2001 BMW 330Ci with 750 Miles

I haven’t spent much time telling you about my recent BMW adventures, but they’ve been split between my 2003 M3 and my wife’s new-to-us 2009 135i Sport. There’s something pretty darn compelling about the small BMW coupes. They look great, they’re deceptively big inside, they’ve got plenty of trunk space for a long haul. Both get almost 30 mpg on the highway – the 135i is a bit better, actually. Poke them, and both are capable of ripping your face off. And to drive? They’re simply sublime. I’ve driven a lot of cars over the years, but few match the natural composure and connection to driving that both the E46 and its near twin E82 do. They’re just impressive cars that you can drive every day with a family aboard, have fun and feel pretty special without spending a million dollars.

All this sounds pretty irresistible, and that’s one of the reasons that BMW sold about 4 trillion 3-series coupes over the past 40 years. While I know their proliferation isn’t uniform across the country, near me you can’t drive much more than a minute without seeing one or many. And if you pop onto eBay or your local Craigslist, at least on the coasts, you’re likely to be overrun with examples. But if buying “the best one” is your goal, this particular 330ci might just be the one you’re searching for. That’s because if you ever hoped you could find an as-new ’01 330Ci, we have:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 330Ci on Pittsburgh Craigslist

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2006 BMW 330Ci

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for color. My eyes gravitate towards shades I don’t usually see, and this E46 certainly caught my eye. At first I was sure it must be a BMW Individual car like the Messing Metallic M3 I looked at earlier in the year. But no, this is a standard color, believe it or else. Sonora Metallic wasn’t often selected, as I frequently look that these cars and have never seen it (to my knowledge). Coupled with the Natural Brown leather interior and a 5-speed manual gearbox makes this 330Ci an appealing to look at yet quite affordable option for top-down German motoring:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 BMW 330Ci on eBay

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Rare Air: 2004 BMW 330Ci

If the R107 560SL was the expression of luxurious drop-top motoring in the late 1980s, the BMW 3-series convertible became a fixture of summer homes, sun-up top-down motoring along the coast, and adding a touch of sport to 4-seat open air drives thereafter. They’re intensely popular; I don’t live in the most convertible friendly area of the country by any means, but you can’t go much more than a few miles without seeing at least one convertible 3-series around me. They typically come in two flavors around here; look at me M3s and base model 325 or 328 models. But the E46 330 struck a balance between the two, offering a fair bit of sport without the bills associated with the M badge. Powered by the M54 to the tune of nearly 230 horsepower (even more in the ZHP package cars), the 330Ci was also a great looking car especially when equipped with the Sport Package. However, this particular example has some really specially selected options that make it one of the prettiest E46 convertibles I’ve seen in a while:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 BMW 330Ci on eBay

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2004 BMW 330ci ZHP Performance Package

The success of the Motorsport derived versions of each generation of the venerable 3-series mean that it’s both easy and a natural choice to concentrate on them in the used market. But BMW has also offered some pretty special non-M models in the 3-series lineup, and the 2003-2006 330i. Much like the M3, the 330i was available in 2-door coupe and convertible no surprise there – but the 330i was also quite popular as a sedan and the E46 M3 never came in that configuration. If you ticked the ZHP Performance Package box, you paid an additional $3,900 on top of the premium for your top-of-the-line 330i. While that was no small amount of change, what that amount resulted in was actually quite a bargain. Developed by BMW Individual, you got a plethora of performance details throughout the package. Outside, M-Tech body pieces adorned the car front, sides and rear and blacked out trim replaced the chrome. So too were M-branded special Style 135 18″ wheels, with tires to match the width of bigger brother M3. Lower and stiffer suspension was met with more negative camber, special reinforcement and control arms. The engine was upgraded too, with unique cams and a revised engine map resulting in 10 more horsepower, but the ZHP was more than 10 hp quicker off the line thanks to a shorter final drive and a 6-speed manual borrowed from M. Performance wise, the ZHP split the difference between the 330i and M3 in acceleration and cornering, so it really was a performance package to live up to its name. Inside, too, many special details adorned the ZHP – from small items like lightly revised gauges with special needles to unique shifter, steering wheel, seat fabric and eggcrate dash trim. Just like the S-Line Titanium Package Audis, these more potent 330is have a cultish following who proudly claim they’re not only special, but one of the most special BMWs made:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 BMW 330ci ZHP on eBay

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Feature Listing: 2004 BMW 330Ci Convertible

The BMW E46 3 series strikes a good balance between the more analog nature of its predecessors and the edgier, more advanced E90 3 series that replaced it in 2006. One feature that disappeared on the convertible model post-E46 was a canvas roof. While the new folding hardtops are certainly a wonder of technology that offer greater all-weather capability, there’s just something classic about a traditional ragtop. Not surprising, then, that a few Bimmerphiles I know have sought out clean, low mileage examples of the E46 convertible, eschewing the newer models. If you’re one of those folks who always wanted the icon of open-roofed BMW motoring, you won’t want to miss this 330Ci Convertible for sale from our friends at Euro Automotion in Oregon.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 BMW 330Ci Convertible at EuroAutomotion

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