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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 05-26-2009, 06:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Newbie looking for some advice...

Hello all,

I've never owned a BMW before, but my everyday car is starting to show its age, so I've been doing some shopping. I'm primarily interested in the 325 or 330, and I definitely need a sedan. (We have a 2 year-old, so a car seat is a must.) I've contemplated a 5-Series, but I think I prefer the looks of the 3-Series. It also seems like a 3 will be a bit more sporty.

Another consideration is that I live in Cincinnati, where we get some snow in the winters. Also, my wife will drive our daughter in the car a day or so every week, so I'm thinking it may be a good idea to go with AWD, simply because she's not the greatest driver, and I think AWD will help in rain or snow. Lastly, since my wife will be driving the car, I'm going to have to get an automatic transmission. I tried to teach her how to drive a stick in a Porsche Turbo I used to own. But let's just say that didn't go well.

I'd appreciate some input as far as reliability of BMWs in general, as well as the reliability of the xi versus RWD. Are there any recurring problems with the later 3-Series cars? I think I'm going to concentrate on 2005 to 2007 models, so I don't take a huge depreciation hit.

Can you folks share some insight?

Thanks,
Brad
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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For a start, I have read that the E46 all wheel drive models can have issues.
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info, Shark. Are you aware of any problems with the 325i or 328i?
Thanks,
Brad
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Are you solidly locked into a 3 Series? Or may i suggest a 5 Series? Perhaps a 535i?
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd be interested in a 5-Series for sure. The big items for me are:

1. Sedan
2. Automatic
3. Well-maintained/ No damage/ Clean reports
4. Preferably a 2005-2007
5. Preferably no more than 25,000 or 30,000 miles.
6. I'm leaning towards Mystic Blue or Black, but those aren't mandatory.

Thanks,
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info, Shark. Are you aware of any problems with the 325i or 328i?
Thanks,
Brad
There's a bit of chatter that generally, the cooling systems need replacement at about 50,000 miles (they say 60,000, so I say 50).
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ahhhh, that's good to know.
Thanks,
Brad
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Here's a nice 550i for ya in Hamburg, NY...
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quick update:

Thanks for the advice, gents. I just picked up my first BMW. It's a 2007 335i with Steptronic transmission. It's in excellent condition, just under 23,000 miles, Premium/ Cold Weather packages, iDrive and Navigation. I'm looking forward to putting a LOT of miles on this beauty. :-)

Thanks,
Brad
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That is a sweetie!
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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beautiful looking!
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