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  #1  
Old 09-10-2003, 06:52 AM
christian330 christian330 is offline
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Question 330i, 330xi, G35 or audi?

Hi y'all,

Newbie to BMW..I am considering between a 330i and a 330xi. other than the all wheel drive, what are the other differences between a 330i and a 330xi? if i prefer all wheel drive, am i better off buying an audi with their quattro system instead? is it worth it to have the nav system? I am also considering an infiniti G35 vs the 330i..what to do, what to do?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2003, 07:07 AM
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JST JST is offline
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There are others who disagree, but if I were in the market for a 330i right now, I would probably get a G35. The G35 offers all of the performance and most of the driving feel for substantially less, plus it offers more interior space to boot. There's no blau mit weiss on the hood, but in the end, who cares?

There are a couple of important caveats to this. First, the 330i *I* would buy would be the ZHP; compared to the ZHP, the G35 is more than $10,000 cheaper (before considering dealer discounts). If I were considering a lesser 330, the price difference would be smaller and I might be swayed toward the BMW. OTOH, if I were buying an automatic, I probably wouldn't get the BMW, since what good is an automatic BMW?

Second, I've done no research whatsoever into the residuals on G35s. Because I would likely lease, if the residual difference were large enough it might wipe out the 10K initial price difference.

Third, the G35 AWD model is not yet available, so no one knows how well that will fare. I suppose the AWD system will be largely similar to that in the FX35.

So, it's a very personal decision, that can be heavily influenced by individual circumstances. The only thing to do is to drive them both, decides which speaks to you louder, and then run the numbers and see if the difference is worth it.
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2003, 07:07 AM
mbr129 mbr129 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christian330
Hi y'all,

Newbie to BMW..I am considering between a 330i and a 330xi. other than the all wheel drive, what are the other differences between a 330i and a 330xi? if i prefer all wheel drive, am i better off buying an audi with their quattro system instead? is it worth it to have the nav system? I am also considering an infiniti G35 vs the 330i..what to do, what to do?

Thanks.
The simplest answer is to test drive them. The proverbial AWD vs no-AWD dilemma can be summed in saying that a 330i with winter tires will handle most of the snowy conditions. AWD adds weight but it is nicer on climbing hills and other situations. I assume this applies to the G35 as well, since they will be offering AWD soon. But test drive first. And yes, do a search.
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2003, 07:34 AM
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nate nate is offline
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I would go with the 330i.

I did not like the drive of the G35 at all. It felt large and numb, plus the interior is just aweful. The Audi is much nicer looking, never driven the new A4, so I would have to reserve judgement. But, in general, I would want RWD...
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  #5  
Old 09-10-2003, 08:46 AM
aspaceheater aspaceheater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougDogs
The G35 is adding awd in Dec. I don't recall any infinity/nissan CAR having awd before. I would not want to get one of these until "all the bugs are out"
Actually, Infinity/Nissan has had AWD cars for quite some time, just not in the US. e.g. the 1989 BNR32 Skyline GT-R .

We were considering the same group of cars, here are my impressions.

G35 Coupe - We only looked at the coupe because at the time the sedan only had an automatic transmission. Nice compromise between handling and comfort. Great engine. We really liked the exterior look of the car, but the interior was way too plastic. The coupe also only seats 4 with a big hard plastic tray in the middle rear. The trunk space is almost unusable. The sedan definitely has more room and the reclining rear seats are a nice touch.

A4 - Elegant interior. Engines 1.8T - fun to drive as long as we got a stick, although a little underpowered for the heavy Audi, although we would probably chip it and to get +30HP and +65lb/ft. 3.0 - nice power, fun to drive acceleration on par with 325. The seats are not as comfortable as the BMW. Handling is a bit soft, tends to float in hilly terrain.

BMW 325 - So it's not a 330, so maybe not enough power for your comparison, but here's what we did like. 325 power adequate for us, although the G35 is faster, the 3.0 A4 is about the same speed. Plus if I just wanted speed, I saw a nice EvoVIII the other day. The sport seats are ridiculously comfortable. Feels stable at all speeds. Sometimes, I'm just driving down the road and I just start grinning. It's just so much fun to drive. Interior is a bit spartan although it does have everything you need, it's not as if I want to drive a Lay-Z-Boy, if that's what I wanted I'd just get an ES300.

End of the day, I felt the BMW was just more fun to drive. If I were considering cars and making the decision again I would probably have gone for a stripped 330. My wife would have chosen the 3.0 A4. Although, the new TL might need a look as well (6speed, 270HP, DVD-Audio).
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2003, 08:55 AM
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jpgurl jpgurl is offline
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chiming in since I've (almost) owned all three...

if price were no object:
1. 330i
2. A4 3.0
3. G35

if price is a concern reverse the order.

