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I agree with your first impulse to go with the 320i--just the right amount of "spoiling" without overdoing it.
 

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If she absolutely must have a brand new car, I'd get a sport pack, three pedal 320i. Manual trans will force her to pay attention, and the 320 will be slow enough to not get into near as much trouble as a 335.

That said, I'd get her a used Golf or something and call it good.


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Remember Lyle and Eric Menendez of Beverly Hills. Their parents gave them an Alfa Romeo convertible, which they thought was too cheap. The kids shot and killed their parents then pretended to grieve. Don't give a kid a car that they are ashamed of! :mad:

I would recommend at least having your daughter drive the 750Li for at least 3 months. Better to scrape the wheels and do minor damage in an old car than a new car. A new car can then be bought in 3-6 months time. By then, the 2015 models will be available.

A SUV is clumsy and prone to rollover.

The IIHS is not the last word but they ranked the Volvo S60 as a top pick for safety, as well as the BMW 2 series that were built after June, 2014.

Also consider the 320i unless you are afraid to be Mr. Menendez, the father. According to your reports, she will not use the extra power that the 328i offers over the 320i. Do consider getting the optional fold down rear seats that is standard on the 328i.

If your wife is against VW, then an Audi may not be acceptable to her since Audi is a division of VW
 

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If she absolutely must have a brand new car, I'd get a sport pack, three pedal 320i. Manual trans will force her to pay attention, and the 320 will be slow enough to not get into near as much trouble as a 335.

That said, I'd get her a used Golf or something and call it good.

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I disagree. A manual in a new driver may cause driver overload. Either learn it slowly or get a manual after driving for a year
 

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Since the best car for her is VW Golf (bar none) but your wife prohibited VW, then buy her VW Golf that has four rings and Audi A3 spelled on it. None the wiser. Done.

Nothing wrong with BMW, but I would (if it were my child) let them show me some driving chops first before they get keys to a RWD sled. Yes, 180 hp 320i can reach north of 130 mph just as well as M3. Or 750 Li.
 

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Thanks for the information! The Audi is a new development in her search so she hasn't run it past her mother yet, we'll see if it's a different opinion.

Will do on the 3 months in the old car & wait until 2015 models are out.

Curious - why do you think I should consider the rear fold down seats? Visibility?

Thank you!
It adds some utility to the vehicle.
 

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I gave my daughter my 2002 330i. Honestly it's a little bit too much car for a teenager who's learning how to drive. I think we all forget how sensitive these cars are - in my daughter's hands when she was starting out I was reminded that the throttle and steering are both very sensitive.

So personally I would vote pro-320i and against the 328i. In fact I would vote against the 3-series entirely due to size. The 228i maybe, although again it has a lot of hp for a teenager. I think the Audi A3 or a VW would both be good bets.

And oh yeah, 750Li, no freaking way lol
 

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I gave my daughter my 2002 330i. Honestly it's a little bit too much car for a teenager who's learning how to drive. I think we all forget how sensitive these cars are - in my daughter's hands when she was starting out I was reminded that the throttle and steering are both very sensitive.

So personally I would vote pro-320i and against the 328i. In fact I would vote against the 3-series entirely due to size. The 228i maybe, although again it has a lot of hp for a teenager. I think the Audi A3 or a VW would both be good bets.

And oh yeah, 750Li, no freaking way lol
Size as in too big or too small? Not sure I'm comfortable having her in a coupe, especially a 2 series. How much of a difference in speed does the 328i really bring?

What's your opinion on a Audi Q5? Seems pretty big and safe? I might be leaning that way after reading comments here.
 

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Size as in too big or too small? Not sure I'm comfortable having her in a coupe, especially a 2 series. How much of a difference in speed does the 328i really bring?

What's your opinion on a Audi Q5? Seems pretty big and safe? I might be leaning that way after reading comments here.
Well it depends. I'm going to be a little philosophical here. If I had a teenage boy I think a Q5 would be a great car... because the sheer size and mass would slow him down. Yeah, I totally remember what a crazy driver I was when I was 16, but also driving came very naturally to me.

My daughter is similar to yours in that I was never concerned about speeding or reckless driving. For her I think a smaller car with low hp is easier to drive, builds confidence, and overall less stressful than a larger car. Less stress and easier to drive means allowing more focus on the road and traffic and less on the technical aspects of maneuvering the car itself. Anyway, I haven't driven the 320i but I do think the 230hp in my E46 is a bit much, and the 328i rings in at well over 240.

If you favor SUV's because you feel they're safer, then I'd look at the MB GLK and X3/X1 over the Q5 which is pretty big.
 

