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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,317
    Reiz: I can't believe as much as a BMW nut (and very well educated car guy) as you are that you'd even consider a GTO. Just the fact that it's made by GM should cross it off your list.

    The accord V6 coupe is nice. I'll bet you'd probably appreciate the CL Type S w/ 6 speed and LSD. Too bad they've stopped making them. So the Accord V6 may be your choice. I say go for a CPO 330Ci or M3:)

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

  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    OK, this may seem like a simple question, but how do you get the interest rate from the money factor? Please use Blueguydotcom's 0.0003 as an example. Is it equal to 1.1%? Sorry for asking a stupid question.

    multiply the MF * 24 and then move the decimal point 2 places to the right. O.0003 becomes 0.72%.

    BTW, in my long search for any car but the 330i, i drove both the AT Accord V6 coupe and the manual. The AT version was decent and very quiet. Super luxurious car but the handling was really bad and the AT didn't even offer an automanual feature. The manual has a tighter suspension & bigger wheels. Those upgrades with the manual made the car far more spirited though it still would have required serious modding for my driving style.

    Still for the crazy power, luxury and low prices (23-24k loaded EXs) the cars were solid.
  • joes230joes230 Posts: 94
    Since you're in the market for a 3-series, I suggest you test drive an Infiniti G35. I like my 330i SP better than the G35s I've driven, but the G35 has lots of power, rear drive, and costs somewhat less. At least try it out.
  • scipio1scipio1 Posts: 142
    $4,000 isn't an unreasonable price when you look at the options individually - remember it takes some things from both the normal ZPP and ZSP and includes it in the ZHP. For the price, you get basically the equivalent to the previous generation M3/4 for a very small premium.

    As for virtual M3 handling, not really. I took one for a ride, and it's a very good ride, I'd say well worth the price of admission. I would compare it favorably to my old E36 M3, which was a joy to drive. The old M3 was like a sporty, better riding better handling 3, but inescapably a member of the 3 family.

    The new M3 is just a different animal though. My wife is looking at 330ci convertibles, and the ride, the transmission... they're all a world different than the E46 M3.

    It's just a lot more extreme, both in good ways and bad. It's closer to a pure sports car experience, but it pays for it in everyday useability. You could well confuse a ZHP for a ZSP if you didn't pay attention very closely - the differences are subtle and rewarding. You'd never confuse an M3 for a 330i sport - it slaps you in the face with its harshness.
  • victord1victord1 Posts: 94
    Blueguy: the 330 w/ZHP is not even on my list; I can't drive stick (never tried before), and my sister and I swap cars sometimes. Too bad, because I like look of the front spoiler of ZHP a lot more than that of the regular 330. Maybe BMW will transfer that look to the regular 330 by 2005. That'll be sweet.

    Joes230: the G35 is a very nice car; a true alternative to the 330. But I personally like the aesthetic designs of the 330 more. The 330 is 'classier', IMO. And since I'm not looking for a fully loaded 330, the price differences should be minimal.

    I'm not a racer or anything, and my driving skill is just adequate. But I've never owned a 'sleeper' either. My previous cars were '86 Celica GT, '87 Integra, and the recent '03 Maxima SE. I like a car that can go about casually, yet will spring up to life at moment notice. I just need to test drive a 330 w/ SP to finalize my decision.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,637
    That price is a great deal on a 2002 330i.. I'd take it and sell the old one yourself.



    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    Yes Money factor is essentially APR/2400, but the reason is in the "simplistic" math of intrest calculations. Typically an interest calculation formula is a series formula, so the longer you crunch number, the more accurate the #s will be, however in practice people bring it down to a close approximation. One of the formula's that approximates this # actually uses a monthly interest rate (because payments are monthly) so if your apr was R, then your monthly interest rate is R/12% or R/1200 in actual decimals. In the math formula, there is (again because of series formula reasons) a necessity to divide the value by 2.... now you have ended up with a 2 and a 1200 in the denominator and hence you ended with a value that's R/2*1200 or R/2400. Since this is always a constant "part" of any calculation, they simply call it a money factor, which is the same as R/2400.

