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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier

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  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    wow, i've never heard anybody compare sedans and convertibles.... and in addition to other things, there's almost a $7-$10K spread, depending on how you option out...

    as a convertible owner, i can tell you, the space limitations are certainly "REAL", but so is the BIG WIDE GRIN on your face that nothing else will replace... for me, this car was not a people or luggage hauler and i'm not a SUV buyer, so the convertible made a great car #2

    ksso
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'm not too sure that the above news is all that good. Consider the following:

    "Mr. van Hooydonk, (the new Chief of Design for the BMW brand) who since 2001 has been president of Designworks USA, BMW's California design studio, was the lead designer for the exterior of the current 7 Series (so that's a good thing?) and the recently launched 6 series coupe."

    Well, at least I like the new 645Ci, but I have to admit that some of its styling is too reminiscent of the E60 and E65. :-/

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • re; Diver110's question --

    Just picked up a 5 month old 2003 BMW 325i Sedan - premium & sport pkg. I wanted an automatic this go-around precisely why you commented on it -- traffic. Sitting in an hour backup on the Bay Bridge in SF area. I decided a Manual is just too hard on the clutch in this mess. Anyway, the new transmission is called a "Steptronic". I really like it. I am able to leave it in DRIVE most of the time. Or switch to SPORT Drive - which basically is a higher RPM Automatic with 4 speeds instead of 5. Then for those momemts where I need more pep and control, I just take over with MANUAL with a move of the "stick". I can rev up the RPMs as high as I want (or down shift)and shift the gears to control my performance. The only down-side that I "feel" is that there's sort of a pause (or lag)when I initially hit the gas from a dead stop. Just not a smooth acceleration. More like a jerk or something. But I'm getting used to that.
  • This repeats a prior message that may have been not that clear. I have a 540i now and am very happy with it. I probably should leave well enough alone, but I am some what tempted by the M series. I spend a lot of time in traffic and so a manual is too much of a pain. In the 3 series the M class has an optional SMG transmission (clutchless, can be driven auto or manual). Anyone know anything about it and how reliable it is? How reliable is the M class? Are they a pain to own? How comfortable are the seats? Many thanks.
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    The SMG tranny is available across the 3-series line for 2004. You might prefer a 330i with SMG as opposed to the M3 with its seriously stiff suspension. The sport suspension pkg is a pre-requisite for SMG, but a 325i or 330i with sport suspension will be more comfortable for average use than the M3.
  • This repeats a prior message that may have been not that clear. I have a 540i now and am very happy with it. I probably should leave well enough alone, but I am some what tempted by the M series. I spend a lot of time in traffic and so a manual is too much of a pain. In the 3 series the M class has an optional SMG transmission (clutchless, can be driven auto or manual). Anyone know anything about it and how reliable it is? How reliable is the M class? Are they a pain to own? How comfortable are the seats? Many thanks.
  • Thanks gordonwd for the feedback. I should drive the 330i as well. I drove the 3 series once, but found the seats uncomfortable. The M3s have different seats. I wonder if they are more comfortable. Any sense if M3s are a pain to own?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    the ZHP instead of the 330i or M3? Seems like it would be a good compromise.

    -Paul
  • bornoborno Posts: 77
    just bought a '01m3cic w/6sp. it's truly amazing bought from private party with hard top, strut brace and dinan upgrade completed. it's steel grey w/imola red leather. does anyone know if daytime running lights can be installed. also, when i leave the lights on there is no alarm...seems strange for a car like this. does any one have tips or suggestion regarding this or anything else?? thanks in advance
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I think the article was fair. The G35 seems like a good car and it does offer a lot for the money. The acceleration numbers were consistent with past reviews and so were braking numbers but I was VERY surprised at the consistently high skidpad numbers on ALL cars. In the Jan '01 issue of C&D, the 325i SP pulled in .86 g on the skidpad with Contisports. Then they fitted it with SO3s and the skidpad number was the same (braking was much better, though!!). In the March '04 test, the car pulled in .89 on the skidpad with Michelin Pilots. There is no way these tires would make such a huge difference over the SO3s - it must have been the weather conditions... The IS300 came up at .87, the G35 at .90 with 55 profile tires - it sounds too high.

    As far as the 325i vs. the G35, if we take out the HP difference, I doubt I'd personally find anything else that would make me prefer it over the 325. The BMW looks better inside and out, is more composed, is 200 lbs lighter, is 10+ inches shorter!!, and it is a great platform to build on. I'd be curious to see a comparo on lap times.
  • the ZHP instead of the 330i or M3? Seems like it would be a good compromise.

    -Paul


    No SMG on the ZHP. Makes no sense. They put a cruddy slushbox on the ZHP this year but no SMG? Here's a wacky idea, make the SMG part of the ZHP package for a grand more. That way you won't have poseur ZHP's zipping around.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Thanks for clarifying that. I was thinking the ZHPZ had the SMG... oh well. :) Offering it with the SMG for 1000 more sounds like a great idea.

    -Paul
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    brave wrote "I'd be curious to see a comparo on lap times."

