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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • yeeehayeeeha Posts: 33
    Awhile back, someone asked about getting the VIN if you only had the production #. Just following up...Once you know the production #, you can register with the BMWNA Owners Circle. Once registered, you can click on your information, and it will have the VIN number.
  • frank69mfrank69m Posts: 63
    Mercedes: get the sports model if you choose this. Steering won't and handling won't feel as tight, but will feel a little more roomy and luxurious than the 330. fully loaded C320 sport ...slightly more expensive than a fully loaded 330i.

    IS300: This is the wannabe BMW. It looks like crap, especially the clearlights in the back. It has the drilled pedals to make it look sporty. Sorry, my rx7 will dust this piece of crap.

    330i: Just buy it. Nuff said. Looks better than all the rest.

    M3 Frank
  • jpcbeardenjpcbearden Posts: 37
    go to you can choose a model (or go to virtual center), then click on "build your own bmw", then you can choose the color, interior, whatever you want. you'll have a rough idea of what the car looks like. they also tell you what colors they have for the car.
  • parumpparump Posts: 65
    Evidently, the trunk floor liner can be reversed so that the rubber coated side faces upwards. This might help to reduce items from sliding across the trunk during spirited driving. Has anyone tried this?


    Good luck on your boards!

  • aaa330iaaa330i Posts: 63
    The owner's circle has been down all day so I haven't been able to view the exact same status update multiple times throughout the day!

    I wish there was an ETA date on there.
  • jpcbeardenjpcbearden Posts: 37
    just checked on the web. the z3 roaster 2.5i has siena red and bright red. they should be the same as 325i.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Thanks, I didn't think of checking the color names. I've kind of lost interest in actually LOOKING at colors on my computer -- they don't really look like the real thing. That's why I made an actual trek down to the dealership.
  • jpcbeardenjpcbearden Posts: 37
    you are right. we too actually went to the dealer a few times just to check out the color. even with the same color, it usally looks better on the z3 than 325i, though.
  • micgamicga Posts: 56
    mfeldman - I notice the exact same thing with my new 325i
  • breaking80breaking80 Posts: 8
    If you don't mind me asking, what med school are you in and what is your intended specialty?
    I was in your shoes (re: step 1) seven years ago.. fortunately, there wasn't much of internet as a distraction.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    After attending for several years at the Texas Motor speedway, i now see there are no schedualed dates for TX! I am disapointed !

    I registered for the Mercedes -benz powertrip out there but its only this holiday weekend ,and im working Grrrr. Oh Well,

  • Gold101Gold101 Posts: 22
    I too have made this comparison before selecting the 330. I also currently own an Acura 3.2 TL Type S, so I used that as a basis for comparison. Here are my thoughts on the class.

    Merceded: Great looking, but not lithe and low like a sport sedan should be. The interior was nice, in the Mercedes tradition, meaning it was a bit stark. The materials, however, were great. The seats were comfy, but were not torso-hugging like a great road car should be.The engine felt good, with above-average power throughout the rev band. The ride(with the sport pkg) was well snubbed and firm. Handling was predictable, with slight understeer. The steering was a let down- light, and lacking in feel.
    Overall, however, Mercedes has done a great job, as the new C is a definite step in the right direction.

    Lexus: The car looks hot with its smoked tail light covers, and it has a boy racer look. From the outside, I loved the short overhangs and subtle details. The interior, however, killed it for me. The gauges are arranged in a confusing manner, and the font-types are way too small. The seats were firm, but I hated their fake suede. The drilled pedals were cool, but lifted right off of a Celica. In addition, the hard plastics and lack of armrest ruin the feeling of luxury. I found power to be lacking. Though the engine sounded fast and was smooth, it lacked the punch of the others. The steering was a real treat, however, and the car had VERY little body roll. The trade off comes in ride- Very harsh, with a pounding, gritty feeling. Add in the arrogance of Lexus dealers, and the IS300 added up to overkill for me.
    My Acura: Amazing power, awesome acceleration. This car hauls some serious [non-permissible content removed], and the engine sounds the best in the process. The interior is beautifully trimmed, with great sport seats. The Bose stereo sounds good(better than the HK in my 3), but was lacking in bass compared to the Benz. Handling is quite good considering FWD, but the size of the car makes it less agile than the 3 and the IS. The steering is meaty, with good feel. The ride is firm, yet comofortable, and the car is very quiet. The exterior is subtle, which lends a stealthy image. Very cool.... Overall fit and finish on this car is the best in the group(surprising, given the US assembly), and the car is an AMAZING value.

