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#1 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 12:07 AM
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Hey boys, Well I'm new to the board and have to say checking out some of your rides they are pretty sweet. As of this minute I do not own a Bimmer, but I'm a huge fan. I would love to buy one but I'm not sure which one to buy. I was wondering is there a list on here or somewhere else that could help me out. I would like to know what the differeance is between some of the levels of BMWs. Also what the different trims are, ie TI, CI and so on. I know this is a lot to ask for but if you guys could point me in the right direction. Thanks
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#2 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 01:39 PM
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My friend was telling me that in Car & Driver, or some mag like that, the 3-series was rated one of the best vehicles overall. I believe that weighed customer satisfaction, safety, performance. It really is the ultimate driving machine.

There are two body styles - E36 and E46 that you should look in to. The E36 was made from '91 to '98. The E46 started in '99. The models are as follows: 318, 323. 325, 328, 330 and the coveted M3. You can find 318's for as low as $4k and M3's for as much as $25k (from the stealership) in the E36 body-style. The E36 has a 'squarer' nose when compared to the E46.

I am not too sure about the pricing for the E46, but generally i have seen them from $16k to about $50k for newer M3's.

When looking at the number of the BMW the first number is the series (3) and the following numbers are the size of the engine (1.8L, 2.3L, etc.) Obviously the higher the number the more power.

How much do you want to spend? Then maybe we can help better...

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#3 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 08:57 PM
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I knew that the first number was what series the car was but I didn't know the second two were engin size. What does the IC an TI and all that mean, does that just have to due with options that it has. Ie leather or power this or power that? As for price something around 20k, but keep in mind I'm up in Canada. 20Gs doesn't go far when it comes to BMWs up here. Ha Ha Another thing is I don't know if I would like a two door or four. Are the two doors a bitch to get into the back? I think I would want a four. Are the E36 the ones with a boxier front bumper? I think a car between '95 to 2000 would be where I'm at, as thats what 20Gs get you. Is the XI the only one that is AWD? One of the biggest things I keep hearing about Bimmers is that when the break down the cost a fortune to repair, do you guys find them to be that much more to fix than any other brand of car. I once was told that they cost more to fix, but you can drive a bimmer a lot harder than alot of other cars.
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#4 (permalink) Old 04-11-2005, 11:08 PM
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lets take for example 325i

3 - series number
25 = 2.5 liter engine,,, works this way most of the time... 318ti is actually a 1.9L, e39 540i is a 4.4L, 740i is 4.4L as well... but those are only excepctions.

i - fuel injected
ci - coupe
ic - convert.
x - awd
s - sport
t - touring
a - automatic


there is maybe more but im too tired to keep going. look around FAQ forum for complete lists

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#5 (permalink) Old 04-12-2005, 06:38 PM
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Ok I think I see how it goes. So a 318i is a 3 series with a 1.8L engin and fuel injected. If it only has i after the three numbers does that mean it only comes with the basic options, pm, pdl, pw leather? What does an is come with?
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#6 (permalink) Old 04-12-2005, 09:29 PM
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no. i have a 325i. its a five speed four door no leather. a 325i can also come in leather. uhm. if there is a c. like a 330Ci it means its a coupe, this one would be a 3 series, 3 liter coupe. in addition to that the 323i is also an exception. that has a 2.5 liter motor, despite the 323 badge. so yea. just that.

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#7 (permalink) Old 04-13-2005, 01:04 AM
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The numbers on the back of the car will tell you a few things:

1st number: series
2nd and 3rd numbers: engine displacement (in tenths of liters) - approximated
letter suffixes:
i means injected, and usually denotes a four-door.
Ci, can denote a two-door coupe or a 3-series or 6-series convertible
Li is luxury
a T denotes a turbocharger
X denotes all-wheel drive

If i've forgotten anything or am flat-out wrong, please correct me.

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#8 (permalink) Old 04-13-2005, 09:18 PM
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I don't think I have ever seen one with a "T" on the back of it. So I guess as far as options I'll have to take a look at the car itself to see what it has. Any recommendations as to which ones to look at. I would like a Four door but nothing too big. Also something will a bit of power, tired or driving a car with no power. I would say RWD but all the ones I've looked at are. What options are base on every or most BWMs? I asked this before but nobody addressed it, are Bimmers more expensive cars to fix? I guess they might be compared to lower end cars but what about equal level cars?
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#9 (permalink) Old 04-13-2005, 10:26 PM
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Sir, I think what you would like is an M5. four door, mid-sized, with a big ol' stompin' V8 under the hood. Things like leather, power windows, etc. are usually standard (though cloth seats are an option on the M3).

