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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    Having never had a sunroof and planning on keeping the car for a relatively long time, it is hard to decide whether it is worth the $1490

    I also debated on the sunroof option. If you plan on keeping the car for several years, you'll forget about the cost of the sunroof, but you'll still get the benefits as long as you own the car. For example, I don't remember how much we paid for our now 5 year old Volvo, but I do enjoy the sunroof, leather seats and other options we put in.

    One added benefit to the sunroof-you can open all the windows and the sunroof with your key fob. I look forward to a 90 degree day when I can point my key out the window 5 minutes to 5:00 to help cool the car down.

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Thinking the Canadian dollar trading in 60-70 US cent range. So sunroof might only cost $950-1,000 US. I'd go with sunroof if it doesn't adversely impact your headroom considerations. Think most buyers in this range looking for one. And they are just plain fun on a nice day!
  • Tenet, Shipo, Brave, Derprofi and others: Ever hear of someone ordering a car with NO options? The dealer thinks I'm crazy, but I'm interested in a bone stock 325i 5 speed in red or black with black leatherette. I love this car. The engine and transmission are works of art. And hey, I really am a clergy person and I don't want to drive anything gaudy. At $27,745 its priced under a lot of SUVs and its in the range of the Passats I've driven. Tenet1, you said you'd buy a 3'er with NO options. Do you mean it? Will I regret this 5 years down the line? And hey, direct me to some pics of Electric Red. The website colors make me feel like I've been on a long, strange trip. Thanks.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    parsonguy... When I looked at buying a base, no- option 323i a few years ago, the dealer was willing to do it but only as a special order and only if I put money down. Essentially non-refundable if they got me what I asked for. If you got the money and will put it with your order form, guessing you can get whatever you are willing to pay for. (I ended up not being too keen on plastic seats, steel wheel covers, flat/non-metallic paint, and no cruise control. A stripped 323i/325i can seem pretty bare.)
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    Allow me to add one dissenting opinion on sunroofs. I've had two, and while I like them, I wouldn't pay $1,400 for one. Mine came as part of packages with things I really do like, like Auto-climate control and memory seats.

    I find that I use mine very sparingly. It is great on a 65-70 degree day, with intermittent sun. On a really hot or sunny day, they allow the sun to beat down on you (especially if you have dark interior), and I think, make the car even hotter. If you use the AC and keep the shade open, the sun coming through the glass makes the AC work very hard. When the temp is below 60, it is usually too cold to keep it open, and in winter, you can't use it because of rain, snow, or tire spray from the cars on the wet roads in front of you. Also, if you drive through tunnels or under bridges regularly, you'd be surprised what nasty stuff falls into your car (did I mention bird droppings?).

    I find that I keep mine closed nearly 90% of the time, and I rarely open the shade unless the glass is open. In summary, I'd get it if money was no issue,...but I don't think they're very useful unless you live in a perfect climate. Some people absolutely love them, though, and would pick a sunroof as their first option. To each his own, I guess.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    If you live in a hot climate, it's great help in cooling the car down before you get in. If you autox, you can use the vent option to give you that extra down force. ;-)
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    If the pure driving experience is what is important to you, then hell yeah, get a BMW with no options. The comparison between a stripped 325 vs 323 is not fair. A lot of things come standard with the 325. I have had mine for 4 months and it drives like a dream and all I really care about is the sound of this car. I am too busy driving and lloking for when I can downshift into the next twisty turn.

    Although I have quite a few options on mine I could certainly get one without them if that is what I needed (although I would miss the Xenons). People on this board are happy with Leatherette and the manual tranny is the way to go with this car. The Premium package is nice but if you can live without the moon roof, wood, and onboard computer, then why not. The standard non-SP wheels are nice and the regular suspension seems good enough for me. Plus this car comes with a CD now. If you plan on keeping this car for a long time then get it your way and don’t worry about resale value. Remember, you are buying the car for yourself and not someone 5 years from now. Someone is sure to buy it. From the outside, your car will look exactly the same as any other non-SP car without Xenons. The dealer will understandably want a larger deposit (not necessarily) since most buyers probably want a few options.

    Go with Black.
  • jfedor1jfedor1 Posts: 39
    I love the sunroof, and use it all the time, unless its really hot or really cold. I use it in the winter and turn on the heated seats. I just love opening it up when cruising down the road.

