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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • micgamicga Posts: 56
    marincountygal - I will repeat what I have said about 10 times on this board. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SA BUILT BMWs. Can you or anyone else show me any kind of proof that there are quality issues except a few paranoid posters? The answer is no. I do however understand your initial concern and would suggest you research it a little more before you panick. This is a great board, but it is not the end all. Most 325s are built in SA now. However, 80% of the car is built in Germany. It is then shipped to SA for the finishing touches. Just enjoy the car. If you never visited this board, you would probubly never know where it was built and thus would never care. This is a case of knowing too much. Thats the web for you. BMW opened it's SC plant several years ago to produce it's Z3 without any problems. By the way, most employees of the SA plant are actually from the German plants. They are there to make sure everything goes smoothly with the SA plant.

    Hope this helps, Take Care
  • Folks,

    I am unable to decide between BMW 325xi and Audi 2.8 Quattro. They both have almost the same horsepower and BMW has less torque. Price wise they are the same and not much of a difference. I am planning to give my wife a gift between one of these car. I am not sure which is a better car (ie. driving, feel for the road, problems, etc...)

    I know you all are very experience drivers with these kind of cars and I am not. I will need some help from you folks, if you can give me your comments or feedback


  • alpine325ialpine325i Posts: 209
    Why would BMW choose to locate it's new plant in South Africa? Hmmm... lets see... cheap labor? If this is the case, I remember the old sayings: You get what you pay for?, or If you go cheap, you get cheap?, or If you look for a short cut, you're gonna get cut short? I'm just curious as to WHY they would choose South Africa over other parts of Germany? Why not the North Pole then? duh. My car was built in Germany and If this SA stuff gets real stupid with all of the paranoia, I just hope that the SA cars hold their value as much as the German builds. In the meantime, it seems that only time will tell what kind of track record the SA cars will get as far as reliability and resale value. Has anyone seen or heard about an SA car with like 50,000 miles or more and a clean service record? Remember, this SA plant is way too new. So I guess only time will tell.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    I just made my first visit to a BMW dealership and got some more info on ED. The salesman told me that you must pay for the vehicle in full one month before pickup (i.e., 2 months after you order it). He said, and I think he is probably telling the truth, that no bank is going to do a deal like that. You'll have to pay cash or finance through BMW. The problem with the latter is I don't know any way of locking in your interest rate, 2 months in advance.
  • ds2k1ds2k1 Posts: 101

    I haven't driven the 325, but I own a 330i and test drove both the A6 2.8 and 2.7T. The 2.8 will be more luxurious than the BMW, no doubt. It will have a softer, cushier ride with less road feel. It will have more storage space and will seat 4 or 5 much more comfortably than the Bimmer. The Quattro technology is fantastic and if your wife plans on driving much in the snow, you'll appreciate having it. No doubt, the A6 is a very nice ride, if a bit subdued.

    The 325 is more of an enthusiast's car and is a good deal quicker than the 2.8. It will deliver a much sportier ride and convey the road to the driver much more thoroughly. If she plans on having 3 passengers with any frequency, the Bimmer might feel a touch cramped. Without having any idea what your wife is interested in, it's impossible to say which car she'd prefer. The Bimmer will clearly be the more exciting car to drive and will undoubtedly retain its value better. Additionally, if you plan on leasing, the Bimmer may be a better deal precisely because they retain value so well. You can simply get a lower payment on the Bimmer than on a comparably priced Audi because the residual value is higher. The Bimmer also has an AWD option which, the consensus seems to be, is a pretty close rival to the Quattro technology. And the safety features on the smaller 325 clearly make it Audi's equal in that department, despite its more dimunitive size.

    If you were to bump up to the 2.7T, now you're dealing with a serious car. My decision came down to the 330i and the 2.7T. As mentioned earlier, I went with the Bimmer because it frankly drove much better (for me, that meant sportier). The Audi was very smooth and comfortable, but just not the driver's machine that the Bimmer is. When I drove the Audi 2.7T, I thought, "Hmmm...nice car, but something's missing." When I drove the Bimmer, I thought, " do I wipe this ridiculous smile off my face so that the salesman doesn't realize how in love with this car I am?"

    To sum up, if comfort is your wife's thing, get the Audi. If she really likes to drive and wants something a little sportier, and doesn't mind sacrificing some comfort and storage space, get the Bimmer. Both cars are pretty sweet rides.

    You might also want to visit the A6 chat room and get an Audi owner's opinion; quite a passionate group, they are.

