Last post on Mar 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Sedan
Jul 30, 2003 (4:09 pm)
Your $.02 is very valuable.
Right now, I am leaning towards the 325i. In the next day or two, I expect to be able to test drive a manual without premium pkg.. but I'm not sure if it will have the sport pkg.
Thanks for the advice on the sport pkg. I was wondering if it was worth the money, and most of what I've learned so far points to "yes". On Monday, I drove a 325i with premium/sport and sportronic trans. I swear, that must be the ONLY automatic that has me seriously thinking that I could live without a manual, and never miss it. Although my schedule is such that I'm rarely in rush-hour traffic, I know from driving my buddy's 1993 325is what a chore it is to do a stick BMW in stop-and-go conditions (not a small consideration when one lives in Southern California). So I just might go shiftless for this one.
I read the crashtest.com site, and I was impressed with what it had to say about how well the BMW stood up to the 40 mph test, and the low injury index numbers. And, yes, part of the appeal of a BMW is how it could keep me from having a wreck in the first place with handling and stopping power that, short of the IS300, can't be beat.
I still need to drive an A4, a G35, and maybe even a TSX. I sat in a TSX a few days ago and thought "this is nice. But I've had a Civic for nearly 8 years, and this is still a Honda, when you get right down to it." Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm sure I could easily rack up another 102K trouble free miles, like I've done in the Civic. But still, it's time for a change. When you've had BMW on the brain for as long as I, it's hard to get another Hon.. I mean, Acura.
The Audi does look like a good value, at least when it comes to content and looks. But it's another turbo front-driver.. and it sounds like at least two of the things that turned me off with the Volvo (turbo lag and torque steer) are gonna be present in the Audi. Also, if the Audi 1.8T/auto combo is like the VW 1.8T/auto combo, then I probably wouldn't be happy with it. The last turbo/auto Passat tested in C&D got raspberries for how poorly the engine and transmission worked together. (I don't have the link handy, or I'd post it).
And, yes, there's the Mazda RX-8. I've never driven a rotary, and I wasn't old enough when my mom had one in the mid 70's to remember what it sounded/felt like to be in the passenger seat. So maybe I could find one to drive. There's not a Mazda dealer very close to me, though (Scripps Ranch). Is there one in Poway? Kearny Mesa?
Oh, one other question. From the long term tests I've read on Edmunds and other places, I get the impression the tires that come on BMWs don't last very long. Is that because the testers flog the hell out of the cars, or is it because of the way the tires are made? How much life can I expect from "moderate" driving (80 on the freeway, some stop-and-go city driving, no aggressive street racing or back country rally racing)? What are good replacement tires for when I need a new set? Okay, so that was three questions, not one.
Okay, I shut up now. Thanks.
Jul 30, 2003 (5:09 pm)
still need to drive an A4, a G35, and maybe even a TSX.
Definitely try them allk on. Find the car that suits you perfectly. The A4 for me was a little too cramped and I was getting away from a vw, so I couldn't see sticking with that company.
The G35's a mindblowing car and loaded up with stick you're looking at only 31k or so. Very fast, very fun, very roomy.
I sat in a TSX a few days ago and thought "this is nice. But I've had a Civic for nearly 8 years, and this is still a Honda, when you get right down to it."
No. I'm pretty anti-honda. Ask people in the VW rooms. I've always bashed hondas, but once I test drove the manual TSX I was super impressed. It would have gotten my money had I not cut the deal on my BMW. The engine's a blast, build quality impeccable and the shifter's insanely smooth. For 25k the TSX is an outright steal, even with FWD. Every feature you could want (save for the rwd) and matched with some sheetmetal that's not nearly as common as the BMW 3 series (something I lament often. a friend just scowled at my bmw upon seeing it for the first time and she nearly spat, "you bought one of those").
When you've had BMW on the brain for as long as I, it's hard to get another Hon.. I mean, Acura.
I understand but really the leap between a 325i and a TSX isn't that huge. Let the 325i owners throw stones, I don't care. A 325i loaded up with all the TSX's features makes it's crazy expensive for very little performance gain. I woulda gona TSX in a heartbeat if the 25i was the only 3 series choice.