The 330i is by far the best all-around cruising machine. I don't know about their AWD system though (try a search for more info). Yes, if price were no object, I'd get the 330i.

The A4 was slow in the 1.8T but the AWD rocked. Never had the ESP/VDC (whatever) kick in ever. That could be contributed to driving like a grandma but either way, its perfect in the rain. And the interior of the Audi was the best of all three IMO.

The G35 is all HP but not much finesse, all it wants to do is haul-ass. The interior is fine if you get the black instead of the fake silver titanium stuff. I like the G (I have the coupe) but I probably wouldn't buy one again.

That being said, the Infiniti will probably be more reliable than the BMW or the Audi in the long run. If you don't plan on owning it for more than 4-5 years, this might not be an issue for you.

And personally, unless you drive around the country a lot in unfamiliar areas, the Nav is useless, get a good old fashioned paper map and you'll be fine. And you'll save $$$.
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2003, 09:06 AM
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JST JST is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgurl
chiming in since I've (almost) owned all three...


The G35 is all HP but not much finesse, all it wants to do is haul-ass.


That's what I'm talking about.
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  #8  
Old 09-10-2003, 09:26 AM
christian330 christian330 is offline
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thanks mucho for the replies folks..I am at work so I can't do extensive search now. your replies has been real helpful. I live in seattle so AWD is not really needed. it's just a nice thing to have when the weather gets out of control some time in the winter..the audi I would consider is any 6-cylinder audi. I don't want the turbo-charged 4 banger. I am leaning towards the 330i and G35..initially the Rx-8 was in the mix but after that mazda recall, it's off the list....keep the replies coming
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  #9  
Old 09-10-2003, 09:36 AM
FSelekler FSelekler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christian330
thanks mucho for the replies folks..I am at work so I can't do extensive search now. your replies has been real helpful. I live in seattle so AWD is not really needed. it's just a nice thing to have when the weather gets out of control some time in the winter..the audi I would consider is any 6-cylinder audi. I don't want the turbo-charged 4 banger. I am leaning towards the 330i and G35..initially the Rx-8 was in the mix but after that mazda recall, it's off the list....keep the replies coming
I am with JST, I test drove G35/350Zs for several times before settling on the STi; but if I can have only one car, I'd wait for December and go for the 4WD G35.

I disagree that the G35 does not have finess, I think it would teach the 330s couple lessons. Interior and engine smoothness are not match to the Bimmers, but it is not as if you would feel bad, especially if you have never owned a Bimmer. Unfortunately, I have and now I just cannot let it go
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  #10  
Old 09-10-2003, 10:03 AM
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jpgurl jpgurl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSelekler
Interior and engine smoothness are not match to the Bimmers, but it is not as if you would feel bad, especially if you have never owned a Bimmer. Unfortunately, I have and now I just cannot let it go
exactly. once you've owned the bimmer, you are seduced in by the evil perfection.
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  #11  
Old 09-10-2003, 10:23 AM
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pdz pdz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpgurl
exactly. once you've owned the bimmer, you are seduced in by the evil perfection.

........or not.

i am in JST's camp. i find most BMW's competent and that means a lot. it means being the benchmark. not the cellar, but not the ceiling, either. just the baseline.

after owning several now (2M's, 1 non), i like the intangibles, but not enough to buy one again unless it has the best power/weight ratio as well as the typical BMW attributes. slow cars are intolerable and they're also disadvantageous in brutal traffic with vicious onramps and cut and thrust maneuvering all around you.

people who poo pah power and extoll the virtues of some BMW intangible have never tried to merge with traffic in all lanes including the breakdown lane.

now, one more thing to add: the academic discussion on how inferior the Xi system is is just that. it is effective and works fine. it is arguably better than any scandinavian system, the VW system, and functionally the same as the 4matic and quattro now that none of them ship with locking diff's on the front or rear axles. don't do desktop racing. drive 'em.
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2003, 10:26 AM
tgravo2 tgravo2 is offline
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RWD 330i 6 spd
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  #13  
Old 09-10-2003, 10:43 AM
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WILLIA///M WILLIA///M is offline
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You live in Seattle. You don't really need the AWD. As a result, definitely the 330i.
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  #14  
Old 09-10-2003, 11:06 AM
ObD ObD is offline
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The 330i is the better car overall even if you believe its numbers are inferior. BMW was never the HP/weight leader and I expect that not to change with Bangle's emphasis on art. Personally I could care less if someone has more HP on the street. The 330 is more than adequate. In the turns there is no equal.
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