RESERVE LOWERED - 2006 BMW (E46) 318Ci M Sport Convertible
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・3 owners from new
・Serviced and ready to go
Hailing from the days before Chris Bangle’s ‘flame surface’ styling approach took over at BMW, the E46 3 series convertible is a conventionally handsome 4 seat drop top with a fabric roof, unlike its successors which went the folding metal hardtop route for a couple of generations (with, it has to be said, the attendant weight penalty and styling compromises that go with it). Available in more comfort-oriented SE spec or as the M-Sport edition, the latter had M3-aping styling, bigger 18 inch alloys, sports seats and stiffer suspension.
The range of engines included 4 and 6 cylinder petrols and diesels with the 318 seen here defying its name badge with a 2 litre 150hp power unit which drives the rear wheels through a five speed gearbox. Now coming into their own as a modern classic, E46 3 series convertibles have a keen band of followers and provide a mix of the essential mod cons with the appeal of a well designed and fun to drive car from a slightly simpler time.
This car was registered in October 2006 and was delivered to its first owner in Sunderland and then heading further South around 2010 by the looks of the stamps in the service book. The records show that it has been regularly maintained and this is apparent in its condition today. Following a recent service, it just had a successful visit to the MOT station though the tyres mentioned as an advisory have now been replaced. The interior has also benefited from a new gear knob as the old one was discoloured (as seen in some of the pictures).
The leather bound wallet of owner’s manuals is present and contains the service booklet that shows regular servicing throughout the car’s life with the most recent service, which included spark plugs, in August of this year. The V5 is present and the current MOT expires on 23 Sep 2022. Note that the number of previous owners on the V5 has been inflated by one by the recent removal of a personalised number plate.
Specified with light grey leather and aluminium cube trim, the cabin looks great and, with only some light patina on the seats, it all remains in very good condition. The M-Sport package includes sports seats which are electrically adjusted and heated here, perfect for top down motoring in the colder weather.
The steering wheel features the fatter rim of the M3 and has buttons for the cruise control, the BMW business radio and a phone via Bluetooth. The boot is very clean and tidy and contains a fully stocked original toolkit.
We don’t know for certain but our guess is that this car has always been garaged as the condition of the paintwork and, in particular, the hood suggest that it hasn’t spent much time exposed to the elements. Finished in Titanium Silver, the bodywork is almost unmarked with only a couple of touches in stone chips. The wheels are largely unmarked and have two new tyres on the nearside, as noted above, and good tread on the offside.
The dark blue hood operates smoothly up and down and has a glass rear window which again provides greater usability in the winter months. Being the later update of the E46, the rear lights are LED while the rear bumper has built in parking sensors. Underneath is also very clean. Overall, it’s in lovely condition and will surely make its next owner very proud.
Although sufficiently modern for the engine bay to be swathed in plastic covers, what’s visible is clean and tidy and the motor starts first time, every time. The 2 litre twin cam engine provides sufficient shove and is of course rather more economical than the six cylinder models which will be some reassurance to anyone who’s been paying attention to fuel prices of late.
On the road, it’s very refined and there are no unusual noises from the drivetrain or suspension. In summary, it’s ready to be enjoyed.
The E46 is becoming widely appreciated as a modern classic for its timeless design and driving dynamics. As a convertible, it adds a whole new dimension while retaining the usability that’s inherent in the underlying model. With a glass rear screen and heated seats, it really is a drop top that can be used all year round.
All that said, they are becoming increasingly hard to find in this condition, backed up by a solid history. If you want a tidy example which will be usable day to day, then this could be the one for you. What are you waiting for?
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RESERVE LOWERED - 2006 BMW (E46) 318Ci M Sport Convertible
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