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Old 12-03-2005, 12:52 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: state college, pa
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1. RWD. German-engineered for driving, not just transport. Easy to park. Made out with a chick in the hatch once.

2. Not really, but it depends on where you live. Here in Bloomington, I have seen about 3-4 other than mine. However, there are also an inordinate number of E46 M3s in the area, along with other 'spensive cars somebody's daddy bought them.

3. Unfortunately, this is something you're going to have to deal with now and again. There is no permanent fix AFAIK. As for repairs, it depends what I'm having done. For the most part, I do it myself. The process is only different from other car repairs because your tools are metric and tolerances are a little tighter. However, I like maintaining a relationship with my dealer so I go to them for state inspections, tire changes, etc. Every once in a while I'll throw them an Inspection II, but more because I'm busy. There are some really bad dealers out there, so ask around for good ones in your area. For specific problems I could not solve myself or needed expensive specialty tools, I've gone to specialist shops. They charge a little more, but they also do it more quickly, and the work seems a bit more professional.

4. Versus other E36 (the generic model type for 3 series of this look), the E36/5 (specific model of the ti) has a different rear suspension. It is a trailing-arm suspension, like the one used on the E30 M3. It's a matter of preference for most people, whether this is a good or bad thing.

With regards to problems about the size . . . I'm not really sure what you're talking about. With the hatch, the cargo area holds more than you can with a sedan/coupe with fold-down seats. Rear-seat area is somewhat small, but I don't transport people often, and they can deal with it because I'm paying for gas/ins/upkeep. It's not any smaller than a 3er coupe.

The hatch also makes parallel parking a breeze. The car ends literally inches away from the bottom of the rear glass, so you can get real close.

Despite the shorter overall size, it's still very stable on the highway at speed. I generally cruise between 80-90, and it really only gets hairy in the triple digits. Upgrade suspension and that goes away.
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