The Audi does look like a good value, at least when it comes to content and looks. But it's another turbo front-driver.. and it sounds like at least two of the things that turned me off with the Volvo (turbo lag and torque steer) are gonna be present in the Audi.
Get a quattro and you won't have FWD or torque steer.
Also, if the Audi 1.8T/auto combo is like the VW 1.8T/auto combo,
Chip the 1.8t and naturally, stick with a stick. The tiptronic is a joke of a tranny. But then again, I feel that way about the Steptronic too.
The last turbo/auto Passat tested in C&D got raspberries for how poorly the engine and transmission worked together.
Passat and A4 aren't really that alike. Trust yourself over some useless car reviewer.
And, yes, there's the Mazda RX-8. I've never driven a rotary...So maybe I could find one to drive. There's not a Mazda dealer very close to me, though (Scripps Ranch).
Mazda dealers in mission valley and escondido. John Hine in Mission Valley is awesome. Very good people - my family has purchased two mazdas from them. And the RX-8's rotary isn't that unusual and won't be anything like the old 95 RX's I fell in love with all those years ago. What a sublime little car...whew!
I get the impression the tires that come on BMWs don't last very long.
Depends on sport, non-sport and obviously driving style. If I get 15k outa my 18s, I'll be elated.
Is that because the testers flog the hell out of the cars, or is it because of the way the tires are made?
Oem tires are generally garbage (I can't wait to switch to bridgestone's other 18s) and testers are really hard on the cars. it's not theirs, so who cares!
How much life can I expect from "moderate" driving (80 on the freeway, some stop-and-go city driving, no aggressive street racing or back country rally racing)? What are good replacement tires for when I need a new set? Okay, so that was three questions, not one.
Read the reviews on tirerack. good indicator of what people prefer for various makes.
Okay, I shut up now. Thanks.
#23918 of 30250 Clearcoat damage? Paint protection?
Jul 30, 2003 (7:39 pm)
just bought 2004 325Ci with manual and washed and waxed the car today and noticed several spots in the front hood area. after careful waxing and buffing the area, it appears that the clearcoat is coming off. not sure if it came from the dealer like that or damage was done since the purchase(i bought it on 7/26/03). it almost looks like a water spot except that i can actually run my fingertip thru the area and feel the inconsistencies. what would be the remedy for this? would welcome any kind of inputs or solutions. thanks
2004 325Ci SP,PP,HK,CP,5-spd, silver gray/gray leather
#23919 of 30250 any changes?????
Jul 30, 2003 (7:44 pm)
just wondering when the body style of the 3 will change. Any spy pics of the 05 or any rumors? hope it doesn't look as bad os a 5 series.
Jul 31, 2003 (6:14 am)
If you haven't driven a steptronic 330i, you owe it to yourself to do so. Personally, I would prefer a lightly optioned 330 over a heavily optioned 325 any day. Live with leatherette instead of leather and non-metallic paint and you can get into a 330i for $35,000 or $36,000 (with a little help from your dealer). If you can find a 2003 that will work for you, BMW has $3,000 back-money (incentive to the dealer) available on the 3-series that makes the price pretty reasonable, too. As an example, a 330i with sport, step, moonroof, non-metallic paint and leatherette would sticker at $39,020. You should be able to pick it up for $35,000 easy. Of course, finding something like this can be the real test.
Jul 31, 2003 (6:16 am)
If you ask people in here which of the cars to pick, most are going to say BMW. It's a BMW forum after all.
Of the cars you've listed, all are pretty good, but the platforms vary. In San Diego, I seriously doubt you need AWD unless you plan to go skiing up at Mammoth or Tahoe.
I've learned, being the owner of a Honda Civic Si myself, that I've really gotten to enjoy the RWD driving experience. I had forgotten how much I enjoy it. We are looking to replace our SUV with another sedan and all of our choices are RWD... gotta love that my wife thinks that way too!
Our list includes a BMW, an Infiniti, and a Lincoln. While I currently have a BMW, I'm not letting that affect the fact that I'm looking at other options. You are definitely taking the right track and being open in your selection.
Drive each one. Price them with the options YOU want. Don't let anybody tell you what you should have or should not have. After all, this is YOUR car.
