Older BMW 328is or Newer Chevy Impala?

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I've almost always owned Chevys. A couple of years ago I managed to unload (read: almost give away) a '98 BMW 325is. (A "gift" from a kid
who couldn't make the payments, after I cosigned.) What a POS. When the engine was running, it went like a scalded ape. But there were bugs in the cooling system which made it overpressure on occasion, which of course killed the radiator and heater cores. (Official BMW instructions to remove the heater core: "First, chisel off the steering wheel shaft mounting bolts...) Working on it required a totally different approach from American cars; they really don't want the owner to do that. (The "no dipstick" tranny was the most irritating.) I even had to use a darn torque wrench on the oil pan plug, to avoid breaking it. Couldn't rotate the tires - not recommended, because normal wear was on one side on the front tires, and the other side on the rear tires. But what totally surprised me was the poor shape of the interior and trim. At way less than 10 years of age, the car looked 20 years old. Paint fading, all the exterior plastic trim cracked and chipped, headliner loose, door panels kept falling off. Leather on the seats totally cracked. Dash computer display with too many dead elements to read the characters. Although I learned to work on this beast, I finally decided that with the appearance defects I would never be able to have much pride of ownership. No more Bimmers!!
- Larry A.

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But what totally surprised me

This is the weakest part of the BMW, IMO...body and paint integrity. For the most part, people dont seem to complain a lot about engine and transmission.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.nix wrote:

That's a shame; my '86 535i had very nice paint, panel fit, and the interior trim was exceptional. The only issue I had with the car was the typical complaints about the "fiddly bits" - the window switches required periodic disassembly and cleaning, and the cute little computerized warning panel always had at least one or two lights erroneously on. And the service reminder thing didn't work, which took out the temp. gauge. The taillights also regularly filled up with water until I drilled weep holes in them. Those were really my only complaints with the car, though (that, and the high price of repair parts, which eventually led me to sell it. I was moving to a state that required an annual safety inspection and the price of a suspension rebuild kit would have been out of my budget.) I guess they somehow forgot how to build a quality product?
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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I see a lot of '80's eras BMW's for sale with 300,000 to even 400,000 miles, and they run good still, supposedly.
-
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Which means very little. It is common knowledge that J.D. Powers and others who rate autos (like magazines) have to give a favorable review (or at least NOT unfavorable) or they will not be used in the future or their advertising dollars will increase.
In other words they are bought and paid for!!!!
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JD Powers is a little different than enthusist magazines or Consumer Reports -they are in the survey buisness. They give the public the broad picture stuff and sell the details to the auto manufacturers. They cannot afford to be dishonest if they want to keep selling information to their "Customers." And before you say they are in the pocket of US Manufactuurers, they do a lot of buisness in the Far East, so they can't afford to play favorites.
References:
http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/about/overview/services.asp http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pressrelease.asp?ID 06133 http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pressrelease.asp?ID 06082 http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pressrelease.asp?ID 06100
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Exactly. "Sell the details to the auto manufacturers." I view with a jaundiced eye any firm which gives the public information on manufacturer products while those same manufacturers are their customers. In essence they are being subsidized by the very manufacturers they are evaluating.
No thank you.
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Top-posting troll Mike Hunter wrote:

Maybe because it's a better value, "Mike".
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Those cars are quite different in design. Perhaps you should think more about what type of car you want.
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According to a Canadiandriver.ca (if memory is faithfull), you should avoid Impalas that come with the 3.4L engine. Apparently, they have problems with the head gasket leaking on higher mileage vehicule.

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On Sat, 28 Jan 2006 07:12:40 -0500, Fred W

parts are quite a bit more than american cars but... I think it's worth it. BMW's drive so much better. The 3 series is STILL the goal for every other manufacturer out there. Some try to beat it by giving it more horsepower (G35 for one) but it still doesn't meet the handling. Even the new IS250/350 seems to have given up to beat the 3 series in the handling department. But yeah, 15K is way too high for a 98 328i.

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snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:

Well, I have a 97 328 with 125,000 miles that I will never sell or trade - I think it's that good. My biggest problem is after driving 600 miles in one day, I still don't want to get out and stop for the night. 98 should be at least as good. HOWEVER,
1. At 80,000 on the BMW, you should probably follow Roundel tech advisor Mike Miller's advice to replace thermostat, water pump and radiator on it. I've done that on mine.
2. It likely needs some brake work, unless the mileage is mainly highway.
3. Is it an automatic trans - seem to be lots of problems with these. I have a manual.
Your call. A 60 mile commute is long enough to thoroughly enjoy a BMW, if you're "into it", and if you know a good independent mechanic, repairs should not be too bad, provided you keep up with the maintenance. The impala is a good deal, though, if you like the car - I have no idea as to reliability, and no opinion on the car itself. At 18,000 miles the Impala shouldn't need anything for quite some time, so, obviously the best financial deal.
Frank
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There's no reason the Chevy can't last 300,000 miles either if its maintained. I've heard of Escorts & Cavaliers going past 250,000 miles as well.
If you don't want to lose money on depreciation then don't but a new car, especially if your the type that keeps a car less than 5 years.
My car will be 15 years old next month & I can say I got my $17,000 worth out of it. Depreciation shouldn't matter if you keep it over ten years.
Good Luck
Harryface 05 Park Avenue, 34,114 91 Bonneville LE 305,454
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I honestly would try to come up with about $2,000 more and get a new Civic or the like with a warranty.
SO
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SO wrote:

Unless of course you value your life. Driving a 60 mile commute each day in a civic? Not me...
--
-Fred W

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Fred W wrote:

Your likely safer in the Civic than either of those other choices. Size is not the end-all in safety.
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Rick Brandt wrote:

Nonsense. I would take my chances in either the BMW or Chevy over a Civic. You are correct; size is not the only safety factor, but it does figure into the equation as does (even more importantly) weight and how solidly built the car is. There is a reason Civics can reach 40mpg. They are light. If you are a big fan of Hondas, an Accord would be an entirely different story.
--
-Fred W

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Fred W wrote:

Even if the other cars would provide somewhat more protection than the Civic that does not equate to someone "not valuing their life" because they drive a Civic. A new Civic has a five star rating on front impacts (same as the Impala) and both of those are going to have multiple air bags compared to the beemer which would likely have none being that old.
A BIG factor for safety is the ability to avoid the accident in the first place in which case the BMW and Honda are likely to be much better than the pedestrian handling that an Impala provides.
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Rick Brandt wrote:

You cannot compare safety ratings between classes. I five star rating in class relative. IN other words, all else being equal, the bigger heavier vehicle is safer.
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wrote in message

Crash test ratings measure the ability to survive controlled prescribed crash tests, not the ability to protect the occupants in real world situations. That's why Volvo tends to get outscored on those tests -- they base their safety designs on actual accidents, not crash tests.
If I told you that you had to hit an 18 wheeler head on with both of you doing 20MPH and gave you your choice of the 5-series or a civic, are you seriously telling me you'd feel safer in the civic?
Your comment about no airbags in a 1998 BMW shows how little you know about BMWs.

This is the the most correct statement in the post.
Also, the OP sited room to stretch out as a reason to consider the Impala over the E39. Why on earth would he want to fold himself in half to cram into a civic?
-Russ.
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