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BMW 325 or MB C240?

speedoflightspeedoflight Posts: 5
edited March 2014 in BMW
Hi all:
Hope you can give me some sound advise. I am in the process of buying a new used car. I am looking to get either a C240 or BMW 325. As mentioned, both will be used, from either 2001 or 2002. I have test driven both cars and really like both. I like the C240 because it is classy and offers a very comfortable ride. I like the BMW 325 for it drives very well and it has the cool factor attached to its looks. But beyond looks, I really want a car that I don't need to send into the shop every month for repairs for I do NOT want to be broke from repair bills. I have read many forum posts of both cars from bulletin board sites and have read complains on both cars. All of which makes me worried of course but still...I need a new car and I really do not want to go for the Japanese cars. I don't like any of the 2003-2004/05 Acuras, Infinitis or Lexuses. They just don't have the "prestigious look" that I want. Please advise me as to whether I should go for the C240 or 325?


  • Please note that I am not trashing the Acuras, Infinitis or Lexuses. I actually really liked the early to mid 90s versions of those cars' exterior design. I don't like (strictly personal taste) the re-designs of those cars or I would really consider one. Thanks again for your time.
  • hercules00hercules00 Posts: 126
    Go for the bimmer.. reasons being
    1) it seems to have more of the 'novelty' value and 'coolness' factor in these parts of the world
    2) if you are a driving enthusiast then it is definitely more fun to drive
    3) i have friends who own both.. the bimmer owners cant stop gushing.. the merc owners say they are 'just about satisfied' with the vehicle but have nothing special to say about it..

    hope that helps.. best of luck with your car.. hope you manage to get a good price.. i just have two recent data points on the 325.. one friend got an '02 pre-certified 325 auto without leather or wood trim (which seems to be a big thing in bimmer world) from a bmw dealer for $20k.. the car had 42k miles and was under extended warranty till 60k.. the other guy got an '00 325 manual with 110k and all the works for $10k.. both cars are good... hope tht helps!
  • amt7565amt7565 Posts: 165
    You must be careful getting used German cars due to well known reliability issues. Someone had complained 2 days ago here in the forums that they had to get their transmission fixed and it was costing $5K for the 3 series. If you have extended warrenty then go for it! Otherwise beware!

    Regarding the looks, it all could come down to psychology and prestige. The German cars have always been a prestige vehicle for many generations. And even with nice looking Japanese cars, I tend to look upto German cars.

    The MB C240 has less power than the C230(I think it's 160HP). The BMW 325i has 184 HP.

    On another sidenote: You might be able to get a new(or demo) stripped down version 2005 325i for $25K. They have $2500 incentives currently and are usually sold for well below invoice.

    Good luck!
  • Thanks for the advise. I really appreciate it. The bimmers I've looked at online are about the same price range as your friend's ($20-21k).
  • At the bimmer dealership (used division), they did have a demo car (2004) but was asking about $30k for it.

    I think you're right. European cars tend to have a prestige attached to their looks. Not sure if it's psychological or not. To me, previous Acura, Lexus and Infiniti designs were better than the latest ones. I don't like the new look. Doesn't look sleek or classy enough for me. I also test drove the Audi A4 (2002) and loved the interior. It is a beauty inside. The exterior design doesn't make it unique enough in looks from the Japanese cars.
  • hercules00hercules00 Posts: 126
    One more thing.. try to get it from a bmw dealer if possible.. trust me.. they treat you real nice because they see you as a future revenue stream.. they say as much to you too :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,500
    Definitely the Bimmer. Best model of BMW you can buy at the moment and much more enjoyable than the Benz. All my friends 325s are doing well I'm they say "ask the man who owns one".

    Of course shop carefully. Find a car with service records. Often the local dealer will tell you what kind of warranty work has been done. Do a CARFAX report. See if you can get a warranty of some kind.

    Take a long test drive. Play with every knob and switch you can find.

    Last of all, if you like the car and find nothing suspicious about it, take it in for a thorough diagnostic.

    With a used BMW, if you start out right, you'll usually end up happy.

    OH, stay away from high mileage--maybe 35K-40K tops.

