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Old    AnT (regalado1)      Join Date: Dec 2005       01-29-2010, 6:25 PM Reply   
Thought or reviews on this vehicle. It's got 125k miles on it and looks really clean. Priced right as well. I know BMW have higher maintenance costs than most cars, but that's pretty much as far as my familiarity takes me. What do you think?

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Old    Paul Bernier (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       01-29-2010, 11:18 PM Reply   
I drive a 2005 530i with 54,000 mls on it now. I think the transmission might be going bad on it but the car drives second to none (I've driven a CLS 55 and Bently GT among other cars) and BMW certainly lives up to it's slogan, "The Ultimate Driving Machine." I'm looking to trade mine in on a truck of some sort and will be counting down the years until I get back into another BMW.
Old    Paul Bernier (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       01-29-2010, 11:21 PM Reply   
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Old    dave c (dav51lin)      Join Date: Aug 2004       01-30-2010, 1:43 AM Reply   
My daughter has a 325i its been in the shop a lot for various electrical problems and a vibration that they cant find she cant wait to get rid of hers tired of it always in the shop.
Old    Craig Cox (wakedoctor)      Join Date: Dec 2004       01-30-2010, 6:31 AM Reply   
I have tried to be open minded about these cars. A 330 was one of my choices when I got a vehicle. I usually don't go by "hear say" but I have never heard good things about dependability of these cars, referring to BMW as a whole. They are fun to drive and most have decent power, even the entry levels. However, the only time you will hear a satisfied customer is when A, he is tied in with a dealer some way and it isn't a hassle to get it fixed every couple K miles, or B, they don't turn their own wrench, don't know how to, and don't mind spending to keep their car on the road. It is actually funny to get on some of the BMW forums and listen to Mr want to be car guy's story of how easy of an install their "insert upgrade here" and how it took the dealer only 2 hours to do it. Heck, they are even links on some of them giving instructions on how to change oil because some want to learn how.

I don't want to stereotype though, not all are like this and some really wrench and have a passion for these cars because they drive so well. I will also say this, most of the routine needed parts are only a fraction higher than GM parts. On top of that the intervals of oil change ect. are longer. People also complain about the tire cost but you don't have to pay twice the price for soft tires if you don't want to. Most run a tire that isn't much more than what you are probably paying for your vehicle tires now. All in all these cars are a toy/hobbie. Not something I would depend on as a daily driver.
Old    AnT (regalado1)      Join Date: Dec 2005       01-30-2010, 7:54 AM Reply   
Thanks guys. I appreciate it.
Old     (attila916)      Join Date: Oct 2005       01-30-2010, 8:45 AM Reply   
I am on my second 3 series... they can be finicky but are more exciting and drive better than anything in their class. The motors and tranny's (at least manuals) usually go forever. Yes the check engine lights come on randomly, and if you are used to driving a Honda this will certainly eat at you. My advice is, buy an ODBII sensor (clear the clode) and decide for yourself what is a serious maintenance item. You will save yourself many trips to the dealer and will mostly likely enjoy your daily driver.

Parts are not that expensive, have you seen Infinity/Nissan parts? Ridiculous!

My brotherís IS250 has less issues than my 325Ci. (well maybe aside from a sticking gas pedal! JK) But I think my car with nearly 60K miles more on it drives nicer. The Lexus suits his lifestyle more and I think it is a great car, but is less exciting and in tune with the road in many ways.
Old    C.I.E..... Evan (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       01-30-2010, 9:10 AM Reply   
Ant..... Unless you have absurdly good service records for that car I'd stay clear.

These cars can last forever. They're verrrrry solid. I've had too many to list, run them all on the track and abused them in ways that would leave most cars burning to the ground. That said.... If you can't afford to buy a BMW new, then you probably can't afford to maintain one. This is why the second hand prices are pretty affordable. Also why they catch a bad wrap with people. People buy these cars with high miles that have never been maintained and they get nailed with maintanence costs, then complain about them.

If you're not a hobbier with lots of experience tooling with cars, then I'd stay away from a BMW with more than 30k. They start getting pricey to own around 60k.

