PDA

View Full Version : if you had about 35k to spend on a car...


emilford
11-13-2003, 10:44 PM
What would you buy?

I'm new to the world of BMWs. They've always been my dream car, but I've never in the past been able to afford one. I'm ready to bite down and fork over the money for an awesome driving experience.

So, I've been shopping around a bit, but there are so many options. I've been eyeing the 330CI and found a dealership offering a 2003 330CI, 14k miles, premium and sport package, etc for around 35k. Is this a good deal?

I'm basically looking for as much feedback from more knowledgeable people on which car I should look to purchase and why? What exactly should I look for when I'm shopping around? Any advice is appreciated.

Someone on another forum suggested getting an older M3 over a newer 330CI? A good decision?

Please, flood with me information. I really want to make the correct decision and be completely (or as close as possible) happy with my buy.

Mr. The Edge
11-13-2003, 10:48 PM
a lotus elise

emilford
11-13-2003, 11:01 PM
What are you looking for in a car? That will determine the tradeoffs you should make.

Search here. You'll find lots of opinions.

If you have a fixed budget, European Delivery can get your more car for the same money.I'm looking for a car that is an all-around incredible ride. Power. Handling. Luxury.

Is the European Delivery option available for used cars as well? I'd certainly be interested in heading back to Germany to visit family and friends and drive my new car on the autobahn! :-)

AB
11-13-2003, 11:05 PM
Infiniti G35 Coupe

http://g35driver.com/photos/albums/2003_G35_Coupe/2003-07-14/2.jpg

emilford
11-13-2003, 11:10 PM
Traitor! :violent:

Seriously though, you can get a partially loaded 330i for 35K if you do ED. I'd take that before the G35. (sorry to keep bringing up ED folks)...So would I.

emilford
11-13-2003, 11:13 PM
Nope.I looked on the BMW site for a bit more information. I don't see the M Series line-up available for the European Delivery? That's an awesome option though. 3 months is too long for me to wait though. I wonder how flexible that is.

I still think getting a 2003/2002 330CI is a better deal than getting a new car. I'd be able to get a used car with many more options for less money instead of a base 2004.

Too many choices! :-)

bmw325
11-13-2003, 11:24 PM
I'd go for a 2003/2002 coupe simply for the better looks. If you haven't already-- take a close look at a 2004 coupe (non-M3) -- there are many detail changes, that take the formerly beautiful coupe, and make it kind of homely.
Off the top of my head, some of those cosmetic issues are:
-new front bumper, w/ snaggle-tooth shape. Although, you can correct this for abou $1k by purchasing and have an M-sport front bumper painted/installed. Trust me-- you'll want to do this because the new bumper is god-awful (objectively. ;) ).
-black inset in rear bumper-- ruins clean look of the original
-body crease line along the side now ends at the re-located side indicator, just before the front wheel (it moved up). I think the old line that went all the way to the front looked better. The reshpaed triangular side indicator also looks goofy
-re-shaped headlights. Not necessarily worse looking- but i still prefer the originals.
-reshaped kidney grille. Like the other recent bmw designs and re-designs they've accentuated the kidney grille even more-- but it doesn't have that nice proportion that the original did. It just looks sort of tacked on and cartoonish now.

Positives about getting a 2004-
-adaptive headlights option
-redesigned door seals that won't fall apart every 6 months (and ongoing coupe problem).



-

emilford
11-13-2003, 11:29 PM
I'd go for a 2003/2002 coupe simply for the better looks. If you haven't already-- take a close look at a 2004 coupe (non-M3) -- there are many detail changes, that take the formerly beautiful coupe, and make it kind of homely.
Off the top of my head, some of those cosmetic issues are:
-new front bumper, w/ snaggle-tooth shape. Although, you can correct this for abou $1k by purchasing and have an M-sport front bumper painted/installed. Trust me-- you'll want to do this because the new bumper is god-awful (objectively. ;) ).
-black inset in rear bumper-- ruins clean look of the original
-body crease line along the side now ends at the re-located side indicator, just before the front wheel (it moved up). I think the old line that went all the way to the front looked better. The reshpaed triangular side indicator also looks goofy
-re-shaped headlights. Not necessarily worse looking- but i still prefer the originals.
-reshaped kidney grille. Like the other recent bmw designs and re-designs they've accentuated the kidney grille even more-- but it doesn't have that nice proportion that the original did. It just looks sort of tacked on and cartoonish now.

