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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 06-21-2004, 11:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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until last week, I thought I was pretty sure I was going to buy an E36 pretty much flat out in about a year, (right about when I get into college). But now I've changed my mind between 2 options. My mom has a 2002 S4 , that I absolutely love, I could get a 2000 S4 for $20,000, finance half of it and have a kick ass car. My only problem with the S is the reliability stand point. My moms car has had zero problems, but my uncles 2000 S4's turbos went bad at 50,000 miles. I don't need all that stress. My other option is to try and squeeze into a 2001 330i for around the same price. It seems to be hard to find them for around that price, and I can only hope one more years depriciation will knock it down some more. I know this is a BMW forum, so it would naturally be biased, but let me know what you guys think. My heart says S4, my reasoning says i'd have less troubles with the 330i.

sorry for writing so much
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Old 06-21-2004, 11:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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not being naturally biased, but drive a 330i will win your heart, its a win win situation no matter which car ( more of a win if you go with the bmw)
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Old 06-22-2004, 12:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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yea, it really is a good problem to have! It's gonna be hell to get the money though. Working full time at Best Buy my senior year n . 40 hours of school + 40 hours of work= no fun
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Old 06-22-2004, 12:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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btw, I just went to autotrader, and I had pretty good success in finding 330i's for around $20,000! They had around 40-60,000k. Now the tough part is finding them with sport package and stick shift
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Old 06-22-2004, 12:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Go for a 330i because even though you might spend a little more now it will be a hell of lot more reliable in the long run.
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Old 06-22-2004, 08:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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yeh, dude, i know how you feel. i was in a situation not long ago. I am half way through uni, and my parents came around, to buying me a car for my 21st.
so i test drove all the cars that took me fancy. i trest drove the Holden Monaro (i am from down under by the way), i think its being exported to the US as a Pontiac GTO, and in the UK as a Vauxhall. Also a Suburu Liberty GT, Mercedes E-320, and CLK-320, and a BMW 330Ci and a 325Ci.
I was reluctant to end up buying a BMW, due to the replacement of the 3-series next yr.
All cars performed well and handled remarkebly, the exceptio of the Suburu, which had heeps fo low-down grunt, but didnt inspire or give confidence to chuck it around corners. I disliked it very much. Both Mercedes were beautiful, i soo wanted a mercedes in the first place, esspecially the E-class, because the styling just oozes class and also its still in the early stages of its life cycle. However, the
E-320 is meant to be replaced enxt year by a newer engine, E350, and i didn't want to wait a whole year or more for delivery, so it was a no no.

The Monaro (GTO), perhaps had the most power, and was fun. It was also the cheapest of the lot by FAR! and offered the best value for money. a nice drive with great traffic light drags. But relaibility issues and that 6-speed gearbox was a shocker. Also a bit impracticle..as its a strictly 4-seater car. whereas i was looking for a 2-door but has the ability to sit 5 (though maybe slightly cramped), but also, handling and performace and luxury were on the agenda as well, wen i was looking as to what i wanted.

Then Came the BMW's. I swore so hard, when i finished my test-drive witht eh 325Ci. I was scared of falling in love with it. but the damn thing handles like like no other. you seriously must test-drive one to understand. It just works with you. it was a joy. the Only bummer was the engine. though smooth and capable of everyday driving, but i wanted the OOMPH! the 330Ci fixed that.
There is just something the way the 3-series handles, it is in another league.
I sooo, didn't want it because its going to be replaced sometime next year, with vlavletronic engines, thus more power supposedly, thus it will be 'old'.
The next best overall was the Mercedes E-class. So i sed, why settle for second or even third best?, why go soo low?...when the best is attainable, though you don't want to admit it. so, I am waitng for my 330Ci now.
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Old 06-22-2004, 08:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the help. I guess I'll just have to wait and drive the 330i. Maybe someone whose driven both an E36 M3 and the 330i can tell me this... I've driven my friends E36 M3 a lot, is the handling/acceleration similar? I know it might be a tad less responsive on both ends being that the 330i has 15 less horsepower and probably weighs more... but if it's close I know how sweet it would be. Now I have to go up to my fricken local BMW dealer, they are such snobs up there, and get laughed at when I ask for a test drive because of my age. I'm just going to let them know that if I get treated right, and I like the car, I'll let them act as the middle man in finding my car with the options that I want, and pay them a slightly higher price.

I'll just leave out the fact that it will be at least a year before I can get anything!
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