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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • pcbrspcbrs Posts: 57

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses, Shipo, Jean, and Bmw323is. =) I really do appreciate them, and they will help me make my decision. I think the 3.0 liter engine is awesome, but realize it is a little louder than what I'm used to. I'll see what the other board members think, but I'm beginning to lean more towards the 325ci at this point. The cost difference between a 330ci and 325ci is about $3300 for me, which I can manage, but is it right for me? ;) I'm wondering what the other board members' opinions are. I would like to go take another test drive, but my academic schedule has become very demanding lately, and I really can't seem to get the salesperson (nice guy though) to stay quiet. Thank you again. The 5 series is a fantastic car, but I think I'm a little too young for a family sedan, just yet. =)

  • allanoallano Posts: 175
    Fog lights (along with climate control, cruise control with four-spoke wheel) became standard on the 3 Series beginning with March production in 2001.
  • allanoallano Posts: 175
    Exhaust noise in the 330xi is noticeably louder than in a 325xi (wagon). With the 325 at speed, wind and engine note are about the same and not particularly noticeable. I hear the 330's growl at any speed.
  • mg330cimg330ci Posts: 162
    If you can afford it, go for the 330, you would not regret it. The increased power (I drove both before deciding) is intoxicating. (and hey, you never know when you would need to out-accelerate something!)

    On BMW music, again, IMHO, the engine purrr! is addictive and improves your driving senses and performance, particularly when driving a stick.

    Don't get me wrong, at the beginning, I accidentally almost passed above 4500 rpm because could not listen to the engine (YES, it is not that loud anyway) due to the moderate stereo music volume I was listening to.
  • mg330cimg330ci Posts: 162
    You must accept the facts, and compromise.

    If you are 5'8''. you cannot be an NBA center, if you are 7'0'', you cannot be a guard.

    If you wand 0 noise interior level (lexus trademark), perhaps you are looking at the wrong car and will be unhappy with a 3 series BMW.
  • mg330cimg330ci Posts: 162
    To be shown on next issue of R&T

    When discussed with BMW representatives, these were the facts:

    This new model will expand our line in order to be more competitive with our Japanese and some European rivals:

    Buttery soft steering to better appeal north American taste (as compared to European BMWs).

    Nice muffler restriction to decrease interior noise to 0db with a 3.0 liter engine and 190Hp

    Only offered in Automatic transmission with simulated manual shifting by buttons in the steering wheel.

    Buttery soft suspension, again for better appeal to north American buyers. This new and innovative suspension makes you feel like driving in a magic carpet.

    Increased size and rear room.

    New, low friction tires for silent riding and better mpg.

    When asked what the letter L was selected, the answer was " L for BMW leisure series"

    Price has not been disclosed yet, but will be competitive with the new models from the japanese competition.

    When asked for a last remark, the german representative claimed "This will be the Cadillac of all BMWs"
  • Congrats on your new car! I'm glad to know I'm not the only newbie with a silly grin, driving here and there just for thrill of it.

    I'm experiencing some withdrawal today though as my husband borrowed my car to drive to a golf tourney 2 hours out of town. I warned him that he better not park anywhere near another car or he is dogmeat! I'm stuck driving his 5-speed SVT Cobra today - hardly in the same class as the 330!

    I have already used my zaino so of course it is raining today, but the car looks great.

    Enjoy your new car, and remember, they say it gets even better after the break-in period - hard to imagine anything better than this though!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    Jeff: If you're really into the 330i as opposed to the 325i (which I would be perfectly happy with BTW), have you considered the European Deliver option? That'll erase a big deficeit in the prices. Many here on the 3 and 5 series board have had nothing but positive experiences with it.

    This is pure speculation, but since Audi offers many cars in its lineup with Quattro, Mercedes-Benz plans to offer 4matic in the C-Class, S-Class, & of course the new W-211 E-Class (Shipo do I have the internal designation right?), that BMW would offer the E60 with DSC-X (maybe the new 7 series too).

    Shipo as far as your observation about it being hard to shift your 530i by ear because the car is so smooth and quiet, I feel the opposite about my Prelude. Shifting by ear seems to be way too early (my car having a 7400 RPM redline and all). I know it is an apples to oranges comparison, but just though I'd throw in my $.02

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

  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    I am waiting for my ride to work because I sold my car. As of now, the delivery of new car is on schedule, will be Sat. I feel free without the car--no worries about parking, my keyring is light. OK, so I'm stuck & freeloading rides...The posts re: auto trannies wearing out after 80-100K are worrisome. Maybe I should cancel my order and get another Nissan.

    Canadian Gal & SoVery: congratulations!! Are you going to continue hanging out around here?