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  • robl1robl1 Posts: 25
    My choice was between the C240 4matic and the BMW 325Xi. The BMW was more responsive and "fun to drive". However the Mercedes can be had $2000 cheaper because the 2005 325 Xi cars are almost sold out and the MB dealers are stuck with lots of 240 4matics. Looked at the Infiniti too - economical, powerful, reliable and... ugly. I ended up buying the BMW.
  • orangetjorangetj Posts: 1
    My recommendation would be to expand your search to include the C230 sedan. When we bought our latest car, I test drove the 325, the C240 and the C230 (among other cars). The 325 is a very nice car and has excellent sporting feel. Personally, I found the interior somewhat bland and generic looking, despite quality materials. I also thought that the ride seemed overly hard/noisy for this type of car. Also, I manage to elicit a buzzing rattle from somewhere in the dash driving over a section of rough pavement. Rattles are a HUGE pet peeve of mine. The engine is sweet, though, with butter smooth power delivery and good low end response.

    The C240 was nice - comfortable and stylish - but didn't satisfy me from a handling or power standpoint. Nice, but not for me.

    The C230 "sport" sedan was the best compromise for me, with a smooth but solid ride, excellent handling characteristics, great looking & feeling interior, extremely solid construction (I've put 7,500 miles on it without a single squeak or rattle), a great sound system, etc.. The engine is a bit soft right off idle, but pulls willingly & strongly once underway and makes 90+ mph feel effortless on the highway.

  • ;) Hi.

    I was stuck in the same position. It all came to me at the end. I bought the bmw! BMW handling is awesome* rearwheel drive~ makes driving just that much more fun. Personally, the MB C230 is over rated... its more of a old ladies car!
    Like they say " BMW is the ultimate driving machine" =)
  • These are very different cars, and the biggest question is where and how you will be driving it.

    For sporting driving the BMW wins hands-down. I love to drive fast, but I looked at where I am FORCED to drive, and most of the time it is in Los Angeles traffic.

    Sitting in traffic, slogging up and down city streets and clogged urban freeways is more comfortable with an automatic transmission, and once I made that leap, moving the rest of the way to smooth and quiet luxury was an easy step.

    I do get to drive on twisty mountain roads on occasion, and the C240, while not as sporty as the BMW, is still a rear-wheel-drive compact car with decent suspension, large tires and powerful brakes. Its not as good here as the BMW, but better than the Lexus, Acura and Infiniti of the same age.

    Depends really on whether you want a little luxury with your sport or a little sport wiht your luxury. I chose the latter.
  • dacs1dacs1 Posts: 8
    I'm new to the board and I'm having a terrible time deciding between these two cars. Both are 2003,both the BMW 325xi and Mercedes C240 4matic have 50,000 miles.
    I'm wondering which one is more reliable and easier to maintain. Any and all opinions would be greatly appreciated!
  • marvinb3marvinb3 Posts: 2
    I drove everything. Audi, Lexus, Acura, Jag, BMW and Benz. I chose the Benz. Three reasons. First, in the area I live every rich teenager and college kid drives a BMW. I'm 40 and wanted something a little less ubiquitous. Second, the new BMW (with the run flat tires) has a sporty but HARD ride. Every pebble, I felt it. I hate to say it but I liked the slightly mushy feel of the Benz. Third, I too drive in traffic and the Benz is quiet. The run flats are noisy. I liked the BMW but chose the Benz. I love it.
  • bigink00bigink00 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 325Ci, it handles very well, ride is a bit loud and bouncy, not very luxurious. I've owned it for 7 months and 16,000 miles (now with 87000) I had two problems, outside temp failed, and camshaft position sensor failed, $300 to fix both together. I think for $17000 it was a great value, but the benz and japanese cars may be better if you want a smooth ride and a luxury car, this is a sports car with leather IMO.
  • I drove an Acura TL, TSX, Camry V6, Lexus ES300, G35, BMW 325 and the MB C230 and C240. The TL was too stiff, TSX was boring, Lexus was nice but felt too big for me, Camry was nice and smooth but uninspiring, G35 drove awesome but felt a little cheap inside and I was not willing to sacrifice the mpg, BMW drove good but I felt every bump in the road. Thought I wanted a C230 but would up with the C240 and glad I did. Love the turning radius, brakes are INCREDIBLE! Although my car is only rated at 168 HP it has plenty of passing power (IMO as much as a 2006 c230 v6, rated at 201HP. I timed it 50-70 at 6.5 secs.). With the VSC (Vehicle Stability control, standard) it plows through water puddles like a rock. I have had had a few problems but fortunately they were covered under ext. warranty. I think the most important thing is to drive everything and get what YOU like. I am very happy with this car. I keep trying to like the Lexus because the reliability is better but I can't. By the way, at one time, I said I would never buy a MB and then I drove one.
  • Does anyone know how to turn off the sos button, besides calling the 1-800-number.

    Thank you for any replies.
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