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.
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?
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
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!!!!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
05 Park Avenue, 34,114
91 Bonneville LE 305,454
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.
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.
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
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?
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