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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    My salesman, Jef Sims, with Garlyn-Shelton, Temple, just called and said my 325i arrived today. It was going to be a bit of a problem for me to get over to Temple because we have out-of-town company, but Jef solved that problem by offering to drive the vehicle to my home! It should be there in about 3 hours!
  • vkwheelsvkwheels Posts: 218
    I have a few snapshots of taking delivery. Only 1 of them is noteworthy. I'm stuck in the olden-days of 35mm film, so I'd have to get it scanned to post it. Someday...a future project. I have mixed feelings about using my own car for driving school. We'll see.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,393
    I belive someone here (maybe a few people) have done something where they pulled the panel off and taped some felt to where the seatbelt is hitting against.

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

  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    the only thing that is even MORE fun is to be able to look up and see the sky while you are doing it... :) nothing beats a ragtop on a nice summer night...

    i hear ya on the high beams though... amazing the difference it makes....

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    That is in comparison to the black M3 coupe fully optioned out that I sat in. I went to the dealer to pick up some stuff and decided to see what was new on the showroom. There was this M3 couple, I couldn't help to have a seat and check it out. Even though it's a 3 series, it screams performance inside and out. And then I went and sat in my car. I think my car had M3 envy.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    when you go to get your 35mm film developed, ask about having it put on kodak photo cd. it's cheaper than prints as I recall... don't remember for sure honestly.

  • ttdudettdude Posts: 4
    Just wondering if anybody knows about how long it takes a BMW, once it has been built, to go from Munich to the west coast. Thanks
  • Back to traction....

    To answer your question, I'm in the NYC tri-state area. So we get snow, rain, and a mix of ice, snow and rain. I'm getting out of my A4 lease and am said to see it go. Going from Quattro to RWD SEEMS like a big adjustment, but is is? Do the tires really make the difference?

    ....AND...will I really notice a difference between a 99 or 00?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,393
    Those of us here in the tri state area think that you should be OK with all season tires because we've been having somewhat wimpy winters in the last few years. If you live in Jersey, Long Island, Westchester, or Rockland, then you sould be OK with the All Seasons. If you live a bit further north say in Orange, Putnam County, or Connecticut, I'd advise on Snow Tires. But if you're used to Quattro, then I'd say invest in a set of winter wheels & tires.

    Tires make a HUGE difference. My friend who has a 2002 Audi A4 3.0 Quattro w/ Sports Package (Z rated Tires) can't go anywhere with his car in more than a dusting. Quattro with Z rated tires means that all 4 wheels will spin instead of just the rear wheels.

    The snow tire debate has been gone over quite a few times on this board and in my opinion it is a good idea to get a second set of wheels with snow tires.

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

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I'm a firm beleive you can get by with RWD. Having spent a few years in NYS snow belt country with RWD and FWD cars, I'd have to say FWD has the edge. If that is your paramount concern you will have to weight it. I have a 330i in the NY area and I'm wondering what the winter brings.

    Some of the past snow falls where my Jeep would just laugh at the snow, I might have to think twice about taking the 330i out. I would defintely feel safer with a 300xi, but I choose not to go that route. The traction control should help the fishtailing somewhat in the snow.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    ttude, I ordered my 325xi on January 3, 2002. I received it March 8, 2002 and I live in soCal. So, just a little over 2 months... give or take a bit.

    brave, I also heard about the felt lining fix, but cannot remember where I read it - on here or on the 5 Series forum. Maybe the 3 series problem forum might have something about it. Yeah, the drive at night with trees blazing by ya... nothing better. Just watch out for animals and idiots. :)

  • maransmmaransm Posts: 29
    I am in the market for a new car. So after researching, I came out with
    2003 Honda Accord EXV6 - too simple
    2003 Nissan Altima V6 - Poor interior material
    Passat GLX - why not 325xi if just few grands more
    325xi - Wowww....

    All those car are good in their own way, but my dream car is a Bimmer. We are just 2, so we don't care for cargo space.. I live in Colorado, so I am sure I need AWD with traction control.

    1. What would be the least price I can get 325xi for? If it is going to be quite a bit less than MSRP, I don't mind going for 2002s. I live in Colorado. So if I get a good deal, I don't mind picking up in about 500 Miles radius. The lowest offer I got was $1400 less than MSRP for a 2002 325xi.

    2. What is really needed and not needed in additional packages? My requirements( I think ?!!) are,
    - Leather
    - Heated seats
    - Sunroof
    - Folding rear seats ( for my skiing trips)
    - Navigation ( I don't know if I really need it though !)
    - Memory seats would be great since my wife is 5.5 and I am 6.1

    Please let me know you thoughts and suggestions..

