Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Check out the latest from the Edmunds Editorial Team
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Buying a Used 3-Series

1356725

Comments

  • I live in Victoria BC and am looking at buying a 2003 325I Wagon, everthing is good except the vehicle was from Toronto,Ontario, which uses road salt. The car has 3 years left on BMW extented warranty the dealer says rust is not an issue, but other tell me to buy a local car. The car was a lease and only has 38K on it, should I be worried about the road salt exposure for a car I expect to have for at least 7 years?
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The car was a lease and only has 38K on it, should I be worried about the road salt exposure for a car I expect to have for at least 7 years?

    I wouldn't worry about it; A newer BMW won't show signs of serious rusting for at least 10 to 15 years-if then.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 63,862
    Put the car on a lift and have a look around. If there's going to be rust, it would have shown up already in some nasty little crevice, or might have already eaten up the exhaust system. If it's clean and bright underneath, then no worries. Look especially in areas under the car where grime, water, etc. might be thrown up and caught.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • I need some info please...I have an 99 Audi A6 2.8 Quattro..I want something a little smaller and faster so I am looking to buy a 323i coupe...what are the differences between 1999 and 2000? Thank You...
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    If I'm not mistaking, the '99 coupe was still the E36 model and the '00 is an E46.

    So a quick summary:

    E36 - lighter, better handling, ~edgier~.
    E46 - slightly larger, more luxury, prettier (IMHO).
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "An easy way to check as to which you type you are - do you know who makes the tires on your car? Do you care?"

    I do know, but I don't really car that much! So which type am I? :P
  • owner6owner6 Posts: 89
    The exhaust system is stainless steel. It wont rust.
    Owner 6
    I would take it to a local Body Shop and let someone with 20+ years in the business look it over. Offer him $50-$75 to spend 20 minutes looking around in the places he knows rust out 1st. thats what I would do.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,471
    this is certainly an active board.

    :sick:
  • Greetings Everyone. I’m a BMW newbie but looking to become a first time Bimmer owner within the next month or two. I’m looking at 2004 325 sedans. There seem to be quite a few available, many in mint condition with relative low miles (around 30,000) and a year left on the warranty. Typical asking price is $23,000 to $25,000, which is about what I have to spend.But there are also a number of 2003’s available in similar condition and with low mileage, for about $20,000.

    I’m wondering about a few things:

    1. If I find both a 2003 and 2004 model in essentially the same condition with the similar mileage, is the 2004 worth the extra money. Or is it basically the same car but I’m paying mainly for the one year warranty.

    2. Are there some specific options I should be looking for that most BMW owners would consider essential for the 325? Anything in particular I should be looking for when I test drive one?

    3. If I wait a few more months until the 2008’s come out, should I expect the used 2005 models to be available for about the current price of the 2004’s?. If so, would it be worth waiting a few more months?

    Thanks for any feedback or opinions.

    Dean
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    There is essentially no difference between a 2003 and 2004 model, and with that said, the difference in price between them shouldn't be very much. If you can find an '03 with the features you want in good shape and low mileage, you might save $1000 or $2000 vs. a comparable '04.

    As far as popular options, I'd worry more about finding a clean pampered car than a car with exactly the right features and color. Common options for the '03 and '04 models are "premium package" "sport package" "auto transmission" "cold-weather package" and "metallic paint."

    A minimally equipped 325i was about $28,000 back in '03 and '04, so paying $23,000 for a 4-year old car seems like too much for me - unless it's fully optioned out. I'd personally try to find a lesser equipped 325i for closer to $20,000 - and very likely less - for a 325i from these model years.

    It's a really fun, well-balanced car - you'll enjoy it.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 111,048
    If it were me, I'd go with the '04 for the extra year of warranty and the included maintenance.. You are seeing a lot of '04s, because those 3 year leases are coming up.. If you are looking at a BMW dealer, you could always get a CPO model, with 3 years of warranty remaining..

    But, the spread should probably be more like $2500-$3000..

    Commenting on '03 325i prices... Our "loaded" model had an MSRP of $38,145.. Sport, premium, xenons, HK, cold weather pkg, etc, etc..

    regards,
    kyfdx

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    1. If I find both a 2003 and 2004 model in essentially the same condition with the similar mileage, is the 2004 worth the extra money. Or is it basically the same car but I’m paying mainly for the one year warranty.

