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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • scipio1scipio1 Posts: 142
    I just saw one of the new Mercedes CLK 500 coupes on my commute home...

    It's horrendous! An abomination! Holy cow someone tell BMW Chris Bangle has been moonlighting for the competition!

    Words failed me utterly. How could they possibly do that to a reasonably presentable vehicle? MBs had fallen considerably out of favor with me (owned a 1985 190E 2.3, but haven't seriously considered one since), but the CLK convertibles were starting to grow on me, partly because every 5th car down here in Westwood/Brentwood/Beverly Hills is a CLK cabrio.

    I mean, they're still overpriced and slow compared to a 330ci, but once you get used to the lines they're really quite pretty, in an elegantly sedate and feminine kind of way. God I hope the new CLK cabrios fared better than that coupe.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,328
    Well, not to start a totally different topic here, but I personally don't think the CLK (coupes & cabriolets) was ever meant to compete with the 3 series (Coupes & Convertibles). 1st off, MB doesn't need the CLK line to compete with anything because they sell pretty much every one they make. Most (I think) CLK buyers buy the car for the style, the luxury, the everyday performance, & the 3 pointed star.

    The old CLK 430 Coupe is still one of my favorite cars on the road. If I had the oppurtunnity to buy one, I would (even though it is only available in automatic and I love my manual tranny) The new CLK does nothing for me. It isn't ugly, it just isn't head turning. I see where they were trying to go by eliminating the B Pillar and incorporating the CL style Grille.

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

  • sta2sta2 Posts: 19
    I've lurked here for a spell and you folks seem to have most answers. We're interested in a loaded 04' 330 cic.

    Are the rear seats split folding? We're intersted in the Cold Climate Package with the Ski Sack, but we'd like at least one of the rear seats to fold down.

    Anyone, anyone.......

  • billherrmannbillherrmann Posts: 111
    I have an 03 330xi that has absolutely no hesitation when the gas petal is pressed. The response is so immediate that I usually lead off with that aspect when listing the many super features of this fine automobile. To anyone who is experiencing hesitation, I say SOMETHING IS WRONG!!!
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    With the cold weather package, dual 60/40 split folding seats come with the vehicle.
  • jay108jay108 Posts: 52
    you are willing to accept a Consumer Reports 'fair' rating as listed in the July 2003 issue.

    Since I'm a fair and balanced writer I must report that several cars received the lowest rating of 'poor', they are: MB C320, Jag X-type, and Lincoln LS, Audi A4 Quattro also got a 'fair' rating.

    The BMW did receive the best overall score of excellent though.

    Machines getting 'very good' or 'excellent' scores are Lexus IS and ES, Acura TL S-type and the Infiniti G35.

    If you place high importance on reliability, you best shop at the Japanese store near you.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Again, I know I'm only a visitor here, but at least I'm not a troll like you. I read your bio and it says "I like all sorts of cars except BMWs and huge SUVs." Your last 3 posts were here and the "I don't like SUVS, why do you?" thread. Why don't you stick with your Pontiac Vibe thread and leave the threads for cars you do not like alone? I also remember Consumer Reports calling the BMW 530i the "Highest rated car ever" so they must not hate BMWs as much as you do.
  • white6white6 Posts: 588
    Could it have something to do with the "learning" curve of the computer? I know that they have a fuzzy logic adaptation that "learns" your particular driving style.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    is no car at all. It's your two feet. Don't buy any car, unless you are willing to risk, break-downs, lousy dealer service, unscheduled trips to the dealer and a lot of expense.

    I don't buy the supposed bullet-proof Japanese vehicles as 5 vehicles, Honda, Toyota and Nissan over a number of years, in my mind, gives an average rating to reliability.

    You will also note, that in the JD Power initial quality survey, BMW edges out Infiniti. After a year and a half, my own experience with the BMW is that it is heads above any past Japanese vehicle I've owned. Of course, it's more expensive as well, but a heck of a lot more fun to drive.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Machines getting 'very good' or 'excellent' scores are Lexus IS and ES, Acura TL S-type and the Infiniti G35.

