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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    BMW AG must be doing something seriously wrong if DeVille owners are looking to switch to a 3-series, lol... Some E36 M3 owners actually claim they can feel through the steering wheel when they go over a pea-sized piece of gravel - that must be a little unsettling for unsuspecting new buyers.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Ignore the advice of the Geo-driving "expert". The E30(1984-1991 Three Series) is still held in high regard by thousands of BMW enthusiasts. The best bang for the buck would be a 325is; the only real down side is that the M20 "small six" engine has a timing belt which must be changed every 60K miles. I'd avoid the '84-'85 318i as well as the 325e. The 1991 318is is a sweet car, but make sure the 1.8 engine had the profile gasket replaced with a post-1994 gasket. In any event, the real key to the wise purchase of an older Bimmer is to insist on complete service records as well as having the car checked out by a good BMW mechanic. BMWs of that vintage require bi-annual coolant changes and a brake fluid change every year. If these and other service requirements have not been followed, walk away. An abused/neglected BMW is no bargain. Check out particularly the links and the classified ads. And remember that a majority of "experts" on BMW repair costs base their moronic opinions on second or third hand information-they usually can't spell"BMW", much less own one...;)
  • jay108jay108 Posts: 52
    I sold my Geo recently after 5 reliable years. Currently driving a new Pontiac. I must admit the Geo Prizm was a much better car than my 318 that I owned and hated for 9 months.

    I'm not an expert, I'm just a guy who has a bad opinion of BMW. I will continue to post my bad opinions here. I'm not trolling when I stick to the facts.

    I hate BMW.
  • hippo168hippo168 Posts: 115
    On Apr 16, 2003, 9:08am, you said on the Acura TSX board the following...

    "I'm going to go over the BMW 3 series discussion and claim the Hyundai Elantra is better than the BMW 325; of course I don't believe such a claim, I just like to what kind of rebuttal I get."

    Trolling or not, you lost all your credibility right there.

    btw, don't even reply, this is my last post to you.
  • CrevelsCrevels Posts: 37

    Continue to read and learn much from this group. Thanks for the information and insight. Often don't have anything to post that hasn't been said before, so I just read along. 1 month and 1,400 miles on my CPO 330Ci and truly enjoying every minute of it.

    I installed the UGO last weekend and it took about 30 minutes. Anyone thinking of doing it shouldn't be concerned. There are great instructions at I was concerned about cutting the cover, but the installation went flawless. Now my question, I'm thinking of getting the BMW 6-disc changer for the trunk. Has anyone installed one themselves and how difficult was it?

    '02 CPO 330Ci
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "I'm just a guy who has a bad opinion of BMW. I will continue to post my bad opinions here."

    You bought a 6 year old used car with 80,000 miles, and you didn't have it checked out by a mechanic first...

    I wouldn't buy a 6 year old BMW, Lexus, or ANY car without a mechanics approval. You should accept responsibility for your actions and stop blaming BMW for your failure.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I believe this quote from Dilbert is appropriate:
    "Argue with an idiot and he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience."
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Folks, let's just skip this issue and help someone who really is asking for help. :-)

    newguy14 Apr 24, 2003 10:55pm
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    Another piece of cake job. If your car already has the bracket then it will take you about 30 minutes, and that includes getting a cup of coffee. Much less complcated than doing the UGDO (nothing to cut). Bought mine from for $315 total (unit, adapter and shipping).
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    "FWIW: In Great Britain, the traffic on the Ms is great. The right hand lane is exclusively for passing and it is great to see people pass and move over repeatedly -- like playing leap frog. The flow is great and everyone keeps their cool. Unfortunately we are not as civilized."

    I have to disagree here. I have driven around the M25 and a couple sprints up and down the M1. The right land lane is not exclusive for passing. The UK also has obnoxious drivers. Driving on the motorways in the UK sucks. The French toll roads are better.

    To make matters worse, after driving in Europe, there seems to be a stereotype of BMW drivers. Sometimes, if you don't watch it, you will find yourself as part of that stereotype.

    Headlight flashing-I find this to be more the case in the US, then my limited 6 days in Germany. I have never had headlight flashed at me in Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Wales or England except in Germany from a car coming the opposite direction. The Xenons must have blinded him. In Germany, you will see people use their left indicator.
  • jay108jay108 Posts: 52
    I think I've helped enough here.

    I'll be over at Pontiac if you care to follow.

