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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier

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  • alpine325ialpine325i Posts: 209
    Congratulations! I hope everything goes smoothly on monday, I had to wait 45 minutes just to talk to my salesman the day I picked up the car. He had alot of people picking up the same day and was running late, [sucked]. The sport package is awesome, I regret not ordering it. I can't tell if I have the "light" steering, but my steering tightens up at higher speeds. You will notice how cool these cars run between 70 and 90 MPH. They cruise great in 5th gear at 3000 RPM. My car handles better with the new Yokohamas, but It could be way better with the sport suspension. One thing that I love about these cars is the precision handling and smoothness at high speeds. When I first pushed the car to see how it would handle at high speeds I was still "programmed" from the limitations that all of my previous cars had, But this car feels like 50MPH when you are doing 80, and rides like the wind! Have fun, remember that break in period [under 4500 RPM], It was tough for me not to. Happy motoring :o)
  • alpine325ialpine325i Posts: 209
    oops, I did it again..... Duh, You are picking up the car on Friday, not Monday. I hope everything goes smoothly on FRIDAY :o)
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I hope everything will go smooth too. I used to have a lot of trouble getting answers from my salesperson. Until I told her last week that she will have to at least start returning my calls if she wants an excellent evaluation. She's been a lot easier to work with since then. She even offered to pick me at home for the delivery on Friday so my wife wouldn't have to take the afternoon off too. I figured my salesperson is very busy, though, so I'll go by myself. I can leave my Jetta there overnight and go pick it up the day after with my wife. Thanks for the break-in period reminder. There are a couple of other things to follow during the break-in: You should not exceed 4500RPM or 100MPH for the first 1200 miles; Try not to use cruise control and vary your speeds. On cars with a manual transmission, use engine braking as much as possible.
    It will be hard, I know. Thankfully, I can still push it in corners.
  • Braveheart; I loved your retelling of your pre-pick up visit. I totally understand your angst about color, clown nose, interior, wheels, alarm, everything. The thought about whether this is a hobby or a mental illness made me laugh. I have definitely gone over the top on that one myself. My car isn't due until the first week of July. How have I passed the time? Well, in the past week, I've gone back and read every single post (2000+) on this bulletin board, and about 200 of the archived posts. I work full time and have a pretty full life, so I've been doing this in the wee hours. Someone at work on Friday asked if I had pink eye!! No, I'm just reading everything written about BMWs on Edmunds.com, e46fanatics, bimmer.org until my eyes can't take it. Right now, if the topic's not BMWs, my eyes glaze over.

    It's amazing how helpful this board has been. After I got some help from a few of you about dealer add-ons, I went in to see the sales manager on Friday to discuss add-ons and to see if it was too late to switch interiors. I ended up speaking to my sales rep. I had discount prices in hand (thanks to several of you) for options like alarm, tinting, universal transceiver, parking distance control, etc, and having the information made a huge distance. The salesman switched from quoting me retail to saying he'll provide the options at cost when he saw I had my columns of MSRP and discounted prices for items. I'm switching to leather (which he's giving me at invoice price), and he said he'd give me a set of floor mats as his gift.

    I haven't seen much written here lately about the Rizzo method for negotiating for cars, but I'd like to plug that for anyone about to buy a BMW. Look at e46fanatics.com under the FAQ for the link. I didn't read it until after I made the deal, but thanks to a lot of postings here, I used something close to the Rizzo method anyway. The Rizzo article puts it all together for those of you willing to do the research. I might say, after reading thousands postings that, for right now, about $1500 over invoice is doable in most parts of the country. Better negotiators could do better, and using the Rizzo method might help, too.

    My current car is an '88 528e, and I was really hesitant about going to a smaller car, but since I so rarely have people in the back seat I was beginning to think that it was pointless to spend the extra money on another one. I started looking at MB C class, and then went to the local BMW dealerships. The first sales rep let me test-drive the 325 alone. I was smiling from ear to ear the entire drive, and that put the MB idea to rest. What an incredibly snappy, tight vehicle.

