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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier

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  • uofmich1uofmich1 Posts: 18
    Guys my 11th dig is N, and that absolutely is SA. Ill take delivery end of April.... and I'll let ya know how it all goes.
  • rascal8rascal8 Posts: 54
    Alpine325i - I'm always happy to read a mediocre review of the CL-S. It was my second choice of cars since it does have the horses and looks good on paper; however, I never did get to drive one. Once I drove the 325ci steptronic I knew the search was over and haven't looked back. Then I drove the 325ci 5-SPEED, then I knEw it was REALLY over. I pick up a 325ci 5-speed in Germany this May with Euro Del.

    HoleinOne - Yes, you can haggle but it is very difficult on Euro Delivery. I received 4% off MSRP on my ED. I spoke with 4 other dealerships that would not budge off MSRP, saying something to the tune of "you're already getting a discount with Euro Delivery so we can't give you any more".
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I drove an IS300 before I ordered my 325i and I felt the same way you guys felt abut the Acura CL type S. The interior was inefficient, cramped up, busy, downright tacky. Here's what's really impressive about the 325's engine: the 184 hp 325i manual beats the 215 hp IS300 by half a second. The 325i achieves this feat with identical weight and a 30 hp DISadvantage. Unbeliavebale! The 325i's suspension felt firm, comfortable, balanced and composed, esp. with the Sports Package. Road feel was addicitive. And that engine sound - I'd drive it in 3-rd on the highway just to hear it louder. It is the Ultimate, alright, and no Japanese import comes close.
    +++
  • bmwknightbmwknight Posts: 12
    When was your car produced...? Has it been a while? Mine was finished on 3/5 and it just got to the port and they still don't have a estimated shipping date for it! Who knows... I might even end up taking delivery of the 330i before the 325i ships. The 330i was supposed to go into production the 2nd week of April (wk16, I believe, at least that's what the dealer said)and it went into production last Friday 3/22, I guess they are ahead which is great for me!
  • rbukarbuka Posts: 2
    Just a quick thank you, especially to tck and socalia, for their BMW buying input. Landed the 325ci for 1.1 grand above invoice (2.1 grand under MSRP). My feeling is that dealers are getting itchy to shed these cars before the 2002s start rollin' in. Cheers, RB
  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    You forgot to mention that the 325 gets more than 10% better gas mileage too.

    HiC
  • bmwbuyerbmwbuyer Posts: 14
    For all who are current (2000/2001) 3-Series owners, please help me with the following questions as I try to decide which model to purchase?

    1) Is there a big performance gain to be noticed in daily driving (i.e. around town) with the 330 vs. the 325?

    2) Are there any other reasons besides HP to choose the 330 over the 325?

    3) Why are the coupes more expensive and are they worth the extra $$$?

    Thanks so much
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    hicaira - great point regarding mileage. What's really impressive about the mileage is that according to European Car, no matter how aggressively they drove the 3-series, they were still getting mileage in the 20-24 mpg interval. This is all due to BMW's ingenious engineering, I'm guessing the merit goes mostly to the variable-timing-input for the engine. One more reason to get the Ultimate.
    +++
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    All great questions! I had a chance to drive both before I ordered my 325i sedan. The power in the 330 is absolutely effortless at any range, fabulous car! The 325 had enough power for my taste, though, and I just can't justify spending 4-5 grand extra on half a second difference. Yes, comparing the two models, the 330 is about 4-5 grand more expensive than a 325 with similar options. You get 0 to 60 in half a second less time, not a tremendous difference. With the 330 you get to a level when you are paying substantially more per marginal increase in performance. Then again, if money is no object to you at all, or you absolutely want the HP, it'd be worth getting the 330.
    The coupe comes with more standard features than the sedan (mostly sport),and it has minor differences is trim. Both me and my wife felt that there was less interior space in the coupe, maybe it was just an illusion but it was a persistent feeling. In addition, the seat belts are WAY back there and you have to really stretch over to reach them. I DO like the sedan much better. Good luck to you, let us know what you chose.
    +++
  • bmwbuyerbmwbuyer Posts: 14
    Brave1heart,

    Are there any other differences that you have noticed between the 325 and 330 sedans, i.e. features, accessories, interior/exterior quality, space?

