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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • mg330cimg330ci Posts: 162
    I elected the coupe (5-spd manual)SP, leather, sunroof.

    I prefer the lines of the coupe (are they pretty or what?) Also, I just don't like the front of the sedan.

    My 2 kids have no problems in the back. One uses a booster, and there is reasonable space for getting her set-up on the booster. (our other vehicle is a Honda Odyssey, and we used it most of the time when we take the kids, without it, I might have picked the sedan)

    Adults at least up to 6ft are comfortable in the back.
  • mg330cimg330ci Posts: 162
    I don't know, the surgical facelift (literally) that BMW did to the 3 series is not of my liking.

    Following extensive surgery, BMW just inverted the turning signals from left to right and viceversa, so now it points up (smile) instead of down (mean?)

    Do you guys like the Joan Rivers (post facelift #237) look of the 2003, or the previous appareance of the 2002 model?

    Of course, this is just my personal opinion! (it is funny to analyze how this companies completely change the look of the car by doing this "complete extensive redesign" which means just switching the turning lights in betwen!)
  • Hi everyone,

    I currently have a 330i on order for European Delivery in June. One option that I've been waivering back and forth on is the Navigation system. I've never had navigation in my cars, but I've heard good things about them in general. It would be great for road trips and finding my way to new places around town without always getting on the computer and printing out maps from mapquest.

    My concern with ordering the BMW Nav system is (1) cost ($1640 invoice price), and (2) relatively lackluster reviews by people, esp. in comparison to other brands like Toyota/Lexus and Acura.

    Any recommendations or thoughts either way regarding the BMW navigation, in particular the current DVD-based system, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help everyone!
  • I had the nav in my '00 323. I bought it when I lived outside of DC. It was great and very detailed. I moved to a more rural location and I never used it. I loved the screen and the displays. I thought it made the interior look much more luxurious as well. It moved the climate control down to the little eyeglass cubby hole which looked nice.

    In all honesty, it was kinda of a pain to use. If you put in directions and knew the way but wanted to "test the system" it would sometimes send you a different way that would be longer. To me it was easier to call to get directions on the cell phone then try to enter the address while driving. I would want it if I bought a used BMW to let the first owner eat the cost. I would not order the option if buying new.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,129
    Many of the "old wives tales" about convertibles don't really apply to the 3 series. Yes it will get hot and all of that, but BMW designed the coupe first as a convertible and then added the roof further along in the design stage. Unlike Toyota which has ASC chop the roof off of a Camry Solara so it's chassis is about as still as a wet noodle. The 3 series Convertibles have long been praised for their excellent structural rigidity and lack of cowl shake.

    As for coupe or convertible: when I was considering the 3 series last year, I was going fo a coupe all the way. But I was 26 and single at the time. I ended up choosing a Honda Prelude which is actually less practical then the 3 coupe.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Thanks, that's what I wanted to hear.
  • I had a '98 BMW 323 and have just ordered an '04 330.

    I disagree:

    " -The seats get dirty very quickly and the sticky sap from the trees must be continually wiped off.
     -Convertibles are very hot in the summer so get used to sweating a lot.
     -The top will rattle after a few months.
     -Both of my convertibles developed leaks where the top meets the windows.
     -There will be a lot of wind noise.
     -Don't remember if there was a higher insurance premium."

    A. Put the top up when you park under a tree (and everywhere else; why leave it down; it's autamatic.
    B. Well of course it is, there is no top. But if you get hot, put the top up and turn on the AC.
    C. I had mine two years. No rattles
    D. Duh. Of course there will be wind has no top.
    E. I don't think there is any insurance diffference.

    Convertibles are great. There is some overall firmness being that there is no top. However, it is a BMW. It's plenty firm.

    It does cost more. ;(
  • denkdenk Posts: 75
    I never dreamed anyone would take my comment about wind noise to mean when the top was down, so to clarify, I was talking about wind noise when the top was up.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    I think I'd rather have a real roadster. It's not as if the 3 series trunk or rear seat are voluminous to begin with, take away some of that for the top and the side braces...

    Of course, the Z4 is pretty... ah, different. But I would've sprung for a Z3 without reservation.

  • I was in the same boat as you on my recent ED purchase. Nav or no Nav? Is it worth the 1640? Will I use it enough to justify the cost? Is it really that inferior to Lexus' system?

    In the end, I decided to get the nav, and I bet every car I buy in the future will have a Nav. I'm not saying I am in love with the BMW NAV, but it can be very practical, and it super improves the car's interior, IMO.

    Ask yourself this (if you're financing some of the price): is it worth the extra 35-ish dollars/month? I can still answer that question affirmatively.

    The best way to analyze it is to see how many people out there with the nav are saying it is NOT worth it? I think you'll find that an overwhelming majority (including myself) say they are glad they have it.