    As others have said, it's basically the same car. For completeness sake, here is what Edmunds lists as the changes introduced to the various 325 models for the 2004 model year:

    "Rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights and hands-free wireless cell phone capability are now standard features on the sedan and wagon. There are new alloy wheel designs for the 325i, 325xi and 330xi Sport Package. All 3 Series coupes and convertibles receive a revised front fascia, plus new front and rear bumper contours, Adaptive headlamps and taillights and new designs for both the standard and optional wheels. Sirius Satellite Radio is now available as an accessory on all 3 Series models."

    In the big picture, these changes are relatively minor in scope. The wipers and headlights may be included as options on the 2003 models. I like the change made to the 325 Sport Package wheels, but this was a subtle change.

    2. Are there some specific options I should be looking for that most BMW owners would consider essential for the 325? Anything in particular I should be looking for when I test drive one?

    I don't know if the moonroof was standard for '03 or '04 (I believe it was standard for '05), but most BMW owners consider the moonroof essential. I remember years ago it was quite difficult to try to order a 325i from my BMW dealer without this option.

    Not all 3-series models will have leather seats. Many will be "leatherette" (vinyl). Leather was about a $1400 (retail) option on 325 models. However, I understand BMW's leatherette is durable and well regarded.

    The Sports Package makes a big difference!! It gives the 325 a sportier look; and more importantly, a firmer, more communicative drive. Is also includes 10-way adjustable sport seats, with side bolsters and thigh support. There are a fair share of customers who don't desire this package, though. It is something you should definitely test drive and compare. It also includes more expensive performance tires that wear out quicker. Nevertheless, I wouldn't buy a 325 without it.

    3. If I wait a few more months until the 2008’s come out, should I expect the used 2005 models to be available for about the current price of the 2004’s?. If so, would it be worth waiting a few more months?

    My advice: Keep your eyes open and be patient. Sometimes a great deal jumps out unexpectedly. Negotiate your best deal.

    At the end of Dec 2006, I was fortunate to buy a Certified '05 325Ci coupe from a BMW dealer for about $25.5K, after a little negotiation. It had 29K miles on it. It was a stick model with leather seats, adaptive headlights, metallic paint (silver), and the Sports Package. As you shop around, I think you should be able to negotiate a lightly equipped 325i sedan for $25K -- or less.

    FYI:
    1) The base 325 CI coupe originally retailed for over $2K more than the base 325i sedan. My 325Ci doesn't have the premium package, HK audio, etc, but it still retailed at slightly over $36K when new.
    2) The Certification status provides warranty coverage for 6 years or 100K miles. Most BMW dealers sell their '03 thru '05 models as Certified cars, but always check to be certain.
    3) One caveat: I think BMW dealers have incentives on their '04 models, but not on the '05 models. Last I saw, this incentive included something like 2 months payments made by BMW, if I remember correctly.
  • Thanks to everyone for the great info and for taking the time to respond to my post. It's been very helpful.

    Generally I'm inclined to go with the later model, a 2004, instead of a 2003, if I can find one in great condition for a price I can afford. Since I tend to keep cars for a really long time, it probably doesn't matter that much in the long run, but in the short term, a more recent model seems like something I'd feel more comfortable with.

    If I could find a 2005 for $25.5k, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Most dealers in the North Florida area are asking more than $30,000 for any 2005 model.

    The suggestion to be patient is good advice; I'd rather wait for the right deal than jump into something that's not quite right.

    Thanks again to everyone who responded

    Dean
  • ytsejamytsejam Posts: 11
    Perhaps I should have visited Florida before buying my BMW. The prices you are quoting are nothing short of utopian here in California. At least if you buy from a dealer. If you are brave enough, you can try a place like Craigslist, and shave off a few $K. However, no matter what -- I just don't think there's a chance you could get one for under $20K with low miles on it. And I personally would not buy a BMW without certification or third party warranty extention.

    Here's the car I just bought:
    2003 CPO 325xi, steel blue metallic, auto, 25K miles, cold weather pkg, premium pkg, leather (and no - leather was not included in premium pkg by default), xenon lights. This car is in a pristine condition (wouldn't get the CPO otherwise). The factory warranty/free maintenance runs out this August.

    The price? $25900, and I believe it to be a decent deal (in this area, anyway). I did not even haggle. The one thing I loved about the process is how painless it was to dump my old car as a trade-in; they gave me $2500 for my way less than pristine 10 yo Civic.

    Anyway, the MSRP for the new 2003 325xi w/o any options was $29550, and with all the options I got on mine - $37245.

    I was considering 2004 models as an alternative, but like the others pointed out, the differences between the years are miniscule and the 2004 cars were coming getting close to the end of mfg warranty (40+ K miles). So in the end, it looked like a wash - I chose to go with the lowest possible mileage.