    Of that group only the G35 can be called a serious contender. The rest are nice enough cars, just not sports sedans.
  • lukymelukyme Posts: 46
    Made me stop and think about this. I am a conservative driver, and have been easy on the car for the break-in. Maybe this thing has assumed that I only start off slow, so has built this into a memory...I sure hope not. But it's something I will mention to the service tech. anyway.
    If so, I will need to untrain the computer by taking off like a bat outta you know where. That will be fun.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    If you want to take off like a bat outta you know where, shift it into sport mode. The car has two distinct personalities, between regular and sports mode. Regular gets me 24+mpg. Sports mode will not be that high due to the more aggressive shifts.
  • jay108jay108 Posts: 52
    Now doubt the BMWs are great running cars. The reliability thing is really kind of a moot point since everything is covered by their warranty.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    the cold weather package adds just a ski sack that goes through the ski pass through or whatever it is called, the rear seats are not folding in either 325 or 330 convertible. The other things the cold weather package adds is the high pressure washer for headlights and 3 step heated front seats.

    buy anything and everything you want, but absolutely get the adaptive bi-xenon...

  • scipio1scipio1 Posts: 142
    Actually I think the ski sack and folding seats come together. You can pay for the option without the cold weather package (had the folding seats/ski sack in both my E36 and E46, without the CWP). Absolutely invaluable for those runs home from IKEA if you lack a backup SUV. I think it cost about $400-500 on my last one. Luckily, it comes standard the coupes/cabrios.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    1. i have a 2004 325 convertible which has no split folding
    2. i have the cold weather package which does not include split folding
    3. the only reason we bought the 325 over the 330 was because the first 2004 in at the dealership was a 325 in the exact color wife was fixated on, but having test driven 2003 330 cic, i know they did not have the folding rear seats with the cold weather package
    4. i looked at the spec sheets i'd on both the 325 and 330 and the 2004 brochures and both do not talk of folding rear seats...

    but then i'm not as bmw savvy as some of the others on this topic....

    buy any combination you want, but absolutely get the adaptive bi xenons, hey if nothing else just get those lights alone !! ;) haha, I know i would

  • scipio1scipio1 Posts: 142
    That's very strange. I haven't used them in my cabrio, but I'm pretty sure I have them. I'll check later.

    Back in 2001, when we paid the $4-500 for the split folding seats in the 330 sedan, they were definitely standard in the coupes/cabrios. I used it as an argument to get my wife to agree to a coupe. I lost.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "you are willing to accept a Consumer Reports 'fair' rating as listed in the July 2003 issue."

    I accept this as I accept the JD Power Initial Quality Survey, which lists BMW ahead of Infiniti. Yes, BMWs are great running machines, but I am unclear how that statements translates into the fact my BMW goes into the dealer once a year for service and has no mechanical or reliability issues.

    Statements like that at the 50,000 foot level sound great, except it doesn't really tell you what side of the ownership experience you will be on. Just ask my friends who had their Honda bought back under the lemon law.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    I think every few years there is a resurrgence of people buying german cars or german branded cars... then reality hits in because cost of maintenance is higher (i'm not saying rate of maintenance, just cost) and then everybody goes tangentially opposite to japan or japanese branded cars... the only loser in this whole deal is the so called native 3 or now native 2?

  • sopecreeksopecreek Posts: 203
    Have any of you 3-series owners actually benefited from buying extended warranty? I mean I bought a couple for my cars before. You must get all the scheduled maintenances done, otherwise warranty companies are likely to refuse to pay for repairs. But if you do get those maintenances, your chance of having problems that are serious enough to justify the cost of the purchase is very low. I paid $600 and $500 for two and only one vehicle had repair done under that warrnty (made in Dearborn.) I paid deductible of $100 and the warranty paid $120. So in all, I paid $1200 and got back $120 worth... There was peace of mind but it came more from following maintenance intervals not so much from the warranty. I'm not buying the ext. warranty again.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    When I leased my 330i the dealership told me at the end of the lease I can buy the car and they'll make it a CPO (thus giving me another 2 years or so under warranty).
  • scipio1scipio1 Posts: 142
    how much do they want for that?
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    No idea. Didn't press the matter because it's all moot at this point. If the car turns out to be a dog it'll go back. If something more entertaining is out, it'll go back. The only way I'll keep the current car is if it's running perfectly and there's nothing more exciting available.
  • Please share- I was surprise to find during my visit to the BMW dealer that a 325 with Nav and premiun package after a discount came down to mid 33K I did not go into the specifics or negotiations b/c I am not at a purchase point.

