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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier

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Comments

  • gr8st8gr8st8 Posts: 33
    Congratulations on your purchase of the 330xi.
    Did you order it with a manual or automatic tranny?

    Regarding 0-60 times, here's another interesting found, in Motor Trend's current edition(June 2001), they claim that the 0-60 time for a 330i manual is 6.1 secs and the time for a 330xi manual is 5.8 secs! These can be found on page 140 under road test results. Personally, I think the number for the xi might've been a typo as that was the first time I've seen an Xi quoted as being faster than a 330i manual, let alone being under 6 seconds!

    BTW, in the same magazine, they also feature a modified 330ci called BMW Hartge H50 V8, which produces 400 hp @ 6600 and 369 lbs of torque @ 3800 and jets from 0-60 in 4.87 secs! Now I'm not so sure anymore about which is my dream car....:)
  • roc50mgroc50mg Posts: 102
    I just placed an order for the 330xi black/black, manual, premium, sport, cold weather, in-dash CD, and xenon. Sound like a hot car? I can't wait to get it! I placed the order with a dealer in NY. The price I got is $ 2000 above invoice, which is $39,560 plus tax, registration and plates.

    I too had a hard time deciding between the Audi S4 and the 330xi because they were both just about equal in price and performance. On paper the Audi seems like a better car, but for the name, looks, and the statement that owning a bimmer makes, I had to choose the BMW.

    It's just too bad that waiting for the car for the next 2 to 3 months will be sheer torture.

    One question I had was trying to decide about getting the manual vs. auto. Anyone out there have any opinions on which is better?
    I chose the manual because I've never had a stick shift car before and I thought it's about time I learned. Is driving a stick on BMW tricky?

    Let me know everyone!

    Last question: how long of a wait do I face to get my car? Order was placed on May 3.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    I just bought my first ever stick last month-a 2001 Passat.After loving cars so much my whole life,I thought it about time i at least get it out of my system.The first 700 miles have been sheer bliss.
    I took several test drives of different BMWs-I gave serious thought to a 525.
    I can only conclude that the clutch/shift experience is extremely subjective.I say this because i've read a few negative posts about manual BMWs.My own personal experience is that both clutch and shift feel on Bimmers is truly excellent.In fact,it is just about my favorite part of driving a BMW.So I think you made a wise choice in getting the 5spd.,roc.And if a year of so down the road you decide you want to go back to automatics,the fact that the 3series surely has one of the highest percentages of manuals should mean the resale value will not be hurt too much.
    Enjoy your car-you will find you car is particullary easy to master shifting with.t
  • denrightdenright Posts: 285
    Of course I went with the manual. It's the only way to drive for people who really like to move, especially in traffic where you have to be able to downshift for immediate powerboosts in passing/merging situations.

    In fact, one of the main reasons I went with the BMW is because it is one of the few sedans available in the United States with 200+ HP and a manual transmission. If you want a high performance manual transmission sedan in the US, your choices under $50K are pretty much limited to BMWs, Audis, Acuras and the Nissan Maxima.

    Roc50, sounds like you made the right decision to go with the manual transmission. While the BMW manual is somewhat stiff and demanding in terms of shifting precision, it is well worth it. A manual transmission is the only way to get the full impact of a car like a 330xi.

    Also, Roc50, I had a hard time deciding whether or not to go with the 330xi's AWD Sport Package. I decided not to because the sport seats didn't seem to me to be much of an upgrade in practical terms, and the remainder of the package's elements were cosmetic rather than performance oriented. In fact, my wife and I both decided we preferred the normal 3-series facia to the "M" facia. What were your thoughts on all this?
  • euro325euro325 Posts: 3
    Having always drived a stick, the choice was clear when I selected the 5 spd for my BMW.

    Presently I drive a 14 yr old Camry with stick, and to this date I can get the speed and acceleration I need, even with the 4 cyl engine.

    With an auto, this car would be no fun to drive.