    In other words, just bite the bullet and order it ;-)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, I have been batting this one around for a number of years, and for me, it's not worth it, yet. Why? Depending upon which model and model year, either two or four reasons:

    All Model Years:

    1) Cost, I simply cannot justify $1,800 for a fancy map, however, if we are talking about my wife, $3,000 isn't too much money. ;-)

    2) Cost of a periodic update is WAY more than a new Rand-McNally map book, and (based upon comments that I have heard) often times less accurate.

    Pre 2003 3-Series and All 5-Series:

    3) Cannot have the in-dash CD and the NAV system, you must opt for the cassette instead. Ugh!

    Pre 2003, All 3-Series and 5-Series models:

    4) NAV system was CD based, and required you to carry (purchase?) seperate CDs for different parts of the country.

    Best Regards,
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I guess I'll chime in.

    Is it worth it? I have used it plenty in my first year and have 23,000 miles,10 states and 4 countries to validate it.

    Is it accurate? Not always, it failed me most in my birthplace, Ipswich, England. It fail some more in my father's home town, Luton,England. I works quite well in Houston until I get downtown.

     The cassette player in the dash actually benefits me. I have over 300 cassettes and most religious material still comes on cassette. By the time some ministeries start using CDs, some other medium will out there.

    I would love to have the DVD based system but I have not seen the prices of the disc. As it stands now, you can get a set of updated disc for $200 to $300. If the update DVD costs $300, then you are only paying for convienence.

    It is good, because this co-pilot does not go to sleep. It is not the easiest system to use, I like the Nissan/Renault NAV but the BMW Nav does the job. I don't think I would want the touch-screen. I don't like grubby finger prints on anything.

    To tell you the truth there are very few options that are worth the money. IMHO, the only options that look like they are worth the money are the Bi-Xenon, SP and CWP.
  • I was wondering, I heard somewhere that you must choose a package when you purchase a 330ci. Is this true, and are you also required to pick a package for the 330i? Thanks
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Who ever told you that told you wrong. You can certainly go an order a 330ci or 330i with non-metallic paint, and a leatherette interior, and not so much as a single option, and BMW will gladly produce your car for you for an MSRP of $36,295. That said, if you want to buy one out of dealer inventory, the betting is that you will not find one so (un-) equipped.

    Best Regards,
  • you guys make excellent points both ways on the issue of whether to order the NAV. in the end, i've decided to bite the bullet and just order it for much of the reasons listed by ipatty13. knowing me, if i ordered the car without NAV, i'd probably regret not paying the $30 or so extra per month for the system, especially those times when the mrs. and i are trying to find a restaurant from our trusty entertainment coupon book, or heading out for a weekend trip.

    i think for me, the extra $30 per month will be worth it for the added convenience of the NAV. still wish it was cheaper than the $1640 invoice price though.
  • You mentioned that you had your car over in England. I was going to buy a new car when I moved over but a few weeks ago I learned it wasn't illegal to drive "right-hand" cars in England. Do you happen to know:

    (1) Would I lose free scheduled maintenance?
    (2) The costs to modify a 3-series to English specs?
    (3) Costs to ship?
    (4) In general, do you think it's worth it?

    I'd prefer to bring my car over because I'd take a big loss selling a 6 month old car and because cars are so expensive over there (that VAT is killer).
  • I found the previous questions very interesting regarding the trade-offs of owning a convertible. I've never had one but like most of us, on those picture perfect days I find myself filled with lust when I see someone motoring by with the top down and a smile on their face. I live in the NE and we are in the grips of one of the worst winters in recent memory. So to those of you who've owned these tanning machines, what do you think? Do you get one and then move on to hardtops because it's out of your system or once you've owned one you don't go back? I have 18 months left on my 330 and I'm already contemplating my next 3 series. One and all feel free to chime in.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Can't say if you should go top down or not in your next purchase, but if you do go top down, I'd recommend a 2000-01 M Roadster. They can be owned for $30k or so right now (assuming you can live with a roadster).
  • Need the back seat and some trunk room for golf clubs etc. Was thinking that a 325 with SMG might be cool. My guess is that living where I do I would probably have the top down only about 20% of the time. So I would love to know what you give up in real world driving (I don't race) with the top up.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    There are a few modifications that will have to be done to the headlight. US cars had their light point slightly to the right. You may have to get the city lights and rear fogs activated. My brother goes to England from Germany about four to six times a year. He has patches that deflect the light on his headlights.
    You would lose the free maintenance because their warranty is not as long as ours. Since you bought your car thru BMWNA, the warranty is different. You could probably call BMWNA on this. You should not have to change much but I can contact my brother. It is not illegal to have a LHD in England, some Brits have been known to buy their cars in Bellgium because of the ridiculous cost of some cars in the UK. I don't know the cost involved to taking a car to the UK. If you email me at, I'll check with my brother before he get sent to war.
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