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
#25518 of 30250 Standard Equipment
Jan 23, 2004 (6:04 pm)
shipo... Wonder if you are truly serious or consistent in your position.
What percentage of 3 Series have metallic paint?
How come BMWs don't come standard with 4-wheel drum brakes with disc brakes optional? Why is ABS standard? Power brakes? Why isn't manual steering standard? And maybe only a standard AM radio or just AM/FM? And why can't you get cloth seats standard (like they can in Europe)?
As a comparison, just look at the standard equipment in the Acura TSX vs. the 325i. Add the standard equipment of the TSX to the 325i and then see what the 325i would cost.
Some things--like LSD--are critical. BMW used to offer it pretty much on all their cars up until the early 1990s. BMW decided to used electronic systems that do different things in its place. But notice that BMW had to keep LSD in M3 and M5. Otherwise, they wouldn't be serious players.
Jan 23, 2004 (6:52 pm)
I am totally serious; there were any number of posts here in the 3-Series board when the E46 first came out about how folks didn't like Xenon headlights. So much so that back in the late 1990's there was even a topic about how bad they were and those of us who opted for them were idiots who were wasting our money. Maybe you don't agree with them (I don't either for that matter), but to them, finding a car such as the 3-Series which offered them the option of choosing which headlights they wanted is a good thing.
Paint is even less of a point of contention, there are LOTS of folks out there who want non-metallic paint (black, red and white primarily) on their cars, so why should they have to pay for the extra expense of the metallic application if they don't want that paint.
Your attempt to make these two examples of mine analogous to drum vs. disk brakes and other performance related items is silly and I won't comment further.
Regarding things like the LSD, I happen to agree with you there, I can't for the life of me figure out why BMW doesn't at least offer it as an option.
As for comparing the content levels of BMWs to their counterparts from Japan, Inc., that argument is nothing new. The German manufacturers in general and BMW in specific have always offered vehicles ala-carte, allowing you to order what you want, just the way you want it. Due to the philosophy of how the Japanese content their cars, they keep the prices low by offering very few option choices. That works for most folks but not for me. I remember the days when, to get a manual transmission in a Japanese sedan meant that you couldn't have leather seats or a sun roof. What's up with that?
From my perspective, if it costs a few dollars more to have a car exactly as I want it, then I'll gladly pay the freight.
Anxiously awaiting your response.
Jan 23, 2004 (9:50 pm)
BMW has always placed its values in engineering more than everything else (I think it's in the German culture). Why force customers to pay for metallic paint, HIDs and other non-performance items?!? Make them an option and keep the entry price lower. Those who demand luxury should pay more. I love the xenons but I know of a lot of people who hate them and would never want them in their car. Now, limited-slip is an entirely different story. I think a few years ago BMW decided that DSC works better then limited-slip for the majority of owners out there who don't track their cars and replaced the LSD with DSC on their non-M models. As their thinking goes, those who demand performance, will probably get an M car anyhow. I think they are right on DSC being safer for most owners but I still think that LSD MUST be an option on non-M models. Maybe only 5% of owners care about it but that 5% has traditionally been BMW's core constituency of enthusiast drivers who helped put BMW on the map. Losing the loyalty of that 5% would be devastating for BMW in the long run and it might turn it into just another nice luxury car (think Lexus) over time.
Electrical and/or software problems: none in my car after 58K miles of hard driving including some 16 autoX events and 9 track days.
Oil: shipo, I always thought that the Castrol that is formulated for BMWs is different from the regular Castrol that you get in the store. It's only ~ $3/qt - too affordable to even think about getting anything else.
A4 - gordonwd, we have an '01 1.8T which is pretty much identical to your A4. I drive both the 325 and the A4 extensively. The A4 is a nice car but it doesn't compare to the 325 SP. The A4 is a car you can like, maybe love. The 325 you lust after. Almost 3 years into ownerwhip, it still puts a smile on my face every time I sit in it. I like everything about it to a degree that would turn me into a blithering idiot if I started describing the joy of driving it into more detail. In all fairness, our A4 does not have the sport pack, which might have made it a lot more enjoyable to drive...
Jan 23, 2004 (9:51 pm)
I am driving a 03 330xi since last March. No problems of any kind. It drives with full confidence on snow, ice and slush (with Winter Tires). I also drive a MB E320 4matic which needed six visits to the dealer in the first year. It became outstanding after all the bugs are repaired. When alone, I always prefer to drive the 330xi any time, any where.
Jan 23, 2004 (10:12 pm)
There's arguments for both sides of the fence. My Dad who just ordered an '04 X5 (Metallic Paint is standard on the X5) really liked the fact that if he would've leased an Acura MDX that all you have to do is pick color and whether you want Navigation or not. The X5 he ordered (which has nicer leather, a tilting & telescoping steering wheel, a much more sophisticated AWD system, sport suspension, and not to mention DRIVES much better among other things) has more than $10K worth of options. FRom a non-car guy standpoint it is kinda frustrating.