    Get a stick and you will enjoy it.
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    Okay guys, now this is just my opinion, but there a few points I'd like to share on the "thou shalt drive a stick BMW" debate. Firstly, I'll point out that I've only had stick BMW's (and most all my others) but I do think that the Step is a perfectly decent alternative for many people. Not so long ago when the auto was an old school 4 speed with basic automatic shift style, I would only suggest an auto for folks living in busy cities where a stick would be frustrating. But with the 5 speed STEP, one now has similar control over the vehicle as one has with a stick. It really bridges the gap for many people between what they want the stick for and (if you live in NYC) the real world driving situation.
    On the topic of zero to sixty, different methods are used when identifying that number. The manufacturers usually do a more "sensible" start while Motor Trend etc will get the RPMs up to 5-6k and dump the clutch. As long as you compare results from the same source, they should be some what valid for comparisons (although it's worth remembering that some cars with quick acceleration need to be rev'd to the red-line for any decent performance while others have strong acceleration with-out looking like one of the local boy racer crew.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My 328i is my ninth consecutive car with a manual transmission (the eighth that was new). Even though I live in the NYC metro area, I still cannot bring my self to learn to drive an automatic ;-). Admittedly, at some point CVT's and the like will surpass the manual for complete flexibility, even then, I may still buy cars which are manual equipped.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    Okay guys, now this is just my opinion, but there a few points I'd like to share on the "thou shalt drive a stick BMW" debate. Firstly, I'll point out that I've only had stick BMW's (and most all my others) but I do think that the Step is a perfectly decent alternative for many people. Not so long ago when the auto was an old school 4 speed with basic automatic shift style, I would only suggest an auto for folks living in busy cities where a stick would be frustrating. But with the 5 speed STEP, one now has similar control over the vehicle as one has with a stick. It really bridges the gap for many people between what they want the stick for and (if you live in NYC) the real world driving situation.
    On the topic of zero to sixty, different methods are used when identifying that number. The manufacturers usually do a more "sensible" start while Motor Trend etc will get the RPMs up to 5-6k and dump the clutch. As long as you compare results from the same source, they should be some what valid for comparisons (although it's worth remembering that some cars with quick acceleration need to be rev'd to the red-line for any decent performance while others have strong acceleration with-out looking like one of the local boy racer crew.
  • camnellum1camnellum1 Posts: 19
    I have the 325xi in titanium silver, manual, PP, SP, CWP, HK sound, leather, xenons, 6-CD and dash CD, 4th year maintenance, and I think thats all.

    Price was $37,680 or just over $1000 off MSRP with the 4th year of maintenance. Did not opt for the alarm system...if someone is going to take the car without having the key, they will take it with or without the alarm too!

    These cars are very much coming at a premium here eastern PA and N. Jersey. The dealer told me that he never even was issued any xi mMarch allocations. The last one he had was sold to a person from the Boston area...there are apparently none to be had in New England.
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    Unusually perhaps, but AWD is not allocated to dealers like a separate model. Rather, AWD is ordered as an option (it's option code 203) like an automatic. It used to be that BMW NA allocated all 3 and 5 series by which engine AND transmission they had but even that's an option now. So a dealer could order every single car as an xi stick shift! 5 series is still allocated with transmission (about 1 stick for every 20 autos, or something like that).
  • lrawles2lrawles2 Posts: 16
    I am about to buy my first BMW. I live in S. Cal. -- no snow and little rain. I am interested to hear from people who live in similar climates and who chose or are chosing to buy the 325xi or 330xi over the i. What is factoring into that decision? Anybody who has had a BMW in the past and is moving to an xi, I would especially like to hear from. Thanks in advance.
  • roc50mgroc50mg Posts: 102
    Thanks to all that have replied to my stick v. auto question. The reason I asked was because I do live in NYC where just about every major highway is undergoing crazy construction projects forever and traffic is omnipresent. Luckily, however, there aren't many hills in the area, or else I'd be in deep ****. I will just have to wait until I take delivery of my car to find out whether it was the right choice or not. At least though, no matter what, I will never have to fantasize again about driving a sporty car with a stick.

