160hp RSX vs 115hp BMW 316ti

rk922rk922 Member Posts: 22
Just wondering which car would you choose? The BMW costs US$7,185 more and has 45hp less, but has more features like 17" wheels, 2 electronic-adjustable seats, seats 5, MD/CD player and it's a BMW. I was quite surprised at the BMW because I thought that all entry-level models used sub-standard materials/equipment but the 316ti looks ok. However, I was always thinking about the RSX for its looks/good power/usability until the BMW came along to cause a dilemma. Below is a brief list of both cars' features:

-4 cyl 2.0L 160hp
-5 spd semi-auto sportshift
-front wheel drive
-16" wheels
-full body kit w/ spoiler
-seats 4
-leather seats
-manual adjust seats
-10 CD 4 speaker stereo

-4 cyl 1.8L 115hp
-5 spd semi-auto sportshift
-rear wheel drive
-17" wheels
-full body kit w/ spoiler
-seats 5
-cloth seats
-electric adjust seats
-no sunroof
-6 CD/MD 6 speaker

What is your opinion of the better car and why? Thanks!

(BTW both these are Hong Kong-based models.)


  • bkswardbksward Member Posts: 93
    I haven't sat in the back seat of a current 3-series hatchback, but when I test drove an RSX my friend's 5'2" girlfriend had no headroom in the back seat of the RSX. If you have more than one friend the BMW might be the better option.

    You can't pick a car based on specs in a vacuum. What are your needs? If you need to take 3 others out to a business lunch several times a month, the BMW may be better. Or perhaps a slightly larger sedan... If you can only afford $27k, then the RSX is the definite choice of the two. If money is no object and/or you are a german car fan then the BMW may be the better choice.

    The RSX has a huge amount of cargo room with the rear seats down and is a pretty good handling car and is fun to drive. It might be the car for you, it might not. I decided that it is too small for me when it comes to passenger room. A VW Golf, for example, with the higher roof line is a lot more comfortable for rear seat passengers. You may not feel that this is important to you though.
  • rk922rk922 Member Posts: 22
    The BMW has better headroom for rear seat passengers than the RSX. I think that my needs are quite standard, just want an enjoyable commuter ride that is good on mileage, sporty and practical in the sense it can fit at least 4 people and has good storage space.

    I have yet to test drive either and I was wondering from those who did what their views are.
  • ranaldranald Member Posts: 147
    That's a bit of a dilemma, then.

    The BMW has power comparable to a Civic DX/LX, and is likely to be heavier. There seems to be a limit to how sporty this car is going to be.

    On the other hand, the RSX is not meant to have people taller than about 5'5" or 5'6" in the back seat on a regular basis (there's enough legroom but no headroom).

    You say you want sporty (go RSX) but also want room for 4 (go BMW). Tough one. If you have to have both maybe you should look for a GTI.
  • rk922rk922 Member Posts: 22
    Please give your opinions. Thanks.
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
  • rk922rk922 Member Posts: 22
    Both the RSX and 316ti I'm considering are new cars. Which one is better?
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    BMW's 115 hp might be enough in Kowloon... but cmon, surely you will cruise around the New Territories once in a while. Only car dealer I saw when I was in Hong Kong was a Honda dealer... good enough for me. Where do the Island types get the Rolls-Royces, anyway?
  • rk922rk922 Member Posts: 22

    I don't understand the question.

    Yes, the RSX is more powerful, but factor in the better quality of the BMW and the 50/50 split and supposedly the better handling, it's still a tough choice.
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Member Posts: 290
    Maybe it's my bias against BMWs and for Acura, but IMHO, the less uglier RSX, with its more potent 160 HP should get the nod over the hideous-looking 316ti that also happens to be severely underpowered.

    The 318ti (in the US at least) was discontinued a few years ago ... mercifully!
  • rk922rk922 Member Posts: 22
    Was the 316ti discontinued in the US due to poor sales? Yes, I think that I'm leaning back towards the RSX...seems like better value.
  • beowulf7beowulf7 Member Posts: 290
    I thought in the US it was the 318ti. In any case, apparently the car buying public thought that a sub-2 L engine was too anemic for a BMW. At least the Integra's 1.8 L engine made at least 140 HP and weighed less than that pathetic BMW.
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    ... I was just asking where I would buy a Rolls-Royce in Hong Kong if I moved to Victoria Peak someday. \($_$)/

    The 318ti I have seen on a couple of occasions... the engine in it makes my Integra sound like a muscle car ...!
  • rk922rk922 Member Posts: 22
    I was caught up thinking about BMW for a while, but when it boils down to looking at the numbers and $ for value, there's just no comparison.


    There are dealers all over, for Ferraris and other exotics as well. MB and BMWs rule in HK though as they are almost more common than taxis.
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    Where the heck are you going to actually use all that horsepower, rk922? Are you taking the long route to Ocean Park??
  • rk922rk922 Member Posts: 22
    In the New Territories...HK does have highways you know! ;) Anyways, just as in any other region/country, people buy exotic cars partly to show off and not just purely to race.
  • joe249joe249 Member Posts: 95
    RK, I'd get the RSX for your needs. I too think in the states the 318ti was your 316ti pretty weak.In fact it looked like they circumcised the rear.
    RSX is practical and when you venture onto the highways you'll enjoy the extra ponies. Good luck.
  • rk922rk922 Member Posts: 22
    Totally agree and will probably get the RSX. I think that the 318ti was a 4 cyl 2.0L (143hp?) while the 316ti was a 4 cyl 1.8L (115hp)...anyways, both are anemic, but I was impressed for a while due to the brand's quality and luxury features like the dual dentist seats.

