Mileage: 176,000 Miles
Exterior color: Mystic Blue Metallic Exterior (A07)
Interior: Grey Napa Leather Interior (N6TT)
Cold Weather Package
Shadowline Trim (vinyl) and Kidney Grills
ZHP Style Block Cube (masked) Interior Trim
Adaptive (steering & leveling) Xenon Projector Headlights
M Weighted Shift Knob
Z3 Short Shifter
Fresh BF Goodrich g-Force Comp-2 Tires
LED Interior Lights
Clean CarFax, Complete Maintenance History
This 325Ci in amazing condition, it presents like a car with half the age and mileage. The most important element in any used BMW is the previous owner’s stewardship and this E46 (1999 to 2005 3 Series) is the perfect example of that. It was originally purchased at Winslow BMW in Colorado Springs and serviced correctly there by the first owner. In 2011 the second owner brought it to Northern Colorado where he commuted from Ft. Collins to Greeley. It has been spared the wear and tear of city traffic and the minefields that we euphemistically call streets in Denver. It has enjoyed wide-open expanses of highways and the fantastic driving roads in the Northern Colorado foothills, the perfect home for any BMW. The second owner was an enthusiast who continued the proper maintenance program and added some tasteful upgrades that modernize the car and accent its sportiness. The result of his commute is higher mileage, but I look for clean E46’s all the time and often see cars with half the mileage in much worse condition.
The most striking impression I’ve had driving this car is how pure the E46 experience is in a sport-packed 325 Coupe. It has almost all of the luxuries of an M3, with none of the weight of the XI AWD variants. The form isn’t diluted with extra doors (that said by a sedan lover) and the power to weight ratio is in a sweet spot that offers everything you need in a street car. It’s a fantastic driving experience that offers the E46-specific amenities (subtle lighting illuminating the center console from above is my favorite), yet it is still connected and visceral. By the 2004 model year, the E46 had been refined with improved steering feel, wider kidney grills, a revised front facia, white turn signal indicator lenses, and LED tail lights. The 3-spoke steering wheel, bolstered seats, suspension, and style 119 17” wheels of the sport package add purpose. The best option, though, are the adaptive Xenon headlights that not only self-level, but also steer (another ’04 model year upgrade). The effect of a coordinated eye-hand steering input is like you moved them with your eyes!
On top of this the previous owner added several tasteful mods including blacking out the chrome trim with shadowline vinyl and black kidney grills, wheel studs, medal pedals, an M weighted shift knob, a Z3 short shifter, ZHP style block cube interior covering over the stock wood trim, and LED angel eyes (in the stock BMW housings) including a rheostat that can dim them all the way to dark. The fact that he took the time to do the latter speaks to the meticulous nature of his stewardship. His mechanical attention was no different.
Below is a list of optional and standard options based on the VIN and their BMW codes:
This E46 comes with every record since new, documenting all repairs and preventative maintenance done. The stack of receipts and records includes the first owner’s from Winslow BMW and from the second owner, who did most of the work himself. I follow the “Lifetime Maintenance Schedule” with all of my BMW’s. Following that schedule I overhauled the entire cooling system including the water pump, thermostat, thermostat housing, radiator, expansion tank, coolant level sensor, coolant temp sensor, coolant, and upper and lower radiator hoses with BMW or BMW supplier parts. Based on my personal experience I also preventatively replaced the fuel pump with a BMW VDO pump. I had one fail once at midnight on the top of a cold mountain pass, which made for a miserable night, but a great story for the BMW Club magazine. They usually fail between 100K to 150K miles. I couldn’t find a record this car’s being replaced, but the fact that it hasn’t failed yet is a testament to how gently its been used.
In the 2nd owner’s time the following has been done (most recent items in descending order):
All of the major E46 items have been addressed, the result is a car that handles and feels like it should. The common E46 maladies are not present. The subframe is intact, the VANOS is quiet, the window regulators work, the tail lamp wiring works, the cooling system has just been preventatively replaced, the final stage resistor in the HVAC functions correctly, there are no blown out pixels in the displays, and the control arm bushings have been done. All functions and controls work correctly. The AC blows cold and the heat is warm. Like any E46, it will continue to need preventative maintenance and repairs, but there are no significant issues present at this time.
The exterior is in fantastic condition for its age and mileage. It has benefitted from the 2nd owner’s meticulous detailing. The Mystic Blue Metallic paint is one of BMW’s best colors and presents great. At some point there was a clear bra on the hood, which spared it from Colorado rock chips. You can see a slight UV fade difference where the upper edge was. A new clear bra would address this and protect it from future rock chips, but it can be left as is without being the least bit offensive. There is slight chipping on the leading edges of the hood, lower valence, and mirrors along with a few small imperfections and dings on the body, but nothing glaring. The black kidney grills and shadowline trim vinyl compliment the dark blue perfectly. The tiny vortex generators on top of the mirrors reduce wind noise in the cabin at high speed. The 2nd owner hit a tire tread in August, which required replacement of the fog light, a few bumper cover clips, and the front fender liner. There is slight scratching on the right side skirt from this, but it takes searching to find. The wheels are free of curb rash and the freshly refinished brakes, wheel studs, and lug bolts look super. The windshield glass has minor pitting and a small chip, but no cracks. The side glass is excellent, along with the ceramic tint.
The interior is also in excellent condition. The grey Napa leather has no tears or rips and is very soft for its age. The worst wear areas are the driver’s seat side bolsters, which I have photographed from several angles. They aren’t as bad most BMW’s of this age. I have a technique I can show you to minimize future wear (think going #2 in the woods…). Both seat heaters work. The 2nd owner covered the front door and dashboard OEM wood trim with ZHP style block cube trim covering. He mentioned that the wood had several superficial cracks underneath. Normally I stay away from coverings like this, but he used very high quality material that has an OEM appearance, not the auto parts store mock carbon fiber that does nothing but add cheapness. He did such a great job with the installation that I suggested he hire out his services. Another great upgrade he did was LED interior lighting, including even the trunk light. It fades on and off in correct stock form and really modernizes the interior at night. The 3-spoke sport steering wheel is in great shape, its leather has no tears or scuffs. The M Weighted shift knob leather is wonderfully soft and purposeful in combination with the Z3 short shifter. The metal pedals compliment the sport package perfectly. The grey carpet on the driver’s side (under the black floor mat) is slightly dirty, but not glaring.