E46 330i VS E90 330i: What’s the Difference Between BMW e46 and e90

If you want to buy a BMW series, then you are left with three options. You can choose to purchase the E30, E46, or the E90. They are all great cars and you will not regret buying any. This post is going to compare the E46 VS E90 and leave you to make the right choice for you.

The E46 series was built to replace the E36 model and it achieved that successfully. Although the E36 was safe, luxurious, and fast, it was nothing compared to the success of the E46. When it was first released, it outdid the former model in every aspect. The E46 was more luxurious, safer, faster, and was the top choice for motorists. It quickly replaced the E36 as the best BMW series back then. It was available in wagon, convertible, coupe, and sedan.

While the E46 was still enjoying its fame, BMW released another killer series which is the E90. It was much better than the E46 and soon became a sought after product. It was more luxury, and larger than any BMW series before it. As of 2006, it became the bestselling car in Canada and the United States until 2010. It also came in convertible, sedan, and coupe.

What does E90 mean in BMW?

The E means the chassis code of the vehicle. The E series are the only BMW generation to ever have a V8 engine. The E90 was built in 2006 and represents the Sedan current 3 series. Then the E91also built that same year means the Wagon current 3 series. The E92 was released in 2007 and it means the Coupe current 3 series and then E93 released the same year means the Convertible current 3 series.

Is BMW E90 a good car?

The E90 series was built to replace the E46 and become more upgraded than it. When it was released, it exceeded more than expectations. The E90 was more luxurious and less sporty than the E46. In addition to that, it became more luxurious than the E36 and E40. From 2006 to 2011, it became one of the bestselling cars in Canada and the United States. Motorists were purchasing it because of its level of comfort.

Every single series of the E90 car is great. They all had upgraded features such as manual gearbox option, balanced chassis, and hydraulic steering. As long as you have the cash for it, go for it. The car offers comfort and luxury to its owners.

How reliable is BMW E90

BMW is one of the most reliable German brands worldwide. Even though the E90 replaced the E46 with better and more upgraded features, it is quite reliable. However, this does not mean that the vehicle does not have its own problems. Some of the problems associated with the E90 are steering column problems, water pump failure, and valve cover gasket issues. Once you discover the sign of any of these problems in your E90, you need to take it to the mechanic immediately. A water pump failure can damage the engine making you spend more money to repair. Just like any other car, the E90 needs to be managed regularly. Always watch out for any strange symptom.

What does E46 mean on BMW?

The BMW produced its fourth generation car which is the BMW E46 from 1994 until 2006. Its body styles include 4 door sedan, 2 door convertible, 2 door coupe, 5 door wagon, and 3 door hatchback. It was the first BMW series to have a Valvetronic engine. In addition to this, it has other features such as electronic brake-force distribution, rain-sensing wipers, an LED taillight, and satellite navigation.

Is BMW E46 a good car?

If you have not used any BMW series before, then the E46 series is probably the best choice for you. It is luxurious, attractive, and reliable. The vehicle works fast and is portable. If you are on a budget, then it is the best BMW series you go for. It gives you the value for your money. In addition to this, the E46 offers luxurious performance to the comfort of the driver.

No car is perfect. So, the E46 had its own faults. It had a rear subframe problem at first until it was fixed after 2003. Another common problem is that its water pump is susceptible to fall. It is likely to fail with one hundred thousand miles. So, you will have to replace its water pump, fan clutch, and thermostat once you purchase it.

How reliable is BMW E46

As I have mentioned earlier in this post, German cars are one of the most reliable cars worldwide. BMW is topping the chart on reliable cars. Just like the E90, BMW E46 is quite reliable too. However, there are some problems that are common to the vehicle. These problems include failing water pump, torn shocks mounts, valve cover gasket issue, and lower control arm bushing. It is left of you as the owner to make sure this car is maintained. Always look out for signs and symptoms and get it fixed.

E46 330i VS E90 330i: which is better BMW E46 or E90?

BMW E46 and E90 are both reliable cars that became the product of a trusted brand. The E90 was built to be more upgraded than the E46 so it has certain features more than it. The E90 is more luxurious than E46 more than you can even imagine. Back in 2006, it became the bestselling car and it maintained that position until 2010. It is much comfortable to drive in an E90 than an E46. However, if you want to go for either one, you need to put your budget into consideration. The E90 335i costs about 10 thousand to 20 thousand dollars and the prices of its lower models are from $7k to $10k.

BMW E46 costs about 4 thousand to 9 thousand depending on its age, mileage, country, and so on. If you would want a more luxurious car, then you should get the E90. However, if you are on a budget, the E46 is the appropriate choice. It also has its own level of luxury.

How do I know if my BMW is E46 or E90

Every BMW model has a different rear. They are categorized as E, F, and G models. The BMW E 90 was produced from 2005 and it ended in 2011. While the BMW E 46 was produced in 1998 but production ended in 2005.


In summary, before you decide to purchase either the BMW E46 or E90, you will need to consider how much you are willing to part away for a car. Both vehicle are fairly reliable and you will get your money worth.

Get the low down

Receive the latest news & updates from our team.

Recent Updates

What is a transmission? Transmission is the gearbox that provides the torque conversion and speed from the engine to the wheels. The transmission must be…

There are many important parameters in a vehicle and your oil pressure is just one of them. If you notice that the light of your…

We are sharing in this post, the Wise registry cleaner for windows 10. So, if your computer has been running sluggishly and you have been…

One essential and important routine for every vehicle is keeping track of its transmission fluid. You need to regularly keep track of your transmission fluid…

BMW is one of the greatest car brands in the world. They are known for building iconic sports cars that are used all over the…