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BMW 320Ci Cabriolet | shed week

PistonHeads

As Shed was nearing the end of his Silesia break, he thought he’d do a quick price comparison between used cars there and here in the UK.

At the Auto Center in Tychy, the city where Fiat Chrysler has been making cars for the past 30 years, find a 9,000-mile 2020 Dodge Challenger, 6.4 392 ScatPack Widebody for £49,000, which you’d pay for a similar one here, and 2021 Ford Mustang 5.0 GT with 2,500 miles for £40,000, which is actually a bit less than its UK counterpart.

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Most interesting, to him at least, was the 83,000-mile 2016 Porsche Cayenne 4.2 that was advertised in the same outlet for just under £59,000. The UK equivalent would be closer to £31,000 – £32,000.

At this point, two things popped into Shed’s old, scaly head. One, it’s clear that there was a lot of respect for German engines used in Silesia, and two, that SOTW’s offer of under £1,500 this week, a clean-looking late-model E46 320Ci, may be more valuable in Silesia than the £1,490 that was made. Ordered it in Croydon while we were going to press.

Shed doesn’t follow world news much, or to be honest at all, so he’s now excitedly looking at the idea of ​​setting up a business channel between the UK and Silesia for used BMWs. While we wish him all the best with that, let’s take a more detailed look at this 320 ragtop.

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As often happened with the German Specialized models, there was significant overlap between the production of the old E46 3 Series convertible and the new E90 3 Series. By March 2006, our rooftop registration date, the next E90 model had already been out of the line for more than a year. The engine in the 320Ci will be a smooth, well-liked M54B22 2.2-liter inline-six producing 168 horsepower at 6100 rpm and 155 pound-feet at 3500 rpm—good stats when matched with the five-speed manual gearbox.

The timing is by chain and the reliability should be good as long as the right maintenance is done and you can’t speed things up that can’t be said from the cold. Ignoring signals and caking valves can be a problem, as can thermostat related coolant issues. The block is aluminum and there could be a problem with the head threads. The camera’s position sensors also become jagged.

But, as said, properly cared for, this is a great drivetrain. Acceleration from 0 to 62 mph in the low ’80s shows up on the manual and you can go up to 140 mph if you like. The official combined fuel consumption figure is 31.7 mpg but the mid to low twenties are likely to be in mixed use.

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The mileage on this car is low for the year at 119,000 and the MOT history doesn’t give any particular cause for concern. A small oil leak was reported over 98,000 miles in 2019 along with some front ball play. Next, the comments made by testers were related to the type of wear and tear you’d expect to see on a lightly used vehicle (damper oil spray, cracking of the tire sidewalls). The front brakes appear to have been done earlier this year, so that cost was precisely avoided.

The drapery surface doesn’t look like it, and the photos show it moving up and down, a feature Shed has always appreciated in any stylist who might come his way. Some owners think their E46 tops are broken when in fact all they need to do is move the lever under the boot box to the correct position and hi presto is all fixed. The seats were not as good as the ceiling. Looks like Bob the binman was making his combos in it. If that sort of thing bothers you, you should have no problem picking up a full range of used leather alternatives for under £250, or under £400 for M sport items.

Summer may be over in the UK, but you can mentally extend the season in something like this. Hit it fast before Shed tries to capture him for the first container load linked to Silesia.

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