    Good luck.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    I just did my first test drive of a 325I. Unfortunately, it had the SP and I want to go with a base vehicle. I plan to do another test drive later of a vehicle with no SP, but I'd like to hear from those who've driven both how big the difference is and why they think, as they do, that the SP is the one option you should get if you only get one. In other words, what's the big deal?
  • mdbimmermdbimmer Posts: 8
    I've read several interesting postings about price and financing. Those who live in the Mid-Atlantic might want to check out VOB BMW in Rockville, Maryland. I shopped extensively for my 330xi (to be built in week 19, i.e., almost any day now), and VOB gave me the best price ($1600 above invoice), NO 'paperwork' or other nonsense fees, and they were quite helpful in my locking in the 5.9% financing. My salesman is Ilhan Birgin, but others there most likely offer similar deals. For those not interested in a special order, they also have a HUGE inventory.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    I've read that you can order cloth seats for the 325I -- that they're common over in Europe. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to see any before ordering my Euro Del car. I'm picky about cloth. I do NOT like fine textured velours such as are in the Passat. The more open and rough the texture the more appealing to me. So, has anybody seen the cloth seats? What was the cloth like?
  • rworrellrworrell Posts: 151
    OK, I know that 330i leases are being subvented by BMW right now, but there's a dealer here in Minneapolis who's advertising a 330i for $359/mo 36 mos, 15k a year (might be 12k) with total due at signing of $3250. No matter how I run the numbers, I can't make $359 work even for a stripper 330i. I read the fine print and it mentioned with acquisition fee, payment of ~$500. That's a one-time charge, though, right?

    Am I missing something? Is it really possible to lease a 330i for only $359/mo with very little down? Someone out there please enlighten me!

    Thanks, all!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    A couple of years ago I was working as a consultant to Mercedes-Benz here in northern New Jersey. During my contract, they sent me to Stuttgart for several months. Funny thing, MB North America has a fleet of cars there for those of us on the left side of the pond to drive. Being a consultant, I was NOT allowed to drive a car from that fleet, so they rented me a BMW 320i (E36) instead. This car had cloth seats which were very much like the fuzzy seats in the Passat.

    Oddly enough, one of my buddies over there had an E430 5-Speed with cloth (as in your "open and rough texture" type) seats. While I prefer leather, the very subtle plaid inlay (the bolsters were still leather) was very tasteful.

    Best Regards,
  • megrdhmegrdh Posts: 34
    Thank you all for your explanation and suggestion.
  • yanbukenyanbuken Posts: 12
    Thanks for your responses regarding HK and ED. Brave1heart - thanks for your welcome and positive opionion on HK.
    Kominsky - I take it from your post that on any 330's in the future, the HK is included at no additional price. If I remember right, BMW likewise included other items in the 325/330 model that were previously just options on 323/328 models. Any ideas on what might be thrown in for the 2002 model year? Power seats, maybe? Question: does the HK include a CD player??
    Postoak, I am trying to learn as much as possible about ED, and yes, I have read BMWUSA's site on it. That was what really whet my interest on the idea. I was aware that you had to pay for the car one month before pickup, however, I assumed that I would have either a bank or CU loan in place to cover it. Now you have me concerned that I will have to turn to BMW for financing. Thanks for the info - I will check on it with my bank to confirm the bad news. Has anybody on this board gotten a bank loan for ED??
  • erricksonerrickson Posts: 130
    The HK upgrade is really an upgrade of the speakers. You still must upgrade if you want
    the CD player.
  • dc_75dc_75 Posts: 53
    postoak: As I recall, the BMW cloth upholstery is velour-like in texture/appearance with vinyl pipings on the seats. Although I think the lower end Euro 3er like the 316 and the 316 compact have a different cloth interior, I am not too sure. My experience is based on E39 520i as well as several 320i's and 316 (E36)(not too sure about chassis designation, too lazy to look it up :-)They are durable and quite nice, I must say, and have a bigger variety of colors to choose from to better match your car's exterior. Aside from Europe a large percentage of world's population of Euro cars sport cloth interiors (except for high end models, of course).

    MB has always had a plaid design cloth interior aside from their traditional MB-tex and leather on higher end models. I think it used to be offered on Sport models as well as Sportline models and I do believe their cosworth 190Es have the plaid interior. I think its got to do with racing tradition as in the SLR racing cars of the 30s. Its actually quite nice on a W-124 Sportline sedan I have driven.

    Not too sure why market preference/perception of cloth on high-er end cars is skewed.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Aren't power seats already standard on all 330's? They're definetly standard on the 'Ci'.
  • dc_75dc_75 Posts: 53
    postoak: Depending on your driving style/preference/needs, many fine posters on this board have attested to the attributes of the sport package on the 3er sedan. Personally, if I were getting a sedan, I would give the SP a closer consideration as I believe it completes the 3er package. Just to recap the Sport package comes with sport-tuned suspension, sport seats (with better support/bolstering) and the sport steering wheel and its quite the bargain as if you were to replicate at least the wheels, you would have to spend hundreds more.
  • dc_75dc_75 Posts: 53
    batlanta: Congratulations on the 330...said with a touch of envy as I am only ordering my 325 Ci in a month :-). How does it feel to have a 6-piece-German-orchestra at your beck and call....:-)
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    If you like to drive hard on curvy roads, I would highly recommend the sport package. I test drove a 323Ci with SP on a GREAT mountain road and was very impressed. Later, at The Ultimate Drive, I drove a 323Ci without the SP (same suspension, different tire/wheel combo on the 'Ci') and the car felt 'squirrely' when pushed hard. And then there's the seats which have been mentioned many times by myself and others... the sport seats are terrific!
  • tcn2ktcn2k Posts: 277
    wow, bmw na emailed me with my concerns i had on overheating over in What customer service, now lets see what they can do to catch the problem before it happens.
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