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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier

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Comments

  • ddblueddblue Posts: 117
    Okay, I would love a Ferrari 575M Maranello, an Aston Martin Vanquish, a Porsche Carrera GT or just a BMW M5. Who wouldn't??? Most of us are lovers of performance and the badge part doesn't hurt either.

    But there's reality. I can only afford my 325Ci. But what a purchase it was. I waited for six months to put down a decent down payment. I waited three months for delivery. And was I disappointed that it wasn't a 330Ci? He11 no! It's the best car I've ever owned. I trounces everything I've ever had the pleasure of planting my mushy butt in on the morning commute. It's quick, handles like a dream and still gets stares and compliments whenever I drive it. I don't care if it's not the fastest out there. I don't care if a Dodge Neon SRT, a VW Golf R32, a Nissan 350Z and even a V6 Honda Accord Coupe can beat me to 60 (Okay, my car's modded w/ a chip and CAI, so it's running low to mid 6s, so maybe not the Accord). It's a BMW and everything about it feels right. I drive it at about 7/10s on a regular basis and I still get excited when I take for a quick trip to the grocery store.

    The silky I6, the sport seats, the ambient orange lighting, the three spoke wheel, the canted center console and the feel I get when I hit the apex---all of these are reasons why the 325Ci is more than enough car for me. Most people can't ever get to driving the car 9/10ths. I get to in my 3, and it's phenomenal. The roundel on the hood is just icing on the cake.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    i am still betting you are niether donkey, nor shrek... despite your comment ;)

    ksso
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    understating the case. When I ran the numbers the differential was $6300 extra for the 3 liter engine. Of course, someone will step in and tell you that you are getting some extras along with the engine for that price, but since they were extras I didn't care about -- I have to disregard that. I just wasn't willing to pay that extra $6300 so went with the 2.5 liter and to tell you the truth even IT has enough power to get me into trouble.
  • I'm replacing the tires on my 2000 328i (PP and triptronic) and would like to enhance the handling. It's not bad, but I think it can be better (I wish I had ordered the sports package, but that's a matter of false economics). The standard tire is 205/55/16; the optional, higher performance size is 225/50/16. Both sizes have nearly the identical sidewall (112.75 vs. 112.5) I can't believe the .25 mm will make much difference. All other qualities being the same (brand, model, line of tire), do you folks who have experimeneted with this think the 225/50 will give perceptibly more crisp performance characteristics than the same tire in the 205/55 configuration? I don't think I necessarily need more rubber on the road, because I have rarely broken the existing 205/55 tires loose. Price is a consideration, but not the determining factor.I will appreciate any opinions you may offer, and offer my thanks in advance.
  • The 325 is a damn fine car!!

    To each his own. for the cost, IMHO, it's not.

    I knew people would chafe even though I clearly wrote "most" 325 buyers are badge hounds. If one is offended by that, such is life. There was a modifier in my statement absolving true enthusiasts from being part of the crowd that has to flash the right jewelry, clothes and cars.

    I believe most 525, 530 and 745 buyers a poseurs too. A great percentage of BMWs buyers in general, I believe, buy for the emblem and not the abilities of the car. But again, not all of the buyers do so to get the in car.
  • ddblueddblue Posts: 117
    Okay, so it's not really a comparison. The M3 is faster, handles better and is just plain bad to the bone. My friend has an E46 M3 6-spd. He drove my 325Ci and said that it's much easier to drive at the limit and is, in fact, more fun in everyday driving since you can push it harder and get more out of the car.

    I'd love an M3, but my 325Ci is still my dream car that was within reach.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "I knew people would chafe even though I clearly wrote "most" 325 buyers are badge hounds. If one is offended by that, such is life. There was a modifier in my statement absolving true enthusiasts from being part of the crowd that has to flash the right jewelry, clothes and cars.

