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  #1  
Old 07-17-2011, 01:09 PM
vmckenzie1 vmckenzie1 is offline
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Purchase Advice needed!!!

Hi all,

I am currently researching a couple cars that have recently fallen into my purchasing budget and have reached somewhat of a road block. I like all three of them, and it seems I can find a great deal with all three of them. Seems like its time to reach out to the wise for information. Here are the three cars, tell me what you think. I'm a college student, studying Mech. Engineering avidly love automobiles, good with engines but lack a lift and garage. Im more of a driver than a passenger. I want something classy, fun to drive, but not suicidally expensive to maintain because I'll have to maintain it on my waiter's budget [a good waiter's budget ]. Will only drive a manual trans car.

1) 1997-99 BMW e36 M3: 2 or 4 door, locally have a great deal on a 4door manual trans. Old body styling for the production year is the only negative I have with this car, but can quickly be overlooked.

2) 2003-05 Cooper S: being sold everywhere, interior build quality on the r53 is probably my biggest turn off with this car.

3) 1999-2001 BMW e39 5 series: definitely the most luxurious of the three, I felt like I was in heaven sitting in the drivers seat of an m5. But unfortunately this car seems to be the most unrealistic car for my waiter's budget. Unless told otherwise I would steer clear of a v8, go for smaller displacement and would like a 5 series with the sport package. Although the overall styling of this car turns me on more than the others I fear that gas mileage and maintenance costs would keep this baby sitting at home waiting to be driven too often. Please tell me I'm wrong!!

Anyhow, any kind of advice, red warning flags, stories from the wise and experienced would be greatly appreciated!! Thank You!

Last edited by vmckenzie1; 07-17-2011 at 01:13 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2011, 06:44 PM
TRS550 TRS550 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmckenzie1 View Post
. I want something classy, fun to drive, but not suicidally expensive to maintain because I'll have to maintain it on my waiter's budget [a good waiter's budget ].
Don't take this the wrong way....but seriously.....till you get out of school, get a good job and get your lifes finances in order....you need to be driving a 10 yr old Honda Civic.

Seriously.... The M3 will eat you alive in maint costs. Ditto the 5'er as it's going to need some major maintenance at that age.

The Cooper??? Don't know much about it but since it's a BMW, it will be probably be expensive to maintain as well.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:27 AM
9benua 9benua is offline
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Originally Posted by TRS550 View Post
Don't take this the wrong way....but seriously.....till you get out of school, get a good job and get your lifes finances in order....you need to be driving a 10 yr old Honda Civic.
.
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  #4  
Old 07-18-2011, 05:44 AM
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Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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nevermind.

Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 07-18-2011 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:47 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Maybe not a 10 year old Civic but something close to that. If you need (and have to have a new car) look long and hard at the new Kia Optima Turbo 4. Great warranty, excellent reviews, and very presentable. Avoid the BMW/Mini group until you are settled and have lots of disposable income for maintentance and repairs. You will be surprised at what the Kia is capable of -- I sure was!
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:46 AM
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Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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Of the three, I'd say the e39. Forget about an M5. You can't afford the repairs on an M5 even if you do them yourself. 540's drink fuel. Finding a 528i with a manual won't be easy. There are two on ebay right now and they are both Tourings. How bizarre is that? The burgundy one is overpriced.

Parts are available for them and the prices aren't too bad. At least not until the satnav quits working. Just stay away from the dealer (too expensive) and eBay (junk)

Are you looking for a project? Do you enjoy replacing hard to reach parts held in by brittle plastic fasteners? Is spending a weekend troubleshooting a faulty power seat your idea of a good time? Do you own a BMW compatible fault code reader?

This is not a recommendation. Call it a warning. Things will fail when you need the car to get to work, finals, your parents. The sunroof will start leaking when you are out on a date. In short, the car will probably become a garage queen at the worst possible time. Here is the link:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1999-...t_25732wt_1070

Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 07-18-2011 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:41 PM
vmckenzie1 vmckenzie1 is offline
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Thanks for your replies everyone. I understand what everyone is saying. After more research I have ruled out the 5series beautiful cars, but not for me, not now. I should say I have owned three honda civics and civics are cars engineered to be "low cost" runners, and they have a wunderbar reputation of lasting forever, and being cheap cars to fix. From my experience though for those exact reasons it is excruciatingly difficult to find one that has not been owned by a reckless idiotic teenager that has no concept of treating a car well, as an investment, and maintaining it properly. From my experience old honda civics are cars with which you will spend much of your time fixing, while having the annoying understanding that no matter what is done to it, it will always be a Honda Civic, nothing more. My brother has owned and e46 m3 for the past 5 years, and I bought a '05 Merc for my wife a year ago and after putting a couple thousand dollars into it I still feel that the pleasure of driving the car out weighs the cost of maintaining it. I believe that nearly everyone on this forum feels the same, otherwise they would not be here. As far as having a car sit still for a week, that is no problem for me, I still own an acura integra and a ninja 650, soooo although, yes I work as a server, and yes I am still in school, I have weighed all of the above to come up with the three cars listed above, at the moment i am leaning almost completely over towards a local 1997 M3 Sedan with a Manual transmition. It does have 150,000 miles but the low price will leave me several thousand dollars of a buffer zone for necessary repairs.

Ride Safely everyone. Again Thanks
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