Positives about getting a 2004-
-adaptive headlights option
-redesigned door seals that won't fall apart every 6 months (and ongoing coupe problem).



-
Are the door seals THAT big of an issue? I know BMWs are quality built machines, but are there also design flaws I should be considering?

I love the way the 2003/02 330CI looks. The adaptive headlights would be cool, but I'm sure for me their main purpose would be to have another "feature" to brag about!

beewang
11-14-2003, 12:29 AM
[QUOTE=emilford]What would you buy?

I'm new to the world of BMWs. They've always been my dream car, but I've never in the past been able to afford one. I'm ready to bite down and fork over the money for an awesome driving experience.

QUOTE]

For $35k, I'd ge the new Subaru WRX STI in a heart beat!! :thumbup:

This is coming from someone who owns a E39 M5.

The STI althogh not an ///M5, for $35k, its where I 'd out my money at!!

cheers,

beewang :bigpimp:

akbmw81
11-14-2003, 12:48 AM
Infiniti G35 Coupe

http://g35driver.com/photos/albums/2003_G35_Coupe/2003-07-14/2.jpg

Is that Westminster Mall? Anyways...if I had $35K i'd get the 330 coupe...even though u'd prbly have to get used, the combination of power, handling and aesthetics is hard to beat...IMO...Good Luck with whatever u decide to do...

wrwicky
11-14-2003, 01:35 AM
Since you mentioned luxury specifically, I would not get the performance package or an M, too focused. For 35k A new 330 should be doable. I couldn't live without the sport package, but the 330 already has those shocks and 17" wheels so maybe a chance to save there. Also, I'm a 4dr guy. You get those doors without any weight or handling penalty so I would only get a coupe if I NEEDED that look.

As far as a G35, maybe, but they're not faster, and I didn't think they felt nearly so refined.

A Subaru STI, ahh, no. If that was the right car for you, you would already KNOW that you had to have it. That thing is awesome, but so focused it's definitely not for everybody.

The Roadstergal
11-14-2003, 01:49 AM
A garage queen E36 328is; get BBS rims, suspension upgrades, and invest the rest. :)

Chris90
11-14-2003, 07:04 AM
If you want luxury, I'd get this:
2004 330i w/ metallic paint & premium package.
Euro invoice + $1500 = $35,350.

Ticket to Munich = $327 (from Boston).

I'd personally get the 330i with performance package, but that's not luxurious.

Artslinger
11-14-2003, 07:23 AM
I'd buy the 2003 330CI for 35k it sounds like a pretty good deal. As long as the car has a good color combination. Check the car very closely and have the dealer fix any dents or dings as part of the deal.

LmtdSlip
11-14-2003, 08:37 AM
Buy a Lincoln if you want luxury.

The 3 is a "sports" sedan.

bmw325
11-14-2003, 08:42 AM
Are the door seals THAT big of an issue? I know BMWs are quality built machines, but are there also design flaws I should be considering?

I love the way the 2003/02 330CI looks. The adaptive headlights would be cool, but I'm sure for me their main purpose would be to have another "feature" to brag about!

