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
Dec 12, 2003 (9:52 pm)
A couple of years ago, I wrote a somewhat "brave" pricing comparison of the 325 and the 330 here:
KarenS "BMW 3-Series Owners: FAQ" Jun 1, 2001 12:46pm
NYC, I read the ZHP review in Roundel. They mentioned that it hit 123 mph on back straight at Watkins Glen. I hit 115 mph in the same section with my 325i. Not too shabby for a car that's 10 grand cheaper. I suspect that the actual power that the 325 delivers is higher than the 184 stated by the manufacturer. According to this graph on Turner's website
and also this one from ECIS,
The 325 engine makes ~ 170 HP at the wheel, which is well over 190 at the crank. At any rate, the difference in HP at the wheel between the 325 and the 330 is closer to 25 ponies.
FWIW, I drove both the 325 and the 300 before I bought the 325 and I didn't think the 330 was worth the significant premium that BMWNA charges for it.
Manual vs. auto - the creep they dial in autos drives me nuts esp. in traffic. It is not natural for a car to creep forward on a perfectly flat road. And I am not even going to begin to mention fun to drive, control over the car, acceleration, fuel economy, etc...
Dec 12, 2003 (10:01 pm)
Can anyone tell me what the standard cloth/alcantara seats are like with the 330i performance package? I've tested the 330i with and without the performance package and the extra $4k seems well worth it. However, I can't find a model in stock with these seats and while I'd prefer not to spend the extra $$ on a leather upgrade, I also don't want cheap looking or feeling seats.
#25161 of 30250 Re: Why Does 330i Cost $7K More Than 325i??
Dec 13, 2003 (8:58 am)
>>On the other hand, I'm hesitant to even drive a 330i
You've answered your question.
In retrospect, the choice should be between a loaded 325i and a stripped 330i. Having purchased the former, I realize that BMW's manual air conditioning, regular wipers, leatherette and no sunroof would have been just fine.
#25162 of 30250 Not to be picky, but...
Dec 13, 2003 (9:12 am)
325i comes with auto climate control, just like 330i. And 330 doesn't come standard with moonroof or leather. To get a 325 to 330 equipment level, you would have to add: HK stereo, power seats, computer and rain-sensing wipers; about $2,300. If you want the chrome moldings, 6th gear or 3.0 engine, you'll have to pay for a 330i. True, the 325i with manual is as quick as a 330i with step, just don't drive a 330i with 6-speed; it'll shove you back in the seat nicely! With comparable equipment levels, price premium is closer to $4,000. But, equipped the way I would buy, the 325i is $6,500 cheaper ($36,695 vs $30,195)!
#25163 of 30250 Re: Why Does 330i Cost $7K More Than 325i??
Dec 13, 2003 (11:58 am)
Thanks guys for your responses. I'm glad I got some input.
Last night I went and test drove a '03 325Ci manual. Whichever Bimmer I get (if even a Bimmer), will be a manual transmission. Anyway, I was actually fairly impressed with its acceleration - it was better than I thought it would be. But the engine's lower end torque was definitely noticeable accelerating onto the freeway onramp, which was uphill. I definitely wanted more. On the other hand, it wasn't a fair comparison because I had just finished up test driving a 350Z. Talk about intoxicating power! But the Bimmer overall was much more refined than the 350Z, and I could picture myself driving the 325Ci as a daily commuter car more than the 350Z.
#25164 of 30250 Brave -- I read your price comparison
Dec 13, 2003 (7:25 pm)
and have a totally irrelevant question. Do you really have type 44 wheels on your 2001 SP? I've got type 96 on my 2002.
Dec 13, 2003 (8:17 pm)
"But the engine's lower end torque was definitely noticeable accelerating onto the freeway onramp, which was uphill. I definitely wanted more."
==> I would too if I were trying to do that using low end torque. You have to be in a lower gear to get the most power out of the car. The 325's engine doesn't really open up till over 3K RPMs.
Dec 13, 2003 (8:19 pm)
They are Type 44. I don't believe the '01 325i SP was ever offered in a different type wheel in the U.S...
Dec 14, 2003 (12:22 am)
"The 325's engine doesn't really open up till over 3K RPMs"
I think 3k is the sweet spot. But try to get it around 4500 and it feels as if it got a shot of steroids. Bottom line is that due to the lack of low end torque engine needs to be revved up harder.
Dec 14, 2003 (12:42 pm)
My 4cyl '01 Prelude produces 156lb-ft of torque at 5250 rpm. Uphills, on ramps, and passing are no problem. Just dial up what gear you want and away you go. I can leisurly cruise past someone at 60 in 5th gear, drop down to 4th for a quicker burst, and for even more fun, drop from 5th to 3rd and rocket from 60 to 80 before I hit the 7500 rpm redline. It is part of the fun of driving a stick. I'm sure the same holds true for a 325i.