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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Got a handwritten holiday card from the Sales Manager of the dealership I got the vehicle from. Thought it was a nice thing to do.
  • gordonwdgordonwd Posts: 337
    Well, they just had an article on something like the "top 10 brands" mentioned in recent popular songs and I was very relieved to see that BMW did *not" make the list! For the record, the #1 brand mentioned was Mercedes, #2 was Lexus, #4 Cadillac, and #10 Chevrolet (the others were non-car brands). I don't know if I could have gone through my pending purchase of a 325i if I had seen it on this list :-). Now if it were mentioned in a Bob Seger or Bruce Springsteen song...
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    i wonder if he drives at all, i've seen him on his motorcycle once on the GSP.

    but he mostly sings about caddy's... if he only knew how they are built... just teasing


    PS: GSP to all you non-northeastcoasters is Garden State Parkway, a toll-full expressway in NJ
  • white6white6 Posts: 588
    I ordered and purchased a 2004 330Ci last summer and now find myself lamenting my decisions. I now realize, after driving the car for 5 months, that I prefer sedan over coupe, and manual over automatic transmission. Also, since the car is always garaged and I have something else to drive when the weather is bad, I wish I had ordered jet black as opposed to the easier to care for silver gray. I have been reading up on European Delivery and I'm thinking that might be my salvation. By ordering a 2004 330i, six-speed, sport, jet black with black 'ette through ED, I should be able to get the car for around $33,000 (MSRP of $37,095) plus the cost of the short-as-possible trip to Germany. If I wait until June, I will also be able to take advantage of the BMWCCA rebate ($500). My problem is: how do I determine a proper trade value (or private party sale value) of a current-model year car? There are no "book" values for 2004 bimmers as yet. FWIW, my car's MSRP was $40,795 and was built in May, 2003. It currently has ~2,500 miles on it. It's a silver gray 330Ci with natural brown leather and steptronic. I have added an M-Tech front bumper, birch trim and OEM floor mats. I would be hoping that the difference in MSRP of ~$4,000, plus the BMWCCA discount, plus the ED discount would be enough to offset the depreciation of my coupe as well as pay my tax and tag on the new car (~$1,300). Any comments?
  • I am interested in any comments on the 2004 325CI Seat Comfort. I'm interested in getting the Power Front Seats but not the Sport Seats. I noticed on the brochure that the 325CI doesn't come with Lumbar Support. How is it on long journeys?
  • Hi, all. Haven't posted in awhile but have been reading the discussions now and again. Hope everyone is well and enjoying the season.

    My 325xi has 30K now and is approaching its warranty limit of 36K. I was wondering if there is any work covered by warranty that I could/should have done to prevent potential future expenses?

    Still adore my car. It developed a rattle which turned out to be the connector for the wood paneling in the right, rear door and this week I got a signal that something is amiss with a headlight. The light is working well but once the right blinker worked twice as fast as normal so I'll take it in to see what's up. Very few problems so far in my opinion.

    Re the difference between 325/330: As far as I can tell, it's the 3.0 engine and lumbar controls in the seats.

    I'm thinking about trading in for a Euro. Delivery X3. I'd do it to get the extra room, go to Europe again, and get the longer warranty (50K vs 36K on mine). Am I thinking clearly?

  • Re the difference between 325/330: As far as I can tell, it's the 3.0 engine and lumbar controls in the seats.

    Lumbar? I wish! There's no lumbar control in my 330i.

    We also get the neat tilt down
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Lumbar? I wish! There's no lumbar control in my 330i."

    My lowly 330i even has lumbar!!!
  • ek01ek01 Posts: 37
    The 5 series wa redesigned for the 2004 model year. Does anyone know when the new 3 will be on the market? Thanks.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    to answer your question correctly, as asked, the 3 series has been on the market for a long time now.

  • Do you have the sport seats?

    Also a tad annoyed at night that my 40k+ sports sedan lacks a dimming mirror. Good grief.
  • bretaabretaa Posts: 130
    I agree. I'm not quite sure why BMW nickel-and-dimes these little, but appreciated, features. Granted, I wouldn't trade the driving dynamics for one of them, but still... I've been told by owners more experienced than myself that BMW has always done this... Some 5-series folks are complaining about this with the new models more loudly than in the past...

    Regarding the seats, my '01 330I with manual adjust sports seats have no lumbar control, although I wish sometimes it did as on long drives it can be a bit much...

  • ek01ek01 Posts: 37
    Do you know when the "newly designed" 3 series will be on the market? Don't appreciate your smart a>> response.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    bretaa... Good comment regarding "why BMW nickel-and-dimes these little, but appreciated, features." Was a big reason I went away from BMW to Lexus IS300. Why are important things like HID and foglights optional? Not to mention other driving aids like auto-dimming rearview mirror and compass? Let alone fact you have to pay hundreds of dollars for metallic paint. Not to mention the unavailability of very important feature like LSD? I'm not talking about things like rain-sensing wipers.

    Wonder if this will get worse with rise of Euro against the Dollar? And notice what happened to price of new E60 5 Series. 530i's with MSRPs around $53K.

    But all things are relative over time. Remember when E46 was new. Cruise control was optional and you couldn't get an in-dash single disc CD player. Former is now standard and thinking buyers have had a choice of standard CD or cassette for some years now.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    blueguy - I don't have sport seats, but I have lumbar support. With the PP also comes the dimming mirror, which I have.

    riez - "Let alone fact you have to pay hundreds of dollars for metallic paint."

