After driving Subarus, Toyotas, Hondas and yes - a Chevy, all my life,
I'm finally at the point that I can afford (and want) to step up to a
new "luxury" car. However, I still want to find the best overall deal
(ie - bang for the buck). That's just my nature, I guess.
I'm just getting started looking at BMW's, Audis, Acuras, Infinitis,
Lexuses (Lexi?) etc, so I'm far from finalizing a decision.
I have a few general questions about BMW's:
1. Does BMW ever run "specials" on new car purchases - ie - rebates,
etc? Is there any "better" time to buy? Any buying tips?
2. Do BMW's generally require Premium gas? If so, what are the
practical consequences of running mid-grade or regular? Engine Damage
or just less-than-optimal performance? (By less-than optimal, I mean
just normal tooling ariound town - no redlining).
3. I don't have a garage, but parking is off-street, so how well do BMW
bodies hold up? (I live in Central Virginia).
Can't think of anything else to ask right now. Any help with these
questions would be appreciated.
For a 3 series, you should be able negotiate at least $500~$1,500 off MSRP.
Yes, Bmw's require premium although lower octane may be used - but with
lower performance and economy due to the retarded timimg. So it's probably
penny-wise & pound foolish to use less than 91 octane. My 328i and Z4 3.0
both get 22 in town and 30 on the road with 92-93 octane, and I suspect that
most of the cars you are considering also require premium.
I'm in the DC suburbs and my non-garaged 1999 328i still looks great (Zymol
wax at least three times per year).
I'd go with the Lexus. I'll never buy another BMW, but that's
just me. Do what you like.
No, most dealers will give the poor mouth, claiming they can't
afford to lower their prices.
My owner's manual recommends the mid-range octane as a minimum.
Another source recommends the highest octane, so flip a coin.
I can tell you that while running mid-range, I still get pings, say,
when going up fairly steep hills.
A bad seam under the edge of my hood started a bad (really bad) rust
which spread to the top of the hood, lifting paint as it spread. This
has always resided in snowless (very very little anyway), sea-less
And it has always been very well maintained (with regular washes and
at least two waxes per year). Had to have hood refinished at my own
My 2 cents/pennies worth...
If you want a cosseting limousine like silky ride and lots of toys and
gadgets in your car don't buy a BMW 3 series; a Mercedes C class (over
priced)) or the new Lexus IS probably are better bets.
If a classy luxurious interior is the priority the Audi A4 is probably
the best bet.
If reliability is the priority Lexus again, though any problems on
BMW's are generally minor and few (according to various consumer
surveys in the UK).
Volvo and Saab win for seat and long distance driving comfort, the Saab
9-3 has the most comfortable car seat I've ever sat in.
The Jaguar X-Type manages to be a great all rounder that sits somewhere
in the middle of this lot and has one of the quietest diesel engines...
which is meaningless in the USA
If you want everything else a luxury/executive/premium sports car can
offer in a practical package (seats for passengers, trunk for luggage)
then it's the 3 series. BMW beats Audi/Mercedes/Jaguar/Saab/Volvo on
refinement (it's quiet), performance vs. fuel economy (comparing 5/6
cyclinder engines and diesels if you are in Europe), space (more leg
room than the others and equal best trunk/boot space) and of coarse
handling and steering responses. The build quality and quality of
materials is higher than Toyota/Honda/Subaru.
I was able to get the additional equipment I wanted from the options
list without spending too much extra, lumbar support essential option
for me as seats not quite comfortable enough without it.
The 3 series highlights are the engine and the drive, you have to want
great handling as the ride is a touch on the firm side (hence the
"limousine like silky ride" comment above) but for me never
uncomfortable. There are some that hate the firm ride, so you need to
drive it yourself.
BMW is not exactly exclusive but still very desirable and in demand
used which still makes them a good buy despite higher prices as they
hold their value well... at least in Europe.
There are few horror stories around on the internet about exploding
engines etc., but just as many if not more similar problems with Honda
/ Toyotas etc. No machine is perfect.
Hmmm -- haven't sat in one. Does it have the extended thigh support of the BMW
My wife's 325i has the leather sport seats with 12-way adjustment, etc.. For me,
at 6'3+", the extendable thigh support makes all the difference in the world.
I don't think so, just a long seat base as standard, no need for
extensions. 3 series plus sports seats a better option for the
enthusiast as the Saab is a bit soggy compared to 3 series and Volvo
even more soggy. Also engines though good, not as good.
The other day a colleague and I hired a Saab 9-3 (in western Europe), both
Our journeys were not long enough to comment on the seats but we both found
it tinny and a great disappointment (his comments are not printable in a
family newsgroup, even though this is not a familiy NG...). "GM
penny-pinching" is another comment.
I had not been in a Saab for many years, having driven one once with a view
to getting one as a company car. Tinny then, tinny now. Just did not feel
solid, not at all like the Volvo S60 I rented a few weeks before. Now that
was a revelation.
If you're wondering, he drives a VW Touareg, having had a BMW X5. We have a
Merc CLK Cab and a 190E. Even the 190E feels more solid than the 9-3...