    Thanks!
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    In short, there are minor differences but when you adjust for the differences in standard features, you still get a 4-5 grand premium that you pay for the engine. The 330's front grill is a little more sporty, you can choose from 4 different interior trims, also you get more chrome inserts on the dash with the 330. The 325 does not offer an interior trim choice or chrome inserts on the dash. My 325i will have black leatherette, which comes with black trim only - no choice. I'm guessing there are a few other minor differences between the two models but there is nothing major that you can get on the 330 that you can't get on the 325 (leather, xenons, stereo, that kind of stuff). You can get the M suspension, bucket seats and 17-inch wheels on the 325 with the Sports Package, so there shouldn't be any differences there.
    It seems based on the discussions on this board that most 325s are made in South Africa, while all 330s are made in Germany. That may be something to consider if you want a 100% German car. The dimensions and interior space are identical but again, sedans feel roomier than coupes in either 325 or 330 form.
    I'm sure there are other people on the board that know the differences better, let's see if we'll here from someone else on this.
    +++
  • I'm fairly new to this board (my 325i will arrive in May), but the impression I got is that unless you want the added "prestige factor" of a 330, you can make up a significant portion of that power (AND cost) differential with:

    $100 performance air filter
    BMW-approved "chip" software ($400-$600??)

    Just a thought. I really can't comment on the Sedan v. Coupe dilemma you're having because I've always thought the 4-door to be much better looking.

    V
  • bmwbuyerbmwbuyer Posts: 14
    I was just offered the following lease deal for 36 months and 36K miles on a 330i:

    $1600 drive-off, $499/month (pre-tax)

    for 330i, sport, leather, HK Stereo, Xenon.

    Does that sound too high? Have you heard/seen better? Thanks again.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    vesuviusii, a K&N filter improves the airflow, which results in better performance. As the airflow improves, gas is mixed with air more efficiently and the end result is increased performance. That's the easiest way to gain a couple of extra horses and I do plan on doing this when I get my 325i. Most of the gain usually comes from chips, though, which tend to work much better with turbo models. The reason for that is that you can boost the turbo's pressure easily and gain HP but there's only so much you can do about airflow. I know of at least half a dozen performance chips for the Audi A4 1.8T but I'm not aware of any chips for the 325i. I'd like to hear more about these - any sources of info?
    +++
  • bornagainbornagain Posts: 38
    Try this...http://www.bmwtoys.com/ and go to chips/software.
  • getz1getz1 Posts: 63
    Hi guys,
    I just bought 99 323i w/ heated leather, and all the other goodies for 25k (it has 36k miles). It is black on black and is in absolutely perfect condition, I am amazed at how "new" it looks. I was just curious if you guys think I did ok on the deal, the only options that I can't find on it are the Xenons and a cd changer (Is the computer an option?). If I got taken, please be gentle because I'm going to have the car for about 5 years hopefully. I also wanted to say how fun these cars are to drive despite the fact that I have the allegedly "underpowered" version. I have always driven japanese vehicles, and the perfect balance and feel of the BMW is beyond comparison; it induces a huge grin every time I get behind the wheel. I am curious if there are any major repairs that I can expect down the road. Consumer reports gave these cars very good ratings, but it is always nice to hear first hand.
    Sorry if I sound too disjointed, but I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning!
    Thanks,
    -Getz
  • lobslobs Posts: 21
    I just ordered a 330 and have the brochure here. Some of the differences are that these are standard on the 330 but not on the 325.
    halogen fog lights, on-board computer, 17 inch wheels, chrome and body-color trim, heated dual power mirrors and windshield washer jets, titanium trim on headlight and fog light panels and on front bumper air inlet, 4 spoke leather steering wheel with cruise, audio and phone controls, front center armrest with storage, automatic climate control, cruise control, front and rear map lights, foot well and visor mirror lights, aluminum ringed gauges.

    For me, the differences were worthwhile. My sticker was 36,540. I am leasing at $319 a mo for 36 with total front of 3500 plus extra security deposits of 3,150. The sec deps reduce the money factor to the APR equivalent of 2.9%. Saves $50 a month and is fully refundable at the end of the lease. It gives a yield on investment of about 19%

    The option packages are configured differently. As of March, the HK stereo, sport suspension and power seats are standard on the 330. I dont know if this is true for the 325.
  • lobslobs Posts: 21
    I posted #1133 above. In case some of you would like to know, BMW is giving 36 month lease deals on 325s, 330s, Z3 and others until 4-30-01.

    The 330 is the best deal. The residual is 65%, the money factor is .0021 (equal to 5% APR), the dealer contribution is 4% of MSRP and BMW is contributing also but I dont remember the exact amount. The other models have less favorable residuals and money factors.

    The 330i deal comes out with $2500 down plus taxes, fees and title with the monthly pay at $359 on the base 330 which lists at 33,990 plus 645 destination fee.