I like the fact that I can custom order a BMW 3 series the way I want it. I like BMW black interiors with the titanium trim, I like the fact that I can order the car with leatherette, a sunroof, a manual transmission, with Xenon headlights and metallic paint (I don't think they should charge for this, but anyway). I don't like power seats. The wood trim in the Premium Package doesn't appeal to me.
On my Prelude Type SH all I had to pick was the color. They all came with black cloth interiors, a 5 speed manual transmission, sunroof, in dash CD player, power windows & locks (fortunately that's how I would order it if I could:)
#25523 of 30250 Two gripes about the 3series...
Jan 24, 2004 (8:34 am)
1. that BMW did not light the center vent temperature control. At night when I like warmer air directed to the face, it is sometimes difficult to see.
2. the car only knows the LONG way between point A and B
#25524 of 30250 Standard Features and option
Jan 24, 2004 (9:03 am)
I ordered a 2004 325i last week. Jet black, black leatherette, 5-speed manual, manual seats, no moonroof (don't care about it and I need the headroom), no xenon (halogens are the best in any car I've ever driven, plus I drive at night very little). It has auto climate control and auto wipers, CD, and cruise as standard equipment. Only option is sport package. Out the door for $30,195 (not including tax). I still get rear-drive, 6-cylinder with dual VANOS, same interior as $45,000 330i, 17-inch wheels/tires, same steering as $45,000 330i. All I'm really missing is the 500 cc's, 6th gear, and slightly larger brakes.
#25525 of 30250 some comments on BMW "standard" eqipment
Jan 24, 2004 (9:24 am)
I just returned home from a business trip that included a fair amount of driving in 2 different rental cars, a Mustang covert. and a Mercury Grand Marq. If anyone wants to know how the US lost so much ground in the auto industry over the past 30 years, all they have to do is drive these cars.
The Mustang while great for tanning in FL was an ergonmic nightmare. Is there a word for anti ergonomic? After a few hours in those seats my back was howling. The Mercury's steering was so vague that "vague" is too vague a term for it! It was floating around almost of it's own free will. So I guess all of those blue haired ladies whose hands on the wheel are the only visible part seen on the road are not all to blame. I could go on but why bother?
When I got home to my 330i sp,pp I was in heaven. You know, it used to bother me too that more items weren't inclusive (how about a 6 disc cd changer in dash-isn't it about time). But you know what? The vital things aren't even available as options on most cars. Things like a world class suspension, greatest in line 6, fantastic sound from the engine, sublime steering, great sport seats.... And did I mention the first car that still puts a smile on my face 2.5 years into ownership every time I get in it.
So for me I don't niggle on the small stuff any more. I guess to keep the prices reasonable and to still offer the true greatness of the car they have to allow people to build strippers and compete with the Americans and the Japanese, who IMHO still trail in the soul and fun aspect, if ahead a bit in reliability.
Now if someone from BMW could only explain to me why the 3 sedans can't have the color matching side moldings.....
#25526 of 30250 Value and Options
Jan 24, 2004 (10:37 am)
Guess much of this depends on what is important to you. For me driving excitement and safety are key, with some utility. So that means things like Sport Pkg (esp. for better tires), LSD, HID, and split-fold rear seats are much more important than wood trim, prem sound system upgrades, and auto sensing wipers.
If I was to special order a 325i or 330i, I'd order it like white6 did (manual transmission and Sport Pkg but also with HID & split-fold rear seat and no black exterior, either red, silver, or white). But you'd have to special order it as no dealer will stock it and you'll have to own it a long time or sell it to a private party of like mind as you'll get creamed on resale value with any dealer.
Sadly, over the past 15 years BMW AG and BMW NA have been steadily moving away from performance and into luxury and electronic gadgetry. They'd rather have Prem Pkg and iDrives than LSD. Rising prices and falling reliability. Long-term ownership concerns, esp. if you don't live near a good independent BMW garage.
I love to walk BMW dealer lots on Sundays when they aren't open. Looking mainly at 3 and 5 Series, you might find 20 or more new cars. Nearly all (often all) will be automatics with things like Prem Pkg, metallic paint, sunroofs, Cold Weather Pkgs, etc. Half or better will have Prem Sound upgrade. Sitting there on their mediocre all-season tires. Often all the 3s will either have one MSRP or another. The dealer will order them only about 2 different ways. You'll be lucky to find one with Sport Pkg.
Jan 24, 2004 (11:26 am)
"Rising prices and falling reliability"
I don't know about you, but the prices of everything has risen. I bought my first car for $10K. As for falling reliability, their reliablity has been increasing over the long haul. Certainly no more bumpy than any manufacturer. Re: tranny and engine sludge.
PS my friend just had his Toyota in not even a month ago for the ol' engine sludge problem.