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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I have a 325xi. I test drove the 325i and still chose the xi. I live in the mountains and want that additional security.

    As far as performance, the xi has no noticeable acceleration difference between the i that I can see (butt-dyno). Handling is incredible, but I opted for the Sport Package (the PP is a separate issue for me... I kinda have 1/3 PP :) ). The ride is still quite good, but if you want a quieter ride, the SP may not be for you. Test drive one with and one without the SP and judge for yourself.

    As for the AWD, I haven't had the opportunity :( to try it yet, but somebody on here picked his up in Europe on the ED, and drove it through the snowy Alps and had no problems.

    My configuration is:
    2002 325xi
    Oxford Green Metallic
    Natural Brown Leather
    5sp, SP, CWP, xenons, center armrest
    wood trim (the titanium looked ridiculous with the natural brown)

    YES! The xenons are worth it. I live in a rural area where there are no street lights (at least not enough to matter). The xenons really light it up for me. Again, this will be a personal choice, but I also love the look in the front. I know, not a real reason for the $700, but with the light they provide and the look they give... nice.

    I've got some pictures of the car I just haven't developed yet. I'll post them here or on Webshots (or hopefully my Edmunds 3er's page - once I build it! :) )

  • 1johann1johann Posts: 32
    Looking at CPO cars this weekend, I was told at a dealer that they offered free loaner cars even for oil changes and all repairs. Sound great.
    They then informed us that that held true only if we bought the CPO car at that dealer. Does that sound right?
  • The Trianon is running a day or two behind. Now not scheduled to hit Port Hueneme until June 5. Bummer.

    I didn't receive a letter telling me the expected arrival date. Maybe it's an ED thing. And yes, I too need to think about selling my tired 4Runner.
  • 1johann1johann Posts: 32
    Looking at CPO cars this weekend, I was told at a dealer that they offered free loaner cars even for oil changes and all repairs. Sound great.
    They then informed us that that held true only if we bought the CPO car at that dealer. Does that sound right?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yes, the delivery letter is in fact an ED thing. I have ordered two BMWs over the last couple of years, and I only got the letter on my recent 530i.

    Best Regards,
  • sunnybrooksunnybrook Posts: 74
    After doing ED, what is the best way to find out what ship your car is on, when it is due to arrive, etc...?? Should you just contact the dealer for all this information?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    For those of y'all waiting for the arrival of your new car on our shores, here is a picture of the type of vessel bringing it here:


    Best Regards,
  • I took delivery of my topaz blue 325i yesterday. This car is absolutely perfect. It makes you want to drive to work in the morning. The 7 week wait was well worth it. The sport package and 5spd are a must as far as I'm concerned and the moonroof makes me feel like I'm in a convertable. The HK stereo is better than the stock stereo, but I was expecting a little more. However, I'm not complaining. Cheers to all on this board--I am now in the BMW family.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    1johann... BMW dealers in Des Moines, IA, and Omaha, NE, have same policies. Unlike their counterpart dealers at Lexus and Infiniti. A sore spot for me. And an area I think BMW should address. Don't they realize that people move? Relocate due to job change? Live in an area while going to school?
  • sunnybrooksunnybrook Posts: 74
    I would estimate that between air, lodging, and food/entertainment I spent approx $1K. This also takes into consideration the train travel between Munich and Zurich. Luckily i saved quite a bit on the flight ($300 RT) due to connections in the airline industry. Also, I didn't have any hotel reservations and pretty much figured things out on the go when I got to each city. Sure, it takes a little time to get your bearings and wheeling around a suitcase for an hour isn't always convenient, but i found that i could determine where the best places were to stay and also negotiate rates at the same time. One other misconception; drinking in europe (at least where i was) is NOT that much cheaper than the U.S. so don't expect to go to the bars and not spend as much money as here. For one thing, most bars have tips built into the price since it is not expected as it is here in the states. For example, I was paying 8 francs for a Smirnoff Ice...though why i was drinking a Smirnoff Ice is a whole other story...
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    Don't you just love the brown leather. I think this is the most attractive interior scheme for 325's. Unfortunately its not available with leatherette.

    I saw an orient blue with brown leather, and what I liked is that the carpet and parts of the door that you touch were still black - so they wouldn't show the dirt. It had a two-tone quality. If I could afford leather, I'd definitely get brown, with Electric red paint.

    PS: I agree that the titanium looks awful with any color interior except black. I saw a tan interior with titanium on the lot, and it just looked weird. It looks really sporty with black, though. I saw a CPO bright red 323i w/black interior and black trim, and it didn't look nearly as nice as the titanium or the wood.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Welcome aboard!! Great options, you must be in heaven. What tires did your SP come with?
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    You'll need your VIN. Shipo sent me this link & instructions for tracking car. Am glad to hear your steel blue/tan looks good, cuz that's what i'm getting. I had to edit out some gibberish codes, good luck.

    Get your VIN handy, follow this link:, select Auto in the Drop Down List Box (the one that has a drop down arrow Track By Auto), enter your VIN, (cargo i.d.? ) click the "Track" link, and wait for something like two minutes. The system will then give you a full report about the voyage that your car is on.

