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View Full Version : 10k price gap between the 530 and the 330


Robert A
05-08-2005, 01:47 PM
There is now a $10,000 retail price differential between a 2006 530i and a similarly equipped 2006 330i. Historically the gap has been closer to $5k.

The price of a 530i with manual transmission, metallic paint, sport package, PDC, leather, Bluetooth, navigation and satellite radio is about $54k. The same equipment on a 330i is about $44k. The only significant item missing from the 330i is the active anti-roll suspension.

When the current 5 came out, there was a big jump in price, presumably to compensate for added equipment and the weak dollar. But with the new 3 series, and an even weaker dollar, there's hardly any price increase at all. Additionally, the new 3 received substantial body, chassis and suspension upgrades to bring it closer to the 5 series.

Clearly, there are marketing reasons for this, but I am mystified. :dunno: :dunno:

BillP
05-08-2005, 02:25 PM
There is now a $10,000 retail price differential between a 2006 530i and a similarly equipped 2006 330i. Historically the gap has been closer to $5k.

The price of a 530i with manual transmission, metallic paint, sport package, PDC, leather, Bluetooth, navigation and satellite radio is about $54k. The same equipment on a 330i is about $44k. The only significant item missing from the 330i is the active anti-roll suspension.

When the current 5 came out, there was a big jump in price, presumably to compensate for added equipment and the weak dollar. But with the new 3 series, and an even weaker dollar, there's hardly any price increase at all. Additionally, the new 3 received substantial body, chassis and suspension upgrades to bring it closer to the 5 series.

Clearly, there are marketing reasons for this, but I am mystified. :dunno: :dunno:

While same-maker pricing deltas may play a part in setting prices, I trust that BMW is using competitive pricing as a more important factor. It is very possible that MBZ or Audi have similar deltas and BMW is just making the 5 series similar to the, for example, A6, and the 3 series similar to the A4.

It is also possible that I am totally wrong and thus equally mystified!


Bill

philippek
05-08-2005, 02:41 PM
My completely unsubstantiated theory based on nothing more than what I know:

The price delta between the 3 and 5 will shrink back once the 1 series is released. BMW needs to maintain a presence in the $30k sports-sedan arena. I would think they would price the entry-level 1er around $27k, with a full-bore model (I hope they make a 130i) at almost $40k. Then the E90 is free to move upmarket, price-wise.

BillP
05-08-2005, 05:44 PM
My completely unsubstantiated theory based on nothing more than what I know:

The price delta between the 3 and 5 will shrink back once the 1 series is released. BMW needs to maintain a presence in the $30k sports-sedan arena. I would think they would price the entry-level 1er around $27k, with a full-bore model (I hope they make a 130i) at almost $40k. Then the E90 is free to move upmarket, price-wise.

Speaking of the 1-series (wrong forum, I know), it looks GREAT. Really reminds me of the M coupe. It should sit nicely between the mini and the E90 and draw lots of fans.


Bill

Robert A
05-08-2005, 06:01 PM
I like your choice of words, "price delta" to describe more succinctly what I was trying to say.

One possible explanation is that price resistance is much greater within the 3 series crowd, and BMW figures (correctly, I might say) that 3 series owners will eventually transition to higher priced BMWs. Hence, customers at the bottom rung of the later are very important from a long term planning standpoint.

Interestingly, the new 2006 325i optioned with nothing beyond leather and the sport package retails for $34,045. Twelve years previous, My former 1994 325is with essentially the same options but 20 fewer horsepower retailed for just under $34,000.


While same-maker pricing deltas may play a part in setting prices, I trust that BMW is using competitive pricing as a more important factor. It is very possible that MBZ or Audi have similar deltas and BMW is just making the 5 series similar to the, for example, A6, and the 3 series similar to the A4.

It is also possible that I am totally wrong and thus equally mystified!


Bill

Bart001
05-08-2005, 06:02 PM
One "problem" (and I use that term loosely) that BMW has been facing is that, due to their pricing, many of the car magazine comparisons ended up comparing the 530i to cars with horsepower ratings closer to the 545's. I think that that happened with the 3's as well. But that doesn't explain that $10,000 difference.

