A New Car For Me! - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 02:50 PM
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Hi guys!
My first post around in here.

Lately I have been working hard and I think I deserve a treat.
I like cars, and I want a daily driver that will make me smile when I start it.
It's not a hard task, I don't want a 350Z or a Cayenne Turbo...

I was thinking to get a Miata, but I live in Bulgaria, and the roads here are terrible, not to mention the rain and snow.
Then my mind was set on a Golf, but those things aren't cheap compared to what you get (20,000 bucks for a front wheel drive? no thanks!).

Then I thought WRX STi, but a good STi (the 300BHP version) costs too much for me, and it's still a Subaru (bad image, lame service in Bulgaria caz here we don't drive something not European).

Then it hit me!
My driving lessons were on an old 5 series combi, I think it was from the early 90's. Even though it was driven real hard (it's a learning mobile, after all) and it's only 520, it was still fun to drive and offered loads of power and comfort (140 hp and rear wheel drive is something to be proud of in my opinion).

I always thought of BMW's as expensive heavy stupid cars, but if it was a learning car then I guess it's not that expensive or gas guzzling, right?

Anyway, I really like the 3 series. I can't afford a new one, I think my budget can get me a 1998 model at best.

The problem is that I know nothing about the BMW line, and it seems like they have loads of models. I am quite an expert on the Golf line (but as I said, I am not going to buy a golf, unless I don't find a suitable BMW).

During my search I think I got on to the model I am looking for, it's a 328i.

My questions:
-Is that the strongest motor available on a 1998 3 series?
-What trims is it available with?
-Is it the best option for me?
-How many gears does the manual tranny have?

I'll tell you what I am looking about my car, by order of priority:
-Rear wheel drive.
-Above 150BHP.
-Descent fuel efficiency (I need something not more than 12-13 liters per 100km, or 19-17 miles per gallon, I can even go below 17 if it's real quick).
-Cool looks (I am going to get it lowered, add some cool rims and maybe some bumpers, but it still must have some base I can build on)
-Manual tranny.
-Gas, not diesel.
-Coupe (it means hardtop, right?), not open top, cabrio or convertible.
-Somewhat durable (I can't afford buying a new engine every 10 kilometers, right?)
-Price isn't really a big problem, I have the money, so if that's that little extra buck I need to invest in order to get something much better, then don't be afraid to advise me.

So what do you think? Do I need a BMW at all?
What BMW should I get?
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#2 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 03:00 PM
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Welcome Mustey
,you know , I thought exactly the same of BMW's until I had a ride as a passenger in a E46 M3.Now after selling my VW Corrado G60 ( supercharged) I ride a E36 323i and love it . * I had 2 x VW Golfs before that and highly recommend, as long as feels solid, they get a bit sloppy 100K miles +
I don't know if you need to go to a 328 you know, I ride a 323i and it's 170Bhp,0-60 @ 7 seconds, tops out @ 145mph ( apparently) motorway 30-33 mpg/town 15-20mpg.
Happy motoring whatever you buy
Q&A ;
-Is that the strongest motor available on a 1998 3 series? * Expert comment needed
-What trims is it available with? - cloth or leather
-Is it the best option for me? - your call.
-How many gears does the manual tranny have? =5

I'll tell you what I am looking about my car, by order of priority:
-Rear wheel drive. = Y
-Above 150BHP. = Y
-Descent fuel efficiency (I need something not more than 12-13 liters per 100km, or 19-17 miles per gallon, I can even go below 17 if it's real quick). = 15-33mpg or so
-Cool looks (I am going to get it lowered, add some cool rims and maybe some bumpers, but it still must have some base I can build on) = for sure, see mine (lol)*members rides ;http://www.bmw-forums.com/forum/inde...cmd=sc&op=user
-Manual tranny. = Y ( Tiptronic option also available)
-Gas, not diesel. = Y
-Coupe (it means hardtop, right?), not open top, cabrio or convertible. = Hard top 2 dr
-Somewhat durable (I can't afford buying a new engine every 10 kilometers, right?) = Very
-Price isn't really a big problem, = probably looking @ $10K i'd guess ( I don;t know car prices in Bulgaria, in the UK about 6K / $10 K/ 8.5 K

happy hunting

<a href='http://www.bmw-forums.com/forum/index.php?act=module&module=gallery&cmd=si&img=642 ' target='_blank'>http://www.bmw-forums.com/forum/index.php?...&cmd=si&img=642</a>
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#3 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 03:12 PM
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well in my opinion a 92-95 325 is great as well as a 96-98 (your budget limit year) 328. They are basically the same car in the states, but across seas i think the 328 has a little more power.

If you are excluding the m3 from the 3-series group, then yes the 328 is the most powerful e36 you can get. But if you include the m3 then the m3 is by far more powerful than all the other 3-series.

second question....trims availible for the 328 include the following:
328i = 4 door sedan
328is = 2 door coupe
328ic = convertible (2 door)

third question....i would say it IS the best option for you if you simply want a good priced sporty car that gets good gas mileage and is rear wheel drive.

forth question......i think they come standard with 5 gears on the manual cars.

hope this helps
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#4 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 03:34 PM
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Wow dudes that helps a lot. Thanks!
The other forums aren't that nice to people like me who ask 100+ questions per post.

Does the 328is come with an inline 6 or an inline 4?

Do you know a place where I can learn the whole terminology with the EXX? In Bulgaria, we use the model name "325" or "540", for example. In the states I see that you use words like "E30" or "E36".

Would you tell me about the M3?

I have heard stories about the magnificent CSL 3 series, but I don't want a car that has a trunk made of carton!

I think I managed to convince my dad to get a cheap 5 series, like a 1998 520 or something, they look like damn civilized cars! I personally wana rip the roads with a two-door...

