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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • woobahwoobah Posts: 21
    Just curious, What age bracket do all you 3 series drivers fall into?
    Under 28,
    over 65

    Me, I am in the 37 to 45 bracket. What about you:)
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    Does the sport suspension make a big difference in the ride? I want the steering wheel and maybe the seats of the sport package but I want a comfy ride too!

    I've had my 325i with SP for a month (70 more miles to 1200!!). I drove my wife's '98 Volvo V70 GLT this week for the first time since we got the BMW. I almost think the ride in the 325i with SP is better than the Volvo! I think it has to do with the Volvo being a wagon with 70k miles creating more road noise.

    I wouldn't hesitate getting the SP again. The ride certainly isn't overly rough.

    You cannot rotate the tires of the sport package

    Why not? I plan on rotating my tires when I exchange them with the winter tires,


    p.s. I'm 37.
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    you can change them, but not rotate them.

    They are unidirectional tires, therefore the tires cannot go to the other side of the car. The front and rear tires are different sizes, therefore the front cannot be exchanged with the rear. They cannot be "rotated"

    I am 30.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152

    YES! That's it, thank you.


    All 330i cars have a Sport Suspension regardless of equipment (unlike the 325i), the only difference is the tires. The stock 330i and any version of the 330xi have All-Season 205/50 R17 tires that CAN be rotated if you wish, however, BMW does NOT recommend this practice. Please note that when you "Rotate" radial tires, you simply swap ends, you DO NOT change sides, so, even if tires are Uni-Directional, they can still be "Rotated".

    The 330i SP is a different situation entirely. This car comes with 225/45 ZR17 fronts and 245/40 ZR17 rears; obviously, these cannot be rotated at all. That said, I have noticed on my 1999 328i, which has NOT had its tires rotated during its 39,000 miles life, that the rear tires are probably good for about a third less mileage than the front tires, at least, when the tires are the same size front to rear. With the 330i SP, the rear tires MAY actually be just wide enough to balance out the life of the rubber, so that, both sets wear out at the same time.


    If you get the 330i, you are stuck with 17" wheels (with the exception of a special set of 16 inchers that TireRack has for winter tires, which JUST clear the brake calipers). Having driven my 1999 328i sans SP for the last three years, I was surprised at how well Brave1hearts 325i SP (and 17" wheels/tires) rode. IMHO, his car had a slightly stiffer ride, in exchange, the handling was MUCH improved. Once again, IMHO, the ride vs. handling trade off of the SP is well worth it, as such, I ordered it on my new 530i.


    I will graduate from the 328i to the 530i on or about my 45th birthday.

    Best Regards,
  • tim_stltim_stl Posts: 4
    My 330ci should be here in about a month (as of Friday it was waiting to be shipped), just shy of my 24th birthday.

  • hpmanhpman Posts: 33
    Shipo is correct. The dealer was able to fit the shipping to Colorado as part of the price. Not exactly sure how that works, but that was the deal.

    I believe it is going through the standard BMW delivery process, no special trucking to be arranged.

  • hpmanhpman Posts: 33
    Before I was smart enough to bookmark (or knew that I would actually being doing ED), I remember seeing some debate on the safety of taking your new BMW into Italy. This presents a large dilema for me as Italy contains some of my ideal destinations. Can anyone shed some light by sharing their experiences/thoughts of doing this?

    I've read various warnings about things like flat tire scams, bandits marking tourist cars when they stop to be targeted later, etc. I don't know how much of this can be avoided or if it just isn't worth the risk. I have two weeks to have fun there and I would really like to spend at least a few days visiting the Italian Riviera... but not if it is a rediculous risk.

    Also, any destination suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My wife and I have never been to Europe, and this decision to go came up quickly, so we are going at this blind. I have a rough idea of heading south from Munich, looping through Switzerland and Italy... possibly France.