  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    I just had to get on here and praise my salesman for the pleasant delivery experience I just received. He drove the car 189 miles, to my house. Unlike some others who've done ED, my car had been immaculately cleaned and prepped, inside and out. The car had a full tank of gas -- presumably with his money! And, in addition to all the goodies from BMW, the salesman, Jef, gave me 4 nice BMW key chains, a T-shirt, 2 expensive baseball caps, and 2 ball-point pens. He also had retrieved the European rear plate for me, unbidden, so that I have both front and rear. This is, by far, the best car buying experience I've ever had.
  • maransmmaransm Posts: 29
    congrats !!!

    Which one did you buy and how much did you pay for it?
  • I would add sport seats to that list (sport package). i didnt think the seats would matter that much but now that i have the sport seats i absolutely love them. I also have leatherette instead of leather and i think it is just as nice. Its an easy way to cut corners on $$$. No one has notices it's not real leather unless I point it out first. Good luck with the purchase! I am very satisfied with my 325xi. Plenty of power for me.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    I did a 325i ED back in June-July. I dropped the car off at the Harms office in Amsterdam on July 12 and it arrived at my dealer on August 22. I paid $1200 over invoice.
  • psotopsoto Posts: 4
    ttdude, it took about 45 days from the time it rolled out of the factory in Munich to Port Hueneme, then to the dealership in Encinitas, CA.
  • loubctloubct Posts: 39
    I have a dilemna on 2003 330I I want to purchase. SP, Heated seats, Xenon lights are a definite. Question is what are thoughts on Premium package. Don't really need sunroof although it would be nice. What are your experiences with leather vs leatherette. From what I gather sport seats are power and have memory mode I would like to take the money and invest in snow tires as I live in the Northeast Your thoughts
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I have a 325xi as well.

    I actually got mine BELOW invoice, due to some issues with how they built it (they left off the premium package, which had the memory seats). It worked out, so I can't really address the pricing.

    If you live in Colorado, you might also want to consider the Audi Quattro's. Their AWD system is excellent and it is a nice car. So you should feel confident driving in CO winters and on your ski trips. It was our second choice behind the BMW.

    If I were you, I'd probably opt to get the roof rack that bolts into the roof. Much easier and cleaner to haul skis and boards. You won't get snow, salt, gravel, etc inside your car when transporting your winter toys.

    I will second the choice for the SP. With the twisties you get in the CO mountains, you'll never regret it!

    Leatherette is a good choice for saving a big of coinage, and it looks great. I opted for leather though (wife's choice).

    If you get the premium package, you will get your power seats, sunroof, the wood trim, and center armrest (for 2002). The package changed a bit for 2003, but I can't remember what all beyond the center armrest. With the power seats, you get that memory setting you want.

    The sport package will give you great seats, a sport suspension, a few little cosmetic changes, and 17" wheels which are REAL easy to clean. :)

    The cold weather package will give you the folding seats (which I really like) and the ski bag (which I have never used). You also get the electric bun warmers and the spray thingie for the headlamps. Cool thing about that is when it sprays, it is actually heated a bit to help melt snow/ice, that may form while driving in adverse weather.

    If you want a better nav system, opt for a 2003. It will be DVD based in 2003; 2002 is CD based and from what people on here have said, not the best. The Japanese cars offer better nav systems. You might want to consider an aftermarket one instead if you choose a 2003.

    When considering 2002 vs 2003, remember that while 2003 is a bit more, you also get an additional 1 yr/15000 mile extension to the base warranty... something to consider.

    Whichever your purchase, enjoy it. Consider YOUR needs and wants over what anybody on here, including me :), say. Some will tell you that to have a true BMW you have certain things, but go with what you want and need and can afford. Any way you go, you will love it. And when you consider an option, consider the costs over the life of the payments you are making. It may cost a bit more now, but over the x years you are paying, how much does it contribute to your payments? Consider that one.

    Good luck and enjoy your choice! :)

    - Paul (my 325xi).

    2002 325xi

    Oxford Green/Natural Brown

    SP, CWP, 1/2 PP


    XM radio, tint

  • joes230joes230 Posts: 94
    Whether 4WD/AWD is more effective than winter tires+2WD was studied thoroughly in a May 1999 Car and Driver test:

    They took two otherwise identically-equipped Audi A6s, one quattro and one FWD, and tried them with and without winter tires. The bottom line is winter tires made a bigger difference than AWD, although AWD+winter tires would be generally best. However the extra weight of AWD negatively impacted braking vs an identical 2WD car. Winter tires may be non-optimal if your winter includes several thaws and extended above-freezing periods. The article also discusses that.