    As far as a bare bone bimmer goes thats not a bad get a lot more in a bare bones bimmer now than you did in the 323 or 325 01' models. You still get cruse control and CD.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Sure at $28K you should get a pretty loaded car. Does BMW understand the term VALUE?
  • derprofiderprofi Posts: 250
    I see nothing wrong with ordering a stripper 325i. If you have the time and patience, you might even want to consider going European Delivery since you could add in the SP and still keep the price low.
  • derprofiderprofi Posts: 250
    I believe you want the Hyundai groups if you're looking for the most geegaws for the money rather than the best driving experience for the money. A 325i is a fantastic VALUE. Scroll back a few thousand posts where this topic was discussed at length.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I test drove a new 2002 BMW 325ix wagon. Loved it. I am looking forward to get a new 325i (non-awd) sedan or sportwagon. The driving experience is second to none, but I also find the standard item list a bit on the plain side.
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    Parson, I agree with the other folks. I say "GO" with the car you want. A 325i with no options is still a fantastic car loaded with lots of equipment.

    Regarding the electric wife (a 53-year-old librarian) has one on order. It is a terrific color, and you can be sure that your congregation will see you coming! Unless you are willing to pay $500 extra for a metallic color, your choices are black, white, and the red. She ordered the natural brown leather interior, but I think any of the leatherette colors look fine with the red.
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    Get the bare bones car if you like it. It's a great value and it does come with very good standard equipment. When I bought my 2000 323i, I had to pay for a CD, cruise, fog lights, alloy wheels - all things that are now standard equipment. Regrading resale - I beleive it may be a bit harder to find a buyer, but once you do, you will recapture a greater percentage of your original cost.

    If I were buying a new Bimmer today, it would be a white 330i with only the sport package (and maybe the Xenon's).
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    parsonguy - Go for it - you will be so hooked on the driving dynamics, you'll soon stop thinking "What if I had the..." A stripper 3-series over a loaded Camry any day!!! I would not worry about resale value - there are a lot of BMW wannabes that would be interested in buying a cheaper 3-series at resale time.

    Sunroof - I like a lot of light in my car and I have my shade open rain or shine. The sunroof is usually open when it is between ~ 45 - 90 degrees. If I'm stuck in traffic or waiting at a light, I'd open it even in freezing temperature for a few minutes just to get some fresh air.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hey Gang,

    Oh yeah, isn’t jet lag fun? It is currently 1:37 PM in Taipei; unfortunately, it is 12:37 AM here in New Jersey. Needless to say, my clock is all screwed up. I guess that means it is time to catch up on Edmunds. ;-)


    Back when I first started contributing to this board in 1998, there were a number of folks who ordered bone stock, zero or one option (usually SP) E46s. Sometimes it was a little hard to get the dealer to burn an allocation unit for a low profit car, but, to the best of my knowledge, they were all able to get their cars in the end. FWIW, MANY of the folks who wanted “Strippers” (Hmmm, a clergyman ordering a stripper, I won’t go there ;-)) were cross shopping the Passat.

    What I didn’t eat…

    The chicken foot. I picked it up, bit off a toe, chewed it up and swallowed. Ughh. My friend says, “Why didn’t you spit the bones out?”

    What I did eat…

    Everything else, no pink stuff. ;-)

    Weird observation I…

    On my return flight, leg 1 (Taipei to Tokyo), we were served breakfast. Said breakfast was an Oriental Chicken and Rice affair with Pea Pods, Baby Corn and Baby Carrots. Why is that weird? They did NOT serve the meal with Chop Sticks!?! What’s up with that? Sitting next to me was a very old Chinese lady (80 if she was a day) who had never flown before AND never used a knife and fork either. Now, obviously (being a “Round Eye” and all), I have a fair ability with said knife and fork, however, the plastic versions thereof where totally insufficient for eating said meal on a bumpy flight for ME. That poor woman next to me finally gave up.

    Weird observation II…

    Why would a bottle of Single Malt cost less at the Duty Free shop in Taipei than in Newark?

    Weird observation III…

    So, if Lexus and Infiniti are (North?) America only incarnations, why are there just enough Lexi and Infini (what is the plural of Infiniti?) in Taiwan for it not to be just a few Diplodunks from America who import them there for a few years?

    Not all Taiwanese dislike BMW…

    The couple who own the facility in Taipei that I went to visit, are definitely on the financial upswing. Currently they drive two Toyotas (one of them is a Tennessee built Camry), however, the two carmakers that they like the best (for their next cars) are 1) Jaguar and 2) BMW.

    Well, I guess I should at least TRY and get some sleep.

