost legendary. I think the E30M3 and E46M3 are the best looking and most recognized M car designs by a nice margin.

    I will prob do cams and a CSL box and enjoy the E46M for what it is.

    When I want to go faster on the street, I will probably buy a DCT e90M and SC it. Add a coil over kit, pads/lines/fluid and be done. OR if the budget is not there or I'm jonesing for a turbo daily and the upcoming N54 single turbo kit is as good as I think it will be, I might get a clean, nicely optioned/colored 335i and enjoy 600hp daily. With the 335i it would suck to drop over 5k into the suspension to make it feel close to the E46M....that is hard to think about now...
    Last edited by Mike@VAC; 09-19-2013 at 03:00 PM.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge
    You guys obv know where I work. I wanted to get something different this year: top 2 choices were E46M and 335i. At work, I drive both all the time with different mod setups...and I drive stock ones as well. I know exactly what does and doesn't work on both platforms. For me at this time, I went with the E46M3. I wanted a hardtop, cloth car in Silver Grey or White with only 2 options - heated seats and bixenon. It took 6-7 mos to find one, but I did find a SG with the exact (lack of) option package I wanted.

    The cars couldn't be ANY different, other than the price range. While it would be really easy to SC my car, I will not do it b/c I really like the E46M for what it is - a scrappy, 8k RPM I6. Not knocking FI E46M3s they are amazing but just not what I want in the car. Prob bc Ive been spoiled by a 620hp DCT E92M - which is generally the baddest ass thing I've ever driven daily on the streets.

    Street race/performance - Stock for stock, in a street race from a dig, the E46M3 has to be boiled to keep up with a 335i. Add a JB/Cobb and the E46M is left in the dust with no effort, duh.

    Interior - 335i is nicer when it comes to fit/finish etc. I like the E46 ergos and simple design, but it is obv an older car.

    Chassis - Stock for stock the E46M steering/chassis/braking/responsiveness is worlds above a 335i. Fully modded suspension the 335i is pretty good, but you need to install M3 parts and high end suspension to get there. It's also a good bit heavier. Add the same dampers etc. to the E46M and its still much better.

    Looks - E46M3 is a neck breaker. My stock body car is lowered on stock 18s and it really gets a ton of positive comments. More than what I got in the E92M on Forgelines, which was a really good looking combo. 335i is nice looking, but not classic. E9XM styling is classic. E46M styling is classic, almost legendary. I think the E30M3 and E46M3 are the best looking and most recognized M car designs by a nice margin.

    I will prob do cams and a CSL box and enjoy the E46M for what it is.

    When I want to go faster on the street, I will probably buy a DCT e90M and SC it. Add a coil over kit, pads/lines/fluid and be done. OR if the budget is not there or I'm jonesing for a turbo daily and the upcoming N54 single turbo kit is as good as I think it will be, I might get a clean, nicely optioned/colored 335i and enjoy 600hp daily. With the 335i it would suck to drop over 5k into the suspension to make it feel close to the E46M....that is hard to think about now...
    Spot on review. I like your take on the e46 M.

    10-10 on the polls. which way are you leaning OP?
    Click here to enlarge

  5. #30
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    E46 m3 up keep isn't cheap. Keep that in mind. Service 1 & 2 always need to be done. Along with the rear subframe issue, vanos replacement and smg problems. Just a few things I went though with mine.

  6. #31
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    Thank you guys for these details. Keep em coming.

    One main reason I want an n54 is cause of Terry. Being 15 minutes away is badass. The thing with the e46... I got RMS and Gintani right here too. So I'm really happy with moving onto the BMW platform. If I run into problems like I did with my SS at least I know one of those 3 can fix my Bimmer haha. This damn SS I had to dump so much money into it. I'm pretty pissed cause that 10k I dropped on it, I could have saved and dropped on a max psi turbo kit for m3. If I got the 335 I'd get the Vargas st3 or I would rather do a 6466 as everyone else is doing.

    @Mike@VAC I really like your review. I'm really still leaning on the e46 m3 more than the 335 for now. I just can't find one!!! I think it's one of the most, if not the most beautiful m3 that has been out.