    It is interesting to note that the way this interest is calculated, the actual interest you pay is slightly lower than the real interest that should get charged to you over the course of the loan, if the series formula was extended to count to a high granularity. So the consumer does tend to come out the winner... by how much... we are talking in the range of a penny on a thousand dollars though... but hey, atleast you got the benefit on your side.

  • fredmcmurrayfredmcmurray Posts: 215
    How is the price difference between a 330i and a G35 minimal? A pretty bare bones AT 330i is going to run about $37K, whereas a better optioned (leather, premium package, sport package) G35 is more like $30K. I have a hard time seeing how that is a minimal difference.
  • fredmcmurrayfredmcmurray Posts: 215
    Series formula? The 2 in the denominator just comes from the fact that you are applying the money factor against the total of the cap cost and the residual. By dividing this total by two you get the average balance for the life of the lease. Pretty simple really.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,637
    The money factor equation assumes the difference between cap cost and residual is paid down in equal installments. However when applying interest to a financed amount, it would pay down principal more slowly than in a lease. Multiplying the money factor by 2400 actually gives you a slightly higher number than the actual APR. In other words money factor of .0020 equates to 4.8%, but the actual APR to pay down the amount from X cap cost to Y residual would come out slightly less.. maybe very slightly.



    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • 1202412024 Posts: 1
    I purchased a 325i sedan about a month ago, while applying leather cleaner/conditioner recently, I ran across a leather tear that was fixed right in the center of the driver side seat back (the contact surface for the passenger, not the very back of the seat). It is about 4 inches long, and hard to see until you know it is there. It is easy to feel. I am worried about the life of the seat and if the fix won't last.

    Do I contact BMW dealership and complain, or am I stuck with this?

    Ultimately, I was not sold what was advertised. The back should be replaced, I think.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    How is the price difference between a 330i and a G35 minimal? A pretty bare bones AT 330i is going to run about $37K, whereas a better optioned (leather, premium package, sport package) G35 is more like $30K. I have a hard time seeing how that is a minimal difference.

    Once you drive them back to back it's minimal. :) I was set on a 2004 G35 MT. But once I drove a 330i I couldn't see spending 30k on a car I didn't find appealing inside, out or in the handling department.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Doesn't that relate to value though? And that was my thought exactly. Spending less money does not equate to more value to some people.
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    When does the midlife crisis hit?

    I turn 32 this month and felt the crisis coming on late last year. This is why I got the M3 and let me say that it has been worth every penny. No psychiatrist for me and no prozac--just some higher gas bills and lots of rubber left on the Houston streets.

    I have one 2 year old little girl and another little girl on the way and my 2 year old already loves my car. She calls it the vroom vroom. Maybe I will keep it and give it to her in 14 years.

    Putting the kid or friends in the back of the M3 is the way to go. There is something youthful about cramming people in the back of your car. The M5 just could not give me this feeling. It is a wonderful machine, but I figure you should be in your mid 40s or more before succumbing to society's pressure to have 4 doors.

    PS: There is somthing great about pulling up to a good restaraunt in the M3 and getting the kid out of the back seat -- people do not expect a baby seat in the back of an M3. I can't wait to have 2 back there.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Someone at Bimmerfest gave a nice breakdown on some of the mods that one gets with a 330i ZHP. I forget who asked but the following is how this guy saw the purely mechanical modifications:

    "rear end diff: this is at least $1000, more like $1800 with a core swap, too.

    18" wheels: let's be conservative and say that to achieve the same level of OEM quality wheels is $400 a wheel, so that's $1600.

    cams: plus software necessary for the cams. let's say that most cam grinds are about $1200; software is about $350 on the cheapish side.

    suspension: let's call it koni's plus some H&R springs or eibach springs. let's be conservative and say $150 per shock (this is lowballing it) and let's say $400 (to really lowball) the MATCHED spring set. need we add sways, too? let's say those would be about $300 for front and rear, although, this, too is low.