    Thanks again, everyone, and I'll continue to be reading posts daily. Bye!
  • mdbimmermdbimmer Posts: 8
    In "Jerry's E46 Pickup list" on the e46fanatics.com site, we are told that we can check to see if our production week has started yet by consulting bimmer.org.

    I went to bimmer.org but can find no link to the BMW production schedule. Can anyone direct me, please? Thanks in advance.
  • reubencahnreubencahn Posts: 102
    The Contis are supposed to be decent tires. None of these summer tires will be any good in the snow. By the way, sounds like you were given the 330i sport package wheels. Nice bonus.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Interesting, I am assuming from your post that the Conti is more of an all-around performer rather than a summer tire. The tirerack.com still rates it in ultra-high performance category instead of grand touring... I don't mind sacrificing a tiny little bit of dry roads performance in order to gain traction on snow/ice. I know it sounds crazy but I'm planning on trying these tires out in snow before I determine whether to keep them for the winter. In addition, the Contis are rated quieter than most other ultra-high performance tires, so that's great! I didn't know they come standard on the Porsche 911 and BTW, the tires have a 'Made in Germany' label, so they must be designed to meet the needs of German cars better.

    I think the SP on the 330i has the double-spoke rims from the M3. Those look more aggressive but also busier. Mine are just like the standard 16" rims, only bigger. Whatever they are, I like them so much, it will take me awhile for other details of the car to start sticking in my mind :O)
  • jfongjfong Posts: 11
    Hi everyone,

    I'm planning on purchasing a 325i with auto trans. and I believe I can afford for two more options. What would you recommend? I'm thinking about "All-Wheel Drive". Assuming your warranty still good, how much do you spend on maintenance for your bimmer per year? Do you absolutely have to change for Winter tires? Also, is negotiating a tough game with bimmer cause I know M-B is. Do you think asking $1K to $1,500 off MSRP is reasonable? Or do you think I should just get the 330i with auto trans. and no options?

    Thanks.

    Joe
  • jamesf5jamesf5 Posts: 11
    I have a 325i due to be delivered to my dealer on May 09, 2001. I was told by some dealers that the Finance rate can't be locked in and you would have to accept the current rate on your delivery rate. Over the weekend I went in to my dealer to make sure that my financing was in place. If your dealer does not have your application in to BMWNA by today, I was told that the interest rate is going to 8.9%. My dealer did process my application and get me the 5.9 rate so it is possible. I did not think the rate was going up that much but it appears that is is.
  • alpine325ialpine325i Posts: 209
    The 17" wheels that come with the 325i sport package are called "Star Spoke 44". The standard 16" wheels are called "Star Spoke 45". Circle BMW has all the various types with large pictures.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Raftaar, I have a topaz coupe with black leatherette. IMHO, the two look GREAT together. I also get tons of compliments on the brushed aluminum trim. I was tossing around getting the wood, but agree it gets lost in the black interior. In hindsight, I'm glad I went with the standard aluminum. If you want to send me your email, I'll send you some pics (I think I have a couple interior pics laying around, but if not, I'll take some). kominsky@agere.com
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    alpine325 - Thanks for the BMW Circle tip. I checked the rims - I definitely got the style 44 rims. It's the first time I noticed that they have a little more detail and elegance to them compared to the 45 style.

    kominsky - I'd love to see a picture of your car's interior. I think Topaz/black int./aluminum trim is the most beautiful combo I've seen. BTW, the black interior is really charcoal gray.

    As I'd mentioned in a previous post from this morning, I am picking up the car on Friday but the dealer wanted to put in the paperwork today so they can lock in the month-end commission. She offered this morning to put in the wheel locks for free as a 'Thank you' for allowing her to complete the paperwork ahead of schedule. Just goes to show that everything is negotiable. And the biggest trump card that you are holding in your hands is the evaluation that she will be receiving from you.
  • reubencahnreubencahn Posts: 102
    I didn't mean the Contis weren't summer tires. From my understanding they are. But, so are the Dunlop 8080s.