    Denright: I chose to include the sport package because for a proper feel for driving a zesty car that I will be taking sharp turns with every chance I get, I need the additional side support that the sports package seats provide. The steering wheel is also more sporty looking and less sedan like than in the non sport package. BTW, does anyone know if the sports package seat is motorized or manually adjusted?
    On the matter of alloy wheels with the sport package, it was more of a toss up though. Neither the regular or sports package wheels on the 330xi is particularly aggressive looking. The bolted double spoke composite (Style 71)wheel from the bmwusa site looks much better to me.
    What I don't understand about the sport package on the 330xi is what exactly you get for the "M aerodynamic package." You don't get a rear apron/deck spoiler with this do you?

    Finally, does anyone have any opinions on the 330 xi v. Audi S4? My close friend will be buying an S4, but until we both get our cars and do a side by side comparison I won't know which car is truly the best. Is the Audi S4 a better perfomance value? Or is the 330xi just plain better looking and that's all that matters?
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    Unusually perhaps, but AWD is not allocated to dealers like a separate model. Rather, AWD is ordered as an option (it's option code 203) like an automatic. It used to be that BMW NA allocated all 3 and 5 series by which engine AND transmission they had but even that's an option now. So a dealer could order every single car as an xi stick shift! 5 series is still allocated with transmission (about 1 stick for every 20 autos, or something like that).
  • waileawailea Posts: 22
    Wanted to let you all know it seems as though I am one of the "fortunate" few that has the faulty fan. Thanks to this board, I have been keeping a watchful eye on the temp gauge.

    I was out late this morning waiting in line at a drive thru and noticed after I paid the temp gauge was no longer dead center, but, rather creeping ever so slowly to the red zone. I ended up going 40mph and that brought the temp down to dead center.

    I decided to run a quick experiment in the parking lot. I left the car running with the AC on; maybe 2-3 minutes. Popped the hood and looked to see if the Aux fan would kick in - No Luck! - and the temp gauge was once again on the move to the left. I made it home called the dealer and they suggested I check fuse #37 (electric fan) to see if it was faulty. Looked to be good shape - so I will not take any more chances and take the care into the dealer Monday morning - AFTER rush hour of course - and have them replace it.

    Here are the stats on my car:
    325i , March 1st production vehicle with 1300 miles on it.

    Let me know if I am missing something here regarding my experiment and this overheating issue.

    Thanks
  • gurumikegurumike Posts: 442
    Better looking is in the eye..... Regardless of 0-60 data, the S4 does feel more than a little quicker than the 3. Having said that the fact of the matter is that the 3 is so quick that the fact that one is slightly quicker is neither here nor there. I picked my 330i sedan (2WD) over the S4 principally because of the (subjectively) better handling feel. Either car would be a joy to live with. But The BMW car just hits all the right spots. ;)
  • muddddmudddd Posts: 4
    Thanks for the info on your Auxiallary fan problems. I too have a March 01 build 325i with 660 miles on it and have not yet had temp problems. I've been expecting them though after reading lots of posts here and on bimmer.org describing this problem. I suspect sometime in the near future we should here something from BMWNA if this problem is as widespread as it seems.

    Keep us posted as to how the repairs go.
  • add123add123 Posts: 28
    I just spoke with my sales person and was advised that my production date was bumped up from week 22 to week 19. It should arrive about a three to four weeks ahead of schedule.
    add123
  • kv007kv007 Posts: 30
    i don't drive stick but ordered a 330xi w/stick, i too thought it was about time i learned. a friend of mine has a 323 stick and has been teaching me - i'm finding the bmw stick very easy actually -- those hills are still killing me, but the clutch action and shifter are very crisp and easy to work. tons of fun.

