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      08-06-2009, 11:09 AM   #1
anonymousmoose
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To BMW or not to BMW?

Hi, I'm a newbie here on the forum. My young wife is still trying to get her drivers licence. 3rd time lucky I hope

We are in Australia and once she gets her licence, she needs a car. I'm a luxury car fanatic and own a Holden Caprice [top of the range].


When my wife gets her licence to drive she wont be allowed to drive my car due to state laws. First two years, no one is allowed to drive a V8 vehicle.

So I'm thinking of buying her a brand new small car like an hyandai etc or a pre-owned BMW 3 series. In our price range is the 318i-320i/2000-2003 models with about 100,000km on the odometer. (I looked at Merc C class but reliability they are shocking. Took one for a test drive when I was looking for a car myself and the interior was falling apart... that was at a Merc dealer).

I'd like to have your advice please. Would a BMW with 100,000km KM's be a bad choice? The reason I'm thinking BMW is because its something my wife and I can both enjoy (when I'm not driving the Caprice). Of course the argument is that a new small car for the same price has a 3-5 year warranty and the pre-owned BMW would have no or at best a used car warranty.

How reliable are these older BMWs?

What are you opinions on this please?
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      08-06-2009, 02:20 PM   #2
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They are about average reliability. No Toyota Camry, but not that bad. I wouldnt't be all that worried about them breaking down.

I'm not sure what your budget is, but why not see if you can stretch to a certified 3 series? Fianancing rates on 05-06's are very low right now. I bought an 07 335i recently and was surprised how low my payments were.
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      08-06-2009, 02:25 PM   #3
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BMWs can get very expensive to maintain once they have some serious mileage on them. I think you would be better off with a Honda or Toyota, especially if she's never driven before. Get a new BMW for yourself later.
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      08-06-2009, 02:46 PM   #4
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i cant imagine you would buy her a hyundai... that makes no sense to me. how would you even consider that an option?! LOL

yeah, 2000 320i's are solid as a rock. And at 100km, they are only halfway through their safe lifespan. its once they hit around 250km youll start worrying. look for one with leatherette though, that shit stands through time. I would go for leather but you would have to replace it to make it look good and i doubt thats something you would want to do. dont get a 318 or 316. trust me, 10 seconds to 60mph is not cool, BMW or not.

these things are really reliable. the engines are small and tame so they take a beating excellently. their lifespan is usually admirable. i dont think you can go wrong with this buy, but make sure you shop around before you buy. there are thousands of these cars up for sale, so pick a good one.

i just recently bought an e46 myself, and couldnt be happier
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      08-07-2009, 01:13 AM   #5
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OP, for reliability, go Japanese. Germans aren't known for that....much, unless you get a P-car...but even then....

I'd say go Japanese and play it safe, because after all, it is going to be her car, and I don't see a german car being all that good for a beginner driver. The handling is too direct, and not light/nimble like a honda/toyota

Now if you were getting this car for yourself...I'd follow the advice above (just don't think long term though)
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      08-07-2009, 03:02 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies so far. Lots to think about. Keep 'em coming.

Thinkin' BMW might not be the way to go for my wife. I've always known Japanese for reliability. Or even an aussie car but I'd have to check the safety ratings first.

Kiemyster; 100% on the hyandai. Not my type of car. Just using it as an example. Also agree about the 318i. Slow as a mule. I drove a new 320i when looking for my car and I couldn't stand it. Horrible. If its for my wife a 318i would be ok but not for me.

My next car, 2 1/2 years time so I got plenty of time to think about it, might be a Z4, 3-series coupe or convertible or 5 series. But no point in discussin' this now as its so long away. The Caprice has only just broken in its lease term.

I'm lookin' forward to hearing more opinions...
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      08-07-2009, 06:57 AM   #7
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My 318i lasted until it hit 175,000 miles and then it blew a cylinder and that was that. It wasn't worth fixing at that point. What I found was that after the car hit 100,000 miles, various things started to wear out and fail (sometimes leaving me stranded). Despite the good qualities of the car (mileage, good highway cruising), the costs to keep it running combined with how slow it accelerated just didn't seem reasonable anymore - hence the 135i.
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      08-07-2009, 02:31 PM   #8
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in this case, get her something simple and reliable. honda civic coupe, yaris, fit would do perfectly.
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      08-07-2009, 03:19 PM   #9
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OP: head to www.e46fanatics.com.

You are really asking the wrong set of people here. everyone here is shottin an E90. Your really inquring about the e46, and the answers here are not going to reflect the reality of the vehicle. Put up a post there and your responses will be honest. the people there will be able to tell you whats the real deal with the E46. See you there
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      08-10-2009, 02:21 PM   #10
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A 3 series diesel is a great choice with its excellent fuel economy and brilliant torque!!
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