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  #1  
Old 12-08-2002, 05:40 PM
bpa bpa is offline
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Mein Auto: March 10 330i ED Pick-Up
Sport Package for 325i? or not?

I'm on the verge of finalizing my order for a 325i that my 19 year old son and I are going to pick up in Munich in March (for me!). I'd like your input on whether or not I should order the SP or not. Here's where I am right now with my order:

325i - Steel Gray with Sand Leather
Steptronic
Premium Package
Heated Seats
Fold Down Back Seats
Harman/Kardon

I like the idea of the sport seats. Not sure about the sport suspension or the larger wheels and performance tires.

1. Would the performance tires be a problem in Germany/Switzerland/Northern Italy in early March (snow/ice)? I live in Florida, so I'm sure they'll be fine once I get the car home.
2. What does the sport suspension calibration of the SP do for you?
3. Do the performance tires have a much shorter life than the all seasons that come standard?

I'd appreciate any input you all have on my decision re: the SP.
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2002, 05:49 PM
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nate nate is offline
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Re: Sport Package for 325i? or not?

Quote:
Originally posted by bpa


1. Would the performance tires be a problem in Germany/Switzerland/Northern Italy in early March (snow/ice)? I live in Florida, so I'm sure they'll be fine once I get the car home.
2. What does the sport suspension calibration of the SP do for you?
3. Do the performance tires have a much shorter life than the all seasons that come standard?

I'd appreciate any input you all have on my decision re: the SP.
1) Probably

2) Handles better

3) Yes
  #3  
Old 12-08-2002, 05:55 PM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
 
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Most people around here consider the sport package nearly essential, due to the firmer suspension. However, if you plan to drive around in Switzerland in early March with summer tires, your vacation schedule better be really flexible. It would be a shame not to order such a great package for you car due to poor scheduling of your ED pickup. If I were you, I would push back the order a month and get the sport package.
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2002, 05:57 PM
Mathew Mathew is offline
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Youve gotta have a sports package (or at least suspension) on these types of cars. Nate answered all your questions, so theres nothing else i can answer.

Where in florida are you, and who was your dealer?
  #5  
Old 12-08-2002, 06:00 PM
geomax geomax is offline
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The best thing to do is do go to a dealer and test drive a few cars with and without the SP. People here can provide some advice, etc, but only you know best what you like.

But I will share this: the standard suspension is plenty competent. The ride is smooth, firm, yet a more forgiving than the SP. A bit more roll through the corners. More wheel travel, so the dampening is softer. This smooths out bumps and irregularities better.

The SP on the other hand provides exceptional handling, and is clearly more aggressive. There's more feedback and road feel. If you are definitely more of a performance, aggressive driver, then you'll love the SP. If you are looking for a smoother, more comfortable ride, then go with the standard setup. Sometimes, the SP can be a bit tiring, even choppy, on less than great road surfaces.
  #6  
Old 12-08-2002, 06:03 PM
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Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
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I wouldn't expect the SP tires to last any less than the all seasons BMW is currently putting on.

The non-SP seats make my back ache, so...

(Aren't the Turanzas BMW has been putting on SP 325s all seasons?)
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2002, 06:46 PM
bpa bpa is offline
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Thanks to all for the input. By the way, I'm in Jacksonville, FL and am ordering through Tom Bush BMW. I really wasn't even considering the SP until a bunch of you asked why I wasn't getting it in response to an earlier post I did regarding the bi-xenons.

Moving my ED date to later in the spring isn't really an option - my son is going with me and we have to match up with his college spring break. I certainly can live without the SP.

I wonder if I could get the SP with all season tires on the 17" wheels? We're going through the Alps to get to Northern Italy, but most of our driving won't be in the mountains, and we're allowing plenty of time to get from point to point.
  #8  
Old 12-08-2002, 06:51 PM
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teamdfl teamdfl is offline
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Re: Sport Package for 325i? or not?

