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Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
07-11-2018, 05:18 PM (This post was last modified: 07-11-2018 05:26 PM by MHN.)
Post: #1
Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
Hi all

I'm looking around for a 6 cylinder E46 or E90 Auto

Considering engine quality, maintenance and reasonable fuel consumption, which model should I look out for?

I know the 325i and 330i are the best E46's but is there a E90 model that is better or equal?

I couldn't find a clear answer in some old threads

I keep hearing great things about the M54 engine and I've spotted some great E46 325i's for sale with low mileage but there's also E90's like the 323i in a similar price range.



I'm in the process of upgrading our cars at home, so far I bought a E46 318i Auto and I'm extremely impressed with it because it has a great balance of power and fuel economy - 2L engine getting 400km+ on half of a tank.
I'm expecting the 6 cylinder models to have a great balance also, with lots of highway driving
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07-11-2018, 05:25 PM (This post was last modified: 07-11-2018 05:27 PM by Xeqtr.)
Post: #2
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
I owned an E90 330i. I really really really really loved that engine. I haven't had the pleasure of driving any 6cyl E46's but if the E90 is anything to go by I'm sure it will be amazing. However I have driven the 325i in the E90 and after driving my 330i I felt like the engine was being starved of something in the 325i. Amazing still, however it just didnt have that same kick of the 330i.

Either way they are gorgeous engines and if you can find a clean E46 example id have that. The e46 is timeless in my opinion, and i feel like the pre-facelift E90 has aged a bit in its stock form. However a facelift E90 (If in your price range) is <3.

What about the 6cly diesel variants?

Oh also I found the 330i to use around 10l per 100km's on fuel. But its all dependent on how you drive it.

Current : E82 N55 135i (2012)

EX: VW Polo 1.2TSI Comfortline (2016)
EX: E46 M3 (02)
Ex: F30 328i M-Sport (2013)
Ex: E90 330i (07)
Ex: Subaru WRX (05)
Ex: Ford Mustang GT (07)
Ex: BMW 528i (98)

Did you know that if your parents don't have children, you probably wont either.
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MHN
07-11-2018, 05:33 PM
Post: #3
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
So I've had the E90 323i (lci) and I'm in an E92 325i now. Same motor, same displacement but the 325i feels a lot more nimble than the 323i did. Top end is better as well but IIRC there is a 20kw difference or something along those lines.

If you're looking at it purely from a drivers perspective then E90 330i or e46 330i should be your go to cars.

There's the 35i's but there's just something about the straight 6 NA's that can't be beaten (well... Unless you race the FI car) Rofl

Current: E92 325i M LCI
Current: Audi A4 B8.5 1.8T
Ex: E90 323i Exclusive LCI
Ex: E90 320i Individual LCI

[Image: naman_5196753591_3577692508.png]
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MHN
07-11-2018, 06:10 PM
Post: #4
Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
I had an e46 320i which I loved, it was 2.2 6cyl. Sold it and regretted ever since. Then i started looking far and wide for my current car, an e90 330i LCI.
In stop go traffic it eats fuel but I love this car. Best car I've owned and won't be selling anytime soon. I think it took me a little over two years to find the right one.



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MHN
07-11-2018, 06:21 PM (This post was last modified: 07-11-2018 06:21 PM by Xeqtr.)
Post: #5
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
(07-11-2018 06:10 PM)Dr Evil Wrote:  I had an e46 320i which I loved, it was 2.2 6cyl. Sold it and regretted ever since. Then i started looking far and wide for my current car, an e90 330i LCI.
In stop go traffic it eats fuel but I love this car. Best car I've owned and won't be selling anytime soon. I think it took me a little over two years to find the right one.

Sent from my iPhone+ using my finger

Yeah I looked forever to find a LCI E90 330i in manual (Has to be M-Sport) after selling my pre-LCI and if they came up they disappeared very quickly. Very hard to find a clean one especially so gave up on it eventually.