Incidently... BMW's are very reliable. It's rare that a properly maintained cars breaks down. If you ignore it's problems and keep bringing them to a shop that doesn't know what they're doing, then you'll end up on the side of the road. Their reliability ratings are actually quite high. A good shop can tell you what will break and when. It'll keep your car off a tow truck. My BMW's have an almost perfect track record. They've been on the hook twice in hundreds of thousands of street and track miles. Once my 1972 2002tii lost a condensor and the second time my 1991 M3 broke a distributor rotor. Not bad if you ask me. 2 very minor problems.
Old    Trevor Gleadhill (trevorg7)      Join Date: Mar 2008       01-30-2010, 10:29 AM Reply   
I agree with what Evan has said regarding the service records. If you know the history, you can make a good decision.

I think with everything, if you take care of it it will repay you with reliability; Cars, boats, etc.

I've got a 2001 528i with 200k miles. I have been regular with all maintenance and it has been a very solid car.

Good luck.

T
Old    Mark Anderson (puckinshat)      Join Date: Sep 2003       01-30-2010, 11:19 AM Reply   
Evan is the man when it comes to BMW. I was in the same boat as Ant when looking for a new car a year ago. I really wanted an 02/03 M3 and could stomach the payment but I second guessed myself when it came to maintaining it. I ended up with an Ifiniti G35 sedan with a 6-speed. Granted, it is no BMW, but maintaining it has been relatively cheap (tires and a wheel bearing, put about 20k on it in 10 months). I really like the stiff suspension in my G35, very similar to that of my buddy's Audi S4. I don't think I would buy any other Japanese car if I was looking for German performance (in this price range).

Good luck and feel free to PM me any questions.
Old    Barry Waste (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-30-2010, 2:11 PM Reply   
Evan,
you wouldn't happen to still have that E30 and be willing to dump that awful thing would you?
Old    AnT (regalado1)      Join Date: Dec 2005       01-30-2010, 2:45 PM Reply   
Thanks everyone. I just went and drove an 05 330i and that was a nice car! But for some reason, this 01 325i is just singing to me. It's a beautiful looking machine. I really like the white on the BMW's.

I was hoping Evan would chime in and he did. Thanks. Good info. I appreciate it.

This particular car is pretty far from me. It's up in the Sac area which is about 1 1/2 to 2 hours away from me. My folks live up there though. Might have to find a reason to go up there to check it out in person. I've got a call into the dealer to get some more info. but we all know how well that's going to work out.

Thanks again everyone.
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       01-30-2010, 6:08 PM Reply   
I wouldn't stay away from used bimmers (i've bought two) - but I would stay away from used 9 year old bimmers...

(Message edited by pesos on January 30, 2010)
Old    Small Light (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       02-01-2010, 10:11 AM Reply   
I've got an '02 325Ci and that thing runs like a champ. Just crossed 106k miles yesterday. Pulls strong and has had very few problems since I bought it with 70k miles on it.

Also, I have the white and it is the best color option. Looks killer!
Old    Big D (bigdtx)      Join Date: Feb 2005       02-01-2010, 10:57 AM Reply   
how many 10 year old BMWs do you see on the road? 15 Years? Exactly. They don't last, never have.
Old    Andy Graham (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       02-01-2010, 11:02 AM Reply   
Can't help chiming in here. I currently own a 2003 330i ZHP package that I bought used 18 months ago with 55,000 miles on it. Currently has 87,000. I absolutely LOVE this car. Most fun to drive of any car I've owned.

If you're into machines that excel at what they're designed for (like wakeboats for instance!), you'll love driving the 325.

Previously, I owned a 1990 325i that I bought new, had 11 years and drove 250,000 miles. Like all cars, it required regular maintenance but given the right attention was perfectly reliable. Out of those 11 years, it stranded me once - a fuel pump stopped working. After about 200,000 miles, the 325 was costing me about $800-1,000 per year in maintenance as semi-major things needed attention at this age. But, long before I had paid it off & had no car payments so by this time was relatively cheap to operate. Eventually, though it was just time to move on. I sold it to my BMW mechanic for his shop customer rides vehicle.

If you don't mind paying attention to regular maintenance, Beemers are super-fun vehicles.

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(Message edited by ottog1979 on February 01, 2010)
Old    Paul Bernier (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       02-01-2010, 11:04 AM Reply   
I see tons and tons of 10+ year old BMWs on the road. Go to Europe and they are everywhere as well.

