328 vs 330 coupes

I fancy a BMW coupe, but I'm unsure whether to go for a 328 or a 330. Does anyone have any opinions as to whether the 330 is worth spending the bit
more money on? Is there much difference in performance/fuel consumption?
I don't want to spend more than 15k, so I'll be looking at 1999-2001 examples. I'll also be going for an auto rather than a manual, if it makes any odds.
Thanks in advance for any comments or advice.
Cheers Jake
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My advice would be to try and drive both to compare them.
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Jake wrote:

They are the same offering (largest engine) of different model years. The 330 will have a little better overall performance, but will also be a later year car, which will further increase the price differential. I think the 328i with 2.8L engine is quite nice, much better driveability than the 323i w/ 2.5L due to increased torque. If you can find a good one it will be quite a bit less expensive than a 330i in similar condition.
-Fred W
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I've had a 1998 328i SE manual and a 2004 330i Sport auto and I'd say that, for enthusiastic driving, the 328i was the better (and possibly slightly quicker) car. Manual change is more responsive than the auto and the fuel consumption was about 20% better.
BMW's consumption figures are about the same for both engines, while I think their auto MPG is a bit optimistic vs the manual. So, of the four combinations, the manual 330i would be much the most sporty, while the auto 328i would be the slowest and one of the thirstiest.
If you want a relaxed (and fast) drive then the 330i auto is good but nowhere near as smooth and effortless as my previous car - a 530i auto.
Another point - I would avoid the sport suspension and 18-inch wheels on UK roads unless you have fewer fillings than me!
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Suggest you buy this months BMW CAR magazine as they have an article on exactly this subject. For 15k you should be looking at the 330.

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The '30 gets standard equipment that the '28 gets as options. I think the '30 is the better choice, but you have to decide if the options are worth the money. Personally, I wouldn't confine myself to the coupe either. I't take any quality car that had the equipment I wanted at the price I was willing to pay. After years of driving two door cars, my 325i has 4 doors, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I actually put people in the back seat -- if one considers children to be people -- and the extra doors come in very handy.
I think the comparison of the 328 and the 330 is a good one, but you can get both of these in 4 door packages. Yes, the 2 door looks very cool, but if you use the back seat for people, the doors are a "must have." I found that the insurance is cheaper on the 4 door too. You should look into this because the difference in my case was hundreds of dollars per year. I had an Accord Coupe, and it cost considerably more to insure than an Accord sedan. Your mileage may vary.

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On Tue, 5 Jul 2005 18:14:40 -0700, "Jeff Strickland"

This is true, especially in the case of side/head airbags.
However, you must consider than the 330 is the newer uglier body style, and the 328 is the older, as well as options/performance. If looks are an issue, definitely consider that.

4dr can be a little small in some peoples opinion (like mine). For this reason, I only consider 2dr. in BMW. BTW, anybody know if the newer body style increased the frt. door size on 4drs? That'd be the only thing that'd get me to consider it, since the 4 is convenient. On the up side, 4 doors have door frames around the windows, 2drs do not. That means the little up/down automatic movement of the pwr windows every time you open/close the door, and maybe a worse seal. Definitely the motor will die and leave you crunching the rubber around the door till you get it fixed (personal exp. on that).

That's true, because ins. co's are morons. They fail to realize it's exactly the same car performance wise. But you can't expect intelligence from people that raise your rates as much for a speeding ticket as an accident that was the insured's fault that they paid out on!

-- _____________________________________________________ Drivin a 94 BMW 325is w/sport. For email response, or CC, please mailto:see.my.sig.4.addr(at)bigfoot.com. Yeah, it's really a real address :)
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That is not true. The last year or two of the E36 was a 328/323. The first 2 years of the E46 (which you call ugly) was also a 328/323.
Floyd
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spewed:

I stand corrected, SOME of the 328's are the older better looking style. I was not aware that 330 didn't start at the introduction of the E46. So you're saying 2002 for E46 sedan and 2003 for coupe? Or did both coupe and sedan start offering the 330 at the same time? I know they staggered the start of the E46 for 2/4 doors, 2dr. being 2001 instead of 2000.
-- _____________________________________________________ Drivin a 94 BMW 325is w/sport. For email response, or CC, please mailto:see.my.sig.4.addr(at)bigfoot.com. Yeah, it's really a real address :)
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On Mon, 05 Sep 2005 21:33:11 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@nowhere.com.invalid wrote:

    The E46 sedan started with the 99 model year, the coupe with the 00 model year.     Emanuel
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Both coupe and sedan - and convertible - were given the new 3.0 and 2.5 engines in '01.
It's very confusing, especially since the 2.5 is actually the same size as the 2.3...
Floyd
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And, of course, the E90 2.5 is the same size as the 3.0!!
Tom
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Their statistics show that a person buying a 2-door coupe is more likely to drive more aggressively and more likely to get into an accident than a person buying a sedan. On top of that, the coupe is more costly to fix in case of a serious accident. Why does that make them morons?
Cheers,
Pete
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spewed:

If that's actually true, perhaps. Depends if their determination of "aggressive". Does it mean accidents, or tendency toward a better skilled driver who drives faster on a test track or something. I only wonder because I've never heard higher rate of accidents being called "aggressive".
I'd like to see somebody do a test to prove that slower "less aggressive" drivers are such because they're worse drivers! IOW, proving the quote "A man's got to know his limitations."
I hadn't heard the more $ to fix issue. Why? No window frames on the doors?
-- _____________________________________________________ Drivin a 94 BMW 325is w/sport. For email response, or CC, please mailto:see.my.sig.4.addr(at)bigfoot.com. Yeah, it's really a real address :)
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snipped-for-privacy@nowhere.com.invalid wrote:

Well Sir, you just slid off the road into the ditch and filpped your car 3 times. Guess you just found your limitations. Care to try again, after you get out of the hospitol?
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Many thanks to everyone who took the trouble to reply - lots of good stuff here!
Now, time to arm my chequebook and start haggling ...
Cheers Jake

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