    Happy motoring!
  • dan_bmwdan_bmw Posts: 29
    Well, here I am all pscyhed up about my new 330i which will be ready for delivery at my dealership on Monday afternoon. I took a test drive in all four BMW's that I was interested in. These included the 325i, 330i, 525i and the 530i. Now you kind of took a bit of the thrill out of what I have been waiting for since I ordered the car in late February. Was your experience really that negative? I did not get that impression but my test drive with the 330i was very short and limited. I was concerned about the ride but I was encouraged about all the other opinions I heard from other 330i owners in discussion. I guess I will find out for myself on Monday and if things are as bad as you say they are I will only have to put up with it for the 3 year lease. However, I'm betting that the 330i is not the car for you and I am going with the multitudes of 330i drivers that show an appreciation for this great car's handling, performance and excellance.
  • dan_bmwdan_bmw Posts: 29
    I may be mistaken but I believe that the 330i comes with the same sports suspension whether you order the sports Package or not. However, your point about the performance tires is well taken.
  • joes230joes230 Posts: 94
    Yes the current 330i has the "sports" spring rates and shock valving, whether you order the sports package or not. However the tires make a big difference.

    The regular 330i has all season 205/50-17 tires. The 330i SP has lower profile, "staggered" summer performance 225/45-17 and 245/40-17 tires. Optional on the sport package are even lower profile, staggered summer performance 225/40-18 and 255/35-18 tires. I've driven 330is with all three tires back to back, and (to me) there's a significant difference.

    Yet another issue is new cars (which can include demos) often have over inflated tires. This can make the car even more jittery and harsh riding. My 330i was delivered with approx 40F & 45R psi in the tires. If abc246's demo car had tires like this, that would explain part of it.

    With even the regular 330i SP, and properly-inflated 17 in tires, I can see how someone long accustomed to older, softer riding American cars would initially find it somewhat firm.

    Although my 330i SP feels just right, at first it seemed a little firm and choppy. I wondered how on earth could anybody want the even firmer riding 18 in tires? But after a while I got used to it, and now it almost feels too soft on occasion. But it's really just right. The car is very responsive, handling-wise.

    To me the only negative thing is a slight tramlining and bump steer effect on some road surfaces. Many 330i SP owners report this, which varies with the exact road surface and tire type. It seems the Michelin Pilot Sport is a little worse in this regard, although it has better grip than the Continental ContiSportContacts. My car has the Contis.
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    Here are the packages available on the 2000 328i:

    Premium: leather seats, power lumbar adjustment in seats, wood trim, auto dimming mirror, rain sensing wipers, moonroof.

    Sport: 3 spoke multifunction steering wheel, 17 X 8 wheels with perf. tires, sport suspension, power seats.

    There is also a Sport/Premium package that combines both.
  • scipio1scipio1 Posts: 142
    The Sport Package definitely has a tighter suspension than non-SP configs. The new Performance Package even more so.

    To the test drive poster (I can't remember, are you transitioning from a DeVille?). It's likely just a case of expectations versus reality. The 330i undoubtedly has a tighter suspension than an SUV or large american car, and if that's not what you're looking for, then I'd second the poster who said a Mercedes 320 is probably a much better way to go than a BMW.

    Your post made me smile a bit though, because I found my 330i, even with the Sport Package, to be uninspiringly sedate. Do yourself a favor, take an M3 out for a spin. If you absolutely can't get used to the ride, put it behind you and forget you ever considered a BMW. If you can get to love it though, no words are capable of expressing the delight second gear can give you in a long, rising curved on-ramp.

    P.S. (If you think the E30/E36 M3s communicated the road feel, try the E46... wooooOOOOOOOOoooooo)
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Well, I've spent considerable seat time in all three and my favorite is still the E30 M3, followed by the E46. I prefer the M Coupe over any M3, however.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,671
    I don't think you can get it for $2500, but the '91 318is is a great pick.. I wouldn't go any earlier than that.. The 325e engines from the '80s had tractor-like gearing..


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • mg330cimg330ci Posts: 162
    I believe it actually leans a little bit too much on tight turns, perhaps to remind the driver that the laws of physics still exist. Otherwise, is the perfect compromise (although I must confess never driven an M3, so my perception might change if I do)

    I encourage people not to buy a BMW just because of the name, but actually test drive all your alternatives.

    I bet you will be happier in a Lexus ES 300 sedan. From what you describe abc, this might be your perfect match: peaceful, sedate, complete disengagement from the road, absolute zero noise, etc
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I'm surprised to hear that you prefer the E46 M3 over the E36 M3. I have not driven an E46 M3 and can't comment on it from personal experience but a lot of enthusiasts that have drive both prefer the E36 M3 and claim that the E46 is too isolated from the road. Maybe the perception is due to the fact that the E46's chassis is more rigid and that it is also heavier?!?
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