    Does anyone know why car magazines don't do lap time tests on cars? More likely than not, no one would care for mini-vans, SUV's, etc, but when comparing sportscars or sport sedans, it would make sense. In motorcycle comparos, they almost always run the bikes on a tight track and a faster track to compare how the bikes do in those environments.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The 1997-1998 3er coupes are great cars. The 318is has the M44 four cylinder engine. It's pretty much bulletproof. I would not get a 318 with an automatic due to the fact that you need to keep the engine above 2500 rpm to extract the best performance out of it. The 323is and 328is have the proven and reliable M52 six-the main difference in the engines is their displacement. The five speed 328i is a fairly quick car(0-60 in @6.2 seconds)-the 323i is @one second slower. All BMWs of that vintage require an oil and filter change about every 9000 miles-$35 DIY, $50 or so for a shop to do it. The major service(Inspection II) occurs every 36000 and will cost around $400 at a good indie shop-@600+ at a dealer. Coolant is changed every three years, brake fluid every two. The gearbox and final drive oils get changed ever other Inspection II. Sixes will need a new water pump at roughly 60000 mile intervals-$200. The side windows will sometimes fall into the door due to breakage of some plastic clips that connect the glass to the regulator. The parts are cheap and there are several how-to pages on the web. As with any used BMW, I'd want to see a full service history and I would also have the car inspected by a good BMW tech. As for which coupe to get-well, drive a few and pick the one that YOU like. There are enough 1997-1998 cars out there that you can afford to be picky.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    kominsky... Every now and then one of the major auto magazines will do a comparison test or special test showing lap times at a particular track. But since they don't own the tracks and likely costs a pretty penny to use the track, they don't do it too often. R&T has done a couple real detail ones, giving vehicle performance in all the curves.
  • white6white6 Posts: 588
    Noticed in the C&D comparo that their 325i weighed 3300 pounds. I'm quite sure that, with about $6,500 in options, there was some added "optional" weight. I've ordered a stripped 325i (sport package and nothing else); I will be curious to see what the curb weight is on my car when it gets here.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    It is < 3,250 lbs!!
  • Thanks for your response regarding my bmw radio code. I did look around the manuals for the code but its no where. I guess I have to settle down for the last resort to find the serial number.

    I had some luck with my battery as it turns out to be the Boston cold that my car was not starting in the morning. With a slight weather change my batter is doing fine which is OEM '98.

    Thanks alot, I really appreciate your reply.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Had a $35,540 MSRP. From the stats and pictures you can see it had Sport Pkg, sunroof, leather, non-wood (titanium) interior trim. Assuming it had Prem Pkg. Is that blue metallic paint?

    Very good stats--325i 5-speed manual Sport running on Michelin Pilot HX, 225/45WR-17 tires:

    0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds (3rd place)
    rolling 5-60 mph in 8.0 seconds (last place)
    0-100 mph in 19.4 seconds (5th place)
    0-120 mph in 31.3 mph (tied for 3rd place)
    1/4 mile in 15.4 secs at 91 mph (tied for 3rd)
    70-0 mph braking in 172 ft (4th place)
    Pulled 0.89g (tied for 2nd)
    63.4 mph lane-change (2nd place)
    top gear 30-50 mph in 8.7 secs (2nd place)
    top gear 50-70 mph in 9.1 secs (3rd place)
    19 mpg achieved (highest in group)
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,468
    I think the titanium would suggest the car didn't have the Premium Package.

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

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    nyccarguy... You may be right. I don't have an '04 sedan brochure so not exactly sure what all ways an '04 can be equipped. All I know is this is a heavily loaded '04 325i. MSRP pushing $36K and it had the manual transmission. BMW might have provided an interestingly equipped one. From the small interior picture, looks like it didn't have the Cold Weather Pkg. Pulled out an '03 brochure. The paint is metallic (so there is another option) and I'd guess it had optional Xenon HID. But there has to be something else to drive the price up so high. That got me thinking Prem Pkg.
  • What ar ethe inspection costs. The dealer is telling me between 6-8oo and that the 100k maintance warrenty will NOT cover the spark plug change @ 100k.
    thoughts/opins/ideas
    "01 330CiC
    thanks
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I remember reading that the moonroof alone weighs ~ 60 lbs.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    brave1heart... And the driver might add anywhere from 150-225 pounds. Plus the weight of a full tank of gas. Would be interesting to see how much ALL of the fluids weigh in a 3 Series: gas, oil, coolant, transmission, brake, power steering, differential, windshield wiper, etc. Anyone know? Guess?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, how much weight for the fluids? I'll make and educated guess:

    325i/330i:
    Fuel: 112.2 lbs.
    Washer Fluid: 11.2 lbs.
    Coolant: 17.8 lbs.
    Engine oil: 12.1 lbs.
    Transmission: ? (Don't have the capacity for any of the transmissions available to me)
    Differential: ? (Don't have the capacity for the differential(s) available to me)

    Total: 153.3*

    *If anybody has the capacity for the two different manual transmissions, the automatic transmission and the differential, I will add them to my calculations.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Don't forget brake fluid. Power steering fluid.

    MY2003 3 Series sedan brochure says the unladen weight of the 325i manual is 3,219 pounds and the 325i automatic is 3,307 pounds. So the automatic weighs 88 pounds more.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,468
    OK, so I think the 325i in C&D's test is optioned out as followed:

    -Metallic Paint (Is that Mystic Blue?...yummy)
    -Leather Interior (If it was leatherette they would've griped about it)
    -Cold Weather Package (Can't see the heated seats, but the headlight washers are there)
    -Sport Package (Duh!)
    -Moonroof
    -Xenon Headlights

    Now there are 2 possible options that we're missing here(purely speculation):

    HK Radio (I wouldn't know if this looks any different, can anybody confirm)? Would bring the price to $35,545

    Power seats. They would've voiced their opinion if their $35K+ BMW test car didn't have power seats (they nit pick when it comes to BMWs). This brings the price up to $35,865. Their tester looking to be an '03, maybe the price went up for '04 $325?

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,468
    the price of an '04 325i went up $325? Cue the twilight Zone music:)

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

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