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Torque @ May 9 2005, 09:07 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'>Welcome to the biggest sausagefest on Earth... you can run from us now, but sooner or later -- we will hump you.
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#10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 07:22 PM
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An M5 would kick ass, but I think a V6 or inline 6 would fit my price range. Does it matter what engin size it is or is a V6 the smallest you can go? What are we looking at in the way of power out of the V6s?
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#11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 10:38 PM
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well. they only come in inline six. and four banger but i think a six suits you better. the inline 6 has some smooth power. now. my car i have driven hard since i've had it(1992 325i 5spd) about a year. and i know that if i drove an integra or my dads civic that hard (which is new and i am afraid to push it to its limits) i kno it wouldnt last half as long. now parts can be more expensive but generally they will last you longer. uhm. the 325i (e36 has like some 190 hp) the 328i has a lot more torque and like 210 hp or so (not sure at all) and the m3 is like 240 hp. all these are e36 specs. i love my car. it feels pretty good but sometimes i wish i had a 328. but if ure going from a slower car it will feel beastly. maintenance is the same as any other car. things will break and it will cost you more to fix. but im 17. had it since i was 16. and i am willing to pay that extra price for a car i trully love and enjoy having. (even tho i just killed my transmission from a previous accident. ) oh well. its gona get fixed. putting in an M3 tranny for around 700 bucks a pop. excited. good luck yo. have fun and hope u get a bmw.

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#12 (permalink) Old 04-14-2005, 10:42 PM
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How much are you looking to spend? If you are willing to get an older car, you can get an M5 for a reasonable price. The current generation 3-liter straight-six gets 225 horses, IIRC.

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#13 (permalink) Old 04-16-2005, 05:14 PM
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I guess somerwhere around 20 to 23k CND, with that I could probably buy a mid to late 90's 318I or 325I. What does the "S" in IS mean?
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#14 (permalink) Old 05-04-2005, 01:40 PM
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I own three BMW's bought in Vancouver, BC. For 23K Canadian you can get a used E46 (3 series) or a used E39 (5 series). I bought a used 528i in your price range. Note to Americans, Bimmers are more expensive in Canada (exchange rate).

If you're a young guy, you'll probably want the three, if you are older and tired of being cramped in Jap cars most of your life, you'll love the five. Both the five and the three are great cars. I own a 318i, 330xi and a 528i; my favourite car is the five.

I've helped guys buy Bimmers who live in different provinces but don't have a great selection of what you want. Brian Jessel in Vancouver ( a dealer) sells the most Bimmers a month than any other Canuck dealership. They also have the largest used stock on hand in Canada.

There are two philosophies out there: 1) never buy used from the dealership, you'll pay too much 2) only buy from the dealership, chances are you will get a better car. I'm in the second category.

A true story: I bought the 318i (1994 with 82,000 Kilometres) from Jessel a couple of months ago. I drove it off the lot; two days latter I had pulsing in my electrical; a new alternator was installed - no arguement from the dealer. About a month and a half latter, the starter gave me problems, a new starter was installed, no arguements given from the dealer - in fact, my salesman was insistent it be fixed by them. Can you imagine what would have happened if this had been a private purchase? Also, purchasing through the dealer is best if the car has a history of being repaired by them, they have all the records and give you the low down on the car up keep.

You can actually become good at reading "into" the maintance history of a car. For example, if a guy rotates his tires every year, you know you're buying a car that was maintained by a Bimmer fanatic - most guys won't rotate their tires to save money.
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#15 (permalink) Old 05-04-2005, 02:03 PM
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I'm from Toronto and I got my 2001 325i for 21 + tax (25k). But I got a real good deal from a dealer auction ... they usually go for 26k for a E46 '01. I would suggest getting a '99 or '00 323 or 328 if you can find them for your price range. The main difference you'll find with the 323 and 325 will probably be the mileage as everything else is pretty much the same save for about 14 more horses.

But definately get a Bimmer
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