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MontrealR
02-12-2004, 12:11 AM
Hi everyone,

my bro is looking into buying a car this spring and he's got his eyes set on either a '00 540i (33-35K$) , a 2001 330ci (around same price or a 2002 IS300 (29K$). They all have around 40-60,000km. He will be going for manual transmission on all cars.

Just wondering if you guys have any opinions between the cars....I've heard that E39 5-series are not that reliable? Is that true?
I think that's his main issue with the 5-series.

Any suggestions, comments or experiences would definitely be appreciated!

Mitch555
02-12-2004, 12:14 AM
Originally posted by MontrealR
Hi everyone,

my bro is looking into buying a car this spring and he's got his eyes set on either a '00 540i (33-35K$) , a 2001 330ci (around same price or a 2002 IS300 (29K$). They all have around 40-60,000km. He will be going for manual transmission on all cars.

Just wondering if you guys have any opinions between the cars....I've heard that E39 5-series are not that reliable? Is that true?
I think that's his main issue with the 5-series.

Any suggestions, comments or experiences would definitely be appreciated!

Out of these two..... I'd go with the 5er for sure!!!

Quack
02-12-2004, 12:15 AM
I would go for the 5, the only real problem with the 6speed is the clutch, you might have to replace it every year or so, it was pretty obvious what I was gonna to choose wasn't it

T.Dot_E30
02-12-2004, 12:20 AM
If your gonna use the room, and can afford the gas go with the 540i.

If he is gonna mod the car and If he doesn't need the room and wants a two door. Go with the 330

///MsAniTy
02-12-2004, 12:47 AM
540 for sure especialy with the 6 speed

crusher
02-12-2004, 02:16 AM
i'd go with 540 :)

SickFinga
02-12-2004, 02:22 AM
Well does he need so much space that 540i offers?
if he is considering Ci I dont think he does.

So if he need room, 540i for sure.

If he just needs a car to drive arount 330ci

bmwm5lover
02-12-2004, 02:42 AM
5, ud be an idiot to get anything but...

BLAGUSS
02-12-2004, 03:42 AM
540 without using brain! Sickfinga, do you want to say that 330ci is somthing more special then a 540i?

crazyvadim
02-12-2004, 03:43 AM
540i,330ci or IS300?? where did the IS300 come from.I would take a 325i over a IS300.I suggest a 540i,its awesome and its the closest you can come to an M5.If he doesnt want such a big car and doesnt wanna be at the gas station every 10 mins then go for a 4door 330i.

Luke-iS
02-12-2004, 09:37 AM
540, definately 540!!!!

d12
02-13-2004, 03:42 AM
had the same decision to make, and since I don't need so much room I went with 330.. wanted clk430 originally but that car felt weird

crazyvadim
02-13-2004, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by d12
had the same decision to make, and since I don't need so much room I went with 330.. wanted clk430 originally but that car felt weird

I test drove a clk430 with the sport package or is it AMG package?? it felt pretty smooth but didnt feel quick compared to a 5spd 330i.

sonny
02-13-2004, 04:22 PM
330

theblue
02-13-2004, 04:41 PM
I would get a 540 over the 330
but I would get an M3 over the 540

STALKER
02-13-2004, 05:06 PM
This is such a no brainer. 540 all the way. You will love the big V8.

vaio76109
10-28-2004, 09:20 PM
This is such a no brainer. 540 all the way. You will love the big V8.
Yea, with its craptacular top end *thmbsdwn*

Understated
10-28-2004, 09:24 PM
540

Simby
10-28-2004, 11:03 PM
considering you're Canada, those are Canadian $s. it seems awfully cheap for a 540 or 330. 30s?

vaio76109
10-28-2004, 11:14 PM
Well I was in the same predicament and I ended up getting the 330Ci. The 330Ci handles SO much better will small susp mods than an E39 ever will.

///Greco540
10-29-2004, 01:20 AM
Quack.. how do you drive your car to be changing clutches so often? I still have the original in the car and I'm over 130K Kms...

vaio76109
10-29-2004, 01:24 AM
BTW-any of you 540 guys have timeslips?

Paul540/m3
10-29-2004, 01:26 AM
Quack.. how do you drive your car to be changing clutches so often? I still have the original in the car and I'm over 130K Kms...

he has an auto lol

vaio76109
10-29-2004, 01:34 AM
Autos dont have clutches, they have torque converters...

GEEE$
10-29-2004, 10:15 AM
Is this question real? :eek: IS300? Geezus.

Obviously he has never driven a 6spd 540i(or the other cars for that matter)...get him to drive one...then you won't have to post something insane like this. The 540i is a freight train, that seems to never stop pulling in the acceleration category. It's downright fast.

Anyone who would want a 330 after driving a 6spd 540(and could afford either) is mashed in the head. It's 5 times the car.