  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    William: thanks for the tip on the armrest.

    1pierce: if your limited on options, i would pass on Xenon , the standard lamps are VERY good.I know most are buying them but if its between that and gettting the Color you want or real Leather... you see my point.

    wheels: my V spoke style 54 wheels due to the small spokes are sooo hard to clean. my favorite wheel right now for ease of cleaning is the standard 325CI star spoke style 43 wheel, but alas its not a option on the sedan.

  • jagzbimmerjagzbimmer Posts: 17
    I'm new to this board. I just put an order in for a 2003 330xi on 5/18. Order won't go in until late June, but I wanted to get mine in. These cars will be hot in my part of the country come August/September. I know the wait is long (dealer says late Sept. delivery), but I'd rather wait 4 months NOW than 6 months LATER!

    I'm glad to hear so many people like the Topaz Blue b/c I ordered:

    Topaz Blue/Sand Leather
    Run Flat Tires (Rims w/ Run flats seem nicer
    than stock rims
    Heated Seats
    No Packages (330 comes very well equipped

    Read a post about titanium not looking good with interior colors other than black. I have an '02 X5 with Sand Leather that has titanium. It looks great.

    kp40m: I wouldn't wait too long to order your car (of course, it all depends on where you are and how demand is). I, too, was going to wait until late summer. But, in talking with the dealer, I decided to put my order in early. Salesman used 02 figures, which is ok b/c residuals will only be higher on '03s, and money factors should not fluctuate too much.

    My deal is basically $425/mo. with $3000 TOP (includes prepaid sales tax).

    I'm looking forward to getting my 2nd Bimmer, and being a member of the board!

    P.S. I'm the classic example of once you go Bimmer, you never go back!!!!!!!
  • I believe they are the ContiSport tires. I know they are 225/45 r17 all the way around. They look really good on the car--very sporty--especially with the black leather and silver trim. Anybody have any good suggestions how to keep it cool when its been sitting in the sun? The Texas sun is brutal and its only May.
  • On Saturday I took delivery of a new 2002 325i sedan--orient blue metallic, moonroof, 5 speed, sports package, cold weather package, upgraded sound system, and paint protection. It's my first BMW and well worth the 9-week wait. I've lusted after the 3-series since I drove a new 320i in the late 1970s. (Quite an upgrade from my 1987 Honda Prelude that I had owned for 15 years!)

    My questions: (1) should I purchase the 1 additional year of BMW service protection for $750(extending the service coverage from 3 years to 4 years)? The salesman advised me that, after 3 years I'll probably need a brake job that costs $1000 dollars! Is it really likely that I'll need a $1000 brake job (new rotors??) at that time? If so, the $750 investment now probably IS worth it!

    2) I'm considering getting LoJack for the car. I live in northern California and I see from LoJack's statistics that the statistics for stolen BMWs is really low when compared with Southern California. Is the $700 for LoJack the best protection against theft? (I won't buy a typical alarm because they're always going off at the wrong time and no one pays attention to them anyway!).

    I look forward to your feedback!
  • Help!! I ran across a 325xi that is configured in my price range; steptronic, leatherette, moonroof, heated seats. These are hard to come by in my area. Meanwhile, the A4 3.0 w/o any options is in the same price range, although I would have to special order it. Any thoughts??
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Please keep in mind; the following is only my opinion. That said, who ever told you that a 4-wheel brake job would cost $1,000 was blowing sunshine up your skirt, and I'm betting that the last time you wore a skirt was at a costume party, if ever. ;-)

    I just turned in my 1999 328i (which has exactly the same brakes as your 2002 325i), and yes, it did need brakes after three years. That said, I did all four wheels for less than $250, and much to my delight, BMW brakes are REAL EASY to replace. Under the assumption that you are like most folks, and have no desire to "Roll your own", my dealer presented me with a bid for about $650 for the same job, which means that any decent repair shop that specialized in BMWs should be able to do the work for somewhere in the middle, roughly $450.

    Given how reliable the E46 has turned out to be, it is unlikely that you will have another covered expense occur to justify the $750, which to me means a fair amount of money down the drain. So, obviously, if I were in your shoes, I would pass on the extended maintenance contract.

    Similarly, I would also pass on the LoJack for a couple of reasons:

    1) The standard Anti-Theft systems built into the E46 are pretty damn good, enough so that my insurance company gave me a discount on my insurance for that car. In addition, BMW has also designed an add-on alarm package that is integrated into your car and works from the standard factory key. That package can be had for $232.05 at in kit form if you want to do it yourself (between 2 to 3 hours of work). If you want it done, many folks have been able to negotiate with their selling dealership to install the alarm system prior to vehicle pick-up, or shortly thereafter for between $300 and $400.

    2) Of late, the car thieves have developed new techniques to steal LoJack equipped cars, so, the old adage still seems to be in effect, "If they want the car, they will take the car."

    Last but not least, congratulations on your new car.

    Best Regards,
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