i've sold my old '96 318iS, now looking to buy to an E46, 2000 - 2002
would fit price range.
looking at 320i and 318i motorsport, i really liked the sports
suspension on my old iS and missed it when test-driving the 2.2 6cyl
320i, it was a 'nice' ride but not as fun to drive. (heh being a jap
import it also didn't have leather which was a shame, but i'd rather
avoid a singapore import for my next bmw).
i live in new zealand and 320i/325 msports are quite rare and really
more than i want to spend. its for city driving so i don't mind the
lower powered cars, and like the fuel economy. i have no idea how much
it would cost to get a standard 320i modified with sports suspension or
even if that's a bad idea, not knowing how it would perform...?
My experience is that the 'sport' versions are very hard. It all depends on
the quality of the roads you drive on. If the surfaces are good and you are
used to a firm ride I would recommend the upgrade. Surprisingly, here in the
UK where roads are bad and getting worse all the time most 325/330 E46 cars
were 'sport' models, although I suspect this had more to do with clever
marketing and the way the cars look rather than individual owners
assumptions of the best ride/handling compromise.
I live near Boston, Mass., where the roads are utter shite and
getting worse. The ride on my E46 coupe is almost unacceptably
harsh. Granted, this is my first experience with owning
something other than a family slushbox and I love what this car
can do on a *good* road. But I can't help thinking that a car
like this would be happier somewhere like California or Florida
where decades of freeze-thaw cycles haven't made the roads appear
as if someone had used them for artillery practice.
I have a theory that the town I live in deliberately
dis-maintains the roads in order to keep people from driving on
them. It's the only explanation that seems to make any sense.
The "Bermuda Triangle" potholes in the greater Washington, DC area are also
legendary and as a result, my wife replaces a tire/wheel assembly on her
Saab every other year on average. Although my '99 328i with Sport Package
has a satisfactory ride (and great handling), I have sustained some wheel
damage before I learned to avoid the worst of our roads, especially in the
Spring. If I were to buy an E90 with it's runflats, it would have the basic
suspension and 16" wheels.
Just curious, what size and model tires do you have?
The problem with FL is that even though the roads are generally OK, they are
very boring for the most part... I am longing for some hilly terrain like
the mountain ranges of West Virginia... otherwise, a tight-handling
ultimate driving machine is under-utilized here as well... :)
Yeah, thanks. :) I'm already trying to figure out why my car feels floaty
at hwy speeds, like an american boat/cruiser, despite having correct
alignment and the suspension only having 32k miles on it...
Summer: Michelin Pilot Sport, 225/45-17 front, 245/40-17 rear
Winter: Dunlop Winter Sport A2, 225/45-17 all around
Perhaps you're familiar with US129, the "Tail of the Draagon" at
Deal's Gap on the TN/NC border. It's well known to the sportbike
crowd. The slogan is "318 curves in 11 miles", and it's written on
many a t-shirt.
There's a parody shirt that says, "Florida: 11 curves in 318
miles." Having visited Jacksonville, I'm inclined to believe it.
LOL. That made me chuckle.
That reminds me of one time when I was in West Palm and needed directions. A
local told me to go three blocks and turn left. My destination was right
after the hill.
I went the three blocks, turned left and saw nothing but a flat, straight
chunk of road. I proceeded along and there was a rise in the road of (maybe)
two feet. I guess that was the hill because the place I was looking for was
right there - right past the two foot mountain.
I put Eibachs on my E36 coupe which already had BMW sport suspension
and the ride quality actually went up, as did the cornering etc. I
wouldn't hesitate to put them on an E46. I drove a 330 clubsport and
the suspension was very hard and bouncy and if I had one of those the
suspension would get changed out too. If you can do the job yourself
then it's not *very* expensive.
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