Last post on Mar 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Sedan
Apr 04, 2002 (9:52 am)
Why are we talking about Caravans? I have one, a regular length sport model, with the 3.3. It is more than torquey (is that a word?) enough without a load, for most driving conditions,...but I'd feel silly racing any car in it.
The real comparison is between a 318i and a 325i. And IMHO, it isn't a comparison. The 318i is an outright dog. If you have a manual, you have to keep those revs really high to get any kind of performance. The auto is so slow, I had a girl at work who drives a Civic say that she test drove one and "It was really kind of slow". And she thinks her Civic is fast. This was back in the mid '90's. My brother traded a 1997 318i w/Auto on a 323i w/step. I couldn't believe the difference, not to mention the feature content.
One last point. Most of the E36 318's I've seen on the road (my brother's included) were near strippers: 15" wheels w/hub caps, no sun roof, no armrest/console, no CD player, no fog lights, and no stability control or electronic driving aids (I don't think this was offered on the E36 318, but I'm not 100% sure of this), and far inferior leatherette than the current version. Those are the main reasons that I decided not to buy a BMW during the '90s. I couldn't afford a 328, and the 318 was just not enough car. BMW finally realized (w/the E46) that American driving conditions just don't lend themselves to smallish, low torque 4-cyl engines in sporty cars - no matter how refined they are.
I don't often give advice on this Board - because there are many people here who know more than me - but don't even consider a used 318i. Wait a year and save your money for a used 328 or 323. Every 318 owner I've talked to, and even some on this Board, couldn't wait to trade their 318's for a 6-cyl.
Apr 04, 2002 (10:07 am)
Thanks for getting me back on track, yes, you are correct; there is no comparison between the E36 version of the 318i and the I6 equipped BMWs sold here in here in the USA. That said, my curiosity has been “Piqued” by the ValveTronic four bangers that BMW has put in the non-US E46.
Apr 04, 2002 (10:10 am)
I agree that the parkways are a lot more fun. But getting it up in the 80's on FDR and 70's on Park Ave should not be a problem with light traffic. Again, most of the time that I've spent in Manhattan has been on weekends, so my knowledge of the traffic there is very skewed.
#15823 of 30250 Q. re: PP vs. add-on options
Apr 04, 2002 (10:23 am)
Could anyone confirm whether the Prem Pkg includes leather on those 8-way lumbar-support seats? Also, the onboard computer is relatively an inexpensive add-on--do you think it's really useful? I usually compute my own MPG & as long as the AC/heat works, don't care if I know the real temp outside. I'd ask about the xenons but there was alotta talk somewhere around msg# 14000 so I'll just review that. I'm still debating the moonroof. I've always had one, maybe should keep the tradition going in sunny so. calif. As if price were no object, but it is.
Apr 04, 2002 (10:25 am)
Every Euro 4-cyl I've driven w/automatic has felt under powered except the Audi 1.8T in the old A4. Audi really worked the torque curve to put the power in the lower part of the range, where most American drivers can use it. In normal driving (pull outs, city stuff, and gradual acceleration), I could not feel the turbo. But, in spirited driving on back roads, I could tell it had turbo lag - not like my friend's Saab 9-3, or a Volvo, but it was there. That turned me off, and back to BMW's I-6.
I also am intrigued by the ValveTronic. But, I like smoothness, and 4's are never as smooth as a 6 cyl. Actually, our old Subaru Forester had a 168HP 4-cyl, boxer-style engine that felt very smooth, but it got bogged down with 4 passengers in the car.
Apr 04, 2002 (10:30 am)
I'm told it depends on the trim. On 325, leather isn't part of the PP, while on 330, it is. If you plan on getting at least 2 of the items on the package, then the package is usually the better deal.
I live in NoCal, and I use my moonroof a lot. It really helps in cooling the car down before you get in it.
Apr 04, 2002 (10:36 am)
Leather is included in the 330i PP, but not in the 325i PP. The 325i PP also includes the armrest/console, which is included in the base 330i, and otherwise unavailable on the 325i from the factory.
I find sunroofs to be a totally subjective preference. I have one now, my first, but I rarely open it due to the climate in which I live. I also hate the sun beating down through the open window in the summer - it makes the car really hot. I can live without it in my next car. That said, some people don't consider it a car unless it has a sunroof.
To summarize on xenons (and that takes some liberty), I think the general consensus was that they provide better visibility of varying degree (depending on who you talk to), if you can stomach the relatively steep price. I'm going to get them.
Trip Computer: I have this on my Maxima and my Caravan. I think it is a total gimic. You're driving down the road and watching your MPG change as you go - I rely on a gas pump and a calculator to figure my MPG. I occasionally use the thermometer - but I don't think I'd miss it. And also, the 3-series has a an annoying beeper that alerts you if the outside temp gets to/below 38 degrees. If you're driving on a 40 degree day through sun and shade that can drive you crazy - and I don't think it can be disabled (somebody help me out on that one?).
IMO the two best things in the PP are the armrest/console and the power memory seats. Some people think the wood is to-die-for, but I like the silver trim better with the black interior. Everything else is a throw-away, again, IMHO.
Apr 04, 2002 (10:39 am)
"I thought finsky was the local currency unit in kominsky's township. It's worth a bushel of wheat, a small chicken, a dozen eggs, or a quarter pounder (no cheese)."
My wife and cousin (same person) was offended by that statement. She said you left inflation out of the equation. A finsky is currently worth a quarter-pounder WITH cheese!
Apr 04, 2002 (10:40 am)
The Audi 1.8T has ZERO turbo lag with a manual tranny and the car has immediate response anywhere from 2K to the rev limiter >6,500 RPM's. A friend of mine who bought the auto tranny is complaning about turbo lag as well, though, so the lag must be inherent to the auto only.
Apr 04, 2002 (10:48 am)
"My wife and cousin (same person)" - lol... I thought that only happened in the South :o)
BTW, if there were inflation, the finsky would be worth less than a quarter pounder. The fact that you can now get cheese for the same money means that the finsky has appreciated against the dollar and is worth more. It's a sure sign that all is well in your neck of the woods (literally) :o) BTW, we just bought a house in the woods too so I'll be joining you soon.
Hey, I asked about your recommendation on a helmet for autocrossing. Maybe I missed your response but I don't recall seeing any. Or maybe I should ask the serious questions first before I start throwing jokes at you so I can still get you in a coherent state :o)