Last post on Mar 24, 2013 at 11:51 AM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
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BMW 3 Series, Sedan
Dec 04, 2002 (8:28 pm)
I hope everyone had an enjoyable turkey day holiday. I just wanted to report that I'm enjoying my BMW experience with ownership, but I have one problem. It seems that I'm driving the 1998 M3 more than the 2002 325ci? I'm having a hard time deciding which car to take in the morning now haha( I know, tough life).
I love the M3. Don't get me wrong, the E46 3 series cars are great, but the M3 just takes the whole concept to the next level. I can understand why this car was deemed the best handling car under $50K by Car and Driver a few years back. It's not harsh, sharp but forgiving.
My 325ci is more of a looker over the M3. It's popular with people who are more into the "looks" of a vehicle.
IMHO, if a person is looking for a great BMW 3 series and not concerned with having a E 46 body, I would look for a late model,low miles,CPO,well kept M3 over a 330.
For the price of the current 330 vs the M3 of a few years ago, it would be nice to have the 3.2 in line 6, 240hp in the current 330. If this was the case, I could justify buying the 330 over the 325.
Next week I'm adding low beam HID's to the M3 for $300. It's a great company i've ran across. Great work and great looking HID's. Most cases they are brighter than factory applications. I'll upgrade the stereo of the M3 as well this month.
Now back to my decision. Which car am I going to drive to work in the morning haha!
Everyone have a great day Thursday.
#21024 of 30250 New to the board
Dec 04, 2002 (9:24 pm)
My first post, but have found the various discussions on the BMW sites to be most informative and entertaining for the past several months. Thanks to all of you for the generous sharing of your knowledge, experience, and opinions.
By way of introduction, my wife and I live in rural far northern California, a beautiful area in which mountains, high desert, lush farmland, redwood forests, and the Pacific are all within 145 twisty road miles in any direction. Neither of us has ever owned a new car, having been well-satisfied with my '68 Volvo 122S wagon, her '83 BMW 320i, and my '68 MB 280 SE. All were purchased long ago in stellar condition from their original owners and have received tender, loving care. We love driving each of them and they have served us well. But, we have ordered a 325iT ED for our 1st ever new baby.
Dec 04, 2002 (9:34 pm)
We have ordered the 325iT with Sport Package, manual trans, power seats, steel blue metallic with gray leather interior (does anyone know why BMW does not offer gray leatherette?), and plan to break it in on the Autobahn during a 3 1/2 week European adventure next year. At present, our dealer has graciously allowed us the option of ED of a 2003 model in April as we originally requested, or of a 2004 model in late October (with an adjustment reflecting the 2004 price, of course.) Any thoughts to help us decide definitively? Thanks
Dec 04, 2002 (10:21 pm)
I am currently using the same pressures that I use in my summer tires (33f - 35r). I'm pretty sure 3's without staggered tire sizes still use staggered tire pressures (anyone?). I figure that's a good starting point and I'll tailor it as I see fit. I wouldn't worry too much about the tire size. I don't know how many miles you put on your car each year, but it's my understanding that winter tires don't wear very well. As long as your wheels are wide enough, you can move up to a wider size next time around. If you encounter a lot of snow, you may be very glad you went with the narrower tire, anyway.
Dec 05, 2002 (6:56 am)
COngratulations on the decision for a manual 325. Sounds like you picked the perfect car for where you live.
I live in Houston, where it is flat and pretty boring and there are no twisties, but I already have 3500 miles on my new 3 series and it is only 6 weeks old. I can't stop driving it. When times are good you want to drive to have fun and when times are bad you want to drive to pick yourself up. It is my personal therapist.
Anyway, you asked between an April '03 vs an October '04. Difficult question. My general rule is no new cars between May and the new model year. April is on the border though. By waiting you may pay a little more for the latest model, but you get to enjoy the entire first year of depreciation as opposed to buying a car that has already depreciated by one year. I doubt that there are any significant changes to the 3 series next year, but it is possible. Most think that 2005 will be the last year for the E46 and they will probably sweeten the 2005s a little to help them sell as they transition to the next model. It is possible though that given the market trend towards more powerful cars that they may do something to beef up the 2004s. I expect they will at least offer SMG on the 2004 330, like the one on the Z4, but I would rather have a manual than SMG FWIW.
If you like the 325 and are happy with how it drives and performs then I would say go with the April '03 car and start enjoying it!
#21028 of 30250 kominsky - winter tires
Dec 05, 2002 (10:24 am)
I went with 32f and 38r, as specified by my sticker. I drove through my first snowfall with the Dunlops today - I live in the Balt/Wash area. I had no problems plowing through 5-6" of snow. The DSC kicked in periodically and I was able to maintain good control. I guess today is a good day for the narrower tires.
Dec 05, 2002 (10:39 am)
When is the deadline for your decision?
Dec 05, 2002 (10:41 am)
I think the difference in HP between the E36 M3 and the 330 is not significant. What's more important is all the things that make the M3 a great track car - stuff like brakes that won't fade, better clutch, less weight, more feel. If you do mostly street driving, the 330 is plenty car already. It's not as raw and visceral but still plenty sporty for most people. If you do take your car to the track very often, though, the M3 would make a lot more sense. I personally love the E36 M3 but I don't think I'd want to trade my new 325 for a used M3.
Dec 05, 2002 (1:12 pm)
I opted to work from home today, but did run out to the dentist and to pick up gas for my tractor earlier. I found that before the snow got deep or where the plow had been, things were fine. We're having some pretty good drifting though and the ground clearance seems to be the biggest factor. As soon as something on the bottom of the car touched the snow, the rear wanted to come around. DSC did a good job of preventing it, but it also brought me to a near stop on a couple of occasions while climbing hills. Bottom line is I made it. I did follow a Camry up a plowed hill on which my car had no problems at all... he was ALL OVER the place. It could have been his fault, as opposed to the car's, though. He also chose to hit his brakes about 1/2 way up the hill... fortunately I had left enough room between us that I didn't have to slow down too much.
Dec 05, 2002 (1:27 pm)
But I left the Bimmer home today, took the AWD monsta' SUV.