    $1000 + 1600 + 1550 + 1000 + 300....hmmmm... this seems to be about $5450 without tax, let's assume that some labor MUST be added since not everyone could install all of this stuff by themselves.....aha! and plus, you lose all warranties. so, let's also add then, an aftermarket warranty of one kind or another at about $1000 per year? "

    He didn't include the cosmetic mods like the airdam, skirts, spoiler, anthracite headliner, alcantra wheel, aluminum trim.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    That's how simple it looks, but it is not really that. the actual formula is a decided simplification of a series formula. In theory, all "rate" based formula are series formulae in nature, because they are based on "derivative math". They are only simplified cuz in the older world, doing a series by hand was ummm, lets say, its not worth having a clerk work 30 minutes on a math formula (assuming no screw ups) and only gain a few cents more....... and now we have kinda just lived on with the same in today's high number crunching computer world.

    i have a 4 year old and we are decidedly against buying SUV's... but here's how i got my head start on my mid age crisis, which i believe i've still not hit... i bought my daughter a bmw kid car (the ones that go at 4mph) when she was 2... i made sure the family got into the circus earlier than i did... hahaha

  • irish44irish44 Posts: 3
    Hi Everyone: I need some advise on a 325CI Year 2002 w/-14500 miles for the price of $32k. Is this a good model(reliable,repair cost ect), I have placed on the table- my trade in of my Lexus -yr-99 & $8k. Give me some feedback. Thanks all!
  • b_thallb_thall Posts: 1
    What ar the real, practical, and asthetic difference betweens "leatherette" and the Montana leather in the 3 Series?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    leenelsonmd... Does your "md" stand for medical doctor? Or Maryland? I don't know when average midlife crisis hits. I'm planning mine for sometime between 40-45. I turn 40 later this year. (I just got back from 2-day business trip. About 400 miles in my 540i6. In some beautiful scenic smaller rolling hills. Had a blast. Hard to drive even 10 mph over speed limit. Thankfully there is cruise control. Though I did hit 125 mph in one stretch.)
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    Real difference - good vinyl vs. so-so leather

    Practical difference - leatherette is easier to care for, and is $1,450 less. Leather smells better.

    Aestetic difference - not much. I have a hard time telling the difference and so do others.

    I actually have leather seats because I got talked into the arguement "why would you buy a BMW without leather, are you crazy?" The next BMW, if I order another new one, will have leatherette, so I guess I'm crazy.
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    The last time shipo didn't post for a while, he broke his leg and wasn't posting for a long time. Are you there shipo? Hopefully, you are well.
  • cabbatan1cabbatan1 Posts: 40
    Hi Barry. Your question is one that is asked many times and I too went through this debate when I ordered my 325 wagon last month.. Here is the bottom line on this issue IMHO. If you can afford the leather,then go for it! Obviously it's the superior choice.. it breathes better,it smells nice and to my backside,feels more comfortable. Having said that,I chose Leatherette because I did not feel like spending the extra $25 to $30 per month on my lease. This option is $2400 in Canada and having come off of a Sabb 9-5 lease that did have leather,I did not feel a pressing need to have it again. Now that I have the leatherette which is quite nice looking as David also mentions in previous post,I honestly do not miss it. I have no regrets.. Well,I'll be honest about one thing though, I do miss the smell...
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    You can't get the leatherette in grey, which looks great with the myrtle wood trim.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I have the leather and if not for the ZHP package I definitely would have taken leatherette. Unfortunately one is stuck with either that cruddy suede material or BMW's overpriced leather. Even worse I got stuck with gray leather and gray carpet/trim, which will not age well.