(Message edited by wakeriderixi on February 01, 2010)
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       02-01-2010, 11:06 AM Reply   
Andy, beautiful car! The ZHP has the alcantara accents right? How have they held up? Also, a beemer (beamer) is a motorcycle and a bimmer is a car ;-) I almost bought that exact same car but went with a used M3 instead.
Old    Paul Bernier (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       02-01-2010, 11:07 AM Reply   
I've seen some pretty horrific crashes that my body style 5 series have been in and I can honestly say that if it was me in those crashes that I wouldn't choose another brand to be in.
Old    Andy Graham (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       02-01-2010, 11:11 AM Reply   
You are correct on Beemer/Bimmer. But, I was a motorcycle guy for many years in my younger days. For me it will always be a Beemer.

That 330 ZHP is amazing. Not so much brute horse power straight-line speed. But that car will out drive almost anything street legal through corners. Now I really know what "corners like it's on rails" means!
Old    Dhtige Hill (dh03r6)      Join Date: Mar 2007       02-01-2010, 12:24 PM Reply   
No you cant pull your boat with it.
Old    jason (hbguy)      Join Date: Jun 2005       02-01-2010, 12:33 PM Reply   
I have a 04 m3 that I bought new and it has been great to me. I have had one issue since it came out of warranty -- the alternator went bad. Santa Monica BMW wanted $1300 to replace it. I found a great independent shop on a BMW forum. They charged me $550, which is more than it would cost in an American car, but isn't much more than the $400 I paid in 1997 to replace an alternator in a 1988 Acura Integra. If you can find a good reasonably priced independent shop to take care of your BMW, they are more expensive to maintain than other cars, but worth it. I plan on driving my m3 for awhile. The novelty just doesn't seem to wear off.
Old    C.I.E..... Evan (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       02-01-2010, 12:39 PM Reply   
You guys are right on. If you love driving it's hard to beat a BMW. Glad to see there are a few out there that agree with me. If you stay on top of the maintanence, then they really aren't that expensive to own.

The bimmer, beemer thing always cracks me up.

Andy, super nice ZHP. I wish there were more of those cars around. Great vehicles. Well packaged. I like the Alcantera accents and the aluminum trim. The 6sp gearbox doesn't hurt, either does the extra HP they squeezed out of them.

Have fun with it. Incidently, to this day, my favorite BMW I've owned was a '88 E30. They're so light, nimble and fun. I traded it for a '02 M3 and kicked myself. I loved the M3, but wished I had space for both vehicles.
Old    swass            02-01-2010, 12:56 PM Reply   
I'll play. I have a 2001 540i M Sport. It's an orgasm on wheels! It only has 60K miles on it, so maybe I haven't seen the problems yet, but it's been hassle-free for me.

It's by far the most fun car to drive that I've ever owned. Lots of torque, and OMG does it corner. I, too, now know what "corners like it's on rails" means.
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       02-01-2010, 1:08 PM Reply   
The amazing thing is how well the 5 handles given its size and weight (I guess you could say that about all these newer cars)
Old    AnT (regalado1)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-01-2010, 1:37 PM Reply   
Thanks everyone for all your input. Really appreciate it.
Old    Paul Bernier (wakeriderixi)      Join Date: Jan 2004       02-01-2010, 2:22 PM Reply   
My 530i feels MUCH better than a the B7 I used to drive around in(yes I know the B7 is much larder and heavier, but it's still an Alpina). "Corners like it's on rails" for sure!

(Message edited by wakeriderixi on February 01, 2010)
Old    C.I.E..... Evan (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       02-02-2010, 9:41 AM Reply   
The newer active steering and swaybars on the E60(current 5) and E65 (outgoing 7)vehicles makes a much bigger car feel very small and nimble.

They're definitely fun to drive.

Paul, the new F01 B7 is an absolute beast. The fastest BMW in the line right now. Although I'm not sure you can call an Alpina car a production vehicle.

Swass, cool car. Get ahead of the cooling system problems and you'll stay trouble free. If your water pump, thermostat, radiator and hoses are still original, you may want to start thinking of replacement. Just suck it up and do it all together. I had a 540 sport that I sold with 187k on it. Great car. A blast for a big vehicle. Like a big German muscle car.
Old    devin (devin1205)      Join Date: Jun 2009       02-06-2010, 5:51 PM Reply   
big D- they don't last? there are more old bmws on the road then you think. even e36's up to 99 are now 10 years old and are everywhere here in vegas. I have multiple old bmws and they are all great vehicles with original engines and just keep running.

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