    Thanks for your help!
    HPMan - Josh
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    I'm in the 46-55 bracket, & my car is an '01 5-spd 330i w/SP & PP.
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    Best bet if its your first time going over is to make sure as many of your cards that are ATM-capable are set up as you reasonably can. One trick with bank ATM cards is that the only ones that generally work are the ones that tap into checking accounts, not savings.

    Also, if you're an AAA Member, you can order & pick up EU$'s (or whatever other currency) in advance at your local AAA office. This can save you the work/time of finding an ATM while still in the airport.

  • luftig1luftig1 Posts: 23
    330i SP PP in Titanium Silver.

    The 3 series does seem a bit more youthful than the 5 or 7 series, but the 3 series is nore fun to drive. Maybe the Z3 even more so, but a two door roadster was not in the cards.

    Will I ever want a larger sedan, yes - but not as my primary daily commuter vehicle, probably a M5 for my wife. We could use this when picking up in-laws at the airport and driving fast to scare them from returning soon or on long drives where I think the 5 series is better.
  • mjones6mjones6 Posts: 9
    My age is 37-45, just ordered a 330cic a few weeks ago.

    I thought the extra power of the 330 was worth the extra money.
    I am already taking a step down in power and the 325 just felt
    too sluggish.
  • dej0dej0 Posts: 36
    I'm in the 29-36 bracket, we have a steel blue '02 325i w/ SP, moon roof, power seats and xenons.
  • lyoutslyouts Posts: 6
    I'm in the 29-36 bracket, and have about 900 miles on my '02 330i w/PP, SP, bi-xenons, and steptronic transmission. The car is fantastic, and I can't stay out of it. I'm traveling alot for work right now, but will post a pic soon.

    Please hold the flaming posts for my choice of transmission. I get my manual fix via my motorcycles. Unfortunately, I do crash from time to time. Latest injuries included (a) ruptured tendon in the right hand requiring plaster cast, and (b) cracked rib on the right side. So I'm probably due for a foot injury soon. Anyway, I need to be able to drive the car when I'm hurt.

    I'll be happy to report my experiences with the step if anyone is interested.

  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    As a rule, European ATM systems won't recognize a PIN that's longer than 4 positions. If necessary, change your PIN now to satisfy this requirement.

    Also, the keypads on most European ATMs are numeric only, in contrast to the alphanumeric keys that we're used to seeing in North America. If you've memorized your PIN as an alpha character string - "BLUE", for example - then you'd better memorize the numeric equivalent - "2583", in this case.
  • vishnu11vishnu11 Posts: 59
    Besides the warnings about security of your car in Italy, you also might want to think about the drop-off in Italy. If the car is dropped off in Italy, it is *driven* (not trucked/shipped) back to Munich. I guess you have to trust the drop-off driver you've never met before! Also add the extra mileage put on the car without you driving it.

    If you are thinking about trips, Gary Ray's site describes his EuroDelivery in great detail. This gent has done two EuroDel trips and documents it very well.

    Also, to document the pickup process, Jim's site


  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,401
    I'm not sure how many of you read "CAR," the british auto publication, but there is a great article in the magazine on the BMW 330d (d standing for diesel). The 330d has a 3.0L Diesel motor that pumps out 175hp and 305 lb-ft torque! They said that except for the heating coil (required waiting before starting up a diesel), the 3.0 Diesel is as smooth as its gas (petrol) powered sister. Too bad diesels have such a bad image here in the US (and they pump some nasty stuff into the air as well).

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • hpmanhpman Posts: 33
    Thanks for the info! I will definitely need to look into the whole ATM/PIN thing. Regarding drop-off, my plans were to complete a loop and drop the car off back in Munich (round trip tickets to and from Munich).

    Thankfully, I won't have to deal with the agony of a stranger placing hundreds of miles on my new car that is in the midst of being broke-in!

    Thanks again!
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Modern diesels are extremely clean. The problem in the US is quality & quantity of fuel.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,401
    I read that too! Maybe not in the 3 series, but if they offered an X5 3.0d that had similar performance and got somewhere in the mid to high 20's mpg would be a great sell here.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

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