    Best Regards,
  • Being 6'6", i found the 3 series without a moonroof and the regular(non-sport) seats fit me nicely. So i checked every dealer in San Diego and LA. Looking for a stripped 3 series is difficult..but Irvine BMW, McKenna BMW & Nick Alexander BMW all had a 5 spd black 325i sedan for $27K. McKenna had 3 cars with auto trans and no prem/sport. But after driving a 330ci, i couldnt look back..what a car!!! ...had to special order a 02 330ci Topaz moonroof...but with Xenons..i'm excited! Ordered from my hometown dealer, Cunningham BMW at 5% over inv...very fair.Now i'm saving for a 745i..maybe in 3 yrs...ummm
  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    I. I know what you mean. after 9/11, most of the European airlines are giving out plastic utensils. Part of the fork broke up and ended up in mouth with salad. Not very pleasant. About chop sticks, this is not related, but when I used to go to a neighborhood Thai restaurant with my Caucasian co-worker (I am a Korean), they would automatically give me a pair, but would not even ask my co-worker and just walk a way. Not once, but 3 times, and this guy is pretty good with the darn things. He just laughed.

    III. Not sure about Infinity, but Lexus are plentiful in Europe as well. UK, Germany, etc.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    I have a sunroof and it it pretty much open (when I drive by myself) unless it is raining out. If its too cold out...I crank up the heated seats. If its too hot...I put the AC on. I enjoy the fresh air.

    If you want a base 325i (still a damn nice car), go for it and don't worry about the resale value 5 or 7 years down the road. You're buying this car for yourself. I commend you for choosing a bare bones 325i over a loaded Camry/Accord/Passat/Altima/Maxima because of the driving experience and not just because you want to tell people you have a "beemer."

    Welcome back Shipo!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    Aren't so stripped. Cruise Control, Fog Lights, 16" alloy wheels, automatic dual zone climate control, CD Player, wonderful 2.5 Liter I-6, 3 years/36,000 miles of scheduled free maintenance, 4 years/50,000 mile bumper to bumper factory warranty, & a silky smooth 5 Speed Manual Transmission...not too shabby at all. Although at that price point (maybe a little more, but still under $30K), a CPO 328i with a SP, Sunroof, & leather could probably be had. Either way you can't go worng!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • drcrdrcr Posts: 87
    Have my car at the dealer getting the windsheild replaced (stone chip) and they gave me a 01 330 loaded as a loaner. I have a 325, sport, 5spd etc.

    The 330 is tremendous. Power is awesome. I'm glad I didn't test drive the 330. I would have blown my budget for sure. Honestly, no regrets on the 325. Still plenty of power but the 330 kicks. The step is interesting but I sure miss the "oneness" you get w/ the 5 speed.

    The steering felt a bit heavier than mine but I had a May '01 build which was supposed to have the new old steering. Long story shorter, I call NA and inquired about the retro fit and they said it is only available for the 330? I recall Brave having it done. Brave do you have the 330 or 325?


    ps belated congrats on the kiddo Brave

  • Why would a bottle of Single Malt cost less at the Duty Free shop in Taipei than in Newark?

    Does this mean you brought some back for us? :-)

  • Also, IMO, a 3-series with the sport suspension and good high-performance ALL SEASON tires will provide all the handling prowess that 99% of us will ever take advantage of. This may elicit a few howls from the gallery,...

    I would agree that the difference between All-Seasons and high end tires is more than some people will take advantage of, but I would hope that its a number significantly smaller than 99%.

    But I really see a difference between being able to have a difference confidence level between respective tire shodding choices in day-to-day driving: choosing to take advantage of them is a different question.

    IMO, if someone can't tell the difference between 16" AS's (or snows) and 17" summer tires even under routine driving conditions, then quite bluntly, they don't deserve to be driving a BMW.

  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    HOORAY!!!! geez, i feel like don quixote here with the tire issue. it's nice to know at least there's ONE other person on my side...

  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Brave1heart definitely has a 325. And I'm almost certain he had the retrofit done.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Just wait until the "pros" weigh in...
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    are available on 330's only now unless you previously had an appointment for the retrofit.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • I do have to say that my attitudes about tires came from Stan Hanks and the guys from the now long gone "Porschephiles" email list of the very early 1990's.

    On any decent car, tires are the most critical - - and also the weakest - - link to transferring energy between the car/road interface.

    In short, tread life is your lowest priority when picking a tire, and price is second lowest. And a compromise tire such as an All-Season is just that: a compromise.

  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I have a 4/2/2001 build 325i SP. I took delivery beginning of May and signed up for the steering retrofit before the end of the month. I got the retrofit call some time in early August. BMWNA discontinued the steering retrofit for all 325 models and it is currently available for pre-May 330i models only. I am not sure if they did that because it cost them too much money and/or they don't consider 325 owners an enthusiast group vocal enough to need appeasement...
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