    Here's another recent article on AWD vs winter tires in Car and Driver:

    -- Joe

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Let's compare apples to apples though. In my opionion in order of best traction and control: full time 4WD with winter tires, followed by AWD with winter, followed by FWD with winter, followed by RWD.

    The reason the Porsche did well is the same reason FWDs do well. The weight of the engine is over the tires.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    The PP includes a lot of unnecessary items that are not only a waste of money IMO but move the car's optioning much closer to grocery getter's than a sedan with sporting heritage. I have the sunroof and I love it but it also takes away some headroom. The leather smells better and breathes better but vinyl is close in terms in functionality and almost indistinguishable in terms of looks. The memory seats and bun warmers add unnecessary weight to the car but if you live in the NE I'd recommend the bun warmers, as the vinyl gets pretty cold. I got them as a separate option and I am glad I did. Dump the unnecessary "luxury" and get the SP and snows instead - more fun per dollar spent!
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    Picked up my 325i yesterday afternoon. The salesman said they had to wipe down the exterior everyday (it sat for three days after detailing while I cleared my schedule to pick-it up), because so many people were looking at it and touching it. He said that four people offered to buy it for full sticker while it sat waiting for me. He may have been blowing smoke up my butt, but I did see several people walk up and look at it while I was filling out my paperwork. It can all be explained by the red color, he said. I just can't understand why more people don't order red, when you see how beautiful and exciting it is on the lot.

    I haven't had it long enough to begin a critical analysis, so I'll defer that for a week or so. I am still getting used to the feel (which is dramatically different than my Maxima), and am still in that hypersensitive new car driving mode where you can't totally relax and appreciate all aspects of the vehicle.

    In honor of finally being a BMW owner, I vow not to engage in this round of AWD/FWD, Snow/All Seasons, and PP/SP/Luxury/Sport debate. I make no promises about the future, though. All that I will say to those posing questions is: Your initial thought about what options/configuration to order is probably the one that will make you happiest in the end. Don't get talked into something you don't really want/like/or need.
  • tcn2ktcn2k Posts: 277
    You have to have memory seats if you are married. Change the seat back to the exact position is a pain!
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    tcn2k... You are absolutely correct! Memory seats are the best thing to happen to couples since TV remote controls!
  • abcnycabcnyc Posts: 101
    The 330i PP provides 2 main features (moonroof and leather) and other niceties (e.g. rain sensing wipers, auto dim mirrors, etc. I opted to not get the PP because I would never use the moonroof. We have one in our Acura MDX and we never use it. I realize there are many who love the moonroof, so it's a matter of personal use and taste. The leatherette looks as good as the leather, and initially it's hard to even smell the leather because of the "new car" smell. The power seats come standard on the 330is. I spent my money on the SP, CWP, and xenons.
  • genie1genie1 Posts: 398
    Wow, so you've finally got your dream car. I'm sure it's gorgeous. :)

  • genie1genie1 Posts: 398
    I spent 2 hours riding my brakes in rush hour traffic the other day and noticed that since then, the brake pedal seems to travel halfway to the floor before engaging. I can still stop on a dime, but my foot (and the brake pedal) travels a lot further before retarding motion.

    I'm trying to get a service appointment next Monday, but was looking for info. Any ideas about whats wrong?
  • jbreez1jbreez1 Posts: 46
    Picked up my 2000 323i yesterday morning at 9:15 am. I now fully understand the enthusiasm of BMW car owners. Although I have wanted a bimmer for years, I finaly made the purchase for what I would like to think are purely practical reasons.

    1. It is a solidly built/ safe car.
    2. The BMW has a high resale value.
    3. The car has great handling/performance reviews.
    4. The BMWs are fairly reliable.

    After driving the car for a day and a half, I now relate to the posts on this board and just have to say "WOW!" Maybe it was driving my Honda Civic for 150,000 miles that did it to me, but I'm having so much fun. The car is Black/Sand with a five speed, sport seats, sports suspension, 16" alloys, Leatherette (which I preferred in Orlando), moonroof (wouldn't have got it if it didn't come with it) power seats, memory, xenons, in dash CD, etc.

    Just want to thank everyone on this board for all the info and let you all know that "now I know" what you are all speaking of when you talk of the "ultimate driving experience." There is only one problem: I can never go back!

    Be well,

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    Actually when I was married, I didn't need memory seats. My ex- is 5'9" with a 34" inseam and I'm 6' with a 34" inseam. I sit a little closer to the wheel arms-wise than she did, but otherwise we didn't move anything but the center rear view mirror.

    That was then. Now my girlfriend is 5'3" and my M3 has manual, massively adjustable seats. It's hell... power memory would be nice!

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