    Black leatherette is tough to beat. Saves you money, holds up better, doesn't stain or wear. Still a tad bummed about my ugly gray interior. :( Then I drive and forget that my seats and carpet will need constant attention.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I am still around. ;-) I just got back from an eight flight trip from the U.S. to London and Paris, and I am a little wiped out. :-/ I haven't posted here for a while because I have been REAL busy working and what with the travel and family, blah blah blah... ;-)

    That said, I have a few tidbits that y'all might enjoy; I picked up a magazine in the lobby of my hotel in Paris and found the published prices for the 6 cylinder E60 for France (and maybe the rest of the Euro community):

    525i (Petrol): 42,000 Euros
    530i (Petrol): 45,000 Euros
    530d (Diesel): 41,000 Euros

    Hmmm, am I missing something? Unless the 530d is de-contented when compared to the 525i and the 530i, how is it that it costs less? From my perspective what with the extra performance and mileage, the 530d would seem to be MORE desirable than either of the other two. If I remember correctly, the published specs for the 530d rank it right behind the 530i in acceleration off the line, and even faster than the 530i above 40 mph. Go figure.

    FWIW, I rode in one of the new W211 E-Class cabs again on this trip. I hailed it at something like 4:30 AM Monday morning for a ride from the Gare du Nord area to Charles de Gaulle airport. When we started rolling, I immediately noticed that this one was a diesel just like the E220 that I rode in back in April; however, it felt somewhat faster. When we merged onto the autoroute we were following some other traffic up the ramp, and as we hit the main roadway, my driver opened it up, and I was stunned at how fast that thing went from 60 kph (a little less than 40 mph) to 160 (100 mph). When we got to the airport the driver turned to me while patting his steering wheel and said, "What do you think of my new taxi?" I told him that I loved it. While retrieving my baggage, I noticed that I had been riding in a new E320 CDI.

    Best Regards,
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    Which countries prices? Sorry I did not read. You said France.

    BMW shows the German bases prices as follows for July:

    520i 35100 euros
    530i 40600 euros
    530d 40600 euros

    All including 16% tax.

    Adaptive Headlight 400 euros
    Dynamic Drive 2300 euros
    Nav with TMC 2000 euros
    Dakota Leather 2210 euros
    H-K LOGIC 7 sound system 1250 euros
    Servotronic 230 euros
    Bluetooth Phone Kit 750 euros

    Our prices might be a tad lower. Just replace the euro with dollars for a good idea of our prices. We pay less than the Germans for the same car. We just don't get a la carte option list.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I just had some work done on my new ZHP (a jerkoff hit my back skirt and ripped up the paint) and when I left the car with the repair shop I had about a gallon of gas (on purpose) and the trip computer said I had 35 miles to empty.

    I felt like Ferris Bueller leaving the keys to the Ferrari with those parking attendants. These guys swarmed my car instantly and began talking about it. Needless to say I was a tad worried. With good reason...

    When I picked up the car my trip computer showed they had driven 8 miles (why? it was bumper work!) and my computer showed enough gas to go 2 miles. Furthermore, there were streaks of dirt up the back fender/lower side bumper from somebody peeling out - they just worked on that bumper!

    I was super pissed but what are you gonna do? I know I will never leave my car with a valet. Guess I should get used to it.
  • gary330cigary330ci Posts: 9
    I know what you mean. When I picked up my car from the window tinting shop the trip computer had been reset to zero, radio station was changed, and seats and mirrors were all re-adjusted. The guy said all he did was pull the car out of the garage to the front of the shop. Sure. I still get annoyed when I think about it. Amazing how personal one’s feelings are about cars in general, BMW’s in particular.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I don't mind someone driving my car. I mind that they obviously drove it very hard without me there. To go through a gallon of gas in 8 miles means they were taking my poor car with only 700 miles on the engine to at least 6k rpm. Over and over. And over.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I would sue them, or file a complaint. I believe you can bring the car to BMW and they can plug into the OBD and discern the highest rpms the engine has been revved to. I would do it, and if you find something, head on down to the police station.
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