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2000 3 series convertible vs. 2003/2004 325?

I am looking at buying a used 3 series that I will have for about 1-2 years before going to a 5 series. Having heated debate with family whether 2000 5 speed convertible w/ 119,000 miles (priced at about $9K) will hold value when sell better than 2003 automatic 325 sedan with about 76,000 miles for about $12K. Assume condition similar.
Anyone care to help me solve this debate?


  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Depending on where you live, the convertible may be more or less difficult to sell than the sedan. I don't think depreciation will be a big factor for either of those cars.

    I would buy the one that you will enjoy the most and is in the best condition.
  • I live on Hilton Head Island in SC, so it is pretty warm here a lot of the year. Thanks for your reply!
  • I agree... your cost won't likely be due to depreciation.... it's more likely goingn to be ongoing maintenance and repair....

    For the lowest cost, get the one in the best shape with the best maintenance history..

    I'd pick the sedan, and bargain that price down closer to $10K.

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited October 2011
    ...that anything with a manual transmission is better than anything without. Personally I wouldn't even consider the cars which only have two pedals under the dash.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    For driving, I agree Shipo. For reselling, I disagree.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I don't know about that. When I turned my 2002 530i with PP, SP, Xenon, Premium Audio, and a 5-Speed in at lease end, my dealership got $2,000 more for it than the otherwise similar 530iAs they had on the lot.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I wouldn't have expected that!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Funny thing, I had moved four states away from where I'd originally leased the car and per BMW-FS, the only dealership which must accept the return is the dealership which originally leased you the car. When I called my (new) local dealership and told them I had a 530i coming off lease and asked if I could return it to them they flatly said, "No."

    I pressed, "Look, I now live hunreds of miles from where I originally leased the car, would you please let me bring it back to you?"

    "Well," he sighed, "bring it in and we'll have a look."

    When I got there he took a look for all of five seconds and said, "Oh yeah, we're keeping that one."

    "Really?" I said sounding as surprised as I felt, "Why?"

    "Do you realize how high the demand is around here for a nicely optioned up 5-Speed 530i with the Sport Package? We don't sell all that many new ones configured that way, but the demand for used ones is way higher than cars with automatic transmissions."

    They CPOed my car and had it on the lot in two days, it sold a week and a half later for full asking price (which as I said was $2,000 higher than otherwise identical 530iAs). I would love to have kept the car but my business partner and I were launching a new business at the time and we both opted to, ummm, drive lesser transportation for the duration. In my case I went from a 2002 530i to a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan (our spare "dump-run" and "Home-Depot" hack). Humbling. :shades:
  • Yeah but a 530i 5-speed is a total novelty item. A manual transmission 3-series is perceived as merely a cheaper and less-optioned car than an automatic IMO. Different type of buyer I think. The dealer can sell ONE 530 with a stick, but not a lotful of 'em. If he could, he would have done so in the first place, but how many people ordered them new? There's you, and....and...

    So I don't follow your logic but on the other hand your one quick resale makes perfect sense. There's always a market for one of something that is unique (and fun).
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    It was low mileage too, wasn't it? Don't I remember you injuring your leg or having surgery or something and you couldn't drive the 530 for months?
  • You know... breld just bought your old 530i... (no, not the exact one)..

    Check out CCBA

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited October 2011
    When I turned the car in the mileage was pretty much spot on for the lease (right bang on 36,000 miles). You are correct in that less than a year after I leased the car I suffered a badly broken right leg and a partially detached foot which required surgery, hardware (which took place four days before a flight from Manchester, NH through both Detroit and Osaka to Taipei) and considerable time before I was more or less put back together.

    Given the mess my right leg was in it was pretty obvious my driving for the duration wouldn't be in my 5er; instead, Mrs. Shipo and I swapped cars and I was able to sling my casted right leg over into the passenger footwell of her minivan and drive left footed. So while I didn't drive the 530i for something like six months, it's not as if the car didn't get driven; in fact, due to where my wife worked at the time, she probably put more miles on it than I would have during the same period. :)
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