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      04-12-2021, 09:10 AM   #45
Smooth 330i
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Only my opinion but e46 interiors fall apart, swichgear, consoles peeling, headliner and pillars sagging etc.

Also e9x chassis is like a piece of granit compared to e46. The only e46 I would consider is 330i zcp or m3 comp that were not roasting in hot climates.
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      04-12-2021, 09:27 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smooth 330i View Post
Only my opinion but e46 interiors fall apart, swichgear, consoles peeling, headliner and pillars sagging etc.

Also e9x chassis is like a piece of granit compared to e46. The only e46 I would consider is 330i zcp or m3 comp that were not roasting in hot climates.
Agree completely. Interior was trash until e9x chassis. E36/46 were amongst the worst.
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      04-12-2021, 01:01 PM   #47
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The i3 was/is the best commuter I have ever had. I'm on my 3rd one so far.

1 hour (40 mile) commute each way in heavy Los Angeles traffic. Carpool sticker and adaptive cruise transformed my commute from horrible to relaxing. I was commuting in my F80 M3 prior to that.

Giga World interior with the moon roof and tech package which includes a bigger iDrive screen and Adaptive Cruise Control which is a MUST.

I may or may not have enabled video playback while in motion for really heavy traffic days to have movies and tv shows playing in the iDrive in the background with ACC on (just keep your eyes on the road).

I saved ~$200 in fuel expenses. My lease is a 15k/year 30 month lease with effective zero drive off for $199/mo including tax after full MSDS, fed tax rebate, state rebates, and SCE energy rebate. Insurance is under $100/mo.

I'm in the opposite boat as you however, it looks like I'll be working from home from now on, so I went from an 80 mile/day commute to a 0/mile a day commute and my i3 is just sitting there only being used occasionally for errands.
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Last edited by jmg; 04-12-2021 at 01:06 PM..
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      04-12-2021, 03:16 PM   #48
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      04-12-2021, 03:18 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmg View Post
The i3 was/is the best commuter I have ever had. I'm on my 3rd one so far.

1 hour (40 mile) commute each way in heavy Los Angeles traffic. Carpool sticker and adaptive cruise transformed my commute from horrible to relaxing. I was commuting in my F80 M3 prior to that.
I frequently trash on EVs/PHEVs but since moving to the LA/OC area my perspective has shifted a tad for this reason. The amount of driving here is just insane. Commuting in a vehicle with minimal gas expenses and HOV access would be life changing.
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      04-12-2021, 03:46 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germanauto View Post
I frequently trash on EVs/PHEVs but since moving to the LA/OC area my perspective has shifted a tad for this reason. The amount of driving here is just insane. Commuting in a vehicle with minimal gas expenses and HOV access would be life changing.
So did I... until I drove the i3 and found out how cheap I could get it for!
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      04-13-2021, 11:30 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by spielnicht View Post
Thanks again for all the additional insights. Definitely narrowing my search for the following (in order):
  • i3
  • 128i
  • E90
  • E46

Coincidently FCP Blog just posted this article on exactly what I was looking for. It's reassuring to see so many overlaps with your recommendations. You guys definitely know your BMWs. I'm getting there, but I only have 4 years of ownership experience.





Exactly. BMW novice mistake 101. Coming from a 2013 C350, I wanted a bigger car and a V8. Didn't want to spend E63 or M5 money at the time and so I was left with the 550i or an S6. Glad I made the decision to go with BMW but had I known more about the N63 (even if tu), probably would have talked myself out of a V8 and got a F80 M3. Oh well.
Be careful with the E46, make sure the subframe recall was done. Personally, if I'm looking at cars from that era again, I'd go with the E39 over the E46 (I used to have a 328i from back then).

As for the i3, I can't help but looking at them as well because they offer something completely different than what I have now. Beware of the early models though, they had issues with AC compressors sending shrapnel all over the cooling system for the battery, potentially totalling the car. Not sure if the new compressors fixed that problem or not.
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      04-13-2021, 01:56 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by pikkagtr View Post
MK7 gti
Best.......commuter......ever
Even a regular TSI is really good as a commuter.
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      04-13-2021, 02:43 PM   #53
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128i would be my choice
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