BimmerFest BMW Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's time for a new car and I'm hooked on the styling of the 2003 330i and 530i. I would want an automatic. The 03 model year get me in my milage and price range.

Any advice from current onwers between the 330i and the 530i? It seems the pricing in California is very similar between the two. Performance is very similar minus a couple hundred pounds less weight on the 330. The 530 has a larger tank for those longs drives, but not by too much.

Anything I should look out for in my search? Any advice a good place to buy in the bay area?

Thanks for any reply's.
 

·
Retired Official Welcomer
2018 M4 Competition Package•2019 540i MSport
Joined
·
8,358 Posts
Bloud,

I have a 2003 530i for sale. If you're interested, PM me and I will give you the details.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
What kind of information do you want more specifically?

I have an '03 530i, which I bought a little over a month ago. It's a wonderful car: it handles beautifully and is really comfortable -- even in the back seats. If you plan on using your back seats, than the 5 is definitely the way to go. The 5 is in general, a bit more roomy than the 3; but this is offset by having really lousy cup holders (if you're planning longer drives). Note as well that the 5 not quite as common as the 3, if you are bothered by that kind of thing.

Cheers,

Andrew
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,017 Posts
IMO, I really like the e46's styling more than the e39's styling. But if you plan to carry alot of luggage, have a child seat, or have lots of back seat passangers, get the 5. But I think I see too many e46's in L.A period.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the posts. I'm 6'4" so the back seat behind me in any car is pretty much toast. I didn't really notice much more room in the 5 vs. the 3. I will be making some longer trips and I am a coffiholic. Crazy to think of choosing a car becuase of cup holder. I will not drive it too often. Right now I put less than 8k per year on a car.

I do like that the 5 is less common and has a little more of a mature/classy look where as the 3 has a I want to go fast look.

Anyone have experience with the Nav system? Good/Bad indifferent?

Looking at a 2003 330i 6spd loaded with nav and 22k miles. Pretty decent price and nice looking car. Few minor dings and a small crack in the ground effect on the passenger side. The car sits quite low. Was there a sport suspension package the brought the car lower?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Oh yeah... back seats are definitely toast in either. The difference in dimensions are just a couple of inches.

I agree that it's pretty funny choosing based on the cup holder. I love having my coffee, as well; however, I like having useless cup holders, since it gives me a good excuse to deny any requests to eat or drink in my car :). If cup holders are a must, there are ways to put in a cup holder on the driver's side, but it's definitely a kluge. For example: https://www.pacificbmw.com/new/parts/frame2.asp?prodid=116&modelid=155. Might work for you if you don't need it too often.

I haven't really had any experience with the nav systems, but often they do more than just NAV. Your radio controls (and sometimes air, etc.) are integrated into the system. Not sure how it works on the 3 or 5.

I'm assuming the 3 you've described has a sport package. On the 5's, if you have a 3 spoke M-style steering wheel, you have the sport suspension. With the sport package, you get a stiffer and lower suspension, M-style steering wheel, and sport seats (with adjustable thigh support). Not really sure about the 3 series.

Cheers,

Andrew
 

·
Happily Driving
Joined
·
7,201 Posts
Try to find a 5er with the comfort seats. Your decision won't be difficult after that. ;)
 

·
Tar Heel Faithful
Joined
·
14,127 Posts
Me530 said:
Try to find a 5er with the comfort seats. Your decision won't be difficult after that. ;)
Those are rare on the e39 5-series!

If you're 6' 4", i'd say go for the 530i. My uncle was forced to drive his 330i after they had kids (aunt got the X5 + carseats), he's about your height and he's a bit cramped in the cabin. A lil short on headroom, legroom, etc. Oh yea, and the seat right behind him is useless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't notice the leg difference much, but there's only .3 more in the 5. However you do notice the shoulder room. The 3 I drove has the sport package and premium package so it's load and man it trys like a real sportscar.

The 5 is a step down in sports even with the sports package, however it has that smoother feel, moving more toward a CLK class Mercedes feel. Which begs me to wonder, if I wanted a smoother feel why would I buy a BMW?
 

·
Happily Driving
Joined
·
7,201 Posts
If looking at a lexus, save yourself some money and get a Toyota.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hehe, yeah no over priced toyotas or I mean Lexus for me. Perhaps my comment was mistyped. What I was going for was, I'm looking at BMW for that "ultimate driving machine" feel, and I feel the 330 has that feel more than a 530.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top