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5 Series
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  #1  
Old 10-04-2003, 02:06 AM
SineMacula SineMacula is offline
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Location: San Jose, CA
 
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Mein Auto: Honda Shadow 750
Which to buy - 1991 325i vs. 1990 525i - need opinions

Hi,

I'm very close to purchasing my first BMW, and am rather excited about it! I'll be going to see two cars tomorrow, and thought I'd check in here for some advice/opinions before I go.

The two BMWs I'll be looking at are:

1. 1991 325i - 180000 miles - $2750 - timing belt and clutch replaced about 2.5 - 3 years ago - brakes replaced about a year ago

2. 1990 525i - 192000 miles - $3000 - new timing belt, water pump, ignition components (plugs, wires, rotor, cap), vacuum hoses, valve clearance adjustment, all in the last few months

Does one of these models tend to be more mechanically sound than the other? Can I expect similar useful life expectancy, assuming similar treatment?

Is there anything in particular I should look for when looking either of these cars over?

Other than the obvious difference in size... is there any significant difference in handling? Power? etc.?

Thanks,
Scott
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2003, 07:01 AM
JLee JLee is offline
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Location: Bethesda, MD
 
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Mein Auto: 98 M3/4
i would say that if your going to look for a 525i, i would get a 91 model with a M50 motor in it...the M20 in 1990 just isn't strong enough to pull that kind of weight...i know i had one
Quote:
Originally Posted by SineMacula
Hi,

I'm very close to purchasing my first BMW, and am rather excited about it! I'll be going to see two cars tomorrow, and thought I'd check in here for some advice/opinions before I go.

The two BMWs I'll be looking at are:

1. 1991 325i - 180000 miles - $2750 - timing belt and clutch replaced about 2.5 - 3 years ago - brakes replaced about a year ago

2. 1990 525i - 192000 miles - $3000 - new timing belt, water pump, ignition components (plugs, wires, rotor, cap), vacuum hoses, valve clearance adjustment, all in the last few months

Does one of these models tend to be more mechanically sound than the other? Can I expect similar useful life expectancy, assuming similar treatment?

Is there anything in particular I should look for when looking either of these cars over?

Other than the obvious difference in size... is there any significant difference in handling? Power? etc.?

Thanks,
Scott
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2003, 07:13 AM
alpinewhite325i alpinewhite325i is offline
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Location: Pittsburgh
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
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Mein Auto: '01 325i
I can't comment on a reliability comparison, but I can tell you my Dad has a 90 E30 convertible with 120k on it and he has had very few problems with it. All things being equal, I'd buy the 325.

There's just something about the E30 that is so special.
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2003, 04:12 PM
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mottati mottati is offline
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Mein Auto: 08 535 / 00 M5 / 91 M5
Mechanically, these are pretty similar cars, same engine etc. It depends on what you're looking for, a larger 5 or a smaller 3? the 325 will be a pretty fun car, assuming it's not all worn out with that milage. The 525 will be a bit underpowered. I have heard of some cracked head issues with that engine if they overheat. If you really want a 525, i'd hold out to find a 91 or 92 with the M50 motor, a bit more power, and pretty sturdy.
Mike
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2003, 09:31 AM
backstay backstay is offline
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Location: Essex, CT 1/2way 'tween NYC and Boston
 
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Posts: 94
Mein Auto: 04 X3 3.0i, 98 M3 Cabrio
Same engine, but two totally different cars. 3 series is smaller, sportier to drive, but lacking back seat room for adult passengers.

5-series has good rear seat room, but drives less sporty, as it's a bigger car.
  #6  
Old 10-05-2003, 09:36 AM
Malachi Malachi is offline
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Location: Oklahoma
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 540i/6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mottati
Mechanically, these are pretty similar cars, same engine etc. It depends on what you're looking for, a larger 5 or a smaller 3? the 325 will be a pretty fun car, assuming it's not all worn out with that milage. The 525 will be a bit underpowered. I have heard of some cracked head issues with that engine if they overheat. If you really want a 525, i'd hold out to find a 91 or 92 with the M50 motor, a bit more power, and pretty sturdy.
Mike
Still love that sig pic, it escapes me now, but name did you post under in RF?
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