Before you get your car, spec out each of the models you want equipped how you want. Get the best offers from the dealers you want to deal with. Once you have your desired car configurations and prices for those, decide what works best for you. Do NOT feel like you have to rush.
Best of luck. All of your choices sound good and seem logically thought out.
I'm going to be in San Diego (Mission Valley) in October for some training and our anniversary... looking forward to SD in October... should be wonderful!
#23922 of 30250 Hotel Uhland
Jul 31, 2003 (6:40 am)
Just back from a family vacation in Europe that took us through Munich for a couple of days (to visit the Deutches Museum and photograph things for a technology course I teach, not to pick up a car). I stayed at the Hotel Uhland, a place often recommended on this board, and would like to add my endorsement to those recommendations. The Uhland is a quiet, comfortable 3* hotel in an interesting part of Munich (in a real neighborhood, near a large medical facility, and with some nice restaurants nearby). It's a 10-minute walk--safe but somewhat grungy some of the way--to the train station, about the same to the subway). The staff is unfailingly professional and friendly, breakfast is good, there is a computer with internet connection, and the rooms are nice. Without our asking, they moved the four of us into their best room (room 29--ask for it) after a night in a smaller room. It was very, very nice. While we were there they were landscaping the front--adding trees and patio stones--and one desk clerk mentioned that they seem to be getting more and more visitors from the U.S. I told her of the hotel's reputation on this board....
Anyway, all this is a totally uncompensated commentary for those interested in a place to stay in Munich....
BTW, in Stuttgart we rented a BMW 5-series diesel wagon--lovely and great to drive, though not exactly peppy. The navigation system was lots of fun, particularly on the twisties in the countryside of Baden-Wurtemburg. And if you are in the area (to pick up a car or otherwise) a drive down to Burg Hohenzollern is essential.
Jul 31, 2003 (7:15 am)
"If you can find a 2003 that will work for you, BMW has $3,000 back-money (incentive to the dealer) available on the 3-series that makes the price pretty reasonable, too."
Is this true? Where did you hear this. Would this apply to a 2003 325xi?
#23924 of 30250 I missed this site
Jul 31, 2003 (7:48 am)
I was a pretty regular poster here for about a year before I bought my BMW. Over the last year, I've been pretty busy, and haven't been around much. Today, I needed to know the proper torque for the speed wrench when changing tires on my car, so I came on the site, typed in "torque wrench" in the search box, and in minutes, had a post that gave me the info: 88lb/ft, or 120Nm.
That just reminded me how much I love this site. I love my car too BTW (2002 325i, electric red w/black leatherette, PP, HK, Xenon, and no front lisence plate mount). I have had it about a year, and have almost 9,000 miles on it (I drive very locally, and the Caravan hauls the family around daily). I've had no unscheduled maintenance performed on the car (although my left rear window makes a snapping noise when it goes all the way up in high temperatures). Overall, I would not make one different buying decision if I were to purchase the car today.
OK, I'm curious what it would feel like with more aggressive tires (you always are when you drive hard and can feel the limit is in the tires) - but I'm not sure I would trade the quiet, smooth ride in everyday driving for the few times a month when I could really push the rubber.
Anyway, thanks to everybody who helps keep this site a wealth of information. I'll have to come by again more often.
#23925 of 30250 blueguy, with all due respect
Jul 31, 2003 (8:10 am)
For whatever it is worth, there is definitely a significant jump between a TSX and a lightly loaded 325 sedan. If you look purely from a price point, it all seems like a few 10 dollar bills extra per month in payment, but
1. TSX comes fully loaded not just to the gills but way above your head in the water.
2. A comparably yet more highly priced 325 will come with nothing and yet will be hard to find cuz most dealers load them up on orders for margins. Keep adding options till you feel satisfied and the price differential not just crawls up, it screams up fast.
The other day a friend of mine looked up a bare bones 2004 bmw 325 convertible configuartion online and said to me, dude your wife's car is just under 39K... i just shrugged and walked away because i did not care to tell him that after all the options put in and the tax and title, we tabbed at 48.5K... and then in ridiculous states like AZ, you pay a huge huge extra amount in tax and title with a % that is linked directly to the base msrp because cars are treated as movable property... I so wish I'd bought my recent cars in states like NJ... oh well anyway.