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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    go to the archives in the sportscars thread, you'll find a VERY lengthy thread about the acura v. the bimmer... (actually the cl v. the bimmer, don't remember too much shouting over the tl)...

    it's that the infiniti is the "flavor of the year" to compete against the bimmer... i guess the acura boys ran out of steam... :)

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,584
    Can anybody advise on a good BMW dealer on Long Island to go to? My girlfriend's father is interested in a BMW 325xiT with a Manual Transmission and a few other options. I know he is going to walk into the wrong "this is the price of the car and that's it" dealership and have a completely sour taste in his mouth regarding BMWs. BTW just to give you a bit of background on his current vehicle: a 1993 AWD Plymouth Voyager with 250,000 miles on the odometer. He's on the 2nd engine, 5th (or 6th) transmission, the front suspension has been replaced as has the rear suspension. Surprisingly there is no rust on the body at all.

    He's definitely into European Cars (Loves driving his wife's stick GLX Bug) and would be stretching his budget a little bit. He's a fan of AWD and needs the cargo room provided by the wagon. This guy keeps cars until they die and then keeps 'em running for a few years after that.

    I've told him he'd probably be better buying the car in Jersey, but I'd like to see what you guys (I've lived in NY all my life and y'all isn't in my vocabulary:) thought.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • JingleJillJingleJill Posts: 120

    Funny you ask...

    I have owned a 330i and an Acura TL-S. They don't compare. Even the 325 vs TL-S doesn't compare.

    Don't get my wrong, the TL-S is a great value and a good car, but it is also FWD and doesn't have a manual transmission. If you truly enjoy the driving experience, there is nothing like a 3-series.

    I had my '03 TL-S less than 6 weeks and I sold it. It just wasn't the same driving experience as my 330i.

    Since then, I have driven a 325i and I the Acura still lags in the driving "fun".

    I read posts where people say a car is just a car. I think I thought the same thing when I got rid of my 330i and went to the Acura (after driving all the competition). However, a car is not just a car. A BMW is truly the ultimate driving machine. It is not a status thing with me. In fact when people asked what I drove, I was usually hesitant and a bit embarrased to admit I had a BMW. Anyway...I realize that I enjoy driving too much settle for a second class machine.

    If you are looking for the most bang for the buck, the Acura is a good choice. You really can't beat the amenities for the money. Acura makes a great car.

    I've driven the G35 too. Both cars are more roomy than the 3-series, but they sure don't drive like 3.

    All that being said, I'm just patiently waiting to place an order for a 325ci.

    If you have any questions, drop me an e-mail or a post.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,584
    How come you're going with the 325 instead of the 330 this time?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • sunnybrooksunnybrook Posts: 74
    I actually just took delivery of my ED 2002 325i from my dealership last week, but my brother just picked up a 2003 TL-S the other day which is why I was asking about it. It's wierd because I just haven't really heard all that much about the TL-S in terms of how it stacked up against the BMW. Guess I'll just have to wait for a visit from him before I can see how they really stack up. I take it that with the Acura's engine can blow away the BMW in the 0-60 right?
  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    How much money have you lost in terms of taxes and depreciation by buying and selling so many cars in such a short period of time?? Just curious.
  • JingleJillJingleJill Posts: 120
    nycarguy...Well I narrowed it down to a coupe instead of a sedan. That left me with the 330 or 325. I owned a 330 and loved it. Recently I test drove a 325i and I was impressed with it too. When I configure a 325ci and a 330ci the way I would order, it just isn't worth the $5k. The 325 has plenty of torque to get me up and moving.

    All that being said, when it comes time to placing my order, that 330 just might get the better of me. ;o)

    Tenet1...All in all, from selling the BMW, buying the Acura, buying the Mazda, and selling the Acura, I've lost $2,600.

    On the bright side, at least I know what I want; except for nycarguy brining up the 325 vs 330 issue. ARRGHHHHHHH


  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    Reliability: An new 3-series will be fine, unless you are buying a problem that somebody unloaded after a year because the dealer just couldn't get it fixed. I've always been a little leery of used cars that are only a year old. Can you imagine the depreciation/financing hit you take on a one year old car, even a Bimmer? That said, maybe it was a repo, or the owner just got in trouble. I don't know anything about your specific car.

    Also: I have a '99 Maxima with 40,000 mi on it. Been perfect also. The "smart" trade would have been for a new one: better deal, no dispo. fee, no wear-tear costs, etc. Probably would have saved me about $2,000. And,...I would still be going through life wanting a BMW.