G$

SkycityBMW
10-29-2004, 10:23 AM
540 . . . . all the way ! !

///Greco540
10-29-2004, 10:31 AM
BTW-any of you 540 guys have timeslips?
I have to dig for it but I clocked a 14.01@101.2mph w/ a 2.0 60 footer. I am positive that with a very good launch (ie. 60ft around 1.7~1.8) I can get her in the 13's. (13.8~13.9) as I have the speed for it.

1BADRIDE
10-29-2004, 10:40 AM
I've got a 540i/6. It's a blast.

You people who seem to be complaining about gas cost with the 540... do you people put $2 of fuel at a time or something???

I fill my tank, and get around 400-450km/tank - AND I push the car hard all the time!

GEEE$
10-29-2004, 10:42 AM
Gas is overrated. :D





G$

anfreny
10-29-2004, 12:34 PM
damn conservative BMW specs :)

if i get a used 540 for $22k, and has like 130clicks, would that be a money hole?

love every bit of that car, but damn... it aint cheap....

GEEE$
10-29-2004, 12:37 PM
Don't cheat yourself....TREAT YOURSELF!


*par-t*






G$

1BADRIDE
10-29-2004, 12:38 PM
Compare it to whatever else you could get for $5,000 more and ask yourself if it's worth it.

If you wanna give me $40K, I will give you my 2000 540i/6 with 70K, BMW Certified Series, fully dealer serviced. :) :)

MarkD
10-29-2004, 12:48 PM
If he just needs a car to drive arount 330ci


No, then he'd get one of those things you were driving a few months ago!

MarkD

vaio76109
10-29-2004, 03:33 PM
The 540i is a freight train, that seems to never stop pulling in the acceleration category. It's downright fast.

Anyone who would want a 330 after driving a 6spd 540(and could afford either) is mashed in the head. It's 5 times the car.
The 540 has a poor top end(rev band wise). After 4500rpms or so it starts pulling considerably less.

Like a said before, the 540 will win a straight line, but a 330 will slaughter it in the corners. The 540 is not 5 times the car.

Axxe
10-29-2004, 03:57 PM
Have you driven either car? The 540i with the M-Sport Package handles awesome for a big car. With some stickier (and wider) rubber, a thicker roll bar in the back, and some balls it handles awesome. My Dad had a 328i but now he has a 540i, the 540i definately isn't go-kart snappy a la 3 series, but boy o boy does she pull.

GEEE$
10-29-2004, 03:59 PM
What in the world are you saying? What does the rev band on the highway have to do with anything if you're pushing big hp and torque at a pretty decent rpm? If I'm in 4th gear on the highway with my 540, at say 4k rpm, it has enough power to propel the shit out of it. They are ONLY highway monsters...not off-the-line drag cars. I don't really get what point you were trying to make. Ever been in a vette on the highway, or most 5.7L V8's? You think they're reving higher than 6k? Of course not...because they don't have to, just like the 540i. Big power, in low-mid range revs. The fact is you don't have to drop a gear in a car like the 540i because it produces such great torque through virtually all the stock rpm range. That V8 is an absolute BEAST on the highway, through and through. It really is that much better of a car.


*edit-I've driven both...and the 540i is in a different league alltogether, but it should be for the price difference.

vaio76109
10-29-2004, 04:00 PM
Yes I have driven both. I have a 2001 330Ci 5 speed, my dad has a 2002 540i 6 speed(with sport package which was standard).

GEEE$
10-29-2004, 04:00 PM
[QUOTE=Axxe]Have you driven either car? [QUOTE=Axxe]


That's EXACTLY what I was wondering too.





G$

vaio76109
10-29-2004, 04:02 PM
What in the world are you saying? What does the rev band on the highway have to do with anything if you're pushing big hp and torque at a pretty decent rpm? If I'm in 4th gear on the highway with my 540, at say 4k rpm, it has enough power to propel the shit out of it. They are ONLY highway monsters...not off-the-line drag cars. I don't really get what point you were trying to make. Ever been in a vette on the highway, or most 5.7L V8's? You think they're reving higher than 6k? Of course not...because they don't have to, just like the 540i. Big power, in low-mid range revs. The fact is you don't have to drop a gear in a car like the 540i because it produces such great torque through virtually all the stock rpm range. That V8 is an absolute BEAST on the highway, through and through. It really is that much better of a car.


*edit-I've driven both...and the 540i is in a different league alltogether, but it should be for the price difference.

What im saying is that the 4.4 doesnt pull as smoothly as the 3.0 does. The 4.4 has a lot of low end, put no top end. The 3.0 has it more evenly spread out...

GEEE$
10-29-2004, 04:03 PM
Yes I have driven both. I have a 2001 330Ci 5 speed, my dad has a 2002 540i 6 speed(with sport package which was standard).


