Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Memphis, by law, they cannot sell it as new if it has been involved in an accident. What is the mileage?

    The explanation of it not having a lot of options is feasible. From what you said, it sounds like it has parts of the premium package and cold weather package.

    Check the invoice on the car, see what it has (CWP, Sport Package (SP), and/or PP).

    Most people on here will opt for the sport package for the seats alone. But most importantly, does it have the features you want? Can you add the features you want? If the car has been there a while, they make a deal and install some additional stuff to get you into it and off their lot.

    Check the BMW website, Edmunds, or to see what options are available for the 330i. I know it comes with more standard than the 325.

  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    - I'm not a morning person. Somehow, getting up at 5 AM to go to driving school seems easy, though – it gives me a sense of accomplishment, the confidence of a man on a mission at dawn ;o)
    - I woke up to 14-degree temp and an inch of snow sitting on my car. Luckily, by the time I got close to the track, the snow was mostly gone, the temp was close to 32 degrees, and the sun was shining.
    - Showing up in a lowly 325 can be a little intimidating at first, esp. as you get closer to the track and start catching up in traffic with cars that have almost twice the horsepower.
    - It's great to see some guys that I met at last year’s CCA events. Interestingly, a couple of them mentioned that they were planning on getting an M3 but the economy soured their plans.
    - The setting at Lime Rock is absolutely spectacular - it’s all green hills and serenity. NHIS looks industrial by comparison. Lime Rock is the first true road coarse that I will be driving and I am excited about it.
    - Classroom sessions are OK but didn’t learn much racing stuff this time – it was mostly stories and history?!? There’s no substitute for Ian Prout (the instructor I had at NHIS last year).
    - Off to the first run. I am glad the instructor did 3 laps to show me the racing line. No two turns are the same. We switch seats and in a brief second, I am at turn one. I felt comfortable with the car but not with the track during the first few laps - I am still looking for the right braking points (usually brake too late), get on the throttle too early, and overall drive too aggressive for my skillset. Not keeping my head up doesn’t help either. However, relative to other people in the group, I must be doing all right- I passed a few cars and no-one ever got on my tail.
    - Run 2 – now that they’d built their confidence from run 1, more drivers were into a racing mode. We were all bunched up at the start – I was the 6-th or 7-th car in the bunch. It took a few laps to clear the traffic and in the process, I passed an M coupe, a WRX, an E36 328, two other 3-series, and I was on an E46 328’s tail. I don’t know or care why but once at speed, my 325i could at a minimum keep up with an E36 328, E46 328, 330, and the WRX going into the straightway with the same speed. These weren’t Sunday drivers – I know some of the guys and the 330i owner always places first or second at the autoX. Anyhow, we both got very aggressive and started making mistakes. After a couple of laps, my instructor asked me to go into the pit lane for a little chat. His feedback was very fair and to the point but in the process, we wasted too much track time and I only got one more lap out of this run.
    - ½ hr later it started snowing and everything put on hold until the weather cleared up. The weather didn’t look promising and after an hour, some people packed up and left.
    - The weather cleared up and since some people had left for the day, the organizers rolled up two groups and two runs into one so we’d catch up with the schedule. At least the last run for the day was longer than the morning ones. The track was extremely slippery. I’ve driven NHIS in much wetter conditions and it didn’t seem nearly as slick. On top of that, my instructor had left for the day and I had a different instructor (same name, different guy :o) ). He wanted me to drive very slow and just practice the rain line, which is basically one car width over to the right or left of the regular racing line so you can avoid the real slippery stuff and get more traction. I learned quite a bit that way but it wasn’t nearly as much fun as driving on a dry track at almost twice the speed.
    - I think I could do this every day for a few months before I start getting tired of it :o)
  • memphis10memphis10 Posts: 161
    Mileage is - 145 (one hundred and forty five)
    Dealer says that the car has never been titled to anyone. But he says it has been sold to the delership on Jan 31, 2003. It means that the 50K warranty is still valid but I will lose 4 months of warranty. Same for the scheduled maintenance.

    Options - 0205 - Automatic Transmission, 0403 - power glass moonroof, 0494 Heated front seats. Silver titanium metallic paint. No CWP, SP or PP.

    I am fine with the options. I am making the trade off between a loaded 325i vs this 330i. The sale price on both are very close. The reason it is difficult to price is because it's 02 and brand new. I don't know how to depreciate the car with 0 miles.

    Besides, I am very skeptical about why this car has not been sold yet and I am trying to guard against being cheated. Any suggestions would help. I have the VIN # but I don't think Carfax would help in this scenario.
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    Took the M3 to Austin this weekend.

    Averaged about 89mph on the way up there.
    MPG: 23.2

    Averaged about 93mph on the way back
    MPG: 24.0

    (There was a tail wind coming back)

    Overall, I was happy to get this kind of mileage at that speed in an M3.
    Just went over 10k miles on it (just over 5 months old)

    Went to Lowe's home improvement today and bought a 12 foot Live Oak tree. I hung it out of the back of the car and drove home--I thought it was pretty cool to use a 3 series to haul a 12 foot tree around town. I took some pics just for the heck of it.

