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  #1  
Old 02-09-2011, 02:08 PM
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3 Series Purchase help

Looking to possibly trade my VW for a 3 series in the 2005/2010 years. Looking for somthing that gets decent mileage and fun to drive. What was the best combination for fun and relability? There are so many models in the 3 series that I dont know which is which. I am thinking 2 wheel drive unless driving in the snow will not work with keeping 2 wheel drive. Thank you!
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:30 PM
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For fun and reliability, look at a 328 or 330. Both are 3 litres. There is also a 325 (and a 323 in Canada), and a 335 with twin turbos. RWD is fine in the snow, if you have winter tires. Tires are more important than number of drive wheels. If you plan to drive all year on all season (no-season) tires, you may want to consider the x model, but handling isn't quite as good, and mileage is down slightly.
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:01 PM
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2005-2010 actually covers the e46 and e9x vehicles. If you want good reliability and performance, look at an 2005-06 330 zhp. Performance-wise it is between a 330i and M3.

Otherwise, the e90 330i would be your best bet for an e90 4 door and the 328i would be a good choice for an e92 coupe.

The HPFP on the 335i now has a very long warranty, but the n/a engines should be more reliable longterm than the turbos. However, there have been some issues with the n52 engines in the 328's as well. I can't remember, but I think it has to do with knocking and lifters or something. I don't have time to read through all the pages in the following thread, but you may be able to skim through and find out exactly what the issue is and how big of a deal it is.

Metallic Ticking noise coming from engine? - BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum - E90Post.com
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:46 PM
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Thank you for your help! Trading in the GTI will be tough, it is a rocket, but my wife wants 4 doors and somthing more distiguished.. I orginally bought it for my 16 year old son but he likes his 2002 Jetta 1.8T better. It is stick and the GTI is DSG. The BMW is pure class.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connman View Post
Thank you for your help! Trading in the GTI will be tough, it is a rocket, but my wife wants 4 doors and somthing more distiguished.. I orginally bought it for my 16 year old son but he likes his 2002 Jetta 1.8T better. It is stick and the GTI is DSG. The BMW is pure class.
If you still like the e46 platform, they made the 330i zhp 4-door in 2005. If you prefer the look of the e90, then go with the 2006 330i. It has them most powerful non-turbo engine available in an e90 3 series in the U.S. It has around 255+/- horsepower whereas the 328i has around 230+/- from a detuned version of the same engine. The e46 zhp is somewhat of a cult legend and would probably be the more fun car to drive.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:09 AM
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On a different note if I go with the least powerful version (325?) with a manual transmission what kind of mileage on the highway can I figure on, I know that it is not a Prius... but I have a long commute each day. Thank you all again!
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by connman View Post
On a different note if I go with the least powerful version (325?) with a manual transmission what kind of mileage on the highway can I figure on, I know that it is not a Prius... but I have a long commute each day. Thank you all again!
You can always look at the manufacturers estimates, but I like this website for comparing a few different models.

Fuel Economy

They list the e90 325i as 18/28 mpg with an average of 21. The 330i is very similar.

I love the 3-series as well. I am looking to replace my e36 in the near future and although I am leaning towards an e46 M3, I have been back and forth between an e46 ZHP, e90 330i, e92 328i and e92 335i. It is hard to decide because there are a lot of great 3 series models out there between about $17,000 and $30,000. Then you also have the 135i in that range...decisions, decisions.
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:28 AM
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Since nobody else has said it, I will.

If you want a 3 series with performance AND good mileage, go with the 335d. You can get 40mpg on the highway and the performance difference between it and the 335i is negligable except at the ragged edge on the track. For low-rev, real world driving you can't beat the combination of power and effeciency the diesel offers.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoVols! View Post
Since nobody else has said it, I will.

If you want a 3 series with performance AND good mileage, go with the 335d. You can get 40mpg on the highway and the performance difference between it and the 335i is negligable except at the ragged edge on the track. For low-rev, real world driving you can't beat the combination of power and effeciency the diesel offers.
In 2009, BMW North America sold 240,000 vehicles. 158,000 of those were BMW brand cars, ie not X3/5/6 or Mini. Total 3 series diesels (all of the passenger car diesels sold by BMW North America) were reportedly 1656 units. So, 1% of their passenger car sales were diesels, and about 1.7% of their 3 series sales were diesels. Said another way, 99% of new BMW car purchasers in the US believe they can beat the combination of what the diesel offers. In February 2009, BMWNA sold a total of only 19 335d vehicles. I wonder how much certification of the vehicle to allow them to sell this version in the US cost them in comparison? The 3 series diesel sales figures were a huge disappointment to BMW North America, and are never mentioned in press releases, unlike the X5 diesel, which has been doing fairly well.

On a practical note, the chances of finding a used one are pretty low.

Personally, I think BMWNA blew it by introducing a 335d first. If they had introduced a 320d instead they would have done much better IMO.
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Last edited by JCL; 02-10-2011 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:22 PM
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I believe the 335d never got the advertisement it deserved. If it did I believe
the sale numbers would have been much different.

Weather 99% of new BMW car purchasers in the US believe they can beat the combination of what the diesel offers is true or not depends on who you ask. The folks over at the BMW Diesel owners forum seem to think they have a winner and the fact that others don't know about it doesn't seem to bother them.

BMW Diesel Owners / Enthusiasts - bimmerfest - BMW Forums
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