Then you would know that they're not even remotely close to being on the same playing field.


The 330 is a sick car, no question about that. I love it.





G$

vaio76109
10-29-2004, 04:05 PM
Then you would know that they're not even remotely close to being on the same playing field.


The 330 is a sick car, no question about that. I love it.





G$
No they arent and im not saying they are.
540 has speed(not saying is doesnt handle well)
330 has handling(not saying its slow)

GEEE$
10-29-2004, 04:09 PM
What im saying is that the 4.4 doesnt pull as smoothly as the 3.0 does. The 4.4 has a lot of low end, put no top end. The 3.0 has it more evenly spread out...



I guess I've just never heard anyone say that the 540i has no top end. It's news to me. If you're declaring that the 330 can physically rev higher, than I cannot argue with that on any level. But big deal...so does the Type R. And?

All I know is that our V8's can produce insane speeds from anywhere between 3k and 6k rpm





G$

GEEE$
10-29-2004, 04:10 PM
No they arent and im not saying they are.
540 has speed(not saying is doesnt handle well)
330 has handling(not saying its slow)


I can agree with all 3 of those statements. *th-up*




G$

vaio76109
10-29-2004, 04:16 PM
I guess I've just never heard anyone say that the 540i has no top end. It's news to me. If you're declaring that the 330 can physically rev higher, than I cannot argue with that on any level. But big deal...so does the Type R. And?

All I know is that our V8's can produce insane speeds from anywhere between 3k and 6k rpm
Im not talking about revving higher, im talking about having top end HP(4500+rpm). The dyno graphs below will explain it all...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v342/maxpower6733/330CiDyno10-23-04.jpg Thats a 330 with a chip(hence the 6500rpm, 6000 is stock), notice how is HP increases steadily

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v342/maxpower6733/540iDyno10-23-04.jpg
Thats a 540, notice how the HP almost falls flat at 4800rpm

GEEE$
10-29-2004, 04:35 PM
I understand what you're saying, but it's somewhat irrelevant.

Like I said earlier, a Type R produces great power at the upper most part of the rev range...but it's still no match for a car with big hp and torque at a moderately decent rpm range.
The graph shows that the 540 drops off much quicker than the 330, no question about it(and it's just common sense)...but what I'm getting at is what does it matter?

It's a moot point, talking about where the rpms fall off when you're comparing a 330 to a 540, because the 540 is always going to be infront. The answer is torque.



G$

vaio76109
10-29-2004, 04:42 PM
Im just saying i dont like the powerband on the 540 thats all...personal preference

vaio76109
10-29-2004, 04:45 PM
I have to dig for it but I clocked a 14.01@101.2mph w/ a 2.0 60 footer. I am positive that with a very good launch (ie. 60ft around 1.7~1.8) I can get her in the 13's. (13.8~13.9) as I have the speed for it.
A 1.7-1.8 60' is never going to happen in a stock 540

Nice times btw *th-up*

GEEE$
10-29-2004, 04:45 PM
Im just saying i dont like the powerband on the 540 thats all...personal preference



It's all good man.





G$

rollee
10-29-2004, 07:33 PM
540i for sure. need to ask?

anfreny
10-30-2004, 02:52 AM
im considerin one from my cousin.... how fast are the auto 540's... mid 14s?

WhadUpp
10-30-2004, 02:55 AM
5er

windwagen
10-30-2004, 11:48 PM
get the 5 ... Quack is wrong though.... the rear tires wear out fastest...heh heh

My buddy has a 330, and he thinks it sux every time I kick his A$$. He's now looking for a 540 wagon.

VAIO - I don't agree with your complaint of top end lacking. The Dyno doesn't lie, but when driving, my car starts pulling even harder above 4000 rpm. If I have to complain about top end, it's that the redline isn't high enough. It's still pulling HARD when the rev limiter (shift indicator) kicks in.

Does your father's car feel that way? Maybe there's something wrong. If I use low Octane gas, I can really feel the timing retarding under full throttle...feels kinda like traction control kicking in and out. With mid or high grade, it pulls super smooth.

Gamite
10-31-2004, 12:03 AM
hm.. waggon eh? Interesting project car.

windwagen
10-31-2004, 12:08 AM
Like this?

Hartge 5er touring (http://www.hartge.de/html/body_e39touringuk.html)

Too bad they're all automatic. I could really use the extra space - 2 kids, plus one coming. My wife wants a minivan, I was thinking 530 touring - M sport.

vaio76109
10-31-2004, 01:17 AM
get the 5 ... Quack is wrong though.... the rear tires wear out fastest...heh heh

My buddy has a 330, and he thinks it sux every time I kick his A$$. He's now looking for a 540 wagon.

VAIO - I don't agree with your complaint of top end lacking. The Dyno doesn't lie, but when driving, my car starts pulling even harder above 4000 rpm. If I have to complain about top end, it's that the redline isn't high enough. It's still pulling HARD when the rev limiter (shift indicator) kicks in.