    Finally: I've never had a Bimmer before (mine is due in August), but I've accepted the following: Not a chance in hell that my BMW will be as reliable as my Maxima. That's the price we pay for wanting a car, not a transportation appliance like a Camry or Accord.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    The Sumitomo HTRZ II tires held up pretty well at the autoX this weekend. I started at 41/38 psi F/R but I did not like the way the car handled at all (too much plowing) and I kept dropping a pound or two between runs. I got it down to 36/34 and the handling was much better but I probably should have lowered it even further because the temp was in the mid-80's and the asphalt was very hot from the bright sun. The guy that was running the best times all day in our group was running 35/32 in his 235/40/17 all around Potenza RE730's. My time with the Sumi's was marginally better compared to the Contis' once I got used to them but I am still ~ 2 sec behind the fastest guy in my class (usually a 330ci). I think the Sumi's definitely start squealing and give in before the Contis but they are incredibly transient and communicative. The Contis used to give in abruptly and it was tough to gauge whether they'd give in just a couple of inches or a whole foot. The Sumi's let you know well in advance and they are very predictable in turns. I wish they did all that AND had a higher initial resistance but even so it is easier to drive aggressive with them. I think that once I get used to them better, they will help me improve my time because they are so communicative. Oh, and btw, my car has almost a luxurious ride on the street and I can actually hear other cars' tires instead of mine for the first time when going over concrete. The Sumitomo is a better tire for less money. I am happy with my purchase but I can see how you can get better street tires than that. Just not in the same price range and tread life...

    fwiw, the top three guys in my class (pretty much all 3-series) were running The Potenza RE730, Michelin Pilot Sport, and Yokohama AVS Intermediate (amazingly, the last ones are only $60/tire at Discount Tire's clearance sale going on currently).
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    For all of us out there who can't afford to step up to the 330i, wouldn't you just once like to see a magazine comparison that includes the 325i vs all of the usual suspects, instead of the the 330i? I admit, I take every magazine review with a grain of salt, since they always include the 330i.

    I know why they do it,...why not compare the best, but that is what always causes the $5-7,000 price differential that gets evaluated into the equation. In reality, I don't think most people shop like that. I know that I decide what I can spend, then configure each car to meet that price, then decide which is better or best. That's why I compared a 325i against an A4 3.0 FWD. The MB 240 (while I really like it) didn't even enter the picture, because it couldn't be configured to my taste, and get to my $33,000 threshold. I also ruled out the A4 1.8T, because the BMW obviously is superior (and it should be for $4,000 more).

    Personally, I'd love to see if the magazine gurus (who love speed and torque, and test these cars on tracks and at redline) would think that the BMW feel and character evens the scales when the 325i (while the same price) is grossly out-gunned in HP and torque by the TL-Type S, the IS300, and the G35. Given the same comparo, I still chose the 325i, I'd just like to see what the "experts" would do, just for fun.

    This has been my personal rant-of-the-day, it was a hard weekend. Anybody else ever ponder this?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    People buy the 3 series over other makes do so for the overall performance/quality/fit and finish. The 325 is no slouch. As I've driven both the 330i and the 325i the 325i has plenty of zip for me. I would prefer the 325i over other on-BMW models having more HP unless my requirements dictate(read room and number of seats) that I need a different class of car (read SUV/mini-van).
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    C&D did compare the 325i SP manual to other sports sedan around January 2001. The 325i won hands down - I remember them mentioning something along the lines of "...the car handles back roads like liquid poetry...". In C&D comparos, the best-handling car typically wins, not the fastest car in a straight line. The G35 and Acura TL-S weren't avaialable for comparison back then. The G35 still isn't, not with a manual...
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Howdy y'all! :) See my Texas stuff still fits. :) I finally got some pictures of my car up.

    They are at:

    If that link doesn't work you can search for skimblz user id at Webshots.


  • JingleJillJingleJill Posts: 120
    Nice pictures. The combination really looks good.

    I'm leaning heavily toward the Oxford Green Metallic. It is between that and the Topaz Blue. I'll be going with leatherette though.

    Sharp looking car, the "y'all"

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I saw my first G35 in Ontario (at Dave and Buster's) yesterday. I had to go look, much to my wife's regret.