I suspect that it all comes down to pricing in comparison to the closest competition. Given that BMW's have been selling well recently, my guess is that BMW is ok with a "premium pricing for a premium vehicle" approach. Those who don't think that BMW is a premium vehicle probably wouldn't buy one anyway if it was $4000 less, and plenty of us are willing to fork over the money for these cars.

Is a 530i "worth" $10,000 more than a 330i? It's in the eye of the beholder, but I can understand how people could conclude that the answer is "no."

Robert A
05-08-2005, 06:16 PM
I own a 530i, a 2001 model. This, after owning a succession of three 3-series cars all the way back to the early 80s. All throughout the years, the 5 series was about $5k more than the similarly equipped 3 series.

When I finally decided to "move upmarket" I realized that the 5 had a lot more going for it than the 3, in terms of ride comfort, spaciousness and build quality. Moreover, with its lightweight aluminum suspension and R&P steering, the E39 was a quantum leap over the E34 in terms of handling.

But now the E60 doesn't really cut new ground over the E39. Sure it has more bells and whistles, more lightweight aluminum, and ARS (active roll stabilization), but it also has less soul. It's more removed from the road, and the interior is too cold and indifferent compared to its predecessor. So far, I'm just not smitten with it. Technically it's great, but so far it doesn't float my boat.

Now the new 3 is a major jump over the E46 which it replaces. The suspension is all new, the whole car is much more cohesive, and finally the comfort factor is there. I may just go back.





One "problem" (and I use that term loosely) that BMW has been facing is that, due to their pricing, many of the car magazine comparisons ended up comparing the 530i to cars with horsepower ratings closer to the 545's. I think that that happened with the 3's as well. But that doesn't explain that $10,000 difference.

I suspect that it all comes down to pricing in comparison to the closest competition. Given that BMW's have been selling well recently, my guess is that BMW is ok with a "premium pricing for a premium vehicle" approach. Those who don't think that BMW is a premium vehicle probably wouldn't buy one anyway if it was $4000 less, and plenty of us are willing to fork over the money for these cars.

Is a 530i "worth" $10,000 more than a 330i? It's in the eye of the beholder, but I can understand how people could conclude that the answer is "no."

wagonman
05-08-2005, 07:14 PM
i think (IMHO) that the price differential between the 330 and 530 has more to do with competition than it has to do with pricing versus each other. what i mean is: comparable to the 5 series is audi a6, lexus gs, infiniti etc.

i think bmw correctly assumes that buyers of a 3 series are not comparing (by and large) to a 5 series, but rather to other makes, lexus, audi, etc..

i also think bmw correctly assumes that a buyer of a 5 series can afford and will "pay up" for the additional room, road presece, more luxurious ride.

let us not forget that some of the pizzazz associated with the new 3 is due to the fact that it just came out. i am excited about it, it looks to be a winner. i think the claims on bimmer fest that it is much better than a 5 series are over-stated...

abqhudson
05-09-2005, 08:22 AM
Like new 2004 530i with 9400 miles at a MB dealer $42,000.

New 2006 330i at the BMW dealer $42,000.

Pays to look around.

Jim

BillP
05-09-2005, 09:03 AM
Like new 2004 530i with 9400 miles at a MB dealer $42,000.

New 2006 330i at the BMW dealer $42,000.

Pays to look around.

Jim

With all due respect, "like new" is a shallow $tealer euphemism for "used", thus simplistic price comparisons are not valid.


Bill

Ågent99
05-09-2005, 10:31 AM
But now the E60 doesn't really cut new ground over the E39. Sure it has more bells and whistles, more lightweight aluminum, and ARS (active roll stabilization), but it also has less soul. It's more removed from the road, and the interior is too cold and indifferent compared to its predecessor. So far, I'm just not smitten with it. Technically it's great, but so far it doesn't float my boat.
Well, I haven't driven many 3-series so let me state that up front. However, as you know, I bought a new 530i and have since placed 56k miles on it. They've all been wonderful miles.

