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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 05-19-2005, 06:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I am looking to buy a BMW this summer as early as possible. Right now I have my heart set on a 328i sedan, 5 speed - but it is really difficult to find one with decent miles. To help my search I am considering including the earlier 325i sedan.

What am I really missing if I go for a 325i instead of a 328i?
Torque
Newer (fixed e36 problems)
???

I will save a couple thousand dollars if I buy a 95 325i over a 98 328i so that is a big plus in my opinion - but the loss of torque hurts. I know both cars will handle outstandingly and will be fun, but how much better acceleration will I get from a 328i over the 325i? I've read somehwere that the difference is an outstanding 1.3 seconds! (6.4 vs 7.7). Is this at all true?

If I buy a 325i will I forever regret not waiting for the 328i that I really want? I am willing to spend a couple grand to make sure I am satisfied for the next 100,000+ miles I plan on keeping this car.
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If the usual reponse to this question occures then you will be told to get the 328i no matter what. Even if it means selling your signifcant others kidney to get the difference in balance. It really just depends on how much money you have. If you do not have a decent savings built up, or do not have a montly surplus of money enough to cover maintiance/repairs then I would go with the 325i and save the rest for a rainy day (or broken car). Keep in mind that you will most likely need around $500-$1000 more than the cost of the car, lisnence registration, insurnace, when you first buy the car. The $500-$1000 will cover all of the maintiance that will most likely need to be done. Such as changing every fluid and possibly every belt in the car. Also fixing anything on a BMW is an expensive endevor. The extra torque would be nice, but not if it will cost you a bit of security against the little things that will go wrong with your car in the future. It can nickle and dime you to near death.
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I looked for a long time for a 328 in my price range and never found one so got a 325. I have driven both of them and can say that you will be happy with either. The 328 has some extra torque but there is not as much of a difference as some may claim. The car looks the same and drives so similar. AS far as 1.3 seconds difference that is wrong. There is a slight difference but I think it is closer to .3 or .4 seconds difference. Plus a 325 is more tunable than a 328 so you can always make up for any differences. My advice is to buy which one you can afford looking at everything like maintenance, insurance, taxes and registration. If you have found both cars I have seen people put both listings on here to have us help them. I personally would look at 94-98 and see what you can find. Some times the prices for a 1998 328 can be really close to prices for a 95-96 M3 so keep that in mind too.
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Old 05-20-2005, 08:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Agreed with shearer on that one. I test drove a 2000 328CI with dual VANOS and my 93 325i is faster. I have some mods tho.. Stock vs stock the 328 has a slight edge in acceleration, but the 325 takes to mods much better and then becomes the faster car..If you got a conforti chip on the 325 you'd take a sharked 328.. And take the savings in price difference and get that 325 tuned-up to tip top shape and buy your chip.
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Old 05-20-2005, 10:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, the difference is quite noticable. Thought you'd want a 2.8 gent's perspective on it. I drove both before I even devoted myself to a 3-series (back then I wanted a 944S2 more than life itself, and almost got one). Get the 328, you'll be happier.

And the 0-60 difference you found does exist.
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Old 05-20-2005, 11:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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http://www.eurotuned.com/0-60.htm that site lists a bunch of 0-60 times. Although it really depends on the car. And those are not factory times those are peoples personal times. Notice the difference between 1994 and 1995(i doubt that anything changed that much). Go by what you like not what a website says. If you like the car you will be happy with it. Again if you get a 328 you will like it, if you get a 325 you will like that too. OBDI engines take to mods better which is what we are talking about the 325 being more tunable.
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Old 05-22-2005, 12:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Save up, take your time and go with the 2.8 I'm glad i did... the way i judge it, is everyday when i hop on the brooklyn queens expressway, and it dosen't suck...
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Old 05-26-2005, 01:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I actually just got my '97 328i 5-Speed black sedan about 2 months ago and i love it. You wont be dissapointed by it! Definetly get the sedan too (unless ur really into it) based on what ive heard... the sedan is only about 60-65lbs heavier than the coupe, so not a whole lot plus its much more convienient. I would recommend just being patient. I looked at 325s, but the 328 definetly has a little more off the line. Mine has 90k miles and i paid $7,700. Just keep your eye in the papers, autotrader.com, ebay, and craigslist.org. I just happen to see mine in a want ad! I would also recommend looking for one with a sport pkg too. makes a sedan really hit the corners nicely!
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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sedans are actually a little lighter than coupes. The books say they are the same tho. But I remember seeing a good source and explained why the coupes were a little heavier. Something to do with heavier supports in the sides because of only the 2 doors... But I love my 325.. I test drove a 2000 328ic and wasnt impressed. The acceleration off the line was good, but once on the highway it became a dog (because of that whimpy intake manifold). The only OBDII car I would get would be an M..
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Old 05-26-2005, 08:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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What about a 328 with an M50 manifold swap?

The M50 manifold is the bottom one. Notice the significantly larger bore... (Ignore the circle, pic was taken from some random website talking about something else)
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Old 05-26-2005, 09:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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^^ now your talking.. you lose your off the line acceleration advantage tho. But the high end power would scream. I dont think that would be passing emission tests tho..
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