    Decent enough lines, but I like the my cars not too edgy (otherwise I'd get a new Caddy :) ).

    I saw the interior and the first thought that came to mind was art deco. It just has that look to me. I know it is in right now, but will it be in several years?

    I see cars on the road and I can pretty much figure when they were built. But some cars you can look at and just not know if it was built yesterday or 10 years ago. I really like the timeless looks. Will my 325 look timeless in 5 or 10 years? I sure hope so, but it is really working right now. :)

  • ddblueddblue Posts: 117
    Brave--glad to hear you're knocking out those auto-x's. Sweet. I experienced the same issues with my Contis, having to decrease pressure nearly every heat. Also, it's pretty tough to get good feel with the Contis. I had a very hard time sensing when the tires would begin to break loose (which explains a big spinout two autox's ago). Still, I'm going to stay with the Contis for the rears (upgrading to 245s) so that the treadpattern/make are the same. Another question: when did you notice an appreciable difference in throttle response, acceleration in your 325i? I just came back from a road trip from Virginia to Chicago and back last night(1422 miles), and I now have 18K on the car. I just drove it to work this morning, and it is noticeably more responsive and quick. BTW, the car is perfect for these road trips--smooth as buttah and just perfect power. I was able to do the trip in 10 hours and 45 minutes (711 miles, three 15 minute stops, 29.7 mpg).

    Pierce1 and Brave--I always wondered why you almost never see the 325 in comparisons, but I do recall the C&D article to which Brave refers, the "liquid poetry" part especially. Most people do shop based on budget first (at least the financially dependent car-shoppers). I see about an equal number of 325s as 330s. Why not equal representation here??
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,584
    I find your Autocross postings very informative. I find it amazing how a car reacts differently to a 1psi adjustment or a different brand of tires. I also think it is really cool that you are exploring the "limits" of your 325i and improving your skills as an everyday driver.

    Shipo: When are you going to bring the 530i to the AutoX? ;)

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • JingleJillJingleJill Posts: 120

    On second thought, could you e-mail me those price lists? I'd appreciate it. My e-mail is

    Thank you,

  • mfeldmanmfeldman Posts: 140
    A while back there was a dicussion about digital cameras..Now that I'm in the market, I can't find it. I remember Shipo saying goos things about A 2 mp Fuji. Costco has the Fuji 2800 2 mp for $330 and the Nikon 2500 for $300. The Fuji looks more like an SLR. THe nikon looks like a slim box, but it has more zoom. I'm totally ignorant in this dep. Does anyone have quick recommendations? Thanks.
  • leenelsonmdleenelsonmd Posts: 208
    Just got my V1 last week and was loving it. It has unbelievable sensitivity to police radar and gives dramatic warnings with much more lead time to slow down.

    I was curious about something though--coincident with my purchase of the V1, the Houston Police Department have started using a new radar gun that it does not pick up. Just last week some friends of mine and I have noticed these police officers standing outside of a blue patrol car (HPD) with a rifle type weapon with a sight that they look through and aim at your car. It can be in crowd of cars and they seem to pick off the fast car (or whatever car they aim it at). This past weekend I drove by this with my new V1 and not a blip. I circled around to see if he would shoot it at me and again not a blip. What is this? Is it laser radar? I thought about stopping and asking him, but I figured he would write me a ticket for stopping on the highway.

    It is so strange that the moment I get this fancy new radar detector, they would start using a more sophisticated radar gun.

    It is still a cool toy and like I said, it give me so much better warning than my previous detectors and it still works on 99% of the police radar guns.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    ddblue - I think the most appreciable improvement in throttle response was around 7-8K. It probably is better now with 23K miles on it but I have not noticed a dramatic difference since then. Keep in mind that air temperature, humidity, quality of gas etc. can have a significant impact on your car's acceleration.

    330 vs. 325 - They are both great cars. The 325 does not have the blistering fast acceleration that the 330 has but it is still reasonably fast for everyday spirited driving. Put it this way: no-one on the street has managed to intimidate me with my 325i. Someone mentioned in the latest Roundel that the price difference between the 525 and the 530 is only 3.5K and that the 530 outsells the 525. If BMWNA did the same thing with the 3-series, I am sure the 325 would not be outselling the 330 by a margin of 3:1. As far as the representation here, 3:1 may be just about right, no?
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    My V-1 bailed me out twice this morning. The second time it started beeping about 100 yards before I got to the top of a hill and sure enough, the officer was waiting on the other side. Similar thing two weeks ago. As far as laser guns, no radar detector will give you a warning sufficiently fast anyhow...btw, there may not have been a signal pointed at you when you drove by. Keep your eyes open - YOUR eyes and common sense are still the best protection.
  • 1pierce1pierce Posts: 284
    I'd say 3:1 is right for where I live (325 vs 330). Actually, I see many 323's in Pittsburgh. Was there a lease incentive a few years back on these? It seems that when I see a 3-series, it is most often a 323 (maybe I'm just remembering it that way.