I didn't mean to suggest that the door seals were a big issue-- I was just trying to come up w/ some positives to buying a 2004 (IMO, there aren't many other than an extra year of warranty/free maintenace). Even if you have th older door seals, when they fall apart, you'd get the new ones anyway. BMWs are, for the most part, "quality built machines". But regardless of what BMW you buy, don't be surprised if you find a few niggly design faults-- and even some stuff that your dealer can't/won't fix. At this point in the e46 lifecycle, there's not much of those real "design" problems-- so your issues will probably just be a few interior rattles and squeaks. I'd still take any 3 series over the G35 or Subaru that others have suggested.

missing23
11-14-2003, 08:53 AM
I'd do an older M3 but only if you are handy in the garage so to say...otherwise get a used 330 with at least sport package from a private party (to save on sales tax, at least in AZ) that is still under warranty.

marinakorp
11-14-2003, 09:39 AM
how about an 00-01-02 540?


should be doable for mid 30's - 40's

stick, 4 doors, gobs pf torq., possible to get CPO warranty...

missing23
11-14-2003, 09:42 AM
how about an 00-01-02 540?


should be doable for mid 30's - 40's

stick, 4 doors, gobs pf torq., possible to get CPO warranty...

Good idea but he has to want a much bigger and heavier car...I love the relative nimbleness of a 3er.

Cliff
11-14-2003, 09:48 AM
Positives about getting a 2004-
-adaptive headlights option
-redesigned door seals that won't fall apart every 6 months (and ongoing coupe problem).
-

A problem that I've not experienced. I agree with you on the styling complaints, though I have to base my opinion on photos. I don't think I've even seen a facelifted coupe/cab on the road.

AF
11-14-2003, 11:55 AM
I would either go for that used 03 330Ci you mentioned or go for a brand new 325Ci if a 2 door is what you want.

These cars are awesome and are very addicting to drive. The european deivery is a nice idea but for most of use it is not a doable thing to take a vacation to go and pick up a car.

There are no issues with quality with these cars so I wouldn't stress on it if I were you . . .

One other thing, they are saying the redesigned sedan (not coupe) will be out by model year 2005. This was confirmed on this board but I personally not positive about it.


As far as getting an E36 M3 versus a new 330Ci, do a search and you will find a lot of information on it.

Keep in mind that the newest E36 M3 would be a 1999 which is basically a 5 year old car ... I prefer the newer model over it but my priorites might be different then yours.

tgravo2
11-14-2003, 10:54 PM
Infiniti G35 Coupe

http://g35driver.com/photos/albums/2003_G35_Coupe/2003-07-14/2.jpg

Same for me, a 6 speed

or I would get a Lariat 04 Ford F-150 Supercrew :eeps: :D

Chris90
11-14-2003, 11:31 PM
Why not? It seems to me if you can spend $35,000 on a car, you ought to be able to spend a $1000 on a European vacation, or else your priorities are pretty mixed up.


These cars are awesome and are very addicting to drive. The european deivery is a nice idea but for most of use it is not a doable thing to take a vacation to go and pick up a car.

AF
11-15-2003, 10:22 AM
Why not? It seems to me if you can spend $35,000 on a car, you ought to be able to spend a $1000 on a European vacation, or else your priorities are pretty mixed up.


It's not a money issue (obvouisly since your saving money over the USA delivered price) when you have young children who have school and camp when the heck are you going to be able to take the time to do a european trip just to pick up a car ? It is so much easier and more convenient to just order the car at the dealer and pick it up when it arrives.

Plus what kind of vacation is that for the kids . . . when it's vacation time, I'd rather treat them to a trip to Disney or some Island somewhere with beachs and pools.

For the record, I am not knocking the European delivery, when I have grown children, I would love to take my wife and do the whole European delivery thing, it sounds like fun but right now in this stage of my life, it is not something I want to do.

Mr. The Edge
11-15-2003, 10:54 AM
It's not a money issue (obvouisly since your saving money over the USA delivered price) when you have young children who have school and camp when the heck are you going to be able to take the time to do a european trip just to pick up a car ? It is so much easier and more convenient to just order the car at the dealer and pick it up when it arrives.

Plus what kind of vacation is that for the kids . . . when it's vacation time, I'd rather treat them to a trip to Disney or some Island somewhere with beachs and pools.