    This is a little out of my depth since I live in Florida, but I understand that the problem with these tires is not simply traction in snow. Summer tires are not formulated for low temps and below 40 degrees lose their flexibility and grip. I'd be very wary of trying to drive these through the winter. One stupid accident will cost you a $500 deductible plus the increase in your insurance rates.

    On the other hand, the grip of good high performance tires is not just incrementally better than good all seasons. It is a difference in kind not degree. Enjoy the ride. You've got all spring and summer ahead of you.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I misread your post, I'm sorry. I read it again and I see what you mean - the Contis are in the same category as the 8080s and such. You also helped me realize that it's not just the road condition that matters, it's the temperature as well. I always keep thinking dry vs. snow and you made it clear that the summer tires will not perform well on any surface when the outside temp is very low.
  • dundedunde Posts: 32
    Regarding exterior colors on 325s, I agree the Topaz Blue Metallic looks very good. Infact I have ordered a 325xi Topaz Blue. Very Sporty. Booked on March 30th. Supposed to hit production on May 21st week. Delivery in end of June / begining of July.

    The Topaz Blue color was available but the BMW mauals from the Dealers do not show that and the BMW web site now shows it .. (finally they updated it). The good thing I like about it is that it looks blue from every angle u look at it. The Orient Blue was my second option but at times it looks black becoz its pretty dark shade.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Yep, the Topaz is blue from every angle and at any light. Great choice for a sporty color! It's reminiscent of the Nogaro Blue in the S4. I sat in one of these S4's with black leather (it's actually closer to charcoal gray) and I totally love the combo. Bugatti first pioneered that sort of electric blue color back in the 30's when all other sports cars were bright red. Very distinctive! I am still happy with the classy Orient Blue but it's less sporty than the Topaz.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Just wanted to mention to all of you that around here in Mass and posibly in other parts of the country, there are all kinds of speed traps at the end of each month and esp. at the end of each quarter. I rarely see speed traps during my work commute but this morning there were two at sections of the highway that are rarely patrolled. Same thing the last couple of days in March. Soon enough I may be able to tell the day of the month by the speed traps on my way to work. Be careful out there.
  • dundedunde Posts: 32
    I remember when I ordered my 325xi that time Automatic Climate Control was part of the Premium Pkg and not as a standard feature. Now the bmw web site shows it as a standard feature. I m just wondering if u dont have PP then do u still have Auto Climate Control in your puppy ?
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    got some options as standard. These include cars that were produced after March 1, I think. The 325 series got the auto climate, cruise control and fog lights as standard and the SP was $100 cheaper. According to BMWNA, they did this to better compete with the Audi and Lexus, which come with a lot more standard equipment in this class. I ordered on March 12 and yes, my puppy does have all of these at no additional cost. Beware of unscrupulous dealers. Some of them may conveniently forget to mention these details to you. They tried it with me and I had to go with a different dealer. Dunde, if you ordered your car on March 30, as you mentioned, you should've had the auto climate for free, otherwise the dealer may be overcharging you as it is. That actually happened with the A4 that we got - we ordered it, some prices went down and the dealer was very honest in pointing these out and keeping the same price over invoice. I think your dealer should do the same but I'd be a little ticked off by the fact that had a whole month to figure out these changes by the end of month and they should've advised you better.
  • uge123uge123 Posts: 100
    What you get off MSRP (or markup from invoice) depends on the market in your particular area. I feel that Edmunds TMV underestimates the discount you can get. (e.g. TMV predicted only $200 off my 325iT w/leather/SP/xenon/metallic/heated seats/moonroof, but I got a lot more than that. If I had the time to go outside of Chicago I would have done better.) If you have the time and the flexibility, Steve Diamond states the he can find a car for you at about $500-1000 markup from invoice, which is great.