Current : E82 N55 135i (2012)

EX: VW Polo 1.2TSI Comfortline (2016)
EX: E46 M3 (02)
Ex: F30 328i M-Sport (2013)
Ex: E90 330i (07)
Ex: Subaru WRX (05)
Ex: Ford Mustang GT (07)
Ex: BMW 528i (98)

Did you know that if your parents don't have children, you probably wont either.
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07-11-2018, 06:24 PM
Post: #6
Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
(07-11-2018 06:21 PM)Xeqtr Wrote:  
(07-11-2018 06:10 PM)Dr Evil Wrote:  I had an e46 320i which I loved, it was 2.2 6cyl. Sold it and regretted ever since. Then i started looking far and wide for my current car, an e90 330i LCI.
In stop go traffic it eats fuel but I love this car. Best car I've owned and won't be selling anytime soon. I think it took me a little over two years to find the right one.

Sent from my iPhone+ using my finger

Yeah I looked forever to find a LCI E90 330i in manual (Has to be M-Sport) after selling my pre-LCI and if they came up they disappeared very quickly. Very hard to find a clean one especially so gave up on it eventually.


That was me exactly, i looked for an lci, msport manual. Eventually found a 2012 model that just came off motorplan.


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07-11-2018, 07:35 PM
Post: #7
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
E90 330i, preferably in a manual...
The auto's on the E90's are also really good, if you must.

It's the last of the NA engines from BMW. The last of the good stuff. Never will we see a NA inline 6 from BMW... Ever!

I've walked the walk...
Now I talk the talk...
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MHN
07-11-2018, 08:39 PM
Post: #8
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
I think most of us will agree to stay away from the n46 engines.

Current: BMW F32 420D Msport | BMW E90 320i Msport | Nissan Juke 1.6 - daily
Previous: BMW E46 320D sportpack, BMW E36 328IS, BMW E30 325IS, Alfa Romeo 2.0 TwinSpark, Opel Kadett 200is, Nissan Sentra 1.6 Twincam, Nissan 160U coupe, Many Toyata's, Ford XR6, Ford MK1
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07-11-2018, 08:45 PM (This post was last modified: 07-11-2018 08:47 PM by Tinuva.)
Post: #9
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
E46 both the 325i and 330i are great and reliable engines, and fun to drive.
E90, I would only take the 330i. Sad that the 330i E90 is the last great 6pot NA engine. Still want to drive one but I am sure it will be a brilliant car.

Don't go 323i or 325i E90. Its only the 330i or the 335i if you want punchy added to the pleasure.

I had a E46 318i N42 manual. It was actually a pleasure to drive. Light on fuel for its age, and enough power. But it doesn't compare to the M54 engines. That said, I could easily get 700km on a tank, because my daily drive is 25km one way on the high way.
On the 330i cars I get closer to 600km on a tank.

In garage
01 BMW E46 330i 5-speed manual
95 Nissan 1400 bakkie
03 BMW E46 318i N42 Manual Sold
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MHN
08-11-2018, 08:05 AM
Post: #10
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
(07-11-2018 08:39 PM)Slant Wrote:  I think most of us will agree to stay away from the n46 engines.

how is that a 6cyl?
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SubLoaded
08-11-2018, 08:12 AM
Post: #11
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
325i is very reliable.Fencelook

2008 E90 325i
2013 F10 520d
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08-11-2018, 08:30 AM
Post: #12
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
(08-11-2018 08:12 AM)vjx Wrote:  325i is very reliable.Fencelook

How would the 325i be more or less reliable than any other BMw with the same basic engine?


Anyway.

Forget the E46's to find one worth owning will simply cost to much to buy because the owners want to recoup some of their money. There are plenty of cheap E46s around, they are shagged and need their purchase price in repairs.

E90s the 6cyl's are good, but the 330i is probably the sweetest of the bunch. Manual or auto. Just understand a 323 is not a rocketship. Auto will be 15-25k to fix and the manual will be 10-20k for a clutch and flywheel.

Find one that doesn't have a FSH with the dealers find one where the owner changed the oil more regularly. 25k change intervals are devastating to the topend of that motor.