Now I just did a ED on a 2005 545i. My comparison is more like a Red Delicious to a Granny Smith but the E60 is leaps and bounds above the E39 in road feel, comfort, and handling. I grant you that the interior isn't so great but I pretty much forgot about the interior while cruising in this car for 1200 miles throughout Europe. There is ZERO body-roll on this car and I took a couple hard corners while stomping the gas pretty good.

I know folks like to toss the word "soul" around but even after multiple explanations of how it describes a car, I still don't understand its use to describe a car but that's just me! :)

Robert A
05-09-2005, 01:08 PM
You have my ear, and we come from similar places.

I'm looking forward to driving a 2006 530i, manual transmission sport model w/o AS. That's when I'll be able to make a meaningful comparison to the 330i, because that's probably what I'd buy if I get another 5 series.

All the E60s I've driven so far have been Steps or SMGs and I'm a manual guy. Every one I've driven has also had AS, and I just don't personally care for it. I drove Bernard's car for a good 1/2 hour or more at high speed, and I just didn't feel connected -- but that's me.



Well, I haven't driven many 3-series so let me state that up front. However, as you know, I bought a new 530i and have since placed 56k miles on it. They've all been wonderful miles.

Now I just did a ED on a 2005 545i. My comparison is more like a Red Delicious to a Granny Smith but the E60 is leaps and bounds above the E39 in road feel, comfort, and handling. :)

abqhudson
05-10-2005, 03:42 PM
I am not a dealer. I did make the simplistic comparison and I bought the used 530.

Jim



With all due respect, "like new" is a shallow $tealer euphemism for "used", thus simplistic price comparisons are not valid.


Bill

Robert A
05-10-2005, 04:55 PM
True, but that same 330i can be acquired through European Delivery for about $37k.

And instead of a year-old, first model year 530i, you could have bought a new one with the latest engine for abpit $46k.

Like new 2004 530i with 9400 miles at a MB dealer $42,000.

New 2006 330i at the BMW dealer $42,000.

Pays to look around.

Jim

BillP
05-10-2005, 06:47 PM
I am not a dealer. I did make the simplistic comparison and I bought the used 530.

Jim
First, I am happy you found the car you wanted at the price you can live with. That is the goal of all of us here.

The topic was intended to flesh out the reasons for price differences between similarly equipped, similarly performing, new cars of the same manufacturer. My reference to "valid" was in the context of this thread.

If we don't stick to a set of constraints, all sorts of odd things could happen:

* Why didn't you compare the price of the new 330 to a 2 year old 330 and save $5K-$10K?
* Why didn't you compare the 2 year old 330 to a 4 year old 330 and save another few thousand?
* Heck, the 325 is pretty close to the 330!
* BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Trabant: they all have four wheels!

You can keep ratcheting this down until you are buying a skateboard unless you have certain boundaries to ensure a "comparison" is a "valid comparison".


Bill

shabbaman
05-10-2005, 08:04 PM
Not to throw more salt on the wound but did you guys catch the price of the E60 (E61) wagon?

It's a wagon with xDrive sporting a 3.0 liter I6 motor running on a 5 series chassis. Forget about price comparisons to the 3 series, this barge costs $10000 more than the X5 3.0, a wagon with xDrive sporting a 3.0 liter I6 motor running on a 5 series chassis.

Unless Joe, your average consumer plans to do a Euro Delivery Lease, I would argue that Joe Consumer would be remiss to choose the E60 wagon. It's a shame too, the wagon looks great.

TGray5
05-10-2005, 09:02 PM
There is now a $10,000 retail price differential between a 2006 530i and a similarly equipped 2006 330i. Historically the gap has been closer to $5k.

The price of a 530i with manual transmission, metallic paint, sport package, PDC, leather, Bluetooth, navigation and satellite radio is about $54k. The same equipment on a 330i is about $44k. The only significant item missing from the 330i is the active anti-roll suspension.

When the current 5 came out, there was a big jump in price, presumably to compensate for added equipment and the weak dollar. But with the new 3 series, and an even weaker dollar, there's hardly any price increase at all. Additionally, the new 3 received substantial body, chassis and suspension upgrades to bring it closer to the 5 series.