    HTH
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    In 2003 when I was shopping for a new car, I narrowd my choices down to the 2004 Acura TSX with no options, and the BMW 325i with Sport Package. Both cars were priced within a few hundred dollars of each other - about $27,000.

    You got some nice options on your car, but to my mind, I couldn't spend $26,000 on a 5 year old car that was available new (admittedly with fewer options) for only $1,000 more.

    I also wouldn't pay extra for an extended warranty - CPO or otherwise. I'd much rather save a grand or two and by a clean used BMW from a BMWCCA member or referral - one that I know has been meticulously cared for. A 2003 BMW could theoretically have a 2002 in-service date. If that's the case, CPO coverage could run out next year - not worth the added cost to me.

    BTW, why did you choose the xi model if you live in CA? Do you plan on putting snow tires on it and taking it skiing in the winter?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Almost forgot - I checked Roundel Classifieds and found the following cars for sale:

    1. 2004 330Ci 47k miles - auto, premium, sport & cold-weather packages, 3M protective film on front, aluminum cube trim, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive bi-xenon lights, power moonroof, Harman/Kardon stereo, Blitzsafe XM radio conversion - $28,500.

    2. 2003 530i 62.4k miles - steptronic, sport & premium packages, moonroof, xenon lights, XM satellite radio, tinted windows, M steering wheel, cross-spoke alloys - $22,950.

    3. 2003 530i 55k miles - 5-speed, premium package, park-distance control, navigation, power moonroof, seats & windows, new clutch, second owner, non-smoker, garaged, absolutely clean, superb condition, warranty - $25,900.

    4. 2002 330i 59k miles - 5-speed, sport & premium pkgs, sunroof, two sets of wheels, one with Hakkapeliitta snows, never tracked or abused, 100k or 2/08 warranty - $18,900.

    There are a lot of nice $25,000ish BMW's out there.
  • ytsejamytsejam Posts: 11
    That really does sound incredible - $27K for a new 325i w/Sport pkg in 2003? I just can't imagine dealer invoice prices differ so much from state to state.

    Be that as it may, my car is not 5 years old. The original in-service day was August '03. It also only has 25K miles on it. In no event would I risk buying a BMW so close to expiration of factory warranty without CPO status or third-party extension - to me, it's just not a wise investment. Regardless of whether it's from a car club member or not.

    As for the xi trim... yeah, having thrown this thing around corners a bit, I now realize I should have gone for the 325i with sport pkg, and I did have that option - but ultimately decided to go with better value for the money/lower miles. Again, value for the money may be a subjective thing, but I've looked at the alternatives for quite a while, and this dealership did seem to offer the most reasonable pricing of them all.

    But perhaps the AWD will pay off next winter when I go up to Tahoe, after all. :)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    "That really does sound incredible - $27K for a new 325i w/Sport pkg in 2003? I just can't imagine dealer invoice prices differ so much from state to state."

    The didn't vary at all. Buy the car in Maine, California, Florida or Washington, it didn't matter, the invoice was the invoice was the invoice. The only pseudo difference was that in some metropolitan markets there was an additional MACO added to the invoice of a couple hundred dollars. That said, MACO isn't really an invoice item.

    "In no event would I risk buying a BMW so close to expiration of factory warranty without CPO status or third-party extension - to me, it's just not a wise investment."

    Hmmm, funny. I'm currently shopping for a used BMW and could care less whether it has any kind of a warranty at all. Different strokes...

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ytsejamytsejam Posts: 11
    This is more like what you have to work with in my area (the area code is adjacent to mine).
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    I don't get the connection. What does some rediculously high asking price from a private party have to do with dealer invoice? :confuse:

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ytsejamytsejam Posts: 11
    I was referring to fedlawman's post about Roundel classifieds.

    Now on to the invoice prices. This is not 2003, so I had to do some looking around on the web to find this info (I highly recommend that you do the same). Look here: the invoice price on the base 325xi was $27K. The options I have on my car add extra $8K to the invoice. Enough said.

    A 325i + sport pkg + destination charge > $27K on the invoice. Well over $27K. Perhaps you know of a way to convince a dealer to sell you a car below invoice (BMW has no dealer holdbacks, btw), but I sure don't.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    For 2003 the MSRP/invoice prices on the 325s were as follows:

    Price Sheet --- 325i ---- 325xi --- 325iT -- 325xiT -- 325Ci -- 325Cic
    MSRP --------- 27,800 - 29,550 - 30,400 - 32,150 - 29,600 - 36,700
    Invoice --------- 25,460 - 27,050 - 27,825 - 29,414 - 27,095 - 33,555
    ED-MSRP --- 25,855 - 27,480 - 28,270 - 29,900 - 27,530 - 34,130
    ED-Invoice --- 23,530 - 25,005 - 25,725 - 27,210 - 25,050 - 31,060

    Said another way, your hypothetical 325i SP could have been had for about $28,930 for a domestically sourced car and $26,500 via ED.

