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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



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    #486 of 502  bmw of fairfax by wannabe3  Jan 09, 2001 (10:43 am)

    in response to tabbiecat and #485... we test drove at bmw of fairfax and were unimpressed with the treatment we received ...still looking for a good dealership in dc/no va/ md area...thanks for the lynchburg the way, does anyone out there know about diplomatic buying programs?>> a little better than eurodelivery prices, which is roughly 7% off MSRP. I
  • <<#485 of 503  Response to Tabbiecat (post 477) by sr54x4lemon  Jan 09, 2001 (10:15 am)

    Tabbiecat - I went to BMW of Fairfax twice. In short, they were not at all eager for my business, so I ended up buying my wife's 325XI via the telephone from Hensley Motors in Lynchburg. While BMW of Fairfax told me all inbound XIs were presold through the next few months, and that BMW had stopped accepting any orders at all due to backlog, Hensley Motors located 5 different XIs for me. When my wife didn't like the colors/options on those cars, they some how dug up an unsold production number, and we ordered the car exactly how we wanted it - during a time that you supposedly couldn't even place an order. Obvioulsy Fairfax wasn't hungry to make a deal, but Hensley was. They even delivered the car to me via flatbed approx 200 miles away.>>

    ...your post, I'd point out that dealers have an allocation, based on a number of factors, primarily how many BMWs they've sold in the past. Apparently, Fairfax's allocation was completely spoken for, but Hensley's wasn't, so they were able to order a car for you. Unfortunately, many car manufacturer's use allocations, and the car buyer doesn't realize this, and often goes to the closest dealer and gets put on a waiting list, while another dealer may have an opening for a more timely delivery.
  • qtipqtip Posts: 1
    Hey there ser1, I just wanted to offer you some advice. I'm on my third BMW 325i: I had a 1989, 1993 and now a 2000. While these cars are beautiful to drive, I have to be honest, they are absolutely awful in the snow. I've had my BMW's claim that their "limited slip differencial" (1993) make a difference (didn't) and now my 2000 has traction control. (ESC) This helps A LOT but in no way is it the same as "any front wheel drive vehicle". Its almost amusing when you try to just paralel park or turn one of these in the snow. Let alone get up a driveway. Snow tires help and manual transmition seems to assist but bottom line, its a joke in snow- great the rest of the time, a pleasure to drive.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I have a 1998 3er with ASC. Here is a narrative I wrote for another list:
    "I must respectfully disagree with those who think the BMW 3er is a poor winter weather car. Ann's ti is fitted with 195/65-15 Michelin Alpin
    XM+S for the winter months. Our driveway is a hilly half-mile of gravel road, and it NEVER gets plowed. We've had no problems negotiating any
    sort of(on-road) terrain with the ti. In fact, once Ann walked back to the house and told me she left the ti on our bridge because it wouldn't
    make it up the ice covered hill that followed(did I mention that it was 32 degrees and raining?). I went out to the bridge and drove the ti off to the side of the road so that the tires could find some grip. It negotiated the hill with no problem. Ann drove on to work while I duck-walked back home. Last Saturday night we drove home from a party on the notoriously ice-prone Snyder Freeway. As usual, a little less than 1/2 inch of snow had turned it into a skating rink. I passed several cars, SUVs, and trucks which had spun out, but the faithful bobtail plowed right through. Now, I'll admit I could feel it moving around a little, but never to the point that a steering correction was needed. One of the many things Russ Huntoon taught me on the Alcan Rally was to drive with your fingertips when road conditions are icy. The old 9 and 3 drivers school hand position will tend to make the driver input too much steering lock."

    The E46 cars have a more sophisticated tracton control system which incorporates other stability enhancing technology. Get some decent winter rubber and you shouldn't have a problem.
  • millerro3millerro3 Posts: 136
    footprints, 6.9% is indeed attainable now through the end of February, and 60 days beyond that with a BMW FS credit approval. See if he can do better though, like 5.9%, which we have been doing all day long. Maybe he is thinking that 5.9% is his buy rate and he tacked on the extra 1% to pick up his gross, we are under the impression that our buy rate is 4.9% so we do 5.9%. Good Luck!

    div2....glad to see someone is aware of the capabilities of their BMW in the snow, but have you driven a new one with the Dynamic Stability Control? IMHO, it is a night and day difference from the ASC+T(on stock tires anyway). It is nearly impossible to get out of shape in any weather, unless you're really trying to!