Clearly, there are marketing reasons for this, but I am mystified. :dunno: :dunno:

Maybe so, but you can still lease an e60 for less than an e90

MarcusSDCA
05-10-2005, 09:34 PM
How about this comparo: Loaded 330 vs Loaded 545 $20,000 difference! Ouch...that's like getting a Mini Cooper thrown in for free! :)

wagonman
05-10-2005, 11:05 PM
Not to throw more salt on the wound but did you guys catch the price of the E60 (E61) wagon?

It's a wagon with xDrive sporting a 3.0 liter I6 motor running on a 5 series chassis. Forget about price comparisons to the 3 series, this barge costs $10000 more than the X5 3.0, a wagon with xDrive sporting a 3.0 liter I6 motor running on a 5 series chassis.

Unless Joe, your average consumer plans to do a Euro Delivery Lease, I would argue that Joe Consumer would be remiss to choose the E60 wagon. It's a shame too, the wagon looks great.

i beg to differ with you mr. shabaman. i bought an e61 touring and am happy to be doing it!! first of all, it puts the 5 series sedan to shame in terms of looks. it sort of lightensup that " i am mid 40's and a success" look that the 5 series portrays. from a straigt no bs design analysis (albeit subjective) the lines are much more graceful than than sedan. the rear is nicer as well..

as far as an x5 3.0 goes. i think you have your pricing wrong first of all. i doubt a loaded x5 3.0 is $10k chaeper than a wagon. but, to be sure the wagon is expensive. the agon puts the x5 to shame in my view for several reasons. first, it is and will be more unusual. every and any fool drives an x5. the e61 is a barge? hah. what do you think of the cargo space in an x5? it's lousy. the rear seats are bench like and uncomfortable. the 5 series wagon with x-drive makes more sense as an SUV that the supposed suvs. AND it handles like a 5 series sedan. americans by and large dont "get" the whole wagon thing..too bad. :eeps:

MarcusSDCA
05-10-2005, 11:43 PM
I take it from your name you, uh, like wagons. Looks wise I think wagons are a disaster. BMW, MBZ, Audi, Camry...whatever. They're bugly. No....they're downright fugly. I don't get the practicality either. Maybe if you have large dogs that swim at the beach and will "drip dry" in the cargo area. But I travel around with a lot of business material in my trunk and keeping it all in a traditional trunk is best.

Ågent99
05-11-2005, 09:17 AM
Hey now Folks...keep in mind that arguing how a car looks will go no where...it is too subjective a topic. Just agree to disagree here. :thumbup:

Keep on topic in discussing prices, options, chassis, blah, blah, blah. This is a great thread thus far....

wagonman
05-11-2005, 10:45 AM
I take it from your name you, uh, like wagons. Looks wise I think wagons are a disaster. BMW, MBZ, Audi, Camry...whatever. They're bugly. No....they're downright fugly. I don't get the practicality either. Maybe if you have large dogs that swim at the beach and will "drip dry" in the cargo area. But I travel around with a lot of business material in my trunk and keeping it all in a traditional trunk is best.

it is true, looks are subjective. a number of people feel that wagon looks surpass that of the sedan. i certianly understand not liking wagons. that is an individual choice. the practicality aspect is not hard to understand. the hatch back feature of a wagon makes it easier to load things in and out as opposed to a trunk. 6 out of every ten audi a4 and 16s in europe are wagons.

either the europeans are into ugly cars :dunno: , or more likely they get that wagons provide more practicality with the added benefit of the driving characteristics of a car (as opposed to an SUV...

europeas in general have a history of having better taste than us americans... :)

Ågent99
05-11-2005, 10:50 AM
either the europeans are into ugly cars :dunno: , or more likely they get that wagons provide more practicality with the added benefit of the driving characteristics of a car (as opposed to an SUV...

europeas in general have a history of having better taste than us americans... :)
I'd say they are more practical and functional than Americans. We are spoiled rotten here with cheap gas, cheap electricity, etc.

Put it this way, I would buy some sort of a "touring sedan" (station wagon) over an SUV any day of the week. Heck, I'd buy a mini-van over an SUV.... Wow, how might a BMW mini-van sell???? :D