Replacing my '94 325i

Thanks to an old lady in double-knit, lime-colored pants, it looks like my 325i has met with an early demise. It seems that old people in double knit
have not mastered left turns when other cars are approaching, this seems strange since they have had so much practice. At first glance, it looks like my car should have survived, but the body shop guy is telling me that he thinks the insruance company is going to total it. It's a sad day.
I'm probably going to be getting another BMW, I'm leaning toward the '97 328, or a similar vintage 5 Series.
My trouble is, I know the M50 motor used in my 325 is rock solid, and I assume the 328 also takes the same motor. The 5 Series gets a V8, that I have heard is troublesome, and drinks way more gas.
If I was going to be happy with a 328, would I also be happy with a 528 that gets the same engine? I know the 2.8L motor only has one more horse than my 2.5L, but it has significantly more torque, and the HP comes at a lower RPM. I'm thinking that the heavier 5 Series with more torque will feel much the same as my lighter 3 Series with less torque. Is that the right way to look at this?
In all likelihood, I'll be getting another 3, and probably a 328, either a 4 door or a convertable. When looking at the 5 Series, the discussions around here lead me to believe that I should get the I6 and stay away from the V8, is that right?
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That 2.8 engine produced 217HP in a test-rig I read about in a german car-mag. There is (or used to be) a treshold at 195HP (?) in Germany for some kind of tax, which sometimes made car-manufacturers downgrade their numbers...
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first of all, the 2.8l engine is much better than the 2.5l despite the "only one horse extra". torque is much better, more spreaded, and of course, more useful, and the engine's reliability is...well...the engine is much more reliable. definitely take the 2.8 before the 2.5 the 5-er will be running much smoother and more easily with that one extra horse.....
and, talking about the v8...well, I don't know if you should stay away from it, but the fact is....the most steadiest and most calmest engines are the inline 6, boxer 6 and the V12. So, any other engine may feel a bit shaky, but it's how you like it. I prefer the inline 6, 2.5 24v best imho, and a whole lot of people say best for it. I haven't tried the m3 inline 6, so I can't say anything about that.
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J Strickland wrote:

Jeff,
Very sorry to hear of the demise of your car. I know you were attached to it. I don't know if you knew this (previously) but insurance stats show that your exact situation (one car making and improper left turn) is the very one involved in the most accidents.
My advice is to find a 328i 5 speed, 4 door. There are plenty of them out there and if you are willing to do some leg-work you can find one that has been well cared for, has low mileage and at a reasonable price.
If I were going to replace my '95 325i right now, it is the exact car that I would be looking for too. I have the 2.8 double vanos engine in my Z3 and I can tell you that it is a significant improvement over the single vanos 2.5
Good Luck, -Fred W
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Thanks Fred, that's what I needed to know. I have found a '96 328i, 5 spd that I think will turn out to be an OK car. The major drawback being that it's black, and where I live black is a very difficult color to have. When one buys used cars on The Cheap, then one can't alwasy be picky about color. ;-) I haven't actually been to see the car yet, but it takes a nice picture. I'm waiting on the insurance company to tell me that my car is totalled before I drive 50+ miles one way to look at a car.
One other thing I was asking is if the 528 will suit me. I think that the 528 will constrain me to the automatic, but I don't know that for sure. I was wondering if the 528 is gutless, or if it performs on par with the 325. The 5 weighs more than the 3, but the 2.8 motor is stronger than the 2.5, so on balance it seems the 528 should be roughly similar to my 325.
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J Strickland wrote:

Jeff,
WRT the black car, what color is the interior? That is really more important to the temperature/comfort than the exterior. The only downside to a black exterior is it's tough to keep it looking nice, but the black leather is rough to sit in after it's been in an open parking lot in the mid-day sun. I know this because my 540i is black/black.
As far as a 5'er vs 3'er, you should definitely drive one to answer your question for sure. Yes, the extra grunt of the 2.8 will make the acceleration of a 5'er similar to that of your old 325, *but* it won't help the handling department and that (to me) is the bigger difference from 3 to 5 series. The 3 series is far more nimble vs the 5, which is more refined, especially at higher speeds. Driving a 3 series at over 100mph is exciting. Driving a 5'er at 100mph plus is, ho-hum... controlled. Aside from passing all the other traffic at a rate of 40 mph you'd hardly know it. ;-)
Also, a 6 cylinder 5'er can be found with a 5 speed, and if you do you may be able to get a much better deal, as most of them (in the US) ae fitted with automatics or step-tronics, depending mostly on model year. Beginning in MY 2000 most (all?) 5's seem to have steptronic.
So, in summary, I would consider what you will be doing with the car, and what is the most important to you. Primarily highway, long distance cruising? 5 series. Blasting down the canyon roads or stop-light racing? 3 series.
Sounds like a fun decision either way...
-Fred W
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I have black interior now with my white car, the concern I have is the black exterior. It's a pain in the ass to keep clean, and looks bad when dirty.

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Jeff Strickland wrote:

Yep, gotta agree with you on that one. But it sure does look good when it is clean. Mine stays in the garage most of the time, unless I'm actually driving (or washing) it. ;-)
-Fred W
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