    I got the base plus CD player, metallic paint and auto. The HK stereo, sport suspension and power seats were included for any builds beginning in March '01. My payment would have been $369 but I bought it down to $319 by paying extra refundable security deposits.

    This means that I paid $3150 on the front to reduce my payments by $1800 ($50 a month) and I get the $3150 back in the end. So, in effect, I get a return of $1800 on an investment of $3150. If you have the cash, it is better than the stock market has been. It figures out to about 19% per year return on your money.
  • jschmoe3jschmoe3 Posts: 6
    good or bad deal? blk 325xi with:cold wea pkg,spt pkg,premium pkg cd player(oibviously all wheel drive).jet black with sand interior.dealer base-35,285.got him to 33,385.got the speel about hot item,in demand because of localle(snowy Ma.)think it's a little too high.any thoughts?thanks in advance.
  • drewsky2drewsky2 Posts: 9
    getting my 330xi in a couple of weeks....on the way now from germany...100% built there, a plus for the 330 conversation.
    chose the 330 vs 325 based on driving habits...
    would have taken 325 if did 12-15k "around town", but, i do 30k on hwys...wanted the HP, plus other ad-ons nice, esp. w/ the 2001.5 break on option pkgs....visually more distinctive, esp. when going w/ the awd sport/prem/cold weather pkgs.
    used "autovantage" on-line to get price...no haggle...straight $1400 over invoice. done deal.
    lease was 1st and last payment plus doc. fees.
    that was it. again, done deal.
    all seemed too easy...have VIN #...matched up to info. provided here...all info matches...right car, right production, right price...all "on time"
    so far...so good
    drew
  • alpine325ialpine325i Posts: 209
    Brave1heart: Thanks for the IS300 info and all of the other posts that are very informative, I've been real busy lately, so sorry for the late response to your previous posts. rascal8: If you want a good laugh, test drive the CL-S, it feels like a loose plastic tank compared to the BMW. getz1: I know how you feel, I'm amazed at the level of precision and smoothness every time I drive my 325i, The japanese cars don't even come close, The BMW is in a class all it's own.
  • your coments about the BMW 325 seem a little off.

    first off, even for an identical type of car, a manual equipped car is faster than an automatic model. I've seen the manual be faster by over a second on some cars.

    secondly, the bmw's manual transmissions gear ratios are not most optimally geared for cruising. It doesn't like to be in traffic jams and it may provide better off-the-line pull but it will suffer somewhere. 184hp is a 184hp and 215hp is 215 hp. There is a difference; it may not necessarily show up during 0-60 mph.
    It may not show up 0-60 mph because of the gearing or whether it's a manual/automatic. The extra horsepower may show up in the mid to top range.

    One of the criticism of BMW manual is the sloppy clutch along with the gearing. In the case of the M3's, 2nd gear couldn't cover 60 mph which increased the 0-60mph times.

    On most other cars, 2nd gear would cover 60 mph easy. BMW wanted the lower ratios for better acceleration. BMW later changed the gears slightly so that the car would cover 60 mph in second gear to improve the acceleration times.

    Why do you think the 1995-1999 240hp BMW M3 was almost as fast as the 321 hp european version of the M3?

    It was the gearing and the u.s. m3 didn't like the traffic jams at all. You'd be at 3000 rpms and be going 15 mph in first gear in a traffic jam or in normal city driving. After a while many owners got tired of that. I know a guy who let go of his M3 for that reason among others.

    IMO, the BMW is the one with the softer suspension with more body roll. And $35,000+ for just 184hp is just not my cup of tea.

    And resale nor the electronics is up to par IMO.
    Paying that kind of change for sub-par electronics isn't the smartest thing to do.

    As one of my mechanics said, germans are mechanical engineers not electrical engineers.

    Look at the dismal performance of the navigations systems of the new s-class mercedes or the M5's. They are cutting out and slow to respond.

    Also the comand system to open the doors on the new c-class mercedes had numerous reported glitches as well. Power seats are malfuctioning as well. I think most owners have problems with and and mercedes is still trying for remedy the situation. Look at the MB c-class board on edmunds and see for yourself. All of that has to affect the resale.
  • jng2jng2 Posts: 5
    Who can verify that the BMW 325ci's are made in Africa? I asked my dealer and he said that all BMWs are made in Germany. I saw his Inverntory list and all the 325's has VIN numbers starting with "W".

    J
  • mb_a_mustmb_a_must Posts: 32
    Just ordered a 325ci from a Chicagoland dealer. I ended up with $1200.00 under MSRP and they threw in the winter floor mats. This was the best deal I could muster! The car is actually for my sister-in-law, classic black on black, very sharp!