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
Yes, no machine is perfect. In fact, nothing (except G-d) is perfect.
That being said, the following views are mine alone...
1. BMW is a nice car, but overpriced and expensive to maintain. Also,
undriveable in the winter without very good snow tires (except for the
AWD XI models). They are still rated an enthusiast's car, particularly
known for their exceptional handling. And yet most are sold with
automatic transmissions. because a lot of folks just want the cachet of
owning a bimmer.
2. Volvo used to be known as "the car for people who hate cars". That
is, folks who did not care that much about driving per se, but wanted
safety, reliability, and longevity. The 240 was a legend on all three
counts, but Ford has unraveled a lot of what Volvo stood for. EG, now
they do not do particularly well in crash tests, whereas they were once
the benchmark. Still good cars, but not what they used to be.
3. Saab has been eviscerated by GM. The only things left are the
signature grill and the key in the console. All of the great
individualistic design is gone, all of the quirky but loveable Saabisms
are history. A very sad story. Buy a Saab today and you are getting a
gussied-up Opel, or an overpriced Suburu. But, thanks to the
durability of Saabs, there are a lot of pre-GM examples still out there
that are real bargains. In its heyday (the 70's and early 80's), Saab
was every bit as good as BMW (but in a different way).
4. Mercedes-Benz is now a mediocrity, after its fusion with the
brain-dead Chrysler Corporation. They now make $100K cars that match
Yugo and Renault for reliability problems.
5. Jaguar is junk. It used to be the country club car for English
lords and ladies (and those aspiring to be such). It is now a marquee
of mediocre engineering hiding under nice leather and wood interiors.
6. American cars are pathetic. The country that invented automotive
mass production now can't seem to make cars that appeal to its home
market. Very depressing.
7.Asian cars will rule. So get used to their unique combination of
reliability, gee-whiz gimmickry, and anime styling. It's here for
On second thought, go out and get that bimmer!
This simply isn't true. The engineering is fine and quite innovative - the
major use of aluminium in some models is ahead of the pack. Their main
problem IMHO is basing the smaller models on Ford body shells and failing
to make them look special. And with the larger one sticking to the classic
look of a '60s design.
*Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
On Wed, 28 Dec 2005 09:08:34 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Plowman (News)"
I agree. Jaguar is still making some very impressive cars, but
somewhat like Porsche's unwillingness to let the 911 die, they seem
terrified of doing a serious redesign of the XJ.
2003 BMW 325i Black/Black
2003 BMW Z4 Black/Black
Is that because it gets confused at being driven on the wrong side of the
road? Getting it's bonnet called a hood? It's boot called a trunk? And to
crown it all it loses it's engine to a 'motor'!
The Chrysler Sebring??? Should have been RWD as all good Chrysles were,
Charger, Challenger, Barracuda with REAL engines 440 Cid 426 Hemi etc and
even the 318 was a nice little mover.............
Sir Hugh of Bognor
Remember. You may honestly belive that you understood everything
you thought I said but what you thought you heard wasn't
Nonsense. BMWs are no worse to drive in the snow and ice than any other
RWD car, and due to the balanced weight distribution, are actually
better than some. The "legendary" Volvo 240 was a RWD car and was
certainly as bad or worse than current BMWs, even though they came from
Scandinavia where the winters are notorious.
Yes, they are (were?) an enthusiasts car, no doubt. But they have
achieved such a cult status that they are perceived as "luxury" cars by
the general public. This doubles edged persona is what has been the
downfall of BMW development in my opinion. Because the majority of the
car buying public cannot appreciate the superior driving capabilities of
a BMW, the design goals have shifted to the more profitable luxury
cachet features. The mere inclusion of these features (NAV, PDC, etc.)
is a big mistake in my opinion.
Now that I can agree with. But don't do it for the perceived status.
Do it for the driving experience. If you can't appreciate that, then
don't do it.
I can attest to that, being Scandinavian and all. My dad used to have
one of the Volvo 240, and if you didn't take care how you cornered you
would go straight ahead.
I usually had to downshift and blip the pedal to have it swing the rear
out to recover when that happened. Which was quite often. The car had a
turbocharged intercooled B21 engine and was rather fun during summer,
but it was during winter it was the most fun.
You have a point about RWD in the snow. But BMW seems to be more prone
to winter skidding accidents, at least in the USA. I think that's one
reason BMW has introduced all-wheel drive in more of their models,
including the 5 Series.
Part of the reason may be that these cars come equipped with large
wheels and performance tires and have torquey engines, and people in
the States are less inclined to put on snows in the winter.
I don't think the 50-50 balance makes much difference.
people just don't know how to drive them properly.
Rear wheel drive is great if you have some understanding of how it works
and any fool who drives in snow without a winter tire is an accident waiting
Depends on how much snow one gets whether it is worth switching. In
southern England it snows little and then the snow rarely stays on the
ground very long.
One just has to drive extra carefully or avoid a journey.
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
"SharkmanBMW" < email@example.com> wrote in message
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.