Honestly find one free of Sportspax. It just ruins the ride and makes it scrape everywhere. Find one with Sportseats and yummy wheels and be happy.
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08-11-2018, 08:47 AM
Post: #13
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
(08-11-2018 08:30 AM)Rotinaj Wrote:  Honestly find one free of Sportspax. It just ruins the ride and makes it scrape everywhere. Find one with Sportseats and yummy wheels and be happy.

omg waiting

Current: E92 325i M LCI
Current: Audi A4 B8.5 1.8T
Ex: E90 323i Exclusive LCI
Ex: E90 320i Individual LCI

[Image: naman_5196753591_3577692508.png]
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husaindindar
08-11-2018, 09:35 AM
Post: #14
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
i drive an E90 325i. so here is my opinion, love the car, i drove a e90 330i and its slightly faster. u will get about 500km plus minus off a tank if you touching the pedal lol . long road its a dream to drive and very light.

i believe E46 came out with the best 6 cylinder motors... especially for conversions and racing.

E90 came out with weak blocks so it cannot be turbo charged. besides decat, headers, intake and software, there isn't much u can do to these motors. the above will give u about 15 to 20kw gains only as well.

i dont plan to sell my e90 325i, i like it to much, expensive to fix though, i replaced timing chain kit, vanos solenoids, vanos gears, alternator , injector service , new plugs and sludge clean-up (33k later).

my suggestion is to buy e46 330i , e90 325i, e90 330i, e90 320d or e90 330d.

the 330d is expensive to fix but hardly ever give issues. 700 to 800km off a tank especially with decat and software and it will give trains on all the models listed above.
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MHN
08-11-2018, 09:58 AM
Post: #15
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
(07-11-2018 05:18 PM)MHN Wrote:  Hi all

I'm looking around for a 6 cylinder E46 or E90 Auto

Considering engine quality, maintenance and reasonable fuel consumption, which model should I look out for?

I know the 325i and 330i are the best E46's but is there a E90 model that is better or equal?

I couldn't find a clear answer in some old threads

I keep hearing great things about the M54 engine and I've spotted some great E46 325i's for sale with low mileage but there's also E90's like the 323i in a similar price range.



I'm in the process of upgrading our cars at home, so far I bought a E46 318i Auto and I'm extremely impressed with it because it has a great balance of power and fuel economy - 2L engine getting 400km+ on half of a tank.
I'm expecting the 6 cylinder models to have a great balance also, with lots of highway driving

E46 330i ... No second thoughts

Only issue is Finding the right one at the right price..
All the Good ones people want a Kidney for

Good luck with your SearchThumbs
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08-11-2018, 10:20 AM
Post: #16
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
E46 330i Thumbs

E90
330d smile bounceThumbs

(09) 330d LCI (SOLD)Cry
MOTRONIX downpipe + software
200Kw 628Nm

[Image: bmw 330d2_3891540807.jpg]
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08-11-2018, 10:29 AM
Post: #17
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
On the road, I see more E90 325i than 330i.
smile bounce

2008 E90 325i
2013 F10 520d
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08-11-2018, 10:34 AM (This post was last modified: 08-11-2018 10:34 AM by Captain_Stealth.)
Post: #18
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
in terms of 330i

e90 has the better interior/exterior and handling IMO but the e46 has the more cheaper repair costs

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08-11-2018, 10:37 AM (This post was last modified: 08-11-2018 10:37 AM by kilotango.)
Post: #19
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
(08-11-2018 08:30 AM)Rotinaj Wrote:  
(08-11-2018 08:12 AM)vjx Wrote:  325i is very reliable.Fencelook

....
Find one that doesn't have a FSH with the dealers find one where the owner changed the oil more regularly. 25k change intervals are devastating to the topend of that motor.
...

eek, people actually leave oil changes in their cars that long??

i once did 14k when using fuchs synthetic oil, and the oil filter was almost starting to dis-integrate.
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08-11-2018, 10:39 AM
Post: #20
RE: Which 6 cylinder E90 or E46 should I buy?
Fencelook ummm any 330d

2011 120d Coupe (Black - Yin)
2012 125i Coupe (White - Yang)

2009 Z4m Coupe ( found a new home )
07 Audi A4 ( Passed onto father inlaw )
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