    I believe most 525, 530 and 745 buyers a poseurs too. A great percentage of BMWs buyers in general, I believe, buy for the emblem and not the abilities of the car. But again, not all of the buyers do so to get the in car."

    Using the logic in your post any person who buys a car more expensive than a Hyundia is a poseur. I'm not sure where you draw the line in the sand between peoples buying motives of true enthusiast or poseur. It seems your defintion of a poseur is a buyer who buys something because he/she wants to drive it, instead of he/she wants to drive it as it was meant to be driven. Well in that sense, there isn't a driver amongst us in the crowd that isn't a poseur, because most of us would jump at the chance to drive the car of our dreams, even though we may not be able to drive it as intended.
  • most of the people I see and know with 325i (and 5 series cars) buy them and drive them like grandmas. Some don't even know the car is RWD. We're talking lawyers, stock people, bankers, executives, etc. They bought the car because it looks good or as some will tell you, "Because it's a BMW."

    It has nothing to do with what the car can do but what it represents to them. They buy the 325i because it gets them a BMW - the brand.
  • If blueguy had a M3 he would say that 330i ZHP is a piece of crap. Right Dot.
  • Memphis, I never wrote that the 325i is a crappy car. I have steadfastly held that I did not buy the 325i because I felt the car's performance didn't match the high price tag. Price it 1k over a TSX (27-28k loaded with everything but navi) and I would have bought it and been happy as a pig in... The RWD/handling was worth an extra grand to me. Everything else was as good or better in the BMW's cheaper competition.

    The 330i gave me enough bang for my buck. I'm happy to pay 5-6k a year to be amped beyond all belief everytime I walk by my ZHP. When I drive it, oh man it's a slice of heaven. But would I have prefered an M3 sedan with xenons and moon for 3 or 4k more? Yep.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "It has nothing to do with what the car can do but what it represents to them. They buy the 325i because it gets them a BMW - the brand"

    It doesn't get them the brand, it gets them what the brand represents. See my post above. When people buy the brand BMW, they are not buying a BMW they are buying a vehicle that represents the embodiement of what the BMW is brand is. While you may quibble with the engine choices, it still represents a choice for car enthusiasts among other choices.

    While it is certainly true some people like to flaunt objects, I can't see a difference between a person who buys a 325 because it's a BMW, no more than a person who buys a Q45 just because it's an Infiniti.
  • While it is certainly true some people like to flaunt objects, I can't see a difference between a person who buys a 325 because it's a BMW, no more than a person who buys a Q45 just because it's an Infiniti.

    Agreed. Though I've never met a person flossin' in anything like an Infiniti or Acura. BMW/MB/Lexus seem to get the people who want to get noticed. As Lexus' entry level lux isn't really viewed as anything more than a kid's car, few people roll in that with an eye toward flaunting (the GS on the other hand...). The MB gets its fair share but the C class tends to skew older. In so cal the 3 series (especially the 325i) is as common as peroxide blondes with bad implants and sitcoms co-starring precocious kids. It's the car many, many 20-40 year olds here aspire to own for no other reason than what it represents. Not what the car can do. Poseurs. Emblem chasers.

    Yes my perception is clouded by where I live, my associates/friends/family, and my daily 90 mile roundtrip.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Agreed. Though I've never met a person flossin' in anything like an Infiniti or Acura."

    I know a few of them. :) Just to say I have a car that's almost $50,000 or over is a statement. But the conversation about the reasons *why* people buy certain brands is a bit stale, and I can't understand why this conversation has any bearing on whether someone should buy a BMW and what model they should get.