    Tranny & Fitness: very amusing discussion. Pictured a hard body gracefully emerging from within a gleaming 3 or 5 series. For some reason he was driving without a shirt, so his 6-pack abs and toned pecs were on display... Just a little fantasy! ;-)

    MINI: Red with white top and tan interior would be great! If it came in a purple or violet color, that'd be good too. Yes it is soverysmall. Can't imagine my mom trying to get into it.
  • tcn2ktcn2k Posts: 277
    My 325i finally needed its first oil change. I brought my 325i in and they gave me a 330i fully loaded with PP and winter package. First i notice the engine was a bit louder, beautiful sound! The steering, my goodness, stiffer then what i have! My 325i is an 04/2001 and the 330i loaner was 08/2001. I am JEALOUS of the heavier steering!!! What in the world was bmw thinking when they made the steering softer?
    Off the lot, i crank it, this car has so much HP and torque that i was just in ahhh as it presses my back into the leather seats. You can easily spin the wheel just a bit during cornering before the dcs kicks in. What a ride!
    At 80 i can pass another car easily without haveing the rpm go above 3500 rpm. Amazing vehicle. I saw an brand new acura 3.0 cl pulled up, i cranked it and blew his vehicle into my rear view mirror. What a joke!
    At the end of the day, i got my 325i back, i was glad to see my little baby again. The power is enough for an average joe like me, but now i understand what most people are talking about when driving a 330. The price for that much power is too much for my taste, but hey, if i can afford it; i'd do it.
    I just got back from london and paris this week where 3 series was at every corner. BBC at the hotel, showed the 3 series rated the highest. Third best selling country for bmw 3 series is in the UK. They tested the 318i, which is the same as the 325 and 330 but with 4 cylinder engine. Rated best vs. other competitors. So interesting to me to see 3 series with steering wheel on the right side in the UK.
  • ttennttenn Posts: 11
    I am ready to order a 330Ci. However, I made an offer to John Roberts BMW for $1200 over invoice and they flat out refused. Any other places y'all (I'm from Texas) would recommend. I tried to e-mail the place in Tyler, but their server was down.
  • jean7of9jean7of9 Posts: 192
    Is the "L" available for the 3 series like 330xi or applicable to the 5 only. That will be a welcomed choice for a 03 330xi, at any price.
    The interior noise can be decreased substantially for the 3.0l engine but technically will never go down to 0dB while the engine is running at idle. Just for reference the noise level of an A4 3.0l at idle is 50dB while an ES-300 is 47dB. BMW will not be able to reach 47 dB without substantial redesign to the engine and cabin. By the way the level of A4 3.0l at 60 MPH is 73 dB while Jaguar-X 3.0l is 74.
    The main reason for the success of Corolla during the last ten years is that Toyota are using the same multilayer alloy of Lexus on their Fire Wall at a hefty price. Aston Martin found it cheaper to use Electronic Noise Cancelling Wave emitted through the speakers instead of re designing cabin and engine.
    Shipo: Do you have the data for BMW? It is hard to find any such data from BMW or MB.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Better to just call my salesman, Jeff Sims, at the Temple dealership: 254-771-0128. I just got into their website though. You might also want to try the Tyler dealership and the one in Beaumont.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Sorry, just the general stuff from the rumor mill.

    Best Regards,
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    You can call the dealer in Tyler at 800-306-8891. FAX number is 903-534-5972. The BMW salesperson/manager is Dave Hill; his extension is 307. My wife had a great buying experience there. (I think their server is permanently broken.

    BTW, a couple of weeks ago he had a couple of convertibles in the showroom. Both had the special cinnamon color leather seats. Wow!
  • jmestas1jmestas1 Posts: 4
    I'm currently in the market for a BMW 3 series, but i wanted some input whether or not to go for a fully loaded 325ci or go with a 330ci with less options. Specifically I'm looking at a 325ci w/everything including navigation or a 330ci with sport package and sunroof, xenon, and upgraded stereo. They are roughly the same price. Does anyone out there have a BMW Navigation system? I'd really appreciate some input as to whether or not it is worth the extra 2K. If BMW made a 325Ci with AWD I'd be in heaven. Thanks for any input!!! Should I be looking at a IS300 or G35??? It seems as though there is so much competition in that market segment, but BMW seems to be #1 on everyone's list.
  • dan__2dan__2 Posts: 13
    take those cars out for a test drive. i did not like the IS300 at all, but the G35 was OK. G35 exterior is nothing compared to the BMW though, and frankly the driver/road connection just isn't there on the G35 like it is w/the BMW. The G35 coupe looks pretty good in the pictures, i wonder how that will drive. i'm no expert by any means, these are just my personal impressions.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    ... as the chlorine for the gene pool: it sends the Camry type driver back to Camry instead of contaminating the 3-series ownership pool with more passengers. Same with the heavy steering and everything else that adds to the sporty feel. You take these away from the 3-series, you end up with just another average boring car that ends up with no brand loyalty in the end. fwiw, my 325i has a lot more growl now at 21K miles than it did back when it was new. You need to be able to hear the car so you'd connect with it better. Idle and coasting noise are almost non-existent. Just the way it should be - it's the engine growl that matters.

    mg330ci - lol, that was a good one.

    allano/bmw323is - all true. In addition, the sport package was reduced by $100 to $1,400 with the '01 MY model.

    dan__2 - The G35 couple looks great on the pictures I've seen so far. I think it will be a viable competitor for the 3-series coupe.