    Anyone else used the bimmer to haul some stuff?

    brave1: great post. I almost forgot to mention it -- until kdshapiro reminded me below. -- You are lucky to get a CCA course at Lime Rock.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    brave1heart - nice post. Thanks for sharing.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    How long of a trip is it to Austin? That's an incredible average speed - you must be cruising in triple-digits most of the time to maintain the average. Sweet!

    I haven't used my 325i to haul stuff mostly because it doesn't have folding rear seat but my wife's A4 does and I used her car instead. I was able to fit a 6 1/2-ft Christmas tree INSIDE the car last December. There were a couple of monsta SUV guys that were trying to tie theirs on the roof?! I guess they didn't want to get the interior dirty. I showed up, picked it, paid, folded the seat, put the tarp over, shoved the tree in and left all within 5 minutes. SUV guys were still there working the rope. That said, I have no idea how you can possibly take home a tree TWICE that length?!? Must have been quite a sight. Maybe it explains why your average was higher on the way back - the tree acted as a spoiler giving you extra downforce!
  • I should clarify that with consistent non-aggressive driving style, the transmission starts out shifting from first, then settles into a pattern of shifting from second. In city traffic, this seems to be inefficient. I have driven a 325 and the transmission always begins in first no matter what the style of driving is.
  • joes230joes230 Posts: 94
    A 330i 5-speed will feel vastly faster than a 325xi auto (more weight, more driveline losses, plus auto tranny). A 325i 5-speed isn't too bad. I own a 330i 5-speed and when I get a 325i auto loaner car, it just feels very sluggish.

    Especially if the 325i is an auto, do anything possible to get the 330i. If the 325i is a 5-speed, it's less clear: it is cheaper, and with the manual tranny, not too slow.
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    If one has spent $6k for 41 more horses then that person, by definition, will always say that the 330 is far and above faster, quicker, wicked, hoohah, etc, etc than the 325. It is known as buyer's remorse.

    My $.02
  • rfredarfreda Posts: 15
    mrl11777 - that is BS. Drive both back to back, there is a marked difference. I drove a 330 first and was set on getting one. When I looked at the price difference my rational side took over and was ready to get a 325. Priced one out and took it for a test drive, then decided the amount of savings wasn't worth it if I wasn't ecstatic about the purchase. I wasn't.

    Settled on a very low mileage 328. A little less power than the 330, but a lot more low end grunt than the 325. It's all about the tourque available for everyday driving.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Good troll. Now play dead.
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
  • katkisonkatkison Posts: 40
    I am going to be hauling a road bike in my car next weekend. My fiance is riding in the MS150, and I am driving to Austin Sunday to pick him up and drive back. I requested that he see how the bike fits in the back of the BMW so I could drive it. I didn't want to drive to Austin by myself on a lovely Sunday morning in an Acura MDX, as nice as they are. The bike will fit in the back seat, if we take the wheels off. We will liberally line the back seat with comforter, towel, etc. to protect the bike and the leather.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You didn't hit a nerve, you need to drive both to understand. Somehow a BMW horse is a Clysedale while some other manufacturers use Shetland ponies. But unless you drive both you don't know.
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    They were steps (not gonna row gears sitting in traffic) and I felt the diff between the two was not significant enough to cover the price premium. Dealer said that until they really pack a bunch more ponies under the hood of the 330 the people who try out both steps usually come to the same conclusion -- the 330 is not different enough to justify the big bump. 3-series sales number back that up -- almost 3 325s are sold for every 330.

    Of course, those who own them will vehemently disagree, and this is most likely due to the buyer's remorse effect.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    IMO, your test drive was extremely limited, in spite of any claim to the contrary. People who have drivin both vehicles extensively know there is a very noticeable gap in the performance. I myself have driven both extensively. Whether that gap is something you want to bridge is up to you. The fact you have an opinion to the contrary doesn't make it any less true.

    You are right about something however. And that is buyers remorse. I do have a big case of it, because I really wanted the M3.

    The fact the 325 outsells the 330i is no surprise, as is the fact the Mercedes CL320AMG outsells the Ferrari 360.
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    I really seemed to have ruffled some feathers. Hey, we all know that they are all nice cars. I had originally planned to get a 5. I just loved the look of the car. Then I drove one and my head rubbed up against the headliner (I am six-three, so I have to try a car on for size). That car has about an inch less headroom than the 3! So, I tried out the 3, and even with the moonroof I fit comfortably.

    Regarding the HP, I guess that I just do not have as finely a tuned posterior to truly appreciate the 40-hp-for-$6,000 effect that others on the board do. As far as fling-ability, though, all must agree that whether you are driving a 325 or a 330, these are fun cars to toss around.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You did not ruffle any feathers. :) You are stating an opinion about performance of the engines, that I at least haven't found to be the case. That is the opinion that is no noticeable difference. There is a big difference in low-end grunt between the 2.5L and 3.0L, for the steptronic. Whether the additional $$$ is worth it, is up to you. It was worth it to me.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I had originally planned to get a 5. I just loved the look of the car. Then I drove one and my head rubbed up against the headliner (I am six-three, so I have to try a car on for size). That car has about an inch less headroom than the 3! So, I tried out the 3, and even with the moonroof I fit comfortably."