    By the way, what's with the attitude? The folks around here are generally very helpful and accurate with the information they provide.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • hi folks, first time on this forum--a little off topic but I couldn't find anything more appropriate...

    I wouldn't be buying this as my day to day driver. I would not be maintaining or repairing the car myself.

    Car #1: 325i; $19,995/11,929 miles. Auto. NJ Dealer says "Certified Pre-Owned" but not clear if its the extended warranty or not (weird). Premium Package. Titanium/Silver

    Car #2: 325i; $17,800/19.5K miles. Auto. "Little old lady" in NJ scenario--garaged, one owner, used only on weekends, etc. Titanium/Black

    Car #3: 325i; $18,990/20K miles. Manual. Dealer in NJ. Not CPO. Sunroof. Titanium/???

    Car #4: 330i; $22,995/11,325 miles. Manual. Boise, Idaho dealer. Not CPO. No packages. Blue/???

    Car #5: 330i; $22,500/21K miles. Auto. Private seller in Boca Raton, FL. Premium package. One owner, garaged in Florida. Titanium/Gray

    Would prefer an auto/manumatic but not crucial. Not tied to the extra hp of the 330 but of course it would be nice. Just want the feel of the BMW more than anything. The fact that cars #1-3 are all in NJ is a plus. I live in Massachusetts. Leaning towards #1 or #2 right now. In general are these well-priced specimens?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 111,048
    I like Car #2..

    You aren't likely to find many CPO 2002 models, because they'd only have 1 year left on the CPO warranty, unless they are 2-owner cars, and have been previously CPOed..

    Otherwise, Car #3, because it is a manual.. Nice low miles.. some room to move on the price..

    Extra oomph from the 330i is nice, but if you get a manual, it is definitely not worth an extra $3K-$4K..

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • jtwinjtwin Posts: 2
    My cousin leased a 2004 325CI since 2004.
    It is well maintained.. Dealer maintained. Has 4 yr 50K miles warranty from date of lease.

    Car Description.
    *EXCELLENT Condition. Nothing wrong with the car interior as well as exterior.
    *Mileage 31,500 miles.
    *Dark Blue exterior, with dark beige leather interior.
    *Sports Package
    *Cold Weather Package
    *Premium Package
    *Automatic Transmission
    *Moon Roof
    *Sports Seats
    *Rain Sensing Wipers

    The bank is asking for $22,120 to purchase the car.

    1. Is it a good value?
    2. Is this price negotiable? if so, how much can we go lower (From anyone's experience)?
    3. What would you do? Pass or purchase?

    All opinions valued and welcomed. Thanks for helping out on the decision, and perhaps I may become a regular here if I become a new BMW Owner.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 63,862
    Sounds like a fair enough price, yes, presuming truly outstanding condition with no flaws whatsoever. If there's a ding or a grease spot, knock off $1,000.

    It's a good, fair retail price. Bargain of the century? No. Cheaper than a dealer? Yes. Cheaper than dealer auction wholesale? No.

    In California, this car with comparable miles would sell private party for around $22000--$24,000 or so, I would guess from looking at ads. Similar cars with under 25,000 miles seem to have asking prices around $26K.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

    Share Your Vehicle Reviews Here

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 111,048
    Is the car leased through BMWFS? If so, you won't be able to negotiate a lower price... If it is through an independent bank, then it can't hurt to hit them up for $1500 less, just to see where it goes.

    I agree with Shifty... it is a very fair price, for a nice low-mileage car with a lot of options. Also, you should have a year of warranty left..

    If you are in the market for this type of car, and you like this one, grab it..

    regards,
    kyfdx

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Also - you can't put a price on knowing the full history of the car. I'd jump on it.
  • jtwinjtwin Posts: 2
    Just an update..
    The car is leased through Chase Finance.
    So Far, I've managed to negotiate a price of $20,781.
    I will keep you guys informed as I try to negotiate a bit more.

    Thanks for your opinion so far, and more opinions welcomed, negative or positive..
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Due to a little hostly magic, your post is no longer the least bit off-topic. Carry on! ;)
Sign In or Register to comment.