    I've been selling these cars for over two years now, and I am finally able to have my own enthusiasm and excitement because I just ordered a 2001 330i. Steel Grey with two tone Black and Tanin Red leather interior, Sport pkg, Cold Weather pkg, Moonroof, power seats, Xenons, Harman-Kardon, and the in dash CD player. Since I'll have the aluminum trim inside, I am also getting the aluminum pedals, aluminum E-brake handle, and the Chrome-aluminum shift knob. I now have a very good understanding and apppreciation for people who have to wait for their cars to arrive. Although I get a very good deal, I still have to wait until March for it to arrive! It seems SO far away! Oh well, I know it will be worth it

  • ser1ser1 Posts: 9
    I just want to say that I am a careful driver in the snow and not a "care free" driver. I am aware that 4wheel drive may get you going but it doesn't help you stop. This is what I intended by that statement:
    I owned a Chevy Berreta several years ago and that thing went through the snow with no problem. I know to take it easy but it was never a car I felt totally unsafe in. I never got stuck or had a problem getting up a hill. I then owned a Ford Probe and it was the worst car ever in the snow! At first I had touring tires on it, which was the biggest problem, but I couldn't get anywhere. I was going very slow on a on-ramp ,that had about dusting of snow, and I spun out 180 degrees. Also, everytime I was on the highway, in snowy conditions and switching lanes, the back-end always felt on the verge of losing control. By "care free" I mean I don't want that "feeling" of losing control or getting stuck on some hill in a couple inches of snow. I feel that I am a very safe driver since I have always lived in the NE where snow is common. I just want the feeling of having control and being able to get where I need to be safely and in control.
    And still I am concerned because I see where some people say it is good in the snow and some say it is bad. I really don't want the hassle of having to put snow tires on every year so I would like to know how good a 2001 325 is in the snow (all weather tires).

    Thanks all for your comments.

    Confirmed another test drive for this weekend in the MDX and the BMW. Yeeha!
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    There's no hassle with winter tires; go to and get some winter tires mounted on steel rims. Do the changeover yourself. Even if I use the factory jack it only takes me @1 hour- and that counts cleaning the takeoffs before I store them. Add BMW wheel covers and you are all set. Best of all, you can ash can the mediocre(at best) all-season rim protectors and use high performance tires for some serious summer driving. And isn't that the best reason to drive a BMW.
  • larryintnlarryintn Posts: 103
    If you don't want to put on snow tires in the winter then avoid the sports package. The non-sport tires do a lot better in the snow than the sport tires.

    When someone complains about the performance in the snow ask them what year model car they have and which wheels/tires they have on it. All season traction was added in 1997 and was improved with the addition of DSC in '99 (or was it the '00 model year?). Each step was a significant improvement.

    The sports package includes larger wheels and tires which are optimized for dry pavement handling. They will do noticeably worse in wet/slick conditions. If you have a sports package then the need for dedicated snow tires is greater.
  • Has anybody had any experience with good lease terms on a new 325i?
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I have a '97 328i and it does acceptably well on snow/ice. Not spectacular, but you don't fishtail when you throttle, either. 50/50 weight distribution and traction control help a lot.

    Uphill ice/snow traction is where a RWD car can suffer.

    If i lived in a northern climate with hills, i would definitely consider AWD. As is, it seems unnecessary for me.

  • I own a 2001 325i with the sport package and live in Colorado. I would not trade the SP package for anything. However the configuration is not designed for any winter driving. Some steel rims and snow tires would help. Of course I cheat. I drive an Explorer in winter.
  • <<#508 of 513  response to beetlebug62 by ser1  Jan 11, 2001 (07:07 pm)
    I just want to say that I am a careful driver in the snow and not a "care free" driver. I am aware that 4wheel drive may get you going but it doesn't help you stop. This is what I intended by that statement:
    By "care free" I mean I don't want that "feeling" of losing control or getting stuck on some hill in a couple inches of snow. I feel that I am a very safe driver since I have always lived in the NE where snow is common. I just want the feeling of having control and being able to get where I need to be safely and in control.
    And still I am concerned because I see where some people say it is good in the snow and some say it is bad. I really don't want the hassle of having to put snow tires on every year so I would like to know how good a 2001 325 is in the snow (all weather tires).>>

    ...I have been driving in snow country for over 25 years, and to me it's the highlight, as cars today are so good, that you can't really push the car's limits without breaking a speed limit. In snow, you can have lots of tailhappy driving without worrying about getting ticketed!

