What is the sound of one piston slapping?
What is the sound of one piston slapping?

Endlessly shopping dailies, I’m currently on the fence between the constant V6 6 speed Acura TL 3rd-gen. $4000-7000 for one with 90-150k miles in reasonable shape. But then something else has come to my attention: E46 330s aren’t all that unreliable. $600 buys a kit to replace the faulty cooling system components and then you have a perfectly reliable sports coupe until the $500 alternator shits the bed.

BMW Pros:


Ultimate Driving Machine

Looks phenomenal, aged super well

Straight 6 smoothness

Badge snobbery

Better fuel economy according to EPA numbers (??!?!?)

Available as a coupe

Well-built turgid German turn signals

BMW Cons:

Potentially more expensive repairs due to parts costs.


Acura Pros:

Looks phenomenal

Honda reliability

Not pretentious/flies under the radar

Acura Cons:

Sedan only


Not as flashy

Would not be as fun on twisties/autox

Illustration for article titled Daily Driver battle: E46 330 vs Acura TL

I’m considering replacing the Miata with one of these to have a larger, safer, more practical daily. To that end I lean towards the E46 because it would be a better “fun car” that can also do road trips and seat multiple people.

Curious on your thoughts. I’ve spoken to owners of both cars and most of the Acura owners would give up their cars for an E46 330 and all the 330 owners I’ve talked to have had better luck with reliability than I have with my Miata.

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