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My daughters are now in their early 30's, but I remember advice I got from a friend who was a car dealer:

"Buy something that is previously dented"
 

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Why the ban on the MINI COOPER? That in my opinion would be a better car for a new driver. Easy to handle, lots of safety features, can't pile a bunch of other people in it. Roomy on the inside, small on the outside. Good cargo space which will come in handy during the college years!
 

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Even if I had a garage like Bruce Wayne, I would not be getting a teenager a BMW as a first car. VW is a great call by the other posters - especially this time of year when the model year is about to roll over. Better yet, have her negotiate the price. Why is your wife so against the brands you listed? Bad experiences with them growing up?

I drove a nissan altima in high school, it was a good thing that that car only had 100 some horsepower and was FWD. If you go the SUV route, I would highly recommend a car control clinic so that your daughter can get a sense of how easy it can be to roll vehicles with a high center of mass - especially in inclement weather.

750 as nice as it is, is a boat/grandpa car in the eyes of a teenager. Heck, even the new 5 series are boats from my perspective. Then again, if she can parallel park that without using a camera, she should be good for just about any other car.

As for the MT - unless she's interested in sports cars or is planning to move to Europe, then she'll never need to learn it. All the US automakers are moving away from them because automatics are more fuel efficient and that's what people are buying.

Last thing to consider is the social point of view. Should you purchase her a luxury car, she MAY get the reputation of being the rich snob in school. All sort of depends on the demographics, but even growing up in an affluent Chicago suburb we judged the heck out of the kids in high school with cars that their parents clearly spluged on.
 

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A $40000 car as a first car for a teenage driver? Does this mean when she is 23 she'll be in a Bentley? If this is an option then obviously money isn't an issue but it will definitely be much more expensive to insure than something else. There are a million cars that would be much cheaper and just as safe. I can't believe that you would consider giving your teenage daughter who has very little experience behind the wheel a 335i, one of the more powerful and faster street cars on the general market... But you didn't come in for parenting advice and it's none of my business so we also don't need to talk about how if your daughter (has she ever had a job?) gets a $40000+ luxury car with a driver demographic of (40-50 years old, because they are expensive), it sets an odd example in terms of, you know, appreciating things and appreciating the value of money etc.. But we won't go down that road.

Re: power and 'getting into trouble' - for reference - I drove beaters in high school - Toyota Trucks etc. and got my first speeding ticket in an 86 Accord, doing 75 in a 50. I think that car had 130HP. Doesn't take much to get into trouble, hence my 335i comment. I mean seriously? My parents were solidly 'middle class', I didn't want for anything but I also got a job at 15 and worked all through highschool and if I would have seen a classmate roll up in a new Bimmer, I would have thought, well... Anyway, I imagine that if this is an option that you live in a neighborhood and school district where getting teenage drivers BMW's as first cars is the norm, so carry on.

Personally, I'd lease her a Jetta or something and call it a day.
 

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Guess I was fortunate that when each of our 3 children were ready for a hand-me-down car the first was a Rabbit diesel ... next was a VW Quantum (both manual) and then a BMW 524td (auto). As a road warrior I had already racked up 100k+ miles on each of them before they were ready to get passed on. We always had a sports car and a family sedan in the collection but even our very responsible children (who have each grown up to be very successful young adults) had their share of automotive bumps and bruises. All minor but each a learning experience. So I felt this car strategy reduced the possible financial and emotional harm!

Even though we were and are financially in very good shape I just didn't think it was teaching our children anything to GIVE them a new car. Their earned and saved money was earmarked for college and because of our financial condition they only qualified for academic scholarships and those just never covered the $25K - $40K / year for tuition-room&board + incidentals. When one or two friends would brag about "daddy gave me a new BMW" ... well,their looks spoke volumes.

Now that they are each 6-figure earners they look back on their first car experiences with fondness and always tell their friends how much fun they had helping to keep them running, keeping them clean, etc etc ...

That's my story and I'm stickin to it!!
 

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We purchased a Mazda 3 for our daughter and this has worked out well. The car is both fun and easy to drive (very similar to a base 320i loaner I had a few months ago), and costs less while still being reliable and relatively safe. And the new Mazda 3 is jam packed with safety features.

Additionally, unless you live in one of only a couple of area codes in the country, a Mazda 3 would avoid the pushback she's likely to receive from "friends" for driving a BMW, if you know what I mean. The Mazda 3 retains enough "coolness" with teenagers while avoiding the "snootiness" that goes with a teenager driving a BMW that she won't have much problem with others' jealousy and egos.

My daughter has loved hers, especially with a Seahawks magnet logo on the back :-D



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If you're seriously looking at all those cars you listed, for a 16 year-old, I'd at least buy her a 550 M Sport. I think she probably deserves it.
 
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