    my car is orient blue/black lthr, roof, sp, xenon, nav - paid about $1500 over invoice + $200 MACO, in the philly area. i left off the premium because i wanted the brushed aluminum trim. the sport seats are still power - the one i test drove had it so i'm pretty sure. the bigger question that no one can seem to answer is whether the 330xi has the sport suspension. they made this standard on 330s after mar 1 production, but not sure if that includes the xis. Anyone know?

    also, is the front armrest std. on these cars?

    the s4 is an awesome car!! my dad has an a6 2.7t with the same engine as the s4 (borrowed it for a few weeks when my beloved '89 maxima the "four-door sports car" was in the shop) and i LOVE the a6 -- too big for me, but incredible nonetheless. but i thought the s4 was not as refined as the 330 (or the a6 for that matter) and ultimately went with the bmw. don't think you can really go wrong with either though.

    there are those people who like the bmw because it makes a "statement," i think i like the audi in some ways because it doesn't.

    keep me posted on your stick shift adventures.
  • kv007kv007 Posts: 30
    i called bmwna yesterday and asked about the steering situation and the rep told me that the xi steering is not affected by any of the changes or retrofits.

    is there anyone out there with an xi that has issues with the steering? i test-drove and ordered an xi and thought the sterring was a tad light. don't think i ever drove a 330 with the light steering though so i don't really have a reference point.
  • unboringuyunboringuy Posts: 90
    As you may know, I had the overheating problem, resulting in my radiator overheating, a ruptured overflow reservoir, and coolant leaking. My dealer took the car back three weeks ago and gave me a refund. The only problem I am having now is that the reorder of a new vehicle was given a week 23 build, and the car is not expected to arrive at the dealer until early July! So for those of you who are facing your FIRST wait for your car, think about how frustrating it is to do it twice!

    At least the dealer was good enough to let me drive a 1999 323i as a loaner until the car arrives.

    Regarding the debate between manual and automatic transmission. The car I ordered is a manual, and the loaner is an automatic. NO CONTEST! The manual is pure heaven. I have driven sticks for years, and the BMW 330 is unbelievable!
  • brislance1brislance1 Posts: 87
    I just returned to my northern US home from Arizona, a 1800 mile trip. I found the driver and passenger seats to be terribly uncomfortable. My wife found the same to be true. She wants me to trade the car for a more comfortable one. Had I known about this board when I ordered the car, I would have gotten the sports package. At that time I didn't do enough research. Other than the uncomfortable seats, I love the car and hate to give it up. We make this trip twice a year. Has anyone had the same problem and corrected it somehow? Would appreciate any advise given. Thanks
  • camnellum1camnellum1 Posts: 19
    kv007...there are no "sport" suspensions on the xi with sport package. The xi sport package has seat, tire upgrades etc...I believe that by getting the xi model you trade off the performance suspension for the all-weather grip. Probably because by going to the xi package, the car height is increased almost 1.5 inches!

    Also, I believe the steering on all 325's is the same: boosted pre-April01 and unboosted after...

    Gurumike may be able to offer more substantiation.
  • gr8st8gr8st8 Posts: 33
    Some answers:
    1. Yes, the front armrest does come standard with any 330s.
    2. The power seats don't come with the sports seats, they are already a standard item for post-March production cars. So if you don't order the sport seats, you will still get the power seats.
    3. The "M" aerodynamic package for a 330xi includes a slightly modified front bumper with round fog lighs(instead of the rectangular-shaped ones) and a rear air diffuser for the rear bumper. And no, it doesn't include the rear deck spoiler (I wish it does...:-) ) If you are really so anxious to see what it looks like, go to www.e46fanatics.com, there's a poster over there who has some pics and a very detailed writing of his 330xi pick-up from the BMW's South Carolina plant.

    Your car, with the exception of the NAV system, has the exact same specification as mine. Congrats on the purchase, I've put about 1300 miles already in 2 and a half weeks and believe me when I say this, the car won't disappoint you!
  • euro325euro325 Posts: 3
    I ordered a 325I in the 1st wk of April for Euro delivery and was given a production number that week.