    The parts for service is whats killing me too. Cause I would want it done no matter what the other person says. I'm not going for SMG or a convertible so I'm going to stay away from as much electrical stuff as I can with an older car.
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  7. #32
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge
    I will prob do cams and a CSL box and enjoy the E46M for what it is.
    No VAC super stroker S54?!?
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  8. #33
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by benzy89 Click here to enlarge
    No VAC super stroker S54?!?
    Negative - cams and CSL box are expensive enough!

    We have shop cars for that crazy stuff ;-)

  9. #34
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    I just bought a 2005 - E46 so I answered my own question above... but I have always loved M3's....

    I drove quite a few 335is, 335i, 135i and liked the 135i the most but the handling of the M3 was what convinced me... if I wanted to go fast in a str8 line I would go the 2010 135i or the 2013 335is
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    Click here to enlarge



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    my man your story brings a tear to my eye,ive read so many of your posts and threads but felt horrible commenting because i know what your going threw and knew one day this thread would come up.
    i came from the crazy cobalt ss world also, and your story sounds WAY to familiar to mine and is exactly how i ended up in my e92 335i.

    went from stock supercharger(yes i know yours is a turbo but the story is similar) to intake/header/exhaust to a upgraded TVS supercharger and all cooling mods available. the moment that TVS got strapped in my car went down hill. blown motors,timing chain tensioners $#@!ting the bed,blown headgasket on dyno, tons of mystery diagnosis problems,suspension,electrical anything you could think of. in the end i was in the hole i dont even know how much between mods and repair, i had to call it quits. the car was a fun 352whp and 305wtq car but with all problems it didnt last long.
    trust me when i say the day you see that car/problem drive away you will have a huge smile on your face bud, and the day you go WOT in whatever car you choose you will be even happier. even though tons of people bash them,to this day i still love the cobalt for the potential it has even though most people have NO CLUE. hell i still know tons of people with 400-500+ whp cobalts with no issues.
    i know this is off topic man but i thought i would share my story to let you know that your not alone, me and you just got a pair of jynxed cobalts lol

  11. #36
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by alexx03 Click here to enlarge
    my man your story brings a tear to my eye,ive read so many of your posts and threads but felt horrible commenting because i know what your going threw and knew one day this thread would come up.
    i came from the crazy cobalt ss world also, and your story sounds WAY to familiar to mine and is exactly how i ended up in my e92 335i.

    went from stock supercharger(yes i know yours is a turbo but the story is similar) to intake/header/exhaust to a upgraded TVS supercharger and all cooling mods available. the moment that TVS got strapped in my car went down hill. blown motors,timing chain tensioners $#@!ting the bed,blown headgasket on dyno, tons of mystery diagnosis problems,suspension,electrical anything you could think of. in the end i was in the hole i dont even know how much between mods and repair, i had to call it quits. the car was a fun 352whp and 305wtq car but with all problems it didnt last long.
    trust me when i say the day you see that car/problem drive away you will have a huge smile on your face bud, and the day you go WOT in whatever car you choose you will be even happier. even though tons of people bash them,to this day i still love the cobalt for the potential it has even though most people have NO CLUE. hell i still know tons of people with 400-500+ whp cobalts with no issues.
    i know this is off topic man but i thought i would share my story to let you know that your not alone, me and you just got a pair of jynxed cobalts lol
    Thank you man, I really appreciate your post about my car. I just dont understand why it isn't boosting properly. It's an easy issue that can be fixed with someone willing to work on my car that has experience. When I tell the shops I have a potential 500whp cobalt SS they just laugh and don't understand... I'm kind of happy though. I get a BMW now thank god.
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  12. #37
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fastgti69 Click here to enlarge
    Thank you man, I really appreciate your post about my car. I just dont understand why it isn't boosting properly. It's an easy issue that can be fixed with someone willing to work on my car that has experience. When I tell the shops I have a potential 500whp cobalt SS they just laugh and don't understand... I'm kind of happy though. I get a BMW now thank god.
    trust me man i know exactly what you mean, i pm'd you maybe i can help you out with a last ditch effort.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fastgti69 Click here to enlarge
    Thank you for your input, I appreciate it. Esp since you're a local too so you know what I'm talking about. It's so damn hard to find an m3 now.

