My fiancee is considering the purchase of a 3-series sedan between 2002 to the brand new 2005 model. However, I wanted to get some advice and recommendations from current owners and enthusiasts. I am hoping that you can answer some questions for me.
Most likely she will be going for the 325 or 330. The 320 just seemed to lack some of the options that should be standard on a car of this class and it seemed as though it would cost more to add those options to make it equal to a 325 at least (minus the stronger motor of the 325). She will be getting a manual transmission.
1) Is there any advantage to going with a later model 325/330... were there any note-worthy changes between the years of 02-05 that would make the later model a better buy?
2) In terms of ongoing maintenance and upkeep, how expensive (or not) is it, to own one of these cars?
3) In terms of little maintanance and repairs that might crop up later in the life of this car, is it something that DIY car guy like me can handle or will I have to run to the dealership, everytime something goes wrong, because of the car being too "unique" and not like any other car to work on?
If I can think of any more questions I will post more later; if any of my questions need clarification please feel free to ask. I want to be able to get a clear understanding of what I/she would be getting in to.
Thanks for your time, all.