    My question is how can a BMW with a cost of mid 33K have a lease payment of $378 per month tax included. A maxima of similar price has a payment of $515.

    Is this true? Do they actually lease so well. I can only think of a superior Residual Value that brings the monthly payment down.

    I rreally did not ask the sales guy to give me a monthly payment b/c I do not negotiate on monthly payments I negotiate car price, discounts and how close i can get to sticker price or go below MSRP.

    If these cars lease so well its almoust a no brainer to get one. WHICH LEADS ME TO THE SECOND QUESTION. iS MAITANANCE EXPENSIVE ON A LEASE?
  • ryokenryoken Posts: 291
    It's a combination of the high residual value and a low money factor (lease version of interest rate). BMWFS is, I believe, offering rather low money factors on 3-series leases.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    When you lease (or buy) a 3 series you get 4 years/50k miles of free service.

    BTW, you can make your lease even LOWER. Do a search here on Multiple Security Deposits or MSDs (you need to buy before june 30th to get the best deal).

    Check too. Nobody at BMW will tell you about MSDs but if you're leasing it's a great way to bring down your payments and make your money supply some massive returns.
  • I did see/read someones explanation about this MSD. I did not fully u8nderstan but did see that a large chunk of money needs to be put down at a determined interest rate that will be returned at the end.

    If this is the case I would be a bit hesitant to invest my money in some kind of lease program. Other alternatives apeal more to me.

    I probably need to go over this and will visit the suggested website. Thanks blueguy for advice.
  • Thanks to all for sharing regarding MSD's. I did only a bit of research and found the following. moderator said: "In general we do not recommend doing it. The idea of leasing is to pay as little up front as possible. "
    -Tarry Shebesta

    The Lexus Lease Glosary defined it as:
    "Multiply Security Deposits
    Lexus provides you with a special feature to leverage your investment in a Leased Vehicle. You may provide multiple security deposits beyond the required minimum amount and these additional deposits will help to further reduce your Lease Rate. All of your security deposit will be returned to you upon expiration of your lease."


    I do not feel confortable giving several thousand dollars to a dealership or for that matter a car manufacturer. Things are not well with this economy and we all know how this corpoprations can make it hard to almost imposible when it comes to returning money. Simply put, they are not in business to return money...they are in business to make money and the more the better.

    There may be better places and things. Anyway, I only found this by researching a few minutes so there may be opinions that prove me wrong and make this alternative a positive one. Will keep searching and learning!

    These forums do help
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    sailoverfuel... I'm no fan of leasing, but not sure you are adequately comparing what the MSDs can do for you. Key to leasing is to pay as little as possible over the life of the lease, not necessarily just up front. (Though given the time value of money, money up front is more "valuable", but with such low general interest rates, you can't get too much if you invested the money elsewhere.)

    You have to calculate the rate of return on the money you put down into the MSDs versus what you could get elsewhere with that same money. Guessin' you'll find you won't be able to get much of a rate of return on this small investment over just a 2-4 year term (e.g., CD, T-bill, money market fund, etc.). Then see how much money you save on the lease payments. Turn that into an annualized percentage basis and you can compare. If investing the money gets you 3-4 percent but the MSDs get you 5-6 percent, you're better off with the MSDs. If not, don't.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Let me put it this way, I handed them a refundable $5000 and it'll save me $2500 over 3 years. That's a 16-17% return per year on my investment. And BMW will give it back at the end of the lease because: a. i have a contract, b. like any security deposit it comes back to me at the end of the lease rental - unless I decide to buy the car and then it goes toward the residual.

    If you can show me somewhere that I can turn 5000 into 7500 in 3 years I'm interested. Especially in this economy. ;)

    Also, why is BMW changing the MSD program to a max of 5?
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