Last post on Oct 14, 2007 at 9:19 AM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
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BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Sedan
#1 of 19 BMW 325 or MB C240?
May 08, 2005 (1:02 pm)
Hope you can give me some sound advise. I am in the process of buying a new used car. I am looking to get either a C240 or BMW 325. As mentioned, both will be used, from either 2001 or 2002. I have test driven both cars and really like both. I like the C240 because it is classy and offers a very comfortable ride. I like the BMW 325 for it drives very well and it has the cool factor attached to its looks. But beyond looks, I really want a car that I don't need to send into the shop every month for repairs for I do NOT want to be broke from repair bills. I have read many forum posts of both cars from bulletin board sites and have read complains on both cars. All of which makes me worried of course but still...I need a new car and I really do not want to go for the Japanese cars. I don't like any of the 2003-2004/05 Acuras, Infinitis or Lexuses. They just don't have the "prestigious look" that I want. Please advise me as to whether I should go for the C240 or 325?
#2 of 19 Re: BMW 325 or MB C240? [speedoflight]
May 08, 2005 (1:57 pm)
Please note that I am not trashing the Acuras, Infinitis or Lexuses. I actually really liked the early to mid 90s versions of those cars' exterior design. I don't like (strictly personal taste) the re-designs of those cars or I would really consider one. Thanks again for your time.
#3 of 19 Re: BMW 325 or MB C240? [speedoflight]
May 08, 2005 (3:51 pm)
Go for the bimmer.. reasons being
1) it seems to have more of the 'novelty' value and 'coolness' factor in these parts of the world
2) if you are a driving enthusiast then it is definitely more fun to drive
3) i have friends who own both.. the bimmer owners cant stop gushing.. the merc owners say they are 'just about satisfied' with the vehicle but have nothing special to say about it..
hope that helps.. best of luck with your car.. hope you manage to get a good price.. i just have two recent data points on the 325.. one friend got an '02 pre-certified 325 auto without leather or wood trim (which seems to be a big thing in bimmer world) from a bmw dealer for $20k.. the car had 42k miles and was under extended warranty till 60k.. the other guy got an '00 325 manual with 110k and all the works for $10k.. both cars are good... hope tht helps!
#4 of 19 Re: BMW 325 or MB C240? [speedoflight]
May 08, 2005 (4:17 pm)
You must be careful getting used German cars due to well known reliability issues. Someone had complained 2 days ago here in the forums that they had to get their transmission fixed and it was costing $5K for the 3 series. If you have extended warrenty then go for it! Otherwise beware!
Regarding the looks, it all could come down to psychology and prestige. The German cars have always been a prestige vehicle for many generations. And even with nice looking Japanese cars, I tend to look upto German cars.
The MB C240 has less power than the C230(I think it's 160HP). The BMW 325i has 184 HP.
On another sidenote: You might be able to get a new(or demo) stripped down version 2005 325i for $25K. They have $2500 incentives currently and are usually sold for well below invoice.
#5 of 19 Re: BMW 325 or MB C240? [hercules00]
May 08, 2005 (11:42 pm)
Thanks for the advise. I really appreciate it. The bimmers I've looked at online are about the same price range as your friend's ($20-21k).
#6 of 19 Re: BMW 325 or MB C240? [amt7565]
May 08, 2005 (11:48 pm)
At the bimmer dealership (used division), they did have a demo car (2004) but was asking about $30k for it.
I think you're right. European cars tend to have a prestige attached to their looks. Not sure if it's psychological or not. To me, previous Acura, Lexus and Infiniti designs were better than the latest ones. I don't like the new look. Doesn't look sleek or classy enough for me. I also test drove the Audi A4 (2002) and loved the interior. It is a beauty inside. The exterior design doesn't make it unique enough in looks from the Japanese cars.
#7 of 19 Re: BMW 325 or MB C240? [speedoflight]
May 10, 2005 (1:14 pm)
One more thing.. try to get it from a bmw dealer if possible.. trust me.. they treat you real nice because they see you as a future revenue stream.. they say as much to you too
#8 of 19 Re: BMW 325 or MB C240? [speedoflight]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
May 10, 2005 (5:34 pm)
Definitely the Bimmer. Best model of BMW you can buy at the moment and much more enjoyable than the Benz. All my friends 325s are doing well I'm told...like they say "ask the man who owns one".
Of course shop carefully. Find a car with service records. Often the local dealer will tell you what kind of warranty work has been done. Do a CARFAX report. See if you can get a warranty of some kind.
Take a long test drive. Play with every knob and switch you can find.
Last of all, if you like the car and find nothing suspicious about it, take it in for a thorough diagnostic.
With a used BMW, if you start out right, you'll usually end up happy.
OH, stay away from high mileage--maybe 35K-40K tops.
#9 of 19 Went with BMW
May 23, 2005 (10:33 am)
My choice was between the C240 4matic and the BMW 325Xi. The BMW was more responsive and "fun to drive". However the Mercedes can be had $2000 cheaper because the 2005 325 Xi cars are almost sold out and the MB dealers are stuck with lots of 240 4matics. Looked at the Infiniti too - economical, powerful, reliable and... ugly. I ended up buying the BMW.
#10 of 19 Re: BMW 325 or MB C240? [speedoflight]
Jun 06, 2005 (3:13 pm)
My recommendation would be to expand your search to include the C230 sedan. When we bought our latest car, I test drove the 325, the C240 and the C230 (among other cars). The 325 is a very nice car and has excellent sporting feel. Personally, I found the interior somewhat bland and generic looking, despite quality materials. I also thought that the ride seemed overly hard/noisy for this type of car. Also, I manage to elicit a buzzing rattle from somewhere in the dash driving over a section of rough pavement. Rattles are a HUGE pet peeve of mine. The engine is sweet, though, with butter smooth power delivery and good low end response.
The C240 was nice - comfortable and stylish - but didn't satisfy me from a handling or power standpoint. Nice, but not for me.
The C230 "sport" sedan was the best compromise for me, with a smooth but solid ride, excellent handling characteristics, great looking & feeling interior, extremely solid construction (I've put 7,500 miles on it without a single squeak or rattle), a great sound system, etc.. The engine is a bit soft right off idle, but pulls willingly & strongly once underway and makes 90+ mph feel effortless on the highway.