    Ironic, because it is easy to find E46 and E9X M3's here on Long Island... try getting a 135i is next to ridiculous and 335is fuggedaboutittttt
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    Click here to enlarge



  14. #39
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Group.america Click here to enlarge
    Ironic, because it is easy to find E46 and E9X M3's here on Long Island... try getting a 135i is next to ridiculous and 335is fuggedaboutittttt
    hahah. I found both of them here!! the 135 is a 09 for 18.5k and the 335 is 07 for 18. I also found a 2011 370z with 15k miles for 22k which is pretty amazing. Also an 09 evo x with 30k miles for 21k. I want a bimmer though!!!!
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    I cannot effing spell for nuts

    I got an IMMACULATE 2005/06 M3 for 18.5k, manual, no Sandy damage.... no dings... like a sweet dishwasher cleaned plate... for $18.5K.... did compression tests and other engine checks today.. all good... and the bonus 36k miles... some old lady in the Hamptons had it as her go to the pub drive... her other cars are a Bentley GT Conti and a Rolls...... god I love the Hamptons

    Car looks new
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    Click here to enlarge



  16. #41
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Group.america Click here to enlarge
    I got an IMMACULATE 2005/06 M3 for 18.5k, manual, no Sandy damage.... no dings... like a sweet dishwasher cleaned plate... for $18.5K.... did compression tests and other engine checks today.. all good... and the bonus 36k miles... some old lady in the Hamptons had it as her go to the pub drive... her other cars are a Bentley GT Conti and a Rolls...... god I love the Hamptons

    Car looks new
    You're one lucky SOB lol. I'm a jealous man. I want one soo bad. I think it's beautiful. Honestly though, either m3 or 335 I'll be happy with. Both have pros and non of them have cons. at least to me they don't right now. I need to get one that is strong without problems. It will be a hard mission, but it will have to be done.
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    GLORIOUS find.... Jealous, ESPECIALLY at that price and mileage
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    Mine is for sale, can't get much cleanerClick here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge
    ESS 6XX kit

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
    Mine is for sale, can't get much cleanerClick here to enlarge
    Oh yes it can. But I have an auto... Click here to enlarge

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    If you don't need the room I would get a 135i and mod it. Just my opinion.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by SLV335I Click here to enlarge
    If you don't need the room I would get a 135i and mod it. Just my opinion.
    I'll take anything at this point lol. Just would rather have a sedan. Kind of over the coupe, my GTI and my cobalt both are 2 doors. So annoying when friends wanna get in the back lol..
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Group.america Click here to enlarge
    I got an IMMACULATE 2005/06 M3 for 18.5k, manual, no Sandy damage.... no dings... like a sweet dishwasher cleaned plate... for $18.5K.... did compression tests and other engine checks today.. all good... and the bonus 36k miles... some old lady in the Hamptons had it as her go to the pub drive... her other cars are a Bentley GT Conti and a Rolls...... god I love the Hamptons

    Car looks new
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by fastgti69 Click here to enlarge
    I'll take anything at this point lol. Just would rather have a sedan. Kind of over the coupe, my GTI and my cobalt both are 2 doors. So annoying when friends wanna get in the back lol..
    I know exactly what you mean. Good luck with the search.

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    It's mentioned already in a post above - but I would drive both. I have owned an E46 M3 (now e90 M3) - and have driven the 135, 335i and 335is (comparing all stock). They are great cars - but out of the box, they aren't comparable. The M3 is a scalpel whereas the 335i is more of a ... can't think of a good analogy, but you get the point.

    Put it this way, I have owned many cars - and the day I drove the E46 M3 was the day I bought one - and still would never make a different choice.