For the record, I am not knocking the European delivery, when I have grown children, I would love to take my wife and do the whole European delivery thing, it sounds like fun but right now in this stage of my life, it is not something I want to do.

why wouldn't someone want to take their kids on a vacation to Europe?

you can plan it at a time where they're not in school, as you do with any other vacation a family would take.

:dunno:

cruztopless
11-15-2003, 11:15 AM
emilford, what cars have you driven? Is a car under warranty a priority for you? Since you seem to be eyeing a coupe and you don't seem to be interested in ED (although that would be my top choice), I recommend you drive the 330ci and a G35 coupe. I've never driven a G35 coupe but it looks like a person would get the feeling that they are sitting in a bath tub driving one of those things. I've driven cars like this (i.e. Eclipse) and I hated it. It may be ok for a weekender but for daily driving ... not for me.

Drive them both (several times each if possible) and choose your favorite. You can't go wrong with either choice.

Good luck.

What about a 325ci manual?? Even better have it Euro delivered for more savings! :thumbup:

:D

MG67
11-15-2003, 11:35 AM
emilford, what cars have you driven? Is a car under warranty a priority for you? Since you seem to be eyeing a coupe and you don't seem to be interested in ED (although that would be my top choice), I recommend you drive the 330ci and a G35 coupe. I've never driven a G35 coupe but it looks like a person would get the feeling that they are sitting in a bath tub driving one of those things. I've driven cars like this (i.e. Eclipse) and I hated it. It may be ok for a weekender but for daily driving ... not for me.

Drive them both (several times each if possible) and choose your favorite. You can't go wrong with either choice.

Good luck.

What about a 325ci manual?? Even better have it Euro delivered for more savings! :thumbup:

:D

Yep I would say 2004 325ci with sport package and manual on ED is perfect, a nice sporty ride but still comfortable! You can always trade up to an M3 or 330ci later... :drive:

emilford
11-15-2003, 05:33 PM
I went ahead with it. I drove home in a 2002 330CI this evening. It has both the sport and premium packages, 15k miles, Oriental Metallic Blue w/ Grey leather interior, and is in immaculate condition. I payed $33k for the car. I'm extremely happy at the moment, so don't bring any awful news please, but is this a worthwhile deal? Regardless, I'm sure I'll enjoy the car dimmensely!

Thanks to everyone who gave advice. It's much appreciated!

Elwood
11-15-2003, 06:16 PM
I'd go for a 2003/2002 coupe simply for the better looks. If you haven't already-- take a close look at a 2004 coupe (non-M3) -- there are many detail changes, that take the formerly beautiful coupe, and make it kind of homely.
Off the top of my head, some of those cosmetic issues are:
-new front bumper, w/ snaggle-tooth shape. Although, you can correct this for abou $1k by purchasing and have an M-sport front bumper painted/installed. Trust me-- you'll want to do this because the new bumper is god-awful (objectively. ;) ).
-black inset in rear bumper-- ruins clean look of the original
-body crease line along the side now ends at the re-located side indicator, just before the front wheel (it moved up). I think the old line that went all the way to the front looked better. The reshpaed triangular side indicator also looks goofy
-re-shaped headlights. Not necessarily worse looking- but i still prefer the originals.
-reshaped kidney grille. Like the other recent bmw designs and re-designs they've accentuated the kidney grille even more-- but it doesn't have that nice proportion that the original did. It just looks sort of tacked on and cartoonish now.

Positives about getting a 2004-
-adaptive headlights option
-redesigned door seals that won't fall apart every 6 months (and ongoing coupe problem).

-

Don't be fooled. After living with an '04 coupe, every other 3er looks sorely dated :p

emilford
11-15-2003, 06:55 PM
Don't be fooled. After living with an '04 coupe, every other 3er looks sorely dated :pThere are only minor cosmetic differences between the 02/03s and the 04s. Hardly worth the extra $$$ I'd had to have paid, IMHO.

Nice lookin' car you've got though, that's for sure. You can't really go wrong with a beamer.