    Hmmmm, I find that statement odd. I moved up from a 1999 328i to a 2002 530i last year, and without a doubt, I have more head room in the 5-Series than I ever had in the 3er. Oddly enough, the 3-Series "Officially" has 1 inch more head room than the 5-Series. Go figure.

    Best Regards,
  • mrl11777mrl11777 Posts: 154
    I could not get comfortable behind the wheel of the 5, and I did not want to drive laying down. If you compare the 3 and the 5 on the BMW website they are, remarkably, almost the same exact size on the inside. For me, the headroom is the problem, and it is made worse in every car that has a moonroof.
    The new 7 has quite a bit more headroom than the previous one (I had also read an article that quoted a BMW engineer that said they were increasing the headroom of the cars as they redesigned them due to demand for this). So, maybe the new 5 has taken those of us who are tall into consideration.
  • enforcerenforcer Posts: 40
    When I leased my first BMW in 1993, the 325 was the high-end model in the 3-series, so I find it amusing that people diss' the 325 now that the 330 is in the top spot.

    If memory serves, my old 325 provided more than enough of power, especially if you revv'd up the RPM scale in the lower gears. Of course, the automatic might be a different story.
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    brave1: I hauled the 12 foot tree across town, not from Austin. That would have been a sight! -- M3 at 120mph and 8ft of an live oak tree hanging out the back --now that would be a good story. Ausitin is 150mph from Houston. 40% of the trip is on I10 where you can usually do 80-95mph safely on a weekend day. 60% of the trip is on Highway 71 where you can usually do 95-120mph with relative safety --there is very little traffic and it is limited access and divided 4 lane highway.

    In my averages, I count only the time on the highway -- not driving in the city of Houton or Austin.
  • memphis10memphis10 Posts: 161
    mrl11777 - I am in the market for a 3 series and I have driven both the cars several times. My budget does not allow me to buy a new 330 but this is my honest opinion. 325 5 speed is nice and fast, very close in performance to a 330 auto. I haven't driven a 330 5/6 speed. 325 automatic is very sluggish. Therefore, I have decided to get a 325 manual or a used 330 auto. I cannot say if the price difference justifies the difference in performance, but the 330 auto outperforms the 325 auto by a huge margin.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Pull the service records on the pre-owned 330i. And do as much research as you can stand. If it were me the driving factor for this deal would be the tranny, not the car.

    I don't feel the 325 is inadequate, but when it's stacked up to a 330 with the same tranny one can really feel the difference, 1/2 liter makes.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Interestingly enough, the "Official" acceleration numbers from BMW support your "Butt Dyno"; the 330iA does 0-60 in 7.0 seconds while the 325i does it in 7.1 seconds. In an apples to apples comparison, the 5-Speed versions of the 330i and the 325i sprint to 60 in 6.4 (5.9 for the Performance Package) and 7.1 respectively, while the automatic versions do 7.0 and 8.1, so if anything, the automatic handicaps the 325i even more.

    Best Regards,
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    There may be a $6000 difference, but don't forget that the 330i includes standard equipment that is optional on the 325.

    If you add 17" wheels, power seat w/memory, on-board computer, and the HK stereo, add about $3000 to the price of the 325i.

    And you're still shy 40 hp and a 6-speed XMSN.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    You'd have lot of 'splaining to do if you get pulled over in an "M3 at 120mph and 8ft of an live oak tree hanging out the back". BTW, I almost forgot to take out my son's seat the night before the driving school. It would've been funny pulling it out from the rear seat as the guy next to me in the paddock is unloading the slicks from his rear seat :o)

    Up here in the NorthEast with all its traffic enforcement, it's risky to cruise at high speed for too long. Speed traps are everywhere. You guys are lucky.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Guys, don't fool yourselves - the 330 is significantly faster than the 325, all else equal. 0-100 is in the 15s for the 330 and just under 20 sec for the 325 (both manual, per C&D's various tests). The 330 should be able to almost keep up with an E36 M3 on the track. The question has never been whether the 330 is noticeably faster than the 325 - it's whether it's worth the 4-6K difference (depending on how you calculate it). They are both great cars and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    your '93 325 was several hundred pounds lighter than today's 325, and they just now have caught up in HP. when the 325 was the top dog (besides the M3) it received a lot more HP than what it got when the 328 arrived, and only now is the 330 sufficiently "ahead" to allow the 2.5L to make decent power again.

    we covered this maybe 100-200 posts back. someone was curious why the '94 325 made so much HP.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    There is a "Search this Discussion" box on the page link bars which is kinda new and very helpful. It will search throughout the discussion for whatever keyword you give it and return links to all the posts in this discussion that contain that word.

    Hope this helps.
Sign In or Register to comment.