I have a 323i SE saloon and it is a lovely car, even though it's about to cost £350 for an Inspection 2 and an overheating problem cure. I'm 42 and been driving 21 years and my insurance is £600 per year fully comp, I hate to think what yours will be !!!!!!
Any way the car is a dream and if you think you can afford one I would recommend you go for it.
My brother had a 323 i SE... until his kids grew out of it. Was a great car though.. that's actually what made me look at them for the next car.
I used Elephant.com and put my birthday back 9 months (becuase I'll be 9 months older when I come to change my car). I got a quote of £1100 on a 323 which I was super impressed with and so I've now kinda set my heart on one.
My only concern really is that of losing control if I drive it a bit too hard for whatever reason... have you had any probs with this mate?
I have a little 318ti ///M-sport I got for $7,200 (usally more just gotta know how to bargain) that is wonderful, yea she doesn't have as much power as some of these guys but in a standard she's spunky, fun and the shorter wheel base is kinda nice too!
Just to add a few comments to this, insurance is high for fun cars unfortunately, and problem is as you get older, can afford better cars and insurance goes higher, so in order of ownership ;
VW Golf (mk2) 1.3L(gulp...) @ £550-3rd
VW Golf GTi (mk3) @ £750 3rd
VW Corrado G60(supercharged) £1K 3rd
BMW 323i @ £1.2K , full comp (with 5 yrs no claims)
however back to the car, after the Corrado, which is quite mental 160Bhp supercharged front wheel (spinning) drive , and feeling every bump in the road, things started getting a bit 'loose' feeling and not quite appropriate as a sales reps car ghead
so got BMW Coupe 323i in Somoa blue, love this car, not the mad acceleration G60 had, but smooth n solid, sounds nice, feels comfortable ; powers there if you want it from what I find, and 5 months in loving it ; definitely recommended,
luckily mine came ready sorted for me (took me 5 months to find this 1 tho), M-Tech suspension , skirts and spoiler, fake M3 AC's 17's ; still feel like the man wicked B)
o, for cheap insurance maybe a 318Is E36, or compact ... at a guess.....
feeling quite smug now, my insurance was up, company screwed up their quote , i took it , they probably made nothing, dropped from UK £ 1250 to 490. happy days . looks like 800 quid set aside for performance mods ; who hoo :P
If you are worried about losing control of a 328 then I have some advice for you!
Drive it hard as you like in the dry - you will be able to push the car and unless you get it way out of shape then you should be ok
Drive it like you are a 90 year old woman in the wet - any mistakes in the wet in a rear wheel drive 328 even at lower speeds and you will spin at least and crash at worst!
Also, try Auto Direct for an ins quote - I'm paying £690 fully comp with legal and low xs's AND i have had to declare a 6mth ban and 9 current points! They are the cheapest by a long wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
bimmer fun = wicked ; loving fast, rear wheel drive power.
Got a '97 (E36) 323i coupe 5 months ago, and gets better every day.
Control ; good but be easy on the corners in my advise, weighty but powerfull, depends on what you've been driving before ?
getting the back end out whilest in control is wicked, (mainly) in the rain...., I had a VW Corrado G60 , supercharged 1.8L front wheel drive, and at times, in the wet I could front wheel spin - and turn and drive round an entire roundabout ,(although nearly broke my wrist last time I tried it) bit riskier in the Bimmer, mainly due to weight I think, also rear wheel , different dynamics....bodyweight etc.
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