    Just to compare I ordered a new MB c240 a month earlier . Dealerships attention and services seem to be similiar. MSRP car pricing with options are similiar. I do think you get a little more with the MB but thats just me. The BMW dealer did knock off $1000 off right away, very little fuss. The MB dealer was a bit different. I did end up getting the MB for $1000 under MSRP.

    The BMW looks like a great and FUN car to drive. Enjoy your BMW's. I have enjoyed all of the comments on this board and it helped me save her a few bucks! Keep up the good work.

    See ya ... greg@thedailydonut.com
  • There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this "where built" issue:

    1) Your dealer is either lying to you or he doesn't know what he's talking about. It's very likely (although I'm not entirely sure) that ALL BMW VIN's have "W" as the first character (country of origin). It may be that the first character designates just that -- where the automobile manufacturer is based. Apparently, all 330's are German-built, but some 325i's come from Rosslyn, S.A. (I don't know about the "ci's").

    2) If you're in doubt as to the origin of your vehicle, check to see that the 11th character of your VIN is NOT an "N" -- that is the South African plant's letter designation.

    V
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    aficionado1 - In breaking news, BMW, MB, Audi, VW and Porsche AG of Germany have announced that they are withdrawing all of their exisitng models from the market due to electrical problems that may cause bad driving, horrible skin burns, and even sudden death. The above-stated companies recommend that all American motorists driving German cars switch to American-built cars, preferably those that have high % of union labor on the electrical systems. BMW Racing's president Gergard Berger was quoted as saying that any cars generating driver excitement above 2 on a scale from 1 to 10 are dangerous to drive and could blow up at random. He recommends that drivers turn in their German cars and start buying Chevies and Fords. Even Chryslers should be avoided because their electrical systems have been contaminated with German parts. BMW will also be withdrawing its winning F1 cars, as the gear ratio on their bolids is unacceptable in heavy traffic. BMW-Williams's Juan Montoya has been test-driving Dodge Intrepids recently and is stated as making progress on the track. Stay tuned for more news to follow on German car recalls. : O )

    PS: I kind of like the Italian spelling of aficionado1. It sounds more unique writing it with one ''F" as in aFordable cars?!?
  • bmwbuyerbmwbuyer Posts: 14
    Where did you get this lease deal? It sounds great. Can you give me the name of the salesperson so I can check to see if it still exists? Thanks!
  • kimj1kimj1 Posts: 32
    I have a dilema that I am trying to solve and I would like some opinions. I am pretty sure what everyone is going to say, but I am asking anyway so bear with me.

    My husband and I have been shopping for a car since Oct. of last year. We have looked at many great cars. After sitting down and figuring out what the maximum car payment that we are willing to pay we wittled the list of cars down to 2 choices. The first being the BMW 325i with leather, PP, CD and sunroof. The second is (now don't laugh) a Nissan Maxima GLE fully loaded. Now I know most of you probably think that there is no comparrison. Well, I am not comparing the 2 car against each other. I am (trying to) look at them independently. They are both great cars and are going to last a long time.

    Now here is where the dilema is. My husbands company allows him to purchase a Nissan through a special purchase plan that will save a lot of money. The difference in cost between paying MSRP and the plan price is $4700. That's a big difference. We started thinking that maybe this was the way to go. Except we can't get over how much fun the BMW was to drive. There is an obvious difference in the price (OTD) when you compare these 2 cars ($8500). My head tells me to go with the Nissan. The monthly payment is great and given the current state of the economy with job cutbacks and all this is probably the wise choice. My heart says go with the BMW, you can afford it so why not. The question is just because I can, does that mean I should?

    I realize that I have to make a decision based on what is best for me. Just put yourself in a similar situation and please give me some honest opinions.

    Thanks for staying with me. I appreciate any and all advice.
  • bornagainbornagain Posts: 38
    You only live once, and you may die tomorrow.
    Go with the Bimmer, if you liked it that much better!
  • Answer these questions for yourself: Which car would you rather...

    drive?
    see in your car port?
    have your friends/family envy?
    (okay, so I'm a bit biased)

    It sounds silly, but setting the (35%+!) added expense issue aside, that was similar to how I made my final decision between the BMW 325i and the Audi A4.

    My HEAD said to go for the better-valued Audi A4, but my HEART won out with the 325i.

    I looked at the Maxima too, but found:

    - the interior to be cheap looking and feeling
    - it lacking the "sling-shot" feel of the 325i
    - everyone's got one

    Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
    V

    btw - If you go for the Beemer, shoot for about $1,400 - $1,600 over Invoice and 5.9% APR thru BMW Financial. They'll bite, especially now.
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