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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Good troll. Now play dead.
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    hit a nerve.
  • katkisonkatkison Posts: 40
    I am going to be hauling a road bike in my car next weekend. My fiance is riding in the MS150, and I am driving to Austin Sunday to pick him up and drive back. I requested that he see how the bike fits in the back of the BMW so I could drive it. I didn't want to drive to Austin by myself on a lovely Sunday morning in an Acura MDX, as nice as they are. The bike will fit in the back seat, if we take the wheels off. We will liberally line the back seat with comforter, towel, etc. to protect the bike and the leather.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You didn't hit a nerve, you need to drive both to understand. Somehow a BMW horse is a Clysedale while some other manufacturers use Shetland ponies. But unless you drive both you don't know.
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    They were steps (not gonna row gears sitting in traffic) and I felt the diff between the two was not significant enough to cover the price premium. Dealer said that until they really pack a bunch more ponies under the hood of the 330 the people who try out both steps usually come to the same conclusion -- the 330 is not different enough to justify the big bump. 3-series sales number back that up -- almost 3 325s are sold for every 330.

    Of course, those who own them will vehemently disagree, and this is most likely due to the buyer's remorse effect.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    IMO, your test drive was extremely limited, in spite of any claim to the contrary. People who have drivin both vehicles extensively know there is a very noticeable gap in the performance. I myself have driven both extensively. Whether that gap is something you want to bridge is up to you. The fact you have an opinion to the contrary doesn't make it any less true.

    You are right about something however. And that is buyers remorse. I do have a big case of it, because I really wanted the M3.

    The fact the 325 outsells the 330i is no surprise, as is the fact the Mercedes CL320AMG outsells the Ferrari 360.
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    I really seemed to have ruffled some feathers. Hey, we all know that they are all nice cars. I had originally planned to get a 5. I just loved the look of the car. Then I drove one and my head rubbed up against the headliner (I am six-three, so I have to try a car on for size). That car has about an inch less headroom than the 3! So, I tried out the 3, and even with the moonroof I fit comfortably.

    Regarding the HP, I guess that I just do not have as finely a tuned posterior to truly appreciate the 40-hp-for-$6,000 effect that others on the board do. As far as fling-ability, though, all must agree that whether you are driving a 325 or a 330, these are fun cars to toss around.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You did not ruffle any feathers. :) You are stating an opinion about performance of the engines, that I at least haven't found to be the case. That is the opinion that is no noticeable difference. There is a big difference in low-end grunt between the 2.5L and 3.0L, for the steptronic. Whether the additional $$$ is worth it, is up to you. It was worth it to me.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I had originally planned to get a 5. I just loved the look of the car. Then I drove one and my head rubbed up against the headliner (I am six-three, so I have to try a car on for size). That car has about an inch less headroom than the 3! So, I tried out the 3, and even with the moonroof I fit comfortably."

    Hmmmm, I find that statement odd. I moved up from a 1999 328i to a 2002 530i last year, and without a doubt, I have more head room in the 5-Series than I ever had in the 3er. Oddly enough, the 3-Series "Officially" has 1 inch more head room than the 5-Series. Go figure.

    Best Regards,
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    I could not get comfortable behind the wheel of the 5, and I did not want to drive laying down. If you compare the 3 and the 5 on the BMW website they are, remarkably, almost the same exact size on the inside. For me, the headroom is the problem, and it is made worse in every car that has a moonroof.
    The new 7 has quite a bit more headroom than the previous one (I had also read an article that quoted a BMW engineer that said they were increasing the headroom of the cars as they redesigned them due to demand for this). So, maybe the new 5 has taken those of us who are tall into consideration.
  • enforcerenforcer Posts: 40
    When I leased my first BMW in 1993, the 325 was the high-end model in the 3-series, so I find it amusing that people diss' the 325 now that the 330 is in the top spot.

    If memory serves, my old 325 provided more than enough of power, especially if you revv'd up the RPM scale in the lower gears. Of course, the automatic might be a different story.
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    brave1: I hauled the 12 foot tree across town, not from Austin. That would have been a sight! -- M3 at 120mph and 8ft of an live oak tree hanging out the back --now that would be a good story. Ausitin is 150mph from Houston. 40% of the trip is on I10 where you can usually do 80-95mph safely on a weekend day. 60% of the trip is on Highway 71 where you can usually do 95-120mph with relative safety --there is very little traffic and it is limited access and divided 4 lane highway.

    In my averages, I count only the time on the highway -- not driving in the city of Houton or Austin.
  • memphis10memphis10 Posts: 161
    mrl11777 - I am in the market for a 3 series and I have driven both the cars several times. My budget does not allow me to buy a new 330 but this is my honest opinion. 325 5 speed is nice and fast, very close in performance to a 330 auto. I haven't driven a 330 5/6 speed. 325 automatic is very sluggish. Therefore, I have decided to get a 325 manual or a used 330 auto. I cannot say if the price difference justifies the difference in performance, but the 330 auto outperforms the 325 auto by a huge margin.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Pull the service records on the pre-owned 330i. And do as much research as you can stand. If it were me the driving factor for this deal would be the tranny, not the car.

    I don't feel the 325 is inadequate, but when it's stacked up to a 330 with the same tranny one can really feel the difference, 1/2 liter makes.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Interestingly enough, the "Official" acceleration numbers from BMW support your "Butt Dyno"; the 330iA does 0-60 in 7.0 seconds while the 325i does it in 7.1 seconds. In an apples to apples comparison, the 5-Speed versions of the 330i and the 325i sprint to 60 in 6.4 (5.9 for the Performance Package) and 7.1 respectively, while the automatic versions do 7.0 and 8.1, so if anything, the automatic handicaps the 325i even more.

    Best Regards,
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    There may be a $6000 difference, but don't forget that the 330i includes standard equipment that is optional on the 325.

    If you add 17" wheels, power seat w/memory, on-board computer, and the HK stereo, add about $3000 to the price of the 325i.

    And you're still shy 40 hp and a 6-speed XMSN.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    You'd have lot of 'splaining to do if you get pulled over in an "M3 at 120mph and 8ft of an live oak tree hanging out the back". BTW, I almost forgot to take out my son's seat the night before the driving school. It would've been funny pulling it out from the rear seat as the guy next to me in the paddock is unloading the slicks from his rear seat :o)

    Up here in the NorthEast with all its traffic enforcement, it's risky to cruise at high speed for too long. Speed traps are everywhere. You guys are lucky.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Guys, don't fool yourselves - the 330 is significantly faster than the 325, all else equal. 0-100 is in the 15s for the 330 and just under 20 sec for the 325 (both manual, per C&D's various tests). The 330 should be able to almost keep up with an E36 M3 on the track. The question has never been whether the 330 is noticeably faster than the 325 - it's whether it's worth the 4-6K difference (depending on how you calculate it). They are both great cars and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    your '93 325 was several hundred pounds lighter than today's 325, and they just now have caught up in HP. when the 325 was the top dog (besides the M3) it received a lot more HP than what it got when the 328 arrived, and only now is the 330 sufficiently "ahead" to allow the 2.5L to make decent power again.

    we covered this maybe 100-200 posts back. someone was curious why the '94 325 made so much HP.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    There is a "Search this Discussion" box on the page link bars which is kinda new and very helpful. It will search throughout the discussion for whatever keyword you give it and return links to all the posts in this discussion that contain that word.

    Hope this helps.
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