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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257

    MSRP was 40,070. I paid 39,965.


    Thanks. I can't get over the number of random strangers who have crossed parking lots and such to tell me they like my car. One lady even asked if she could sit in it?! I'm in San Diego, so this is not an unusual car in any sense. My friend said it's because I look approachable. Who knows. Still weird how many unrequested remarks it's garnered in the two days I've had it.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,325
    G thirty what was that other car you were looking at:)

    Congrats. Your car is beautiful. I'm drooling! Did you say you got the car for $400 over invoice? That's an incredible deal!

    Was the dealer willing to deal on a car that had been sitting and wanted to get rid of it for the end of the month type of deal?

    What are your lease payments per month including tax?

    Enjoy that car! Congratulations once again!

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

  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    Great car! I bet those wheels are gonna keep you busy with a bucket of water on weekends. But I can't think of a better way to spend an hour (unless you are driving that bad boy).

    Did you drive a 330 without the Performance Package? If so, how noticeable is the 10HP difference, the stiffer suspension, the short throw shifter?

    Finally, in the picture from the front center, what is sticking up just to the right of the center rear headrest? It looks like a open pop/beer can.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I was the first one to open her up on the road. We had to remove the plastic and cardboard from inside the car (stored in the back of the dealership) to even take the car out.

    The deal came courtesy of some sale they run to promote their 10th award for some such thing. Not sure, just know it was a righetous deal.

    BMW323i, I'm guessing you're seeing the odd little middle passenger seatbelt. It sticks up kinda funky.

    The wheels will be an issue. On bimmerfest ZHP owners are already mentioning how frequently you must tend to them. The dealer suggested buying Simple (Simply?) Green, spraying the wheels and then washing them off. A dedicated wheel mit is also a good idea.

    As for the performance. First off, it's much more grumbly than a normal 330i. It's almost like a V8 rumble when you open it up. At a constant speed the muffle quiets down but the moment you punch it, it lets the world know you're taking off.

    The suspension is quite a bit stiffer than the normal sports package. Those wide low profile 18s also stiffen it up. You can feel some tramlining at times. Then again, normal road bumps get soaked up and it's still a luxurious ride. And when pressed it's stable, predictable and level.

    The shifter definitely isn't the buttery smooth manual one finds in a Acura TSX but the shifts are wrist snaps and after you grow accustomed to it and the clutch, the shifter feels near perfect. a few times I broke the break-in rules (my salesguy again today when I picked up my floormats insisted I need not worry about break-in driving) and dropped from say 5th to 3rd for an instant punch. Holy frijoles, it's like the other cars are standing still.

    Including tax i'm blowing about 480 a month. The darn CAP cost and the fact that they only took the MF down to .0003 bumped it up. Oh well, I was off by about 1 grand on my estimate for the lease. I'll swallow my pride and $28 a month for that.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,325
    Under $500 a month for a 330i ZHP...very impressive. Congrats once again on your car. I get excited that I get to drive my Prelude Type SH to work every day. You must be downright giddy!

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

  • asleepyasleepy Posts: 70

    Your points are well taken. I'm sure that for every one like mine, there is a BMW like your that is solid. One of the good things about a BMW ownership is that at least when things do go wrong, the dealer has not hesitated in owning up to the problems and fixing them.
  • Believe me, my problems were very minor. I haven't had to leave the car for more than a few hours to fix these "minor" problems: (1) there was a lot of static listening to AM radio and a loose antenna lead at the amp was resecured, and (2) the washer nozzles were cleaned out and re-aimed.

    I must mention, though, that the dealer replaced both the waterpump and the front control arm bushings two months ago while it was in for Inspection 1. I don't know whether these were routine preventive maintenance or whether the dealer was just too eager to do the repairs and charge BMW.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    I'm with you on the bmw ownership experience. I took my daughter out to the playground in the 2004 mystic blue convertible on day 2 and every mother there was talking to me... hey just yesterday when i drove up in my wife's 8 year old honda, nobody glanced so much at me!!

