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Old 12-11-2001, 05:25 PM   #1
eRiCdWoNg
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Possible BMW owner, need advice

Im looking into replacing my 97 Maxima with another car and for a long time I couldnt figure out what would be a good car for me. Then I ran into the BMW and now I think I'm looking for a 97ish 328i. I've been doing alot of research because I dont like the Maxima at all, and so far its hasnt been too reliable too.

Since I'm a small guy, being a "sport compact" car doesnt bother me at all, infact I prefer it, but I still want something with room in the back seat, and preferably 4 doors. I am also a stereo buff so I need room to upgrade the stereo.

The reasons I dont like the Maxima and am hoping the BMW will solve are these. Its a nose heavy FWD car. The BMW is 50/50 RWD so that answers that. Second I HATE the finish of the maxima, the paint sux the interior squeeks and rattles like crazy. From what I've noticed, the BMWs are excellent.

I also do not like the fact the Maxima does NOT have an independent rear suspension. The 328i seems like it will handle just fine.

My main gripe about the Maxima is the transmission blew up on me. So far from what I've read from the reliability reports, if I stay 96 or newer I should be OK.

Another is that the aftermarket and the resale value for the Maxima sux as well.

I checked the aftermarket and the BMW has a crapload available, particularly for the 328i, and they're not outlandishly expensive either, so that is a definate plus.

The maxima costs too much for me to insure for what it is, the BMW is $300 more per year and that rate will drop significantly come next year when I turn 20.

I am a driving enthusiast who takes my car to the drag strip, yet I want a good balance between luxury, performance, styling and practicality. I think the 328i does a good job in that. I am also a DIY enthusiast, my projects include clutch replacement as well as opening a transmission to install a Quaife differential.

There is a 97 white with black leather interior with 76,000 miles on it for sale in my town. Its 5 speed and asking for $21,800 or best offer.

Basically my questions here are, is the BMW the "ultimate driving machine?" From what I've observed so far, it is. Whats the experience with parts availablity? Reliablity? Performance, Fun, paint quality, repairability, safety, etc?

Is there a FAQ around here I can read? Basically I want to hear all the negatives about this car, cause I'm quite sure I've seen all the positives so far. What are the weak links of this car that I should look out for?

Thanks,
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97 Maxima (dont like)
01 CBR600F4i (i like)
Hoping for 97 328i
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Old 12-12-2001, 11:23 AM   #2
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Congrats on wanting to ditch the Maxima As far as the BMW on the drag strip... you won't be killing everyone. The car wasn't made to just go in a straight line... I'd rather take it to the track. There are quite a few mods out there for the BMW but I have yet to see ones that weren't expensive. Almost every mod I have seen for a BMW is 2-3 times as expensive as a similar part for a jap car. The re-sale value of BMW is great though, and they do last forever compared to their import counterparts. As far as the price on the 97 you found it sounds a bit high. Do some shopping around. I got my 96 328is with 53k (5-speed) loaded with every option possible, heated seats, HK radio, sports package, etc, etc. In May of 2000 for only $18,500 You can find 95 M3s for that much. Keep shopping.
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Old 12-14-2001, 03:11 PM   #3
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before you buy a bimmer, take a stroll to the Audi dealer...

Take a test drive of a 98-99' Audi A4 1.8Turbo Quattro, u can find them for that price and sometimes alittle cheaper. Audi's are built better, Bmw's are built in the U.S. and Audi's are built in Germany, enuf said on that. have u ever drive a Quattro (Audi's All Wheel Drive?) well once u drive a Quattro u dont want anything else, specially if u live where it rains or snows. With a Audi A4 1.8TQ u can easily tune it up over 300h.p. for a low cost. Plus bimmers are a dime a dozen and look like honda's. where i live bmw driver's slow up traffic buy talkin on their cellphones and thinking that their bmw is the only car on the road.
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Old 12-14-2001, 03:22 PM   #4
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BMW's are built in the US really... duh... but not all bmw's only X5's and Z3's.

BTW, what all does it take and how much $ to get a 1.8T up to 300hp.

I do agree that Audi's AWD rocks. But I don't think BMW's look like hondas or that Audi's hold up better. I've been through 2 Audi's, and 2 Audi transmissions.
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Old 12-14-2001, 03:24 PM   #5
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Re: before you buy a bimmer, take a stroll to the Audi dealer...

Quote:
Originally posted by bmwslayer
Audi's are built better, Bmw's are built in the U.S. and Audi's are built in Germany,

You obviously don't have your facts straight. BMW has a plant in the US that builds X5's and Z3's. The 3, 5, and 7 still are built overseas and shipped here. And what difference does it make where a car is BUILT? The BMW is still german-engineered. It doesn't matter where the car rolls off of the line. Basically you are saying that the same parts built using the same manufacturing process in Germany is somehow superior to a plant in America duplicating the work.