    Subjective ratings:
    1. Acura
    2. BMW
    3. Mercedes
    4. Lexus
    Interior ergonomics
    Engine Sound:
    Interior materials:
    Sound System:
    1.Mercedes Bose
    2.Acura Bose
    4.BMW HK
    Fit and Finish:
    All were excellent, but the Acura's glossy paint and tight panel gaps took the prize.

    Overall: All are great cars. Depending on what you desire, each car has its pros and cons. In final, however, anyone of these awesome vehicles can easily satisfy all/nearly all of the discriminating enthusiasts demands.
  • Gold101Gold101 Posts: 22
    Sorry for all the spelling errors in that last post- My 50+ year old fingers are not what they once were!
  • adam68adam68 Posts: 59
    I own this car and have been very dissapointed for the following reasons:

    -Driving position...Driver sits far too high...I am only 5'10" and my head is one inch from the ceiling and the visors are at my forehead. I've called Acura and they are aware of the problem, but no fix until '04.

    -Poor quality leather
    -Interior is staight out of the Accord. Too
    plasticly with a general "cheap" overall look.
    -Plastic "wood" trim is not even close to
    looking like the real thing.
    -Great engine, but the handling does not do it justice.
    In summation...I find it to be an overpriced Accord...actually the Accord has more interior room.

    I'm not all negative. Two good points:
    Bose stereo is very good
    Acura service is fantastic...I'll miss it.

    In my opinion, when the new es300 comes out this fall, Acura is going to take a huge hit.

    Remember, the above is just my opinion...not looking for an argument..
  • lewparkerlewparker Posts: 28
    Anybody see the review of the 2001 330xi on Motorweek (a car show on public TV) yesterday? I found it interesting that they tested it at about half a second faster in the quarter than the 330i. I think it came in at 6.2 xi vs 6.5 i or something along those lines. They said the extra grip from the front wheel drive allowed it to get off the line a touch faster than the rwd only. Interesting...
  • getz1getz1 Posts: 63
    I seriously considered the Cl-S before going with the BMW and felt that the acura represents a better value overall, but misses on many of the intangibles that make a bmw a bmw. The acura was faster, the options were cheaper, and the stereo was much better, but no matter how many times I tried to convince myself on paper that the acura would be the right choice, I could not get the BMW out of my head. The level of refinement in the 3-series is a level above the acura, especially with regards to the interior (the acura has that grey marbled plastic trim). What made the decision was the way the BMW "felt" when cornering, cruising at highway speeds, along with agility lended by the smaller size of the 3. In my opinion both cars look great but the body style of the current 3er is a classic and hopefully will age as well as cars like the old 560 sl. The acura is a sweet car, the engine is remarkable, but it felt a little too similar to my Accord coupe and it just didn't make me feel as "cool" as the BMW.

    P.S. Parump, thanks. Breaking 80: Midwestern University of the Health Sciences (Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine). I don't really have a clue about specialty, I like Emergency med and ortho sounds cool, as does OB, but I just havent had enough exposure to all the tracts. My first month of rotations is in general surgery with an extra month in ortho, and then I am off to Cook county (place where they film ER) for a month of internal med. Which one of the multitudes of specialties did you funnel into? I am always interested to hear from younger docs about their field, as they seem to be a little less jaded. Thanks.
  • roc50mgroc50mg Posts: 102
    Has anyone compared the 330 to the S4? IMO, the S4 is the closest competitor to the 330 when you consider price (both around 40k fully loaded) and overall perfomance and handling. In fact, didn't the S4 beat out the old M3 in a motor trend comparison test a while back? Test driving both cars for only a short time, I could not tell which car was really better. I'm wondering if anyone out there has any extended experience with the S4 or actually owns one, that may put in their 2 cents on the car.
    I ended up going with the 330 xi simply b/c I liked the BMW name and exterior styling better, but I still wonder if the S4 is really a better car/value. Plus, I think there are more S4's available on dealer lots than BMW's that usually have tobe special ordered and takes months to receive.

    P.S. I live in NY, hence my interest in AWD.
    P.P.S. The weather in the NE sure is terrible this Memorial Day weekend!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    may be interested in joining a new discussion on our Sedans Comparison Board at this link: MB C-class vs BMW 3 series vs Lexus IS300.

