Our 1999 328i convertible's 16-inch Sport-package setup was good for stops in 178 feet and 0. First, let's affirm the indisputable improvements. . Little has been changed in the raked styling stance that everyone with eyes concedes is one of the most striking cars on earth. Had you strolled into the circus-style tent in Marbella, Spain, where the press was invited to see and later test-drive this new 3-series convertible, you'd have been struck by a rather bizarre sight. All four seats are more coddling. There's also a button on each seatback to motor the front seats forward double-quick for even easier rear-seat entry the seats even know to return to their original positions.
Front Standard Window lifter electr. Archived from on 8 September 2009. Okay, there were some guy wires holding this bit of theater securely in place -- it simply wouldn't do to crush an automotive writer at a press launch; poison is, after all, much less messy and traceable -- but the message was clear. The top well that hangs down into the trunk can now be raised to free up three cubic feet of space. We borrowed a low-mileage 1999 323i convertible to ensure that our memories of that car hadn't grown unduly fond, and in fact, they hadn't. The stiffer chassis and suspension system were a carryover from the race version. The M56 is claimed to have identical power output as its M54 counterpart.
The dash and the trim are upgraded to better suit the car's and driver's rung on the status ladder. Its headliner looks as solid as a coupe's; only a bit of metal is exposed at the window tops. Following the introduction of the sedans in late 2004, the E46 began to be phased out. Archived from on 8 June 2003. And we thought the old top with a header latch was easy to drop. But compared with its beloved predecessor, it's no structural leap forward. Trunk space is increased -- at least when the softtop is up.
But top tech has changed. The control responses and communication from the helm seem to goad drivers down the path of prudence, whereas the old 3 demanded mischief. We don't mean to suggest that the new convertible goes down the road like a clapped-out '65 Lincoln ragtop. Entering most ragtops in those dank, dreary months is to enter a damp and cold place that just will not warm up. The car was lowered further than a standard M3 and featured additional strut braces between the firewall and strut towers as well as between the right shock towers. The punk plastic window of the previous softtop, which at times could present the equivalent challenge of trying to see through a jar of lemonade, is now genuine glass, with defrosting elements. The 323Ci seems to crouch even lower than it did in its last makeover, in 1994.
Now for the less convincing progress. Vehicle electronics such as the radio, navigation, television and telecommunications can communicate to each other via the K-bus. Truth is, the new 323Ci could probably still beat the higher-priced competition from Saab and Volvo if we restaged our December '98 comparison test. One is utterly manual, but easily operated by one person, even Rhea Perlman. Oh, the axle ratio was shortened from 2.
We'll get back to you on that one at road-test time. A demonstration showed it would accept five nylon bags, although none was the size of your great big bag -- the kind that, when being removed frantically from the crowded luggage carousel at an airport, results in a howling shoulder separation. So why isn't it dubbed the 325Ci? One of the main contributors to this impression is an overly conservative stability-control system, now made standard. At a gala open house held one chilly, damp spring day, fans rejoiced at the unobstructed views, terrific replay monitor, and superb concessions. We felt the need to switch it off during spirited driving on dry, well-known roads to prevent power from being dramatically cut at the merest hint of wheel slip.
It was available for sedans from model years 2003 to 2005, and available for coupés and convertibles from 2004 to 2006. Put this 323Ci in the time capsule next to the Twinkies. The rear seat adds almost four inches of much needed legroom, and the 2. It included various aesthetic changes over the regular 3 series, as well as functional and mechanical enhancements. Suspension was modified over the standard suspension with firmer springs and dampers, larger anti-roll bars, stronger front control arm ball joints, a lower ride height, heavy duty steering rack, and slightly more negative.
It was available in coupé and convertible body styles. Although the blind spots are wider than in the old car, they're not dangerously so. Was ours just a shaky example? These unwelcome developments were mitigated by the car's increased refinement and a slight hike in its performance relative to the former E36 car, helping it retain a spot on our 10Best list. So, after years of legal and political jiggery-pokery, the new Comerica Park hey, everything's for sale these days opened in April to great fanfare. We never tested the former 323i cabrio, but the new one whooshes from rest to 60 mph in 7.
Doing so brings total luggage volume to 11 up from nine in the E36 ragtop. The engine featured dry sump lubrication as its racing counterpart and bigger radiators. The redesigned front and rear fascias and the rear wing optimised aerodynamics. Archived from on 22 July 2010. Regarding the chassis, there's little to complain about in terms of raw numbers.