BTW, Audi has plants in other places than Germany. I believe the first TT rolled off the line in a plant in Hungary.
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Old 12-14-2001, 03:47 PM   #6
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My point is that Audi's are not built in the U.S. and Audi's are built in germany or europe. and for the z8 that is a overpriced bimmer like them all. How many of those z8's do u see in the U.S.? Just buy a Audi RS4(stationwagon or Avant)and smoke the fastest bmw that money can buy...what is it z8 or m5? An who won24 hrs at Le Man's(racing's toughest race known to man) and the Touring Car Championship? hmmmm, AudiSport won them both. Resistance is Futile.
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Old 12-14-2001, 03:49 PM   #7
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I've seen more Z8's on the road than M3's and M5's combined.
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Old 12-14-2001, 05:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by bmwslayer
My point is that Audi's are not built in the U.S. and Audi's are built in germany or europe.
I'm still not seeing your point. A BMW built in the US is still a German car built to the specifications put forth by them. Basically, you're saying that just because Audi chooses to have their plants in Europe, somehow that effects the quality of their product. There is not a correlation between the two, even though you are attempting to say there is.

Quote:

and for the z8 that is a overpriced bimmer like them all. How many of those z8's do u see in the U.S.? Just buy a Audi RS4(stationwagon or Avant)and smoke the fastest bmw that money can buy...


Uhh..... the Z8 is a limited production car. That is, BMW limits the amount of Z8's that are built and sent to the United States. It isn't exactly your mass-produced, garden variety roadster. A friend of mine who works at a BMW dealership told me that each dealership gets one Z8 per year to sell, he could be full of it though.
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Old 12-14-2001, 05:18 PM   #9
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He's full of it... the dealer around the corner has been through several of them this year... and the dealer back where I moved from in VA won't get any, won't get a M3, and won't get a M5.... basically that dealership SUCKS... but it's in south west virginia... and VERY FEW people out there can even think about affording a BMW>
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Old 12-14-2001, 06:12 PM   #10
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Thumbs up

Yeah, I could have sworn that I had seen more than one Z8 get sold at Peabody BMW in MA within the year...

Thanks for clearing that up Rob!
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Old 12-20-2001, 02:13 PM   #11
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i don't think we're answering the initial quesiton much

since, i am in the same shoes as wong, i'd to know about what he asked.
to further extend on this topic, i'd like to know how a bmw 3 series will come up against jap import cars
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Old 12-23-2001, 08:58 PM   #12
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get a life BMWslayer

BMWSLAYER If you love the damn Audi so much what the h*ll are you doing here. This is a BMW message board for owneres and enthusiast of the car not you wanna be BMW owners that for some reason you could not get your BMW. If you like your Audi thats great I am sure we all are happy for you. If you have relevant info for the poster thats fine, I am sure if he wanted an Audi he would not be here as you should not be here. I am sure there are Audi forums where your comments would be welcomed.
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Old 12-24-2001, 12:08 AM   #13
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To BMWSLAYER:
I respect Audis as much as BMWs but say something like” Just buy a Audi RS4(stationwagon or Avant)and smoke the fastest bmw that money can buy" is really childish from you!!!!
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Old 12-24-2001, 09:20 AM   #14
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back to the initial question....

As for the audi vs bmw battle going on here, audi is a great car, my friend owns an 2001 S4 and i have a 2001 325Ci. Now we park next to eachother at school most of the time and yes, his audi can rip me a new one on the strip, we've tried, but when it comes down to looks, everyone seems to think (even my friend who owns the S4) that the BMW is a better looking car. the A4 is nothing special. I have won in races against them stock. Yeah, dump your money into them and boost the turbos up to 300hp. We'll see how long it takes to rip that engine apart.

Anyway, back to the original question....The BMW is a great car. It makes you want to drive it. As for modifications, it gets pricey. There are a lot out there though. If you really had the money, you should check out Active Autowerke. They make somme very nice turbo kits for BMWs. Make sure you got a good job if your going to be running this on the racetrack. Hopefully you dont live in a too snowy area, bmw is not known for its performance in the winter weather. A set of 4 snow tires can cure that up quite nicely however. The car you said you were looking at seems a bit high. I would check out www.kbb.com (Kelly Blue Book) and get a price quote to see the book value for the car. Well, good hunting, hope you find the right bimmer. And as for people who bash BMWs in a BMW forum... Have a nice day
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