    For the dollar amount of the vehicle, in it's class BMW makes the most beautiful metalic paint jobs. I do not mind paying extra for some stuff, which I believe is worth it, but it does get tiresome being nickled and dimed to death. But the paint job, I would pay extra for in a heart-beat.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Remember when E46 was new. Cruise control was optional and you couldn't get an in-dash single disc CD player."

    Hmmm, I had one of the earliest E46s, my 1999 328i was built in December of 1998, and it had an in-dash single disc CD player. Of course it was an extra cost option and said option replaced the standard in-dash cassette player.

    Best Regards,
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    well i was in my friends old minivan riding front passenger near menlo park mall in central jersey yesterday and at a left turn on an unusual hill, we were sitting in the middle of the road and a MB S class came powering up from the other side with HIDs blazing. Considering my cars have HID's i should not have reacted as I did, but, they burned my eyes so bad that I stuck my head out of the window and screamed as loud as I could, not at him in particular, but just generally. It was comical, the MB driver looked scared stiff, as if i was a LA driver ready to pull a gun. Others around were either amused or ready to hit 911. I don't know, my friend floored the gas at the first chance he got and ran away from the place as fast as he could.

    sometimes you are the windshield
    sometimes you are the bug
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    the folks at bmw are so busy tuning up the cars to drive at the tops, that they forgot to do some small minor things...

    remember... most geniuses have no social skills ;)

    sometimes you are the louiville slugger
    sometimes you are the ball
  • Old timers like riez and shipo are posting again. That's very nice.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy New Year! ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    If I had to pay for cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, dimming mirrors, arm rest and any of these crapolini, I would not get them. Most of them I would even pay NOT to have in my car, esp. the arm rest and the dimming mirrors. I bought my BMW for its driving dynamics first and foremost. If I wanted an appliance, I'd get a Japanese car. I'd like to be able to get my BMW a la cart the way you can in Germany. Selling packages and offering stuff standard deprives consumers of options.

    Shipo, Happy Kwanzaa to you too.
  • bretaabretaa Posts: 130
    While I too bought my 330I for a premium with less "features" (and I use that term generously) than its competitors because I *value* those driving dynamics, I can understand why others shy away and go for cars like the IS300... Feature for feature, if you equip a 330I like some of its competitors come standard, the 330I costs significantly more. However, if you max out a 3 series, X-Type, or C-Class, they're all fairly high at about the same level.

    I do like the BMW a la carte ordering method, but in the future, some "value adjustment" pricewise may be necessary if the competition keeps improving the way it is.

  • I'm really confused about BMW used car pricing - they seem to appreciate in value! Whenever I look at used BMWs online or anywhere, they are always priced higher than what you can get a new BMW for. For example, you can get a base 2004 325Ci for under $30K (well below if you go ED), yet I have yet to see a 2002 or 2003 for anywhere close to under $30K. Even Edmunds TMV and the blue book value are over $30K. Why would this be?
  • denkdenk Posts: 75
    Be glad you don't have the auto-dimming mirror. In my opinion the mirror gets way too dark at night to the point of being more a safety hazzard than a driving aid. I wish there were a way to switch it off as many other cars do.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    denk - exactly. And you won't see that cruiser riding on your tail until he starts flashing his Christmas lights at you :o)

    bretaa - good point about the price adjustment. It's already happened. An '04 325 performs very close to a '98 328 but it is at least 5 grand cheaper even 6 years later. If it weren't for the competition, BMW would still be charging a huge "prestige" premium ;o)

    marks1970 - They cost a lot because you are probably comparing loaded used 3-series to new strippers. Most 3-series sold in the U.S. are pretty much loaded because that's what the dealers usually have sitting on the lot. You're rarely going to see a stripper manual with vinyl seats sitting on a dealer lot. Those are special ordered and their owners tend to hold on to them. Frankly, the 3-series hold their value so well, it almost makes no sense to buy a used one, esp. if you could do a European Delivery. Some 15-yr old E30 M3s are still selling for half their original price - absolutely amazing IMO!!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,331
    "Wonder if this will get worse with rise of Euro against the Dollar? And notice what happened to price of new E60 5 Series. 530i's with MSRPs around $53K."

    The rising euro has definitely had an effect on the price of a the new E60. As a German company, BMW does all its accounting in euros, meaning in order to maintain its high profit per vehicle it must sell the cars for more US dollars.

    I think the E60 5er went up in price to prepare us for a price increase on the E90 3er to allow for the 1 series to come in (with I6s) and not get too close in price when you "load it up" to the 3 series.

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,331
    I read on bimmerfest that BMW will offer the Performance Package on 330Cis (plural) starting sometime in 2004.

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

  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    brave1-- agree on your statement, but only as it applies to the 325. A 330i, lightly optioned, via ED comes out to mid-30s and with tax is in the high-30s.... meanwhile, a 2-3 year old version of the same car is in the mid-20s.

    I wonder how long BMW can continue to keep their price discrepancy now that there is more competition in their segment (ie, IS300 and G35 [both of which should be even better in their second incarnation]).

    Of course, if the pricing of the new 5-series is any indication then they seem to be raising their price points.... for no apparent reason:

    - most international companies using hedging strategies to offset fluctuations in currencies, so the dollar's depreciation against the Euro doesn't seem to be the driver (no pun intended); and

    - Japanese manufacturers generally price their vehicles at or below the previous year's price AND increase margins (due to their improved operational efficiences)

    Also, for whoever was asking: the new 3-series is supposed to be out in 2005... I believe this is listed in the "Future Vehicles" section of edmunds.
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