BlackChrome
11-17-2003, 01:27 AM
I didn't mean to suggest that the door seals were a big issue-- I was just trying to come up w/ some positives to buying a 2004 (IMO, there aren't many other than an extra year of warranty/free maintenace)....
How about the LED taillights, the option to get the 6-speed and SMG, and bi-Xenon?
I went ahead with it. I drove home in a 2002 330CI this evening. It has both the sport and premium packages, 15k miles, Oriental Metallic Blue w/ Grey leather interior, and is in immaculate condition. I payed $33k for the car. I'm extremely happy at the moment, so don't bring any awful news please, but is this a worthwhile deal? Regardless, I'm sure I'll enjoy the car dimmensely!

Thanks to everyone who gave advice. It's much appreciated!
Congrates on the purchase! That's a good price!

MG67
11-18-2003, 02:07 PM
I went ahead with it. I drove home in a 2002 330CI this evening. It has both the sport and premium packages, 15k miles, Oriental Metallic Blue w/ Grey leather interior, and is in immaculate condition. I payed $33k for the car. I'm extremely happy at the moment, so don't bring any awful news please, but is this a worthwhile deal? Regardless, I'm sure I'll enjoy the car dimmensely!

Thanks to everyone who gave advice. It's much appreciated!

I think you got a good deal, the coupes will retain value and they are great to drive. My wife bought a 2003 330ci, new at the dealer and its a great car. She has sport and premium too, the best choice I think. Do you have steptronic?
Congrats and enjoy!!! Take it up the mountains in sport mode and rip it up!!
Mike

The HACK
11-18-2003, 02:56 PM
...You can't really go wrong with a beamer.

I give up...What's a "beamer"? :dunno: :D

Galun
11-18-2003, 03:06 PM
I give up...What's a "beamer"? :dunno: :D

Bloomberg Financial Definition: Beamer. In the U.S. domestic market; a low coupon mortgage-backed annuity.

:angel:

The HACK
11-18-2003, 03:08 PM
Bloomberg Financial Definition: Beamer. In the U.S. domestic market; a low coupon mortgage-backed annuity.

:angel:

Thanks for the tip. I guess you can't go wrong with a beamer. :thumbup:

AF
11-18-2003, 03:17 PM
why wouldn't someone want to take their kids on a vacation to Europe?
you can plan it at a time where they're not in school, as you do with any other vacation a family would take.
:dunno:

That doesn't really sound like a fun vacation for little kids . . . think about it, they get to ride in an airplane for what feels like forever then they get the pleasure of sitting in their carseats driving from place to place as you run them ragged site seeing ...

When we vacation we like to do fun things that both we & my kids enjoy ...

When you have kids, they become primary and saving a few bucks on a car doesn't even make the list as secondary (or thirdary if there is such a phrase).

emilford
11-18-2003, 04:22 PM
I think you got a good deal, the coupes will retain value and they are great to drive. My wife bought a 2003 330ci, new at the dealer and its a great car. She has sport and premium too, the best choice I think. Do you have steptronic?
Congrats and enjoy!!! Take it up the mountains in sport mode and rip it up!!
MikeI test drove a 330 w/ the steptronic, but wasn't entirely convinced. Granted it'd be nice to switch between automatic and quazi-manual, but the steptronic doesn't beat the sport feel of driving a real 5/6-speed. To each his own.

I've been enjoying it so far...haven't had a chance to hit the back roads and really open it up yet. Soon. :-)

AB
11-18-2003, 05:19 PM
My answer this week would be:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2441917700

cruztopless
11-18-2003, 09:33 PM
I test drove a 330 w/ the steptronic, but wasn't entirely convinced. Granted it'd be nice to switch between automatic and quazi-manual, but the steptronic doesn't beat the sport feel of driving a real 5/6-speed. To each his own.

I've been enjoying it so far...haven't had a chance to hit the back roads and really open it up yet. Soon. :-)

Congrats! Great choice!

:thumbup: