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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-16-2013, 06:14 PM
Chillax Chillax is offline
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Shopping for my first 3 Series

Hello all,

New member and first post - so sorry for the ignorance.

I am shopping for my first luxury car and the 3-series is at the top of my list. I am looking used 2009 or newer with as few kms as possible.

The other cars I am considering are a similar year A4, C300, and IS250 (all available in AWD if needed) - any thoughts on the closest comparison drive wise between these cars and the 328? I have driven a few BMWs and love the responsive feel and overall drivability of the car - but I have not had a chance to test drive the other models I am considering.

I have a few questions I was hoping you experts could answer:

First, I am in Canada (ontario) and we get a fair amount of snow - I am wondering for those of you who drive in the snow frequently is the x-drive mandatory or can you get away with the standard RWD and a good set of snow tires?

I am primarily looking at a 328i (because of the available x-drive) but could be persuaded to go to a 323 if x-drive is not mandatory for winter driving. Would it be ill advised to consider the 323 compared to the 328?

Also, as I am new to the world of BMW and luxury cars in general - are there any features on the BMW that are must haves? ie. Blue Tooth etc?

Cheers all
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2013, 06:30 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Welcome!

My spouse was born in Sudbury. I've worked on Montreal a while ago. RWD, good set of snows you will be fine.

Depending on how fast you want to go, a 323 would be great. Emphasis on 'you' - drive both and decide.

On used BMWs, more features may make for more potential problems - something to consider. A good pre-purchase inspection by an independent mechanic is essential.

Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2013, 04:04 AM
Chillax Chillax is offline
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Thanks for the reply.

Most of the used cars we are looking at are BMW Certified used - so come with roughly another 3 years of warranty.

Good to hear that the 323 with snows may be doable. Are there any more winter drivers out there that think the RWD with snows would be fine? We will be doing a fair amount of highway driving.

Cheers
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2013, 09:15 AM
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kunal_D kunal_D is offline
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The BMW is easily the sportiest driver of your choices, so if the fun factor is a priority then pick the Bimmer. I get along just fine with RWD and a good set of winter tires, it has never been a problem for me. With that said the Canadian market is saturated with AWD 3 series making a RWD 3 er configured the way you want a challenge to find. Good luck with your search.
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  #5  
Old 01-17-2013, 09:33 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillax View Post
Good to hear that the 323 with snows may be doable. Are there any more winter drivers out there that think the RWD with snows would be fine? We will be doing a fair amount of highway driving.
There are a lot and this one question has always brought on long and heated discussions about the topic.

Personally I believe that, unless you have a reason to go with RWD, get the AWD. The AWD system on BMW normally applies more power to the rear wheels giving it a RWD feel. Given most people's driving capability and the limits of driving on public roads the AWD will give you all the fun of the RWD.
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2013, 10:38 AM
hoopla hoopla is offline
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I'm not sure that anything has the feel of of a BMW. The other car that I really liked in my recent search was the Acura TL. I'd take that over a C-class or an A4. In the end, though, I went with a 2009 335i sedan.

Since you are looking at 2009s, there may be some with a few months of the original 4 year coverage left. There is a big difference between that coverage and the CPO warranty, and those couple of months could allow you to get a few things taken care of. I've purchased two cars in that situation, including one last week, and have ended up getting a fair amount done under the initial coverage.

Winter tires make so much more difference than RWD/AWD; you could take the absolute worst snow/ice car in the world (1986 328 is the worst I've driven) and with winter tires, it would perform beautifully on any snow or ice.

For what it's worth, the auto magazines pretty much always end up putting the 3-series on top in these comparisons:
2009 models - http://www.caranddriver.com/comparis...omparison-test
2012 - http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...n/viewall.html
2004 - http://www.caranddriver.com/comparis...mparison-tests
2010 - http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-revi...?click=main_sr (335 somehow comes in 2nd)

What they all talk about is that road feel and steering feedback; others are technically advanced, but don't have that feel.

Last edited by hoopla; 01-17-2013 at 10:52 AM.
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  #7  
Old 01-19-2013, 05:14 AM
Chillax Chillax is offline
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

The only reason I would buy the 323 over the 328 with x-drive would be budget, probably about a 3k difference, but if I think long term it is most likely worth it. So I am likely going 328 with x-drive.

As for year of Car I am trying to go as new as possible - so in my budget that is likely going to be a 2008 - 2010, and most likely a 2009. Is there a particular year to stay away from - ie. the 2007 was bad and had a lot of bug or same thing with the 2009 versus the 2010 being the best model year? Or is it just buy the newest lowest km car you can get?

Also, is there a km/mileage point to avoid - ie. when does major maintenance set in mileage wise?

Finally, are there any must have feature wise - xenon headlights, blue tooth, sport suspension etc? (although I know with an x-drive I do not get the sport suspension)

Cheers
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2013, 06:32 AM
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cruisingbimmer cruisingbimmer is offline
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I have a 2007 328 RWD, can't speak for the AWD drivers, but with this year's snow I'd say my 328's performance with snow and ice exceeded my expectations. I don't have winter tires, though, just all-weather ones, and haven't had any major issues. Just sharing my own experience, but go with what's best for your situation. Also, I'd recommend a good 2007 BMW with decent mileage to anyone as I am biased , but a newer vehicle with less miles obviously may be the wiser choice. Best of luck!
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2013, 06:40 AM
David Williamso David Williamso is offline
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What part of Ontario are you? I am in Edmonton and we have snow and ice on the roads all winter. I am driving a rear drive 335 this winter and it goes fine with snow tires. Yes the AWD Fusion with snow tires that we also have will blow past me accelerating in the snow. I did get it stuck in front of the house once when we had a foot of wet snow. My car has the sport option and it rides low so I was pushing snow with the air dam. Try out both of them the X-drive and sport models drive very differently. Plus how many days will you have snow in the year.
David
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2013, 08:15 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillax View Post
I am new to the world of BMW and luxury cars in general - are there any features on the BMW that are must haves? ie. Blue Tooth etc?

It's all good - get all the options you can afford. Comfort access is very popular, for instance.

However, with family in Sturgeon Falls, I can say with authority that in your case, heated seats and steering wheel are highly desirable.

Forget a dipstick heater. I won't even say why, just forget it. Search on same if you must.

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  #11  
Old 01-19-2013, 09:05 AM
Zain1003 Zain1003 is offline
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Mein Auto: 07 e90 335i w/ Sport Pkg
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillax View Post
Thanks for the reply.

Most of the used cars we are looking at are BMW Certified used - so come with roughly another 3 years of warranty.

Good to hear that the 323 with snows may be doable. Are there any more winter drivers out there that think the RWD with snows would be fine? We will be doing a fair amount of highway driving.

Cheers
I live in Chicago and drove a 300zx (no weight in the back) during the winter with a set of Bridgestone blizzak snow tires.

It slid less than my mothers AWD SUV with all seasons.

That being said, I have snow tires on my 07 335i but this year Chicago got almost no snow.

Because my 3 series is 17 years newer and has much more sophisticated electronics, I'm sure it will be better in the snow.

You shouldn't have a problem with proper tires.
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2013, 04:39 PM
Chillax Chillax is offline
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Location: Canada
 
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Mein Auto: 2009 328i xdrive
Spent some time today test driving a 2009 323 and 328 with x-drive, and I was impressed with both. But, in terms of overall power the 328 was vastly superior to the 323 and you could notice the increased traction of the x-drive not to mention the overall quickness from a dead stop.

I think we are set on a 328 with x-drive - now it is just time to find the right used car color, km and feature wise.
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