    Brave: When they tested the 325i, what other cars were in the comparo? The biggest HP Japanese cars all seemed to come out since Jan 2001 (TL/CL Type S, G35, IS 300 - this one might have been around). You're right, the best handling car usually wins in mag tests - but I think there is much more to car quality than just handling or cornering feel.

    Incidentally, I saw an early '90's 325 coupe (the kind I almost bought in 1991). Boy do they look boxy, even when compared to cars from their day. That, I think is where the new 3-series shines. It looks like a contemporary car, with great styling, excellent features, and great performance. I think that is what makes the 325i a great value. I'm not sure I consider a 330i a good "value". Great car, without a doubt, but with the 325 on the market, not a great value.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    The IS300, A4, Saab 9-3, the C class, maybe the Lincoln LS... don't remember exactly. I have the mag at home and I can look it up when I get home on Wednesday if you're interested...
  • bmwnorcalbmwnorcal Posts: 2

    I've lurked through some 5000+ posts, I think - trying to decide on what features are most important to include! Everyone has me so excited about driving a BMW!
    This is going to be my baby mobile (upgrading from an Integra GSR coupe), so I've decided on the '02 325i with HK and SP, silver/black'ette. I may live to regret not getting the STEP as a new mommy, but the enthusiasm for manual was so infectious here, and I just couldn't bear spoiling the performance of the car...
    I'm looking forward to reading more about my car, and hopefully everyone will have patience for my newbie questions!
    Thanks everyone!
  • pearl2000pearl2000 Posts: 12
    I just leased (for 36 months) a 2002 320i. I've been offered the extended warranty for the period after the lease is up (assuming I will be buying the car at the end of the lease). Does anyone have any comments on the extended warranty? I was quoted a price of $2,523 Canadian plus taxes.

    Also, I have to decide whether to get the the Boomerang Security System. Any comments on that? Thanks!

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    pearl2000... Are you talking about a BMW or 3rd party service warranty? Some others here use word "warranty" to mean buying the additional 1 year of BMW "free" maintenance.

    If the warranty is a BMW comprehensive (bumper-to-bumper) and zero deductible, great deal. But what are the exact terms? Deductible?

    If 3rd party, I'm no fan. Usually too many exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions.
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    Congratulations on your decision. I assume you are odering the car like I did. There is little hope of buying off the lot if you don't want the premium package. It made me remember back to my order on 12/21/99 in which I took delivery 3/30/00. Every night (and I mean every night) I sat down with the 3 series brochure (more of a book) and just looked at every picture and re-read different parts of it over and over. I even took the damn thing when I traveled! Talk about anticipation. Best car on the market - no contest. Enjoy your anticipation!
  • pearl2000pearl2000 Posts: 12
    Thanks for the quick responses! I believe the warranty is a third party warranty. It's got a guarantee such that if you don't use it, you get the premium back at the end of the term of the policy. I know about the BMW service warranty and that sounds great. Basically, with this third party warranty I can buy up to four additional years (after the lease is up) of parts and service warranty (ie engine, transmission, steering, brakes, A/C) etc. There is no deductible

    Bmw323is - I must admit, I took one of the cars off the lot (there were only two 2002s left on sight at the dealers) so I got "stuck" with the premium package. Apparently the 2003s will be out in a couple of months so the 2002s are hard to find (the 320s anyway). It may have been a line to get me to buy the car - but once I test drove it I knew I was hooked. So, I get it Friday! Can't wait. The first car I ever bought (a Jeep!) was ordered and I too waited and waited and waited. Heck, even this Friday seems too far away.
  • bbell4bbell4 Posts: 34
    What's the scoop on the extended warranty? I know it's been posted before but now that my car will be here next week and they're gonna ask me about it - it's $599 for the extra year. (from 3 to 4 yrs). I think the majority have said no, don't get it, but wanted to be sure!

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