    Whether they buy them because they like to flaunt 'em or buy them because they like to flog 'em, it does not change the performance characteristics or change BMWs reputation in this regard. The 325 is no more a poseurs car than an SRT4. Both serve a market and both have customers.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,756
    well BMW needs all the people who buy the 3ers (and other models) cars just for the roundel on the hood & the trunk, they need the people who buy the cars because they are pretty or handsome, they need the show offs, the lawyers, the bankers, the doctors, the business executives... who buy (or lease) the run of the mill CWP (here in the NorthEast)PP/Step/Leather/Metallic Paint 325is (plural) & 330is (plural). These cars serve as a foundation for BMWs wonderful profit margin (second highest in the auto industry). It is with this large profit margins that BMW uses to develop the cars that us enthusiasts lust over like the M3, M5, ZHP 330i, 545i6 (well lust on the E60 is debatable), Z4, and even 3er coupes to a degree.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    Ya, the Z4 is a wonder car. They are still having problems selling the 03s at $5800 off MSRP in my area and there are lots of cars left. That is some pretty serious depreciation or and example of how much profit margin BMW has to work with.
  • Very true. And actually, I've lusted after a 3 since 98 and to this day I still feel my heart beat faster every time the garage door opens.

    A friend told me there's nothing quite like being in love with a car. I laughed at that 540 driving nut. Now I nod when he says it.
  • bretaabretaa Posts: 130
    "Very true. And actually, I've lusted after a 3 since 98 and to this day I still feel my heart beat faster every time the garage door opens.

    A friend told me there's nothing quite like being in love with a car. I laughed at that 540 driving nut. Now I nod when he says it."

    Boy, do I agree with that. Great post.
  • Well I didn't mean to start a flame war, but except for a few comments, no one has really given a good explanation for BMW charging as much as they do for a 330i. Is it because there is no justification?

    On the other hand, I'm hesitant to even drive a 330i, because I'm afraid to get a taste of something I know I can't have. In the back of my mind I will always wonder if I'm really missing out on a considerable performance difference and the exhilerating driving experience a BMW is supposed to bring.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,756
    I totally agree that there is nothing like being in love with your car. I can't wait to get back in my Prelude tomorrow morning:)-

    I've lusted after a 3er for a while too. Probably since '97 when I drove my friend's E36 325is (5 speed, SP). From that night forward I knew I had to have a BMW (I still don't, but that's OK).

    I'd love to get my hands on a '99 E36 M3 one of these days. Very handsome & understated styling, crisp handling, well balanced, and fast. I like the fact that '99 was the last year of the E36 M3, but the technology of the car is proven early-mid 90's. I saw a great Cosmos Black/Black 5-speed 32K mile CPO car on a dealer's website listing for $26K.

    I love the E46 M3 too. Maybe in a few years I'll look pick up the last year of the I6 powered E46 M3 (rumors of a V8 are inevitable for the next gen M3).

    Speaking of badge hounds, many people pick up an M3 to essentially wear it because it was/is a hot car in high demand. They don't realize it may be too tempermental or punishing for daily driving and trade them in after 6 months, take a residual bath, and buy an X5, 330i, or a 5er. So there will be some low mileage, non abused, non-tracked M3s.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • ddblueddblue Posts: 117
    nyccarguy--I agree and this unnerves me to no end. Rich women or boys with rich dads who buy them the car b/c it's hot. How lame and how pretentious is that?!

    How about us car nuts who drive b/c of the sheer pleasure and b/c we actually know what the car can do? Throw us a bone! If you want a boulevardier to make people look (or gawk), then go get yourself a Lexus SC430! I'd take my M3 (if I had one) to the track and slap the snot out of it. BMWs are made to be driven and driven hard. Every time I take my 325Ci out, it feels like it's begging to be driven.

    Someday, I hope to get my grubby mitts on an E39 M5!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,756
    If I were in the market for a 3er and was making a choice between a 325 that I could well afford and a 330 that I would have to make somewhat of a stretch, personally I'd choose the 330 (make mine a ZHP). I'm sure the 3 Liter's power is intoxicating, the balance & handling would blow me away, and I happen to think the wheels are nicer. I'm sure I could make it work between possibly doing a good ED deal, my BMWCCA discount, and whatever money I rack up from my Citi Driver's Edge Card.