    If you aren't looking at only power (which I assume you aren't - as I recall you posting videos of you driving hard in the twists), the M3 is better overall in terms of overall performance. I don't think anyone will disagree with this stock for stock, and even stock M3 vs. more powerful 335i w/stock everything else... The throttle response alone is ridiculous (almost comical), and using this to your advantage when trying to balance/correct/over-steer the car mid-corner is something not understood until you see it for yourself. It's basically a race car for the street, that's the purpose of the engineering behind the M; not for reasons of speed/brute force/etc., but for reasons of mechanical perfection and always knowing exactly what the car is up to all the time. The communication the car provides out of the box is hard to put into words, it's simply not in the same ballpark as the 335i in this regard. Two different cars that are not on the same page - that's my main thought on this.

    I don't think either choice is "wrong" - it really depends on what exactly you want out of a car - and for what cost. Drive them both for as long as possible, and buy what you prefer though - not everyone wants the same thing...

    One more note:

    Even though my e90 M3 is much faster than the e46 M3 I owned, I would have a very tough time making a decision if someone were to offer me a straight trade for a mint/extremely low mile E46 M3. It was special (better?) in ways the current gen M3 isn't, and I have a feeling things will get "less special" as more generations are bred. In other words, the e9x M3 is softer/less pure than the e46 M3 - as is the e46 to the e36 M3... I can vouch for the e46/e9x M3 changes - and again, would probably trade my car straight for a good example e46 m3... I can't say the same for any other car I have driven short of a 911.

    I am guessing the trend will continue. I would buy the e46 M and hold onto it as long as you possibly can. Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by inlineS54B32 Click here to enlarge
    It's mentioned already in a post above - but I would drive both. I have owned an E46 M3 (now e90 M3) - and have driven the 135, 335i and 335is (comparing all stock). They are great cars - but out of the box, they aren't comparable. The M3 is a scalpel whereas the 335i is more of a ... can't think of a good analogy, but you get the point.

    Put it this way, I have owned many cars - and the day I drove the E46 M3 was the day I bought one - and still would never make a different choice.

    If you aren't looking at only power (which I assume you aren't - as I recall you posting videos of you driving hard in the twists), the M3 is better overall in terms of overall performance. I don't think anyone will disagree with this stock for stock, and even stock M3 vs. more powerful 335i w/stock everything else... The throttle response alone is ridiculous (almost comical), and using this to your advantage when trying to balance/correct/over-steer the car mid-corner is something not understood until you see it for yourself. It's basically a race car for the street, that's the purpose of the engineering behind the M; not for reasons of speed/brute force/etc., but for reasons of mechanical perfection and always knowing exactly what the car is up to all the time. The communication the car provides out of the box is hard to put into words, it's simply not in the same ballpark as the 335i in this regard. Two different cars that are not on the same page - that's my main thought on this.

    I don't think either choice is "wrong" - it really depends on what exactly you want out of a car - and for what cost. Drive them both for as long as possible, and buy what you prefer though - not everyone wants the same thing...

    One more note:

    Even though my e90 M3 is much faster than the e46 M3 I owned, I would have a very tough time making a decision if someone were to offer me a straight trade for a mint/extremely low mile E46 M3. It was special (better?) in ways the current gen M3 isn't, and I have a feeling things will get "less special" as more generations are bred. In other words, the e9x M3 is softer/less pure than the e46 M3 - as is the e46 to the e36 M3... I can vouch for the e46/e9x M3 changes - and again, would probably trade my car straight for a good example e46 m3... I can't say the same for any other car I have driven short of a 911.

    I am guessing the trend will continue. I would buy the e46 M and hold onto it as long as you possibly can. Click here to enlarge
    This is a great way to look at it too. I'm glad you brought up that I drive in the canyons. I've driven both and I know the feeling. The m3 is on tap fast, that little sport button is nuts LOL It's the most balanced car I've honestly driven. I love everything about the m3 and would much rather have that. Both cars would cost the same to modify to 600whp so It doesn't matter to me. The m3 is just that much better all around than the 335 even though its older! I just need to find one with low miles and not a damn convertible...
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