    I had kids, youngsters, middle aged, seniors, everone at the playground, stopping by, peeking inside (i'd left it top down) and when I got there to drive back home, I spent about 15-20 minutes answering questions... geez.... BMW should hire me in their PR...

  • sopecreeksopecreek Posts: 203
    Congratulations and a nice deal.
    BTW, if you paid $400 over invoice, then the MSRP was only about $500 over invoice based on your numbers. Doesn't seem right...

    > MSRP was 40,070. I paid 39,965.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I am SO jealous! Congratulations.

    I think your MSRP was $43,070, right?

    I am interested in seeing your complete deal as I am very interested in doing something similar and I've never seen the numbers work so well in the buyers favour before.

    Can you tell me what your total cap cost reduction was (down payment) in addition to the $5000 security deposit? Also, what is your residual amount (for buy-out) after 36 months?
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Go to BMWUSA and build the car...the msrp is 43,070: BMW 330i, Xenons, Moon, Leather, ZHP. I just looked at the contract this morning while changing my insurance. BTW, is just plain wrong about the car's MSRP. I've got the sticker, my contract and BMW to back that up.

    My CAP was about $800 - because my out the door was 40,775. Residual is .59% based on the MSRP, so it's $25,411. MF ended up at 0.0003. 15k per year, 36 months. Sales tax in CA is 7.75.
  • victord1victord1 Posts: 94
    That is one tight package! But, correct me if I'm wrong for I thought the performance package is only available with imola(sp?)red exterior?
    I love the 3series, especially the 330i. In fact I've been thinking about trading in my new ('03) car for a 330 sedan w/sport package. It's financially unwise, but I'm willing to take a few hits if the deal is right.
    On a side note, can someone explain to me briefly what is the money factor (MF) in leasing???
  • asleepyasleepy Posts: 70
    The money factor in leasing is equivalent to the interest rate when you borrow money to purchase a car. The leasing company is the one actually purchasing the car and they rent to you. Because they are putting up the money upfront to buy the car, they charge you interest on it.

    To calculate the interest rate, multiply the MF by 2400 (for example, a MF of .0012 would be approx. 2.88%).
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    You can get the ZHP with any color, i believe. Not sure. I know I've seen white, red, black, silver and silver gray so far.
  • bluebeastbluebeast Posts: 261
    is available in ANY 3 series color + the Imola Red which is usually exclusive to the M3. I have the Titanium Silver, Black leather interior.
  • victord1victord1 Posts: 94
    Now where can you get MF info on a particular car besides the dealer? I'm thinking of either leasing a new bare bone 330i(w/ step., xenon, heated seats), or buying a CPO. Now how does trading in a vehicle work in leasing?
    Is there a cap on how much you can put down in leasing?
    Blueguy,'re right. I tried to build one on today and was successful with other color combinations beside imola red.
  • asleepyasleepy Posts: 70
    Take a look at the discussion called "leasing a 330i using Multiple Security Deposits". According to the discussion, the MF for 330i is .0012 (until June 3, I think) but I don't know if that is the "buy rate" or what the dealer will charge you. BMW Finance sets the "buy rate" and the dealer is free to tack on his profit. For example, when I picked up my 325i two months ago, the buy rate was .0015 and dealer wanted to charge .0019 and we settled on .0017.

    The above discussion also talks about using multiple security deposits, which I was not aware of. Apparently, you can put up to 10 security deposits (which is returned to you at the end of the lease) and each deposit is supposed to lower the MF by .0001.

    There is no cap on how much you can put down on leasing but generally you want to put down as little as possible b/c that is $ you won't see. The multiple security deposit idea sounds better b/c the deposit is returned at the end of the lease.

    Trading in a vehicle is the same in leasing as in purchasing. One of the factors in determining the lease payment is the final cost of the car. So if your trade-in lowers the final cost of the car or if you can use the trade-in value towards the cap cost reduction or the multiple security deposit, ultimately you will lower the monthly payments, all other things being equal. has a good reading on leasing -- go to Tips and Advice. Like purchasing a car, you will want to try and get the best "final" price of the car and then talk leasing terms/payments, etc. If the dealer knows you are a "payment buyer" they can make those numbers jump every which way so nail down the price of the car first.