    Snow tires: What part of the country are you in? I've driven M-B's with all season Conti's that have been horrible in the snow, both with and without traction control. When you add snow tires, driving in snow feels like dry pavement (or at worst some rain). Even with AWD, in Chicago I would go with snow tires.
  • holeinoneholeinone Posts: 48
    Giving that the 2002 models will be out just around the corner, does it mean if I can't get good deals comparable to $1,500 over invoice at my dealer, I might as well get the 2002 model at say $500 off MSRP? Also, does one generally get a better deal with the 330 than 325?

    uge123, can you tell me who is Steve Diamond and how is he going to get deals at $500-1000 over invoice? Thanks!
  • waileawailea Posts: 22
    Wanted to let you know my dealer was as cool as they come. I had initially ordered a pre March 1st 325i with SP,HK,heated seats, CD. He called me back a few weeks later and said that BMW had changed some options and made them standard (in my case ACC and CC) and reduced the price $100. He wanted to check if we wanted him to place a new order for the upgraded car. HECK YEAH! He said he would take the original car and put in dealer inventory.

    Funny thing was my wife went to have the car programmed for Auto Door Lock and Daytime Running Lights and saw our original car we ordered with a "Sold Sign" on it.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Wow, that's what I call a dealer! You are very lucky, indeed. I wish they were all like that. BTW, your options are almost the same as mine - I think the only diff is the xenons that I got.

    I'm also going with the automatic door lock. I thought it was after 5 mph but the dealer claims it's 2.5 mph. Same thing I guess but definitely a great safety feature. I've had DRL on my Jetta VR6 and I don't like them all that much. It's probably safer with DRL but I figure if I wanted lights, I'd just put them on myself. Also, the dealer convinced me to go with the 2-phase unlock for the car. I drive by myself 90% of the time and I think it makes sense for security purposes.
  • for the sf bay area-ers who got their cars from east bay bmw, who was the salesman you've talked to???

    seems like you guys got pretty good deal from them.
  • veekay1veekay1 Posts: 180
    Does anybody know what the scoop is on the finance rate after today?
  • phenegarphenegar Posts: 5
    I ordered my 325i in mid March. They told me I could get the 5.9%. Am I still locked into this rate? BTW my car has not been ship yet. It was on a train in Germany going to the port on April 9. I will be picking my car up in NC. Does anyone know when the next ship bound for this part of the US will leave?
  • 1x1x1x11x1x1x1 Posts: 3
    uge123:
    According to BMW's web page, the standard 330i comes with 17 inch wheels (17x7.0).

    Somebody please help me with my question: is it possible to install 16 inch rims on the 330i?

    (Or could it be possible that all 330i/Ci with SP owners are such daredevils that they think high performance tires on icy winter roads are a rather perfect setup to try their driving skills?)
  • alpine325ialpine325i Posts: 209
    Brave1heart, The 44's are HOT! To me they look agressive and more "modern" with the sharp edges. Cool, free wheel locks! I paid $24 for the "non-key" type. I feel alot more secure with them on. I also got the etched glass security option, $200. This detracts theives so they have alot of trouble "parting out" the car because the glass has serial numbers permanently etched into the glass! When I went to pay for my car, they offered the etched glass option, $200, the paint sealer option $200, and a 4 year/ 50,000 service option $400. I went with the etched glass option only :o)
  • errickson1errickson1 Posts: 17
    I think BMWFS can/will "lock-in" your rate for 60 days after you place the order. After 60 days, you would get the prevailing interest rate.

    BTW: I am told that if your vehicle is coming from SA, the delivery time is taking longer...because of mfg deficiencies? NO! ...because the port in SA is on the east side of the country, which means the ships are taking MUCH longer to arrive hear (ie travelling south around the tip of Africa and all that).
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    pretty good prices for those looking for clears, arm-rests, alarms, etc


    http://www.pacificbmw.com/parts/specials/e46_special_frame.htm

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