    Now, comparing choices, I'll rank their snow performance from best to worst. In my humble opinion of course.
    Best-4wd or awd with snow tires
    Better-Fwd with snow tires
    Good-Rwd with snow tires
    Good-4wd or awd with all-season tires
    Not so good-all other combos with all-season tires
    Even worse- all other combos with sport tires.

    Given your preference for not wanting to change tires, then you should get a 4wd or awd with all-season tires.However, I caution you, in my opinion that combo is only tied for 3rd best, out of all the various combos.

    Having said that, I'll pass along some of my anecdotal evidence. Here in NewEngland, we had a snowstore just after Thanksgiving, about 6" of heavy snow. I had yet to put my snowtires on my 330Xi. I took out my 330Xi and met my brother in a large unplowed parking lot who drives a Saab with Blizzak snow tires. We did alot of comparisons, lapping around the parking lot. We came to the conclusion that the Saab, though only FWD, was superior in braking, and just as good at going in the heavy snow. However, the DSC of the 330Xi, allowed for better cornering. None of this surprised us, as magazine tests have shown similar results. The bottom line, is to buy the best rubber you can afford. If you don't want to get snow tires, I would recommend that you consider swapping out the OEM tires for all-seasons with a silica based tread. The silica keeps the tread soft and supple in cold-weather. That is, not all all-season tires are created equal, and you should get the best ones, you can afford. Good luck to you.
  • I want to buy a new awd 325xi, and i cant seem to find anything about dealer incentives on this model. does anyone have any ideas? (I know base invoice is supposedly $25,940)
  • Can anyone PLEASE help me here?! My wife and I are shopping for a 2001 325 or 330. My wife loves the Steptronic and feels as though its manual feature is not a step down in performance and should satisfy my need to row through the gears while carving the curves. After driving a Steptronic, I disagree with her, feeling as though the shifts were delayed like any auto, downshifts came when you wanted to hold a gear, and power was mysteriously zapped on its way from the engine to the wheels. However, I would like to keep an open mind and hear some other opinions on both sides of the argument. Thanks!
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Steptronic is better than a pure slushbox, but it is no substitute for a stick; it tends to substitute it's own(sometimes questionable) judgement for that of the driver. In step mode it will persist in up and down shifting on it's own even when there is no danger of lugging or redlining the engine. If you must have an autobox, wait for the SMG which is due in a couple of years.
  • Regarding the discussion about steptronic vs. manual, I certainly weigh in on the steptronic side. We picked up our 325i in Munich last month and were really pleased with everything, including the transmission. Our previous BMW has a 5 speed, so we are familiar with the power curve. The step was great on the twist alpine roads of Germany and Austria. True, there is a little delay, but to have the versatility of both options is a great choice. By the way, the 325i power is more than adequate to cruise the autobahn at way over 100 mph. Actually most Euro BMW's are the turbo diesel and the 4 cylinder--that's both 5 and 3 series. On the factory tour they indicated that the 330i and the 325ix are primarily for the American market.
  • rascal8rascal8 Posts: 54
    Anyone have experience financing a car when taking the Euro Delivery ? I understand many financial institutions will not finance a Euro delivered car. Thanks.
  • I have spoken with the sales person and he stated that their buy rate is 5.9% not 4.9%. He had no inclinations on verifying it.
    Is there anything on the BMW web confirming this rate?
    So far though this sales person has treated me with respect and I scarcely had to hassle for the target amount during negotiations.
  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    Can anyone tell me if the rear center armrest is in the 2001 325's whether or not you have the fold-down rear seats. In the literature from BMW it only specifically mentions the armrest when refering to the fold-down seats. I want the armrest, but not necessarily the fold-down seats.

    Since I am posting, for a new 325 are most of you going "off-list" or "over-invoice" when dealing with the sales folks? Can anyone give me a range that is reasonable to expect, I am in the NY area but outside NYC.

    Thanks to all - this is a very helpful and informative group.
  • rascal8rascal8 Posts: 54
    Think I know the answer to this but I'll ask anyway. Will the 330i M double-spoke alloy wheels fit on the 325 sport pkg car, or do they make these wheels that will fit the 325 ? Going to Munich for the Euro Delivery and I understand you can pick up wheels at BMW-Munich fairly cheap. Thanks.
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