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Reply Part II for Bruce: (long) ................ (archive)

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Posted by Steve on November 11, 1998 at 10:55:34:

In Reply to: Re: I know the E46 is all new Bruce. I was just sa posted by Bruce on November 11, 1998 at 10:21:08:

The 323i vs. 328i difference in a nutshell:

* 1" smaller brakes
* A few body panels painted black instead of body-
colored (not really a good thing)
* no armrest for 323i base or sport
* 23< HP than 328i
* 0-60 < 0.5 seconds vs. 328i (6.6 secs). Auto is about 1.1 secs slower
* Sport wheels 16" vs. 17" on 328i
* No dimming rear-view mirror or rain-sensitive wipers on 323i (any model)
* No parking distance control on 323i
* different gear ratios on manual/auto
* Minor costmetic differences such as different front grill (blk vs. chrome), window trims (blk which looks better anyway), and different design front airdam (just differnt, not better or worse IMHO)

Having said all that, I STILL think the 323i is a much better buy than the 328i. Half the stuff I wrote on top does not change the car for me such as rain-sensitive wipers or parking distance control, etc.

The base 328i at $33970 does not give you these features that I think it should since it is a good $7000 higher in base price than the 323i:

* Leather - TL & ES300 give it to you std. 323i I understand, but leatherette std in 328i???

* Moonroof - again, this is not the base model, and a Honda Accord EX gives it to you std. Why optional on the 328i?

* Folding seatsn - All A4's give to you std. No folding seats on the 328 std? THIS should not be an option.

* Metallic paint - I guess even the damn 5 series charges you for it, so this one is so ridiculous, it is laughable.

* Wood - This should be no-cost option for those who want it. The A4 2.8 gives to you, the ES300 gives to you, the TL gives you the fake stuff, and so do many others. Wood should be standard at least on the 328i.

For all the following reasons, I think the 323 is the real winner in the E46's as far as value and performance. The 328i needs to have a few things like I mentioned standard. A decently loaded 328i with premium + sport, metallic, FDS, HK, and CD player will cost your well over $40,000. This price range is right up the GS300 and A6 range and this car being a compact, cannot compete with these bigger more luxurious cars on that price. That is 5 series teritory. A 3 series with a 5ish price does not make sense to me.

Steve M.

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