    Btw, do you have leather seats in your RSX, and if so, does it grip well or do you slide around when driving?
  • joe249joe249 Member Posts: 95
    The seating is perfect as they are sport seats, and kidney shaped with lumbar support. I have leather as I bought the Type S(not heated as the Canadians get)
    However, this is my third Acura and before on my GS and GSR the driver's side inserts I replaced after 3yrs. On both cars.My jeans or belt would crack the corner of the seat. It's a tight but,a secure fit.
  • akhbhaatakhbhaat Member Posts: 2
    Knowing what I know, I would choose the RSX for certain, for a number of reasons:

    1.) The compact version of 3-series BMW is quite ugly, in my opinion. Here in the USA they do not sell a compact BMW anymore (remember, this is the land of SUVs), probably due to poor sales of the line. However, they were available prior to the introduction of the E46 body style on the 3-series for the 1999 and 2000 model year, and I have seen a few of them in person (one of my friends owns one, in fact). The older ones were similar to the full size cars in most respects, except the tail end appears "chopped off." I have not personally seen an example of the newer body style compact, as they are not sold here, but I have seen pictures of them, and while some of the lines of the full size car (which is very nice to look at) have been retained, the headlight and tail design are considerably different and only detract from the car's appearance.

    2.) In the USA, BMW currently only offers the 2.5L and 3.0L I6 examples of the 3-series, where it seems in other countries they offer a 2.0L and 1.8L I4 in both compact and full size cars. The 318ti of old is greatly underpowered (at least, when compared to other BMWs, particularly the full size 6 cylinder 3-series coupes it bears the most resemblence to), even on paper, and yet still boasts 138hp...23 more hp than what seems to be offered in the 316ti. After riding in my friend's 318ti and equipped with the knowledge, I can only guess that the 316ti is extremely anemic in performance and not suited for driving outside of the stop-and-go city traffic. The RSX, on the other hand, certainly has enough power to perform when needed.

    3.) I have never seen the interior of a 316ti such as that you have described, but cloth seats seem awfully spartan for a $34k car. While the BMW does offer the power seats, assuming you are the sole driver of this car, that means little when you will probably adjust the seat once and leave it in the same position for several days or weeks at a time.

    My primary gripes with the Acura are mainly limited towards just a few main areas. For one, the back seats are somewhat cramped, even when compared to a compact BMW. You might want to consider this if it's extremely important to have usable backseats, no matter what else I or anyone else says about either car. Second, the RSX has pretty styling overall, but it seems a bit bland or "average"...very similar to the last generation Civic. However, I don't know if Civics are as common on the HK streets as they are here, so that gripe may be invalid to you. Finally, the RSX has front wheel drive, which I dislike for a number of reasons...primarily because it is cheaper to build than RWD and yields a penalty in performance and handling, so it's obviously a cost-cutting measure made by the car company.

    This comparison may seem awfully biased towards Acura, but I'm really trying to compare these cars for what they are. I am a huge BMW fan, and if the comparison were between the RSX and, say, a 325Ci, I would recommend the 325Ci hands down. In this case, however, I feel the RSX is the better car by far, especially when considering the price.
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    How are the highways in the New Territories?

    Is the Benz C230 sold in Hong Kong? That's another car, that, like the small BMW, tries to take on the Integra/RSX and fails miserably in both value and handling.
  • ccotenjccotenj Member Posts: 610

    whatever your opinion on "value" might be, i don't think you want to open the handling issue...

  • rk922rk922 Member Posts: 22
    I haven't driven in HK yet, but some parts of New Territories have nice, new highways that are good for speed.

    MB 230 is too expensive in HK compared to the 316ti or RSX. Can't remember exactly, but around over US$10k more.
  • rjg96rjg96 Member Posts: 65
    my US eyes. 34K for a 316ti! In Germany they cost about 18-20k and if they sold them in the US , they'd probably be about the same. 34k here buys you a nicely optioned 325i or a base 330i. Although, I know in South America, a 3 series can actually cost 50-60k (maybe even more)!
    I really don't think its worth it for you to spend nearly 10k more over an RSX to get less power and probably less reliability. The materials are very nice on the new compact-- they have hte same materials as the rest of the E46 line. I guess. That's the advantage of buying the lowest model of a higher priced line rather than a higher model of a lower priced car. Nonetheless, the RSX also has a pretty nice, solid interior -- especially for the price. And, I can tell you as a BMW owner, the RSX will probably rattle less- so it will actually seem like an even higher quality interior.
    On the plus side for the BMW-- the engine is brand new design using a new technology called "valvetronic". Basically, instead of a traditional throttle, the car's enigne computer adjusted the valve lift in response to accelerator pedal inputs. It makes the engine more fuel efficient, gives it better power, smoother running, lower emissions-- overall a very cool engineering idea.
  • fast_n_furiousfast_n_furious Member Posts: 6
    i dont think a 316ti would be worth 34k seeing the numbers. my brother has a RSX-S and it is very reliable but not so comfortable on long rides for the front or back, otherwise the RSX is the best pick between the 2, have you heard of the new nissan though? I would like to get that
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