I need to learn about the BMW series's, like, for example, with the Golfs:
2004+ =Golf 5 -The chinese piece of sh*t.
1999-2004 =Golf 4 (2002+, VR6 gets 24 vavles) -The coolest IMHO.
1992-1999 =Golf 3 -The rounder Golfs.
1982-1992 =Golf 2 -The legendary II
1982-1971 =Golf 1 -The too old to be true...
(By the way, is that correct? I seem to have forgotten the years)
I used to admire the R32, but I think I can find a better deal at 32,000 USD base price.

I guess BMW, being Germans, also have organized series's that can be easily distinguished by the shape of the car. Hey, they are Bavarians after all, now aren't they?
I must admit that it does seem that the 3 series from 1992 and the 3 series from 1997 share a lot in common of looks, but maybe it's because I haven't gotten into BMWs yet?

Yes, my budget is around 10 "big green bank notes" (10,000 USD). But if there's something much cooler waiting for me at 12 or even 13kUSD, then why not?
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#5 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 03:55 PM
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crikey, few questions there, (*i'm in UK), so here goes ;
328is is an inline 6, E30 is mk2 3 series, E36 is mk 3 ,4th 3 series, is E46
Don't think made E36 CSL, E46 CSL's about $100K
Yes cars series are quite different , and cars from same series i.e a '94 318 through to a '98 328i / M3 you would see a fair amount of difference in body styling, suspension, alloys and of course speed
ref M3's , think I may go for 1 later, more pricey and more to run from what I hear
* post a pic of what you get and what you do to it , if you buy a E36 this is a great place for tips and advice, folks helped me here many times - cheers.

<a href='http://www.bmw-forums.com/forum/index.php?act=module&module=gallery&cmd=si&img=642 ' target='_blank'>http://www.bmw-forums.com/forum/index.php?...&cmd=si&img=642</a>
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#6 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 04:11 PM
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Great!
Now I just need to get to know around with the series's. A website with pics would be lovely.
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#7 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 09:48 PM
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Quick primer on 3 series...
E30: 1983-1992-ish
E36: 1992-1999
E46: 1999-Present
E90: Later this year 'till ...?

As for the numbers that you refer to the vehicles with... In the three digit reference to a model, the first number is the class or series (IE, 3 series or 5 series) and the last two are the engine size (328 being a 3 Series with a 2.8 liter displacement inline or "straight" 6-cylinder engine, 540 is a 5 Series with a 4 liter V8 engine).

If you can part ways with $10k to $13K, I highly suggest looking for an E36 M3 (1994 to 1999 in Europe) with a lower mileage if possible. The 1994 to early 1996 M3 had a 3.0 straight-six engine making about 240 HP, and I'm not sure about the Euro specs (I THINK about 280 HP). The late 1996 to 1999 M3 had a 3.2 liter straight-six making about 280 HP (Again, I THINK the Euro-spec made 320 HP). The vehicles had similar trim and almost identical suspension (Depending on model. IE: Convertible, CSL) They are very competent cars as far as power and handling are concerned, and they also have a lot of luxury bits and a high degree of comfort. If you can't convince yourself to make this purchase (and I really do suggest you at least think about it and test drive one), then you can definitely get a nice 328 sedan or coupe for under $10k. Hell, you could get a pretty nice earlier (1996 maybe) 328is (2 door hardtop) for less than that and spend the extra goodies on some go-fast stuff or your rims and body kit. But if you get the M3, it already has a good-looking body and decent rims from the factory. Anyway... That's my 2 cents...
-Tim
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#8 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 09:49 PM
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PS: Check out www.bmwworld.com for info on the various models of BMWs
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#9 (permalink) Old 04-12-2005, 01:04 AM
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yes, that is the one i was going to mention, it rocks when it comes to history info of the series and some techincal data (not much tho).
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#10 (permalink) Old 04-12-2005, 01:22 AM
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Welcome, and as previously mentioned if u can part ways with a little extra cash u will not be dissapointed if you go with a mid 90's M3. I have a 1995 and i smile every morning i wake up and look out my window no joke. if you want any more info or photos PM me or IM me at Ce1lardoor i would b glad to fill you in.

-Hutch-

<span style='color:red'>Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body. But rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totaly work out, loudly proclaiming &quot;Wow! What a ride!!&quot;.</span>

<span style='color:blue'>If life passes you by......downshift</span>
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#11 (permalink) Old 04-12-2005, 01:14 PM
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Will you please tell me how much HP are we talking about?
Is it very low (ground clearence)?
Does it gulp significantly more gas than a 328is?

BTW, which version is quicker, the 328i or the 328is?
Is the 328is large enough to seat a crowd of 5 normal people, I mean, with the 2-door, the only thing compromised is leg room, right?
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#12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2005, 01:24 PM
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What are the differences between the M3 and the 328i?
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#13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2005, 01:37 PM
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What are the little differences in the series I am talking about (around 97)? Like with the Golfs, the VR6's from 2002 have 4 valves per cylinder, now that with the BMW?
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#14 (permalink) Old 04-12-2005, 02:03 PM
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328i/328is have the same engine (2.8L), the only difference is the # of doors.

The M3 is a 3.0L i6, up until 1995, 1996+ M3's have the 3.2L i6.

All bmw 6 cylinder engines 92+ have 24 valves and are DOHC.

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#15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2005, 02:13 PM
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That's what I like about BMW. I didn't know they were so civilized!
Then what I am aiming for is a 1996 M3 in good condition, right? What kind of milage should I expect? I am going to buy it from Germany, they got good roads, good gas and obviously the best service, not to metion harsh regulations, so I guess a 96 wouldn't be so bad.

Are the M3 96 and 98 models the same?
Are the 328i 96 and 98 models the same?
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