Quote:
Originally posted by bpa
...
1. Would the performance tires be a problem in Germany/Switzerland/Northern Italy in early March (snow/ice)? I live in Florida, so I'm sure they'll be fine once I get the car home.
2. What does the sport suspension calibration of the SP do for you?
3. Do the performance tires have a much shorter life than the all seasons that come standard?
...
1. The SP all season tires will not be much worse than the non-SP sneakers in the snow.
2. SP suspension gets better springs, dampers, swaybars and definitely nets better times at autocrosses
3. The SP tires can hardly be called performance tires. I wouldn't worry about much difference in lifespan.

The sport steering wheel and sport seats are alone well worth the SP price.

Ed
  #9  
Old 12-08-2002, 07:31 PM
geomax geomax is offline
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Re: Re: Sport Package for 325i? or not?

Quote:
Originally posted by teamdfl


The sport steering wheel and sport seats are alone well worth the SP price.

Ed
I'll second that. The SP seats are excellent.
  #10  
Old 12-08-2002, 07:36 PM
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Cadetdrivr Cadetdrivr is offline
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Re: Re: Sport Package for 325i? or not?

Quote:
Originally posted by teamdfl
1. The SP all season tires will not be much worse than the non-SP sneakers in the snow.
FYI - The SP tires are not 'all season.' They are performance tires and designed for dry (or wet) temperate weather conditions; not snow and/or ice.

FWIW, the SP is one of my favorite things about my 330i; I love the seats and really enjoy the grip of the wider tires.
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2002, 06:07 AM
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teamdfl teamdfl is offline
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Re: Re: Re: Sport Package for 325i? or not?

Quote:
Originally posted by Cadetdrivr
FYI - The SP tires are not 'all season.' They are performance tires and designed for dry (or wet) temperate weather conditions; not snow and/or ice.

FWIW, the SP is one of my favorite things about my 330i; I love the seats and really enjoy the grip of the wider tires.
The Bridgestone Turanzas that came on my SP 325 are all seasons. They are definitely all seasons in that they suck in all conditions. I have snows for winter use and 3 season tires for March through November. BMWUSA.com lists "performance" tires as part of the SP. ANy idea what brand and model tire comes with the SP now?


Ed
  #12  
Old 12-09-2002, 07:42 AM
richard richard is offline
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I have a 325i non-sp and love the handling. My only complaint is that it doesn't look as good. Maybe getting a manual would offset the fun lost not having the sport suspension.
  #13  
Old 12-09-2002, 08:34 AM
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brave1heart brave1heart is offline
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The 325i without SP feels almost like a different car - more of a grocery-getter than a sporty sedan. If I had to get one and only one option/package, that would be the SP. You seem to be optioning the car for luxury, though (step, PP), so SP may not be what you really need.
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2002, 09:27 AM
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berford berford is offline
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Every extra adds a little more fun. And the SP adds the most fun of all, especially on a per dollar basis. You'll only be in Europe for a short period of time, so just live with the potential that the roads will be snowy and enjoy the car more when you get back. Did I make myself clear? If not, get the SP--feels great, less filling.
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  #15  
Old 12-09-2002, 10:09 AM
geomax geomax is offline
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Sport Package for 325i? or not?

Quote:
Originally posted by teamdfl
The Bridgestone Turanzas that came on my SP 325 are all seasons. They are definitely all seasons in that they suck in all conditions. I have snows for winter use and 3 season tires for March through November. BMWUSA.com lists "performance" tires as part of the SP. ANy idea what brand and model tire comes with the SP now?
Thats true - Turanza's are Grand Touring A/S tires. Not sure why they picked these as a tire option since the E46 SP can also come with Dunlop E2000's or Michelin Pilots (both are Z rated). Luck of the draw, I guess.
  #16  
Old 12-09-2002, 10:28 AM
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Cadetdrivr Cadetdrivr is offline
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Sport Package for 325i? or not?

Quote:
Originally posted by teamdfl
The Bridgestone Turanzas that came on my SP 325 are all seasons. They are definitely all seasons in that they suck in all conditions. I have snows for winter use and 3 season tires for March through November. BMWUSA.com lists "performance" tires as part of the SP. ANy idea what brand and model tire comes with the SP now?

Ed
Wow. Sorry, but that sucks. That is the first case I have heard about a SP coming with all-season tires. I guess I need to get out more.

