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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 11-22-2003, 06:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi-

I'm 16 and I'm looking to get a new car, I'll probably have around $9k to spend. That translates to a 96 or 97 A4 with say 100k miles vs a 95 or 96 BMW 3 series with around 120k miles.

I really like both cars and am interested in which you would recommend and why. I'm sure the overwhelming amount of responses will be pro-Bmw so give me the pros and cons of both if you can.

Thanks a lot.
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Old 11-22-2003, 06:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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BMW will handle better by far. Im not too familiar with Audis that old, but from I know about their current ones they can sometimes "be a sheep (VW) in wolves colthing".

Personally, I like styling of the bimmer more, however the audi convertables of that time are nice. 97 Audi's are rarer that 97 bimmers, so you will stand out more. However, it inst always a good thing when you dont see many.
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Old 11-22-2003, 07:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Around here 96-00 Audis are really common, and they all look almost exactly alike. Older BMWs are fairly common too but not that much.

I'm mostly concerned with reliability, repair costs, fun to drive, mileage being a factor, handling in various conditions.

I'd get a stick of either one and possibly the Audi as a quattro. I live in Chappaqua, NY where it snows a fair amount and the entire town is hills. Would the RWD of the 3 be a problem? Even if I didn't get the quattro it'd be a FWD A4.

Thanks
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Old 11-22-2003, 04:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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OK..I actually have some FIRST hand experience on this matter for a couple of reasons.

1. I myslef own a 97 328i and i love the car to death, But i am not going to be pro-BMW just because i have one. On the other hand my girlfriend has a 96 Audi A4 2.8Quatro. And now my opinion on these cars is as follows.My BMW handes great, is a decently quick car and and looks great also. NOW for the AUDI which i have driven many times....The A4 as with all audis feel VERY sluggish and dont fell quick or even like they have much torque at all compared to the BMW!!!! THe reason mostly for this sluggishness is beause of the Quatro system that most audis have. It makes them a lot heavier car and takes more gas also. So it all depends on what exactly you are looking for. If you want more performance and handling and stuff like that go with BMW, but if that doesnt really matter to you then go with the Audi, because they do look good for the most part, and the best thing about them is that they are GREAT in the snow, and that would be the major difference between the two besides the performance.

AND

2. my girlfriends father is also a car dealer who deal mainly with BMW and Audi vehicles, so i have driven them all and my overall opinion is that BMW is a much better car overall, and also i know that audi can be very "problematic". They basically are a advanced VW i guess you could say.

Well that is my 2cents.

Oh...on a side note, i had the chance to drive a 2000 S4(twin turbo model of A4) today and that is a sweet and FAST car. So if you could swing the cash for one of those i would say go for it!!
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Old 11-23-2003, 01:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Jajeta and pres, thanks for the info.

I ran the same questino by the Audi kids and they've had some interesting responses. I'd be interested to see what you think, so post your reply in this board if you can.

http://www.audizine.com/forum/topic.asp?TO...itle=1%2E+B5+A4
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Old 11-23-2003, 04:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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audis are a LOT more problematic than a BMW would be with 100k on it. I know this for a fact becuase i work at a dealership in the service department where all audis and bmws come through and the audis always seem to have more in depth and more expensive problems to deal with than does the BMW. Dont get me wrong they are a nice car, BUT there is just some things about them that, when need to be fixed, have to be sent to a dealer or audi specialist becuase you wont be able to do it yourself...and i have seen that happen many times!....as for the snow, yes they are great in the snow but a good set off snows on a bmw and some good driving and i think you would be ok. becuase i live in MA and i get the same snow here.
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Old 11-23-2003, 06:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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to counter the reliablity issues they spoke of, I agree. If the car was not well taken care of it will have issues. However, I purchased mine with just under a few k under 100, and I havent had anything break yet (now at 119). However, I also keep up my maintainence. Perform the regular inspection tasks and the car will last. With the audi, the turbo issue they adressed could pose more problems for you. You may have to replace it, or it could be worn. Also, becasue a turbo is FI, it will inevitably put more wear on the engine, leading to reduced longevity. Taking care of the car is the key. While mine had no problems, my stepbrother had tremendous problems with his 95 ti that had half the amount of miles mine had. Regardless of which car you get, make sure you have a thorough inspection done.

Now, based on what I read and my first had experience with BMWs, these are my reccomendations. You should get the BMW for the following reasons:

the BMW is more reliable, based on the Audi board's posts about problems and repairs you will face and the fact only trained audi techs can do some repairs VS occasional and minor problems you may face with the bimmer that you can usually fix yourself.

the BMW will handle better overall. Yes, as was stated on the audi board if you lower, chip, and do some other stuff it will eat the bimmer on the track. That is true. However, should one do the same to the bimmer, then again the bimmer comes out ahead. On the issue of RWD VS AWD in the winter. I have driven mine on snow and ice and a compotnent driver can control it well enough. Further, My father owned a z3 and porsche boxter when we lived in Connecticut in the leate 90s. Both are RWD cars and were driven in heavy winter conditions without much problems.

The bimmer does not have a cheap interior. The Audi member who spake that probably road in a 318ti. The 3 series interior is nicer than that of the audi, and includes good vynal dash, leather, and real wood.
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Old 11-25-2003, 07:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I just got back from a weekend away and read the Audi responses (like 50 responses, very nice of them). Most of them are very convincing in that I should get neither. I"ve always known that Audis are less reliable than BMWs, and you can just see it by looking out hte window. You see a lot more old BMWs than Audis. I sort of feel if I was an Audi owner and I couldn't recommend my car I wouldn't want to recommend my competitor's car (BMW) either, so do you think that's why they're saying go with a Jetta or something? Would make sense, Jetta's are a lot like A4s.

Like I posted there, my parents pay for insurance and gas, and I get a $40/week allowance. I obviously dont want to have to spend that on repairs but you've gotta do what you've gotta do. Getting a job is out of the question, with sports and all I've got too much already. How much of a gamble is the BMW?
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Old 11-26-2003, 11:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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any last minute answers? i think i might be buying soon
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