    When I went to pay for it 3 weeks later, they already had a VIN for the car, even though pick-up date is 6/18.

    When I checked mid April the car was listed on the BMW site as being on order. When I checked yesterday, it said production was complete and it was awaiting transportation. How long does it take to build one?

    Can one tell from the VIN which week it was built in?

    Thanks for any input. I guess the car will sit in a parking lot in Munich for 6 weeks till I get to drive it in mid June.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Friends,

    I just wanted to say that everything went smooth with the delivery on Friday. Driving the 325i is addictive and I've been out driving all the time. I am still pinching myself trying to convince myself that I actually OWN this incredible car but it's hard to believe it. I feel like I'm only renting it for the weekend and I am terrified at the thought of having to turn it Monday morning. So in the meantime, I'm driving it as much as I can. We are off to another day trip (great weather today) in a couple of minutes. I will share my experience with you in great detail soon. So far, it's been all miles and smiles.
  • denrightdenright Posts: 285
    A couple things:

    According to what I have read, the Xi AWD system only increases vehicle clearance and height by .67 inches. After several test drives of Xis and "i"s, I detected very little additional (if any) body roll in the Xis. That's why I decided to buy one.

    Roc50-

    I extensively test drove several different versions of the three series with and without the sport seats and found the sport seats to offer only marginal additional performance on tight turns. I actually made a point of having my wife concentrate on the seats' effects on passenger comfort and jostling in high-G turns, and she and I agreed that there was minimal difference. Did you find that these seats offered significant additional lateral support?
  • alpine325ialpine325i Posts: 209
    Congratulations on picking up your new car! I felt the same way trying to convince myself that I actually OWN one of these beautifull machines. Sounds like you're having a great time. You couldn't have picked a better weekend :o)
  • veekay1veekay1 Posts: 180
    golfnut7/add123:

    i was bumped from week 22 to week 18 as per BMW NA
    have not spoken to dealer yet.
    not complaining, but if its true, why is my status still "on order/111": any ideas what the deal is???
  • lewparkerlewparker Posts: 28
    Greetings all,
    I've been lurking on this board consistently for about 6 months, and I finally ordered my 325i on April 15, week 21 production. On April 26th, the car went into production according to OC. I was told to expect a July 1st delivery, but now anticipate a few weeks early, perhaps mid-June.

    Of course, I've experienced a bit of second guessing re: color choice, not going with SP, 325i vs 330i, etc. But in the end, I feel comfortable with my choice: 325i, steel blue, grey, PP, CWP, Xenons, CD.

    The one thing that's got me a bit concerned is that I didn't go with HK. Having had a pair of MB Quarts in a previous vehicle, I was convinced that their speaker package for the 325 would be the way to go. I even have a 100 wpc Orion amp sitting around that I figured I'd slap in there.

    Recently, though, I read an article on e46fanatics.com in the faq section, I think, about upgrading the audio system in a BMW. The article was written by a guy who spent mega hours installing some equipment in his bimmer, and explained the problems he encountered. Since most of the stuff was way over my head and to make a long story short, the problems appeared to be associated with installing a new amp. I don't know if the head unit has preamp outs or not, and replacing the factory amp seemed like an undertaking fraught with difficulty.

    At any rate, my question is this: Alpine325i, have you installed an aftermarket amp in a 325i and if so, any suggestions? I've heard that there is a shop outside Philly that specializes in installing audio systems in bimmers. I live in Baltimore, but would drive there for the expertise if necessary. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks,
    Lewis Parker
  • swingtemposwingtempo Posts: 1
    A couple of questions regarding steering system in the 330.

    1) Is it true that current box being placed in new orders is that of last year with a lesser boost?

    2) If so, what is the production cut off date for the change.

    I'm ready to order, but want to make sure of the stearing box change or will wait until next year. Thanks so much for any input.
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