    You might also want to check out after you have all the numbers, just to keep the dealer honest.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I'm not sure if bmw will let you trade in say a 5k car and use that 5k credit for Multiple Security Deposists. Seems they might.

    BTW, the 330i's special lease rates (0.0012) end at the beginning of June and the awesome MSDs deal gets cut in half at the end of June. You should be able to snap up a lease on a 330i with step, xenons and such pretty easily. Remember to negotiate the price first and only after that's settled go for the lease and finally spring the MSDs on them. Their eyebrows go up on that one. :)

    Oh and the dealer may claim they're charging 0.0015 for a MF but you don't have to pay that. Tell them no. most people just roll over for them.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    victord1... Does anyone know if you can lease CPO cars thru BMW FS? Thinking I once saw something at BMW NA's web site about leasing CPO cars. If you can, that might be a good deal.
  • asleepyasleepy Posts: 70
    victord1...blueguydotcom is the one who got the incredible deal on the lease using the 10 msd so he knows what he's talking about!
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257 has tons of information. That's where I learned the most about MSDs. A Beverly Hills sales consultant told me about them but I thought it sounded fishy. What he said panned out.
  • scipio1scipio1 Posts: 142
    How was your experience with Beverly Hills? My service guy left Bob Smith BMW and my experience there went from absolutely excellent to below-par. BH BMW is the closest competitor to Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach for me, so I was wondering what your impression of them is? (I've never even been on their lot before)
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    It was a telephone thing. I emailed about 15 dealers in so cal. I made my deal with a local dealer before 95% of them even bothered to email/call me back.
  • ximloeximloe Posts: 3
    Hello everyone.
    I'm new to and wanted to say hello and to thank you all for the wealth of knowledge I have learned from everyone.
    I was fortunate enough to purchase my first BMW last August; 99 328i Orient Blue 5spd/PP. I just wanted to say hello! I'm looking forward to continued chats!
  • eoseos Posts: 27
    FWIW, I was in Garching (near Munich) on Tuesday, and saw what I think was an E60 5-er drive past. My first reaction was "Infiniti" -- the tail light cues especially seemed reminiscent of the G35. Anyhow, not sure I liked it much.

  • victord1victord1 Posts: 94
    for extremely helpful responses.

    The idea has been lingering on my mind for the past few days, but I haven't had the time to materialize it yet.....been pulling the midnight shift all week at the hospital. I'm thinking of emailing/stopping by the local dealers to see what kinda deal I can get. I hate wheeling and dealing. I got my recent car at the price I wanted with just one email and less than 15min on the phone with the internet sale supervisor.

    Riez, I'm pretty sure I can lease a CPO, but then again the deal might be less desirable than on a new one.
  • asleepyasleepy Posts: 70
    Good luck in your quest. I think the Internet sales supervisor/manager is the way to go. I walked into my local BMW dealer and no one gave me a second look. I used a car pricing service available at my credit union and it just happened that this particular dealership offered the best deal. I negotiated the price and ordered my car on the phone with their Internet sales manager. After the 8 long weeks, when the car arrived, I showed up at the dealer and met the Internet sales manager for the first time, signed the papers and drove off -- fairly painless dealing with the Internet sales manager.
  • wooldoggwooldogg Posts: 1
    After 2 years of lurking this board and saving, i finally ordered my BMW 325i last nite (Silver Grey Metallic, Manual, Black Leatherette, Sport and Premium Packages.) Getting the car i want, and the hardest part i think is now gonna be the wait for it (Estimated delivery time: mid-July! Still not too bad though...) Did the request though e-mail, got a great price back from the dealer (Internet Manager), walked in and was finished with the deal in less than half an hour..never thought it would be that easy. Thanks to everyone for the good tips and comments on this board, i'm sure i'll be back with questions once i get the car!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,325
    Does anybody know if there is a date when you cannot pickup a car at the Munich ED center (ie factory closed)? Just curious. If and when I decide to get a BMW via ED, the only time I'd be able to go would be within the last 2 weeks in July (4-5 years from now).

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

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    nothing like planning ahead! 4-5 years?
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