    Sedans and Women's Auto Center Message Boards
  • cddlimitedcddlimited Posts: 1
    Last Thursday I finally made the decision to purchase a 330i (After almost 6 months of researching and almost buying the passat). I walked into my local dealer 15 minutes before closing and offered $1500 over invoice. The young sales women said she would need to talk to her manager, after 15 min. she returns and accepts my offer and we work out the following details:

    $38100 Retail
    $36050 Purchase Price
    36-Month 15,000/Yr
    .60 Residual
    .00240 Money Factor
    $512 a Month + Tax (around $1900 due at del.)
    Early Aug. delivery-

    My question is that on most posts in this forum most people are getting a Money Factor of .00210, is my dealer trying to increase profit? No matter what I told the saleswomen, she said their was no way to get any better than .00240. It equals out to around an extra $600 over the life of the lease. Has anyone else experienced this?

    Since their are different size tires on the front and back, what is the rotation procedure?

    Do most just buy a new sets of basic rims with a all-season tire?

    Cant wait to get a production #....
  • mfeldmanmfeldman Posts: 140
    So I'm not crazy. How old is your 325? Have you taken it to the dealer or do you plan to dod anything about it?
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Of course, it makes a huge difference to most of us on this board that the Acura and the Lexus aren't available with a manual transmission. Also, the Acura is a 192 inch car! Still, I understand not everybody here has the same requirements. Thanks for the writeup.
  • breaking80breaking80 Posts: 8
    There wasn't one rotation that really stood out until radiology. Since then, I haven't been happier. In fact, I'm studying for the radiology boards, June 11. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I bought my first new car, 325 SP, earlier this year. I also have a ton of student loans though; they are like mortgages and the first checks went entirely toward interest. Fortunately, the interest rates have been depressed lately. Brave1heart, I was actually going to ask you whether you would invest any extra cash or apply extra toward 7-8% student loans.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    from the owners manual - "The tread wear patterns at the front end differ from those at the rear... In the interest of safety and maintaining optimal handling characteristics, tire rotation is not recommended."

    In your question about "basic rims with all-season tires", do you mean for winter driving? I believe most people who have sport tires (and probably some with all-seasons) swap out for dedicated winter tires. Packages with alloy wheels and winter tires can be bought for ~$1,300 from and considerably less for 325's.
    If my Altima doesn't survive until next winter, that's the route I will be going.
  • max63max63 Posts: 73
    The money factor for the BMW program is .00210 for this month, they are tyring to make more profit off you. I would walk away if they dont give you that number.
  • lobslobs Posts: 21
    Each dealer has the option to sell the money at the price they choose. The finance dept gets any money factor profit over .0021. It is just like selling an option on the car.

    gold101; Gotcha by 4 years.

    General: Anyone considering the 3ers must test drive both the 325 and 330. You may find that the price difference is overcome by the extra power and accoutrements of the 330.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Grand-pappy used to take me fishing alot, but he doesn't have the time any more... either of you would make an excellent fill-in! Interested?? =:-)
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    I agree on the 325 vs. 330 issue. Everyone has different priorities and economics so the 330 may not be for everyone, but don't over-look it. I think the extra $4K (optioned out the way I would have gotten them and with the discounts available at the time) was justified.
  • lobslobs Posts: 21
    I'll defer to that young punk gold101. I'm just too tired from walking around car dealer lots.
  • e46avatare46avatar Posts: 9
    Hello Everyone,

    I have a 01 325Ci with 1000 miles on it and I need some simple advice from the other drivers who have already broken in the car.

    1)at what mileage did you have your first oil change? The woman I bought the car from told me to bring the car in for an oil change when the maintainence counter shows zero.

    2)When I left the dealer the tire pressure was 30psi all round, butthe car felt very heavy and sluggish. I added another 3psi and the car feels a little better. The reccomended tire presure in the manual and the one listed on the inside of the door are both different. I was wondering what pressue you guys ahve your tire pressure at.

    3) I read a post by Alpine 325 about Kleen wheels but I could not find then for my rims which are the standard 16 inch ones that look like a star.
    Does anyone know where I can get the kelln wheels for those rims? Also has anyone put them on by themselves or did they have the BMW dealership install them?

    Thanks in advance and have a good M-day.
  • aaa330iaaa330i Posts: 63
    ...was pretty sad.
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