    There are some very valid arguments for buying the 325:

    It is a less expensive car (blueguy you got a great deal with your MSDs & lease on your 330i ZHP).

    I'm sure the acceleration would be on par if not stronger than my Prelude's. The top speed is limited to 128mph on both cars (ZHP excluded). The speed limit on highways within the 5 boroughs of NYC (and in many suburbs due to dense population) is 50 mph. I'd probably drive the 330 a lot faster.

    But only test drives and time will tell. "That's why they play the games."

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,756
    then I'll shut-up.

    Did anybody read the great write up on the 330i ZHP in Roundel this month? In depth coverage as usual. The writer came away very impressed.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Back in 1991 I was helping judge a CCA chapter's fall concours. One couple had brought their immaculate E28 M5. I asked them how it handled on the track, and they looked at me like I'd asked them if they let goats mate in the back seat. Pathetic. When I eventually nab a 2002tii Turbo and an M1 I can assure you that they will see a few different road circuits as well. BMWs are DRIVERS cars, and it galls me to see one being driven in blue-hair-Buick Geritol mode...
  • My car just got stolen and I really need a car soon!

    I came across with two 3'ers:

    99 328i Sports/Premium, Blk/Tan, 28k miles, $20k
    01 330i Sports/Premium, Silver/Grey, 35k miles, $25k

    What's you guys opinions? Is the extra 30hp on 330i really make a different? Thanks for the advice.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    sckling - there are those who say no, there are those who say yes and there are those who say it depends on whether it's a manual or step. Having driven both 325 and 330 step the answer is yes. Noticeably. People say there is less of a difference with the manual.

    But while the '02 330is have a red check mark in reliability according to CR, the '01s do not.

    I personally would go for the '01 but I would do my homework first.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,794
    The '01 should still be in warranty.. Thats worth a lot right there...

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • bretaabretaa Posts: 130
    Having just bought a CPO 330i, I can tell you I thought the premium was worthwhile vs the 325i's I drove. For me, the reason the premium was worthwhile was that I was upgrading from a '98 Contour SVT, and to me, the performance and "seat of your pants" feel of the 325's I drove weren't all that dissimilar from my SVT. The extra thrust, smoothness, and engine-tranny harmony of the 330i felt a very clear step above the car I was replacing. And I could afford the difference.

    Now, my preference in no way at all implies the 325 is a "bad car." I loved the ones I drove, and would recommend them in a heartbeat to anyone who asks. They are a *great value* and have enough performance for almost anyone. I, and obviously many others, are just willing to pay for an upgrade. It's the same as my Contour SVT was in '98, being worth every cent of the $3,500 premium over the Contour SE. As someone else said, it's all about what the free market will support.

    Now, it sounds like in some other forums, BMW may be hitting up against that support with the new 5's right now, with people openly questioning the steep prices on the new V8 5-series models. That's how it all works. The companies test the market, the market corrects the companies. Look at the new Thunderbird... It was selling for thousands above list when it came out and now Ford has to d/c it since the sales are so slow. You've got to love capitalism!

    Bret
  • white6white6 Posts: 588
    to have the IHKA reprogram service bulletin performed on my 04 330Ci. Less than an hour and no appointment... pretty good. While I waited, I browsed the lot. Three 2004 ZHP's; silver gray, jet black and red. All completely loaded to the gills (~$45,000) and all steptronics (!).
  • Yeah the switch to a step zhp was inevitable as way too many people now think sports sedan and gimmicky automanual go together. You know BMW caught all sorts of emails and moans from drivers who wanted the zhp upgrades but couldn't fathom driving a stick in a performance package.

    I drive 90 miles a day in traffic. 90 miles. Both my cars are manuals. So don't use the old "but there's so much traffic" excuse.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "So don't use the old "but there's so much traffic" excuse."

    To each their own. I drive about 40 miles a day. On the trip in, the last mile before the highway can take an hour at times. No more manuals for me.
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