    jmestas1 - what do you want a BMW for? Because "BMW seems to be #1 on everyone's list" is not a good reason.
  • jmestas1jmestas1 Posts: 4
    Brave1heart, I started driving on a 87 taurus and quickly moved up to a 95 maxima, i'm looking at a for something that fun to drive and makes me feel i'm connected to the road. The body roll in the maxima is too much and the steering is loose. I'm 23 and have dreamed of owning a BMW ever since I was in Germany traveling on the Autobahn, the cars can flat out move. I'm going to be putting roughly 60% down, and am inticipating spending 40K. My major question is whether or not it is worth it to pimp out a 325Ci, or to go for the bigger engine. I'm not a big fan of leather, so i'm perfectly content with the leathette. I'd go for a 325Ci with sport package, xenon, manual tranny, heated seats, navigation, sunroof, ect.., the other option is a 330Ci, with the sport package, xenon, sunroof, and upgraded stereo. The 325Ci is a bit cheaper but i'm willing to spend the extra $$$ to get more HP. My father owned a 911 Turbo and swears by them, but for now i'm looking at the 3 series. I'd love to jump into a 530i but as it is i'm already over spending. Any thoughts????
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    It seems that you've been to Germany, so I'd advise picking up a 330Ci with whatever you want in it via the European Delivery Program. You can probably get a 330Ci with some decent options for well under $40K.

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

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "...the other option is a 330Ci, with the sport package, xenon, sunroof, and upgraded stereo."

    The 330Ci comes with the upgraded Harman Kardon audio system as standard equipment.

    Best Regards,
  • colt007colt007 Posts: 64
    When asked for a last remark, the german representative claimed "This will be the Cadillac of all BMWs"

    How funny (or sad) is this line?

  • brislance1brislance1 Posts: 87
    Several people have posted asking about the bra-nosemask for the 3 series. Since I drive from Minnesota to Tucson round trip each year I did purchase a bra from BMW for my 323I when I took delivery in June of 00. The first time I tried to use the bra, I found it difficult to fit it properly. The main problem seemed to be that the lower part of the bra that is supposed to fit over the fender and onto a strip of velcro mounted on the inside of the fender between the hood and the fender made the material so thick that the hood would not close. I solved this problem by not using the velcro strips and instead cut two pieces of ductape about six inches long and used them to hold the bra in place as it fit over the fenders. This made that area less thick and I easily was able to close the hood. I have used this method for two years now and have no chips on the front of the car.

    I also found that if, prior to mounting, I left the bra in the hot sun for 15 minutes the upper part fit better on the hood. It was more snug.

    One other suggestion is to be sure to tighten the straps as tightly as possible and after driving the car several miles, re-tighten them again. Never leave the bra on for long periods of time as wetness can cause paint to fade.

    If I were to do it all over again, I would probably order a Colgan bra through I did get mirror bras from them that really work great. I did this because the mirrors on one of my other cars really got chipped coming across the desert. Hope this helps. Funny what a little ductape will do!
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    I can pick a girlfriend for you too but you may not necessarily like her ;o) Go with whatever fits your preferences and budget better. I'd think that if you're only 23 and this is your first BMW, you'd be very happy with the performance of the 325 manual with sport package. You will also have a much better chance of living to see your 25-th birthday with the slower (only relative to the 330) 325.
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    I'll try your suggestion on the duct tape. did you fasten the hooks underneath the front of the car?

    I found that putting the top part in the clothes dryer for a couple of minutes heats it nicely. Heating it did make installation easier, but it still flapped at high speed especially in a headwind.
  • brislance1brislance1 Posts: 87

    I used ductape on the velcro tabs under the front of the car too. You could also go to a dry goods store and buy some velcro that you could leave on the underside permanently. You can attach the tabs to the velcro each time you mount the bra. Good luck.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I'll add to Brave and NYC. Do the ED, find a dealer that will give you at least $1500 above invoice and then consider the following:
    a BMW 325Ci with SP, Moonroof, Xenon, Power Seats, OBC,HK and paint with D&H $28770 invoice + 1500 = $30270. (With NAV $31910).
    a BMW 330Ci with SP, Moonroof, Xenon, 18" wheels, paint with D&H $33640 invoice + $1500 = $35140. (With NAV $36780).
    If you are not married skip the NAV.
    Note: With the NAV, you will have to buy a CD changer. BMW sells this for $595. This does not include installation. Also with ED, you will get floormats, a first aid kit and a safety triangle. If you don't do ED, try to negotiate for free floormats and other things, if possible.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Seivwrig writes, "If you are not married skip the NAV."

    IMHO, NAV has a relative value depending upon the person. In my case, I don't think I would pay $200 for an integrated NAV system in a car (even though I would gladly pay $12,000 for an integrated GPS "Moving Map" Nav/Com for an airplane). On the other hand, I would gladly pay $1,200 to $1,500 for an integrated NAV system for my wife's car. While I consider Mrs. Shipo to be a genius in many ways, she has actually gotten lost driving to work, a place where she has worked for many years. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    I'll try your ideas.

    I looked at the Colgan mask at They appear to have heavier weights on the hood cover - might be less prone to flap.

    I think I'll get a pair of the mirror masks.
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