Perhaps it was some sort of factory screwup or parts shortage??? Just curious.
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  #17  
Old 12-09-2002, 10:55 AM
Jeff_DML Jeff_DML is offline
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I think you need to ask why you are buying a BMW, with your current option list it looks like you are going for luxury not sport.

If this is correct then non-sport package is probably fine for you, smoother ride, longer wearing tires and no problems for your ED timing.

Jeff
  #18  
Old 12-09-2002, 10:56 AM
Jeff_DML Jeff_DML is offline
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sport Package for 325i? or not?

Quote:
Originally posted by geomax
Thats true - Turanza's are Grand Touring A/S tires. Not sure why they picked these as a tire option since the E46 SP can also come with Dunlop E2000's or Michelin Pilots (both are Z rated). Luck of the draw, I guess.
We got turdanza's with our SP, they are almost bald at 15k
  #19  
Old 12-09-2002, 03:25 PM
tgravo2 tgravo2 is offline
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My salesman told me the turanzas should easily last 35k miles with a full 5 tire rotation every 5k miles. I only have 3k miles on them though so I don't know for sure yet
  #20  
Old 12-09-2002, 03:28 PM
Jeff_DML Jeff_DML is offline
doh!!!
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Quote:
Originally posted by tgravo2
My salesman told me the turanzas should easily last 35k miles with a full 5 tire rotation every 5k miles. I only have 3k miles on them though so I don't know for sure yet
maybe I should mention those 15k miles include 2 tracks days and 3 auto-x's.
  #21  
Old 12-10-2002, 06:23 AM
xmas63 xmas63 is offline
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IMHO, the sport package is absolutely mandatory for a 325. (I've owned both.) It's not that the non-SP handles bad, but the difference is like night and day.

I assume that handling is one of the main reasons you're buying a BMW; why pass on an option that greatly impacts this primary reason in your car selection?

Good luck and enjoy---you won't be disappointed!
  #22  
Old 12-10-2002, 06:37 AM
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berford berford is offline
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BTW "bpa", if you haven't noticed, there's a topic area entitled European Delivery in which you can get a preview of your upcoming experience...it's worth a visit/read. I'm sure you'll have fun...I did.
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  #23  
Old 12-10-2002, 07:15 AM
NYM325 NYM325 is offline
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I test drove the 325 with and w/out SP several times before I decide to go with the non SP. I couldn't stand the SP suspension on the streets here in Houston. I don't do AutoCross and I'm not as young as most guys on this board. Don't listen to all that talk about SP being mandatory, just get what YOU feel more comfortable with. You are the one paying for the car....
  #24  
Old 12-10-2002, 07:27 AM
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beauport beauport is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by NYM325
I test drove the 325 with and w/out SP several times before I decide to go with the non SP. I couldn't stand the SP suspension on the streets here in Houston. I don't do AutoCross and I'm not as young as most guys on this board. Don't listen to all that talk about SP being mandatory, just get what YOU feel more comfortable with. You are the one paying for the car....
While your driving observation of the SP/non SP may be fully accurate for you, small things like the tire pressure being a bit high could give one the impression that the SP car was stiff and uncomfortable. I say this as I put my snow tires on last night and magically my SP car went from a fairly stiff riding with somewhat noisy tires car to a quiet and unbelievably smooth car. SP or non SP can both me made out to be good or not so good with these types of changes. Having said that, the SP offers the additional potential for improved handling plus the other already mentioned benefits.
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  #25  
Old 12-10-2002, 07:51 AM
richard richard is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by NYM325
I test drove the 325 with and w/out SP several times before I decide to go with the non SP. I couldn't stand the SP suspension on the streets here in Houston. I don't do AutoCross and I'm not as young as most guys on this board. Don't listen to all that talk about SP being mandatory, just get what YOU feel more comfortable with. You are the one paying for the car....
I agree completely. Here in the Chicago area the roads suck. Hell, most of the time I'm lucky to get out of third gear. When I do get to an open stretch of road the non-sp suspension is still fun. Plus, I can't stand paying any more interest than I have to so I can pay off the car a little quicker.
 

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