Does your father's car feel that way? Maybe there's something wrong. If I use low Octane gas, I can really feel the timing retarding under full throttle...feels kinda like traction control kicking in and out. With mid or high grade, it pulls super smooth.
I have driven many 540's and they all had that. And hes uses 93 octane...

And no they dyno doesnt lie, your just crazy :D

windwagen
10-31-2004, 01:33 AM
I have driven many 540's and they all had that. And hes uses 93 octane...

And no they dyno doesnt lie, your just crazy :D

CRAZY? YES!!!!!

But....That's what I wrote, "the dyno doesn't lie".

What do you mean by "They all had that." ...pulling harder above 4000, or the pulling hard right to the redline? I don't understand how this means "lacking top end". A car with poor top end would make the driver want to change gears before hitting the redline. Have you ever driven a diesel?

I'm not sure I agree with your Dyno analysis. Sure, it'd be great if the graph just kept climbing to somthing over 300 HP. Consider that 99% of the maximum HP is available from 4800 RPM up, whereas the 330 is down to 88% at the same RPM. Wouldn't it be nice if the 330 had all 210 HP available at 4800 RPM?

d12
11-01-2004, 09:33 PM
it all depense what you want... you get 540 if you got family, like to just cruise around, want more space, want big but quick ride... you get 330 if you like it to be sporty, easier and smaller to control, still have decent power, don't need much space...

i've had 330ci for a year now, not a single f@cking problem other then 2-3 oil changes and I wouldn't trade it for older 5er, but I would get the new 5er in a blink *th-up*

Bmwstylz
11-01-2004, 11:44 PM
wow ! only about 25 replies and finally someone in the same mindset as me - D12. Nice summary of the facts

REading the responses I am thinking this is an E39 board or forum version of the video game lemmings: "540 ... me too!... me too!" jesus. I can only speculate that you are either all midle-aged men in your 40s who drive 5 series, or young guys with their first e30 or e36 who think *they* know bmws, and "a 5 series must be better than a 3 series cuz its a higher number, right? Bigger engine = better car"

I have driven both the 540 6speed and a 330ci 5speed... and I can say wihtout doubt that the 3 wins hands down! It has a much lighter, crisper feel to the handling. Better fuel consumption. Comparable performance, and it looks about 10x better! You can't beat an inline six for smoothless... The e39 while classy is certainly not the best looking beemer to date. Its fast in 540 form, but feels like a heavy, ponderous tank at times.

And lets not forget styling - the e46 coupe is gorgeous while the e39 is a lackluster if bland, bloated design. I hated it when it came out, but have grown to midly like it now. Compare it to an e34 though and its chubbyness shows throw.

I vote 330ci !

*th-up*

vaio76109
11-02-2004, 12:14 AM
CRAZY? YES!!!!!

But....That's what I wrote, "the dyno doesn't lie".

What do you mean by "They all had that." ...pulling harder above 4000, or the pulling hard right to the redline? I don't understand how this means "lacking top end". A car with poor top end would make the driver want to change gears before hitting the redline. Have you ever driven a diesel?

I'm not sure I agree with your Dyno analysis. Sure, it'd be great if the graph just kept climbing to somthing over 300 HP. Consider that 99% of the maximum HP is available from 4800 RPM up, whereas the 330 is down to 88% at the same RPM. Wouldn't it be nice if the 330 had all 210 HP available at 4800 RPM?

When I said "they all had that" I was talking about how the acceleration(or G force) dropped drastically after ~4500rpm. The car still pulls very hard at 6000rpm(relative to other cars), but its not a linear feel to redline(like the 330). Top end speed/mph wise it pulls well, top end rev wise its crappy. In my opinions i want a motor that has a smooth predictable powerband that pulls CONSISTANTLY to redline.

Yes I have driven diesels before, quite a few actually. The 540 in a way is very similiar to having a lot of low end, but no top end.

I would rather have a motor that pulled consistenly all the way to 280hp@6000rpm than one that reached 276hp@4800rpm and then 280hp@600rpm. Thats a wasted 1200rpm...

But like I said, its a matter of opinion.
The 4.4 is more of a chug around town motor
The 3.0 is more of a rev me/race motor

vaio76109
11-02-2004, 12:19 AM
I have driven both the 540 6speed and a 330ci 5speed... and I can say wihtout doubt that the 3 wins hands down! It has a much lighter, crisper feel to the handling. Better fuel consumption. Comparable performance, and it looks about 10x better! You can't beat an inline six for smoothless... The e39 while classy is certainly not the best looking beemer to date. Its fast in 540 form, but feels like a heavy, ponderous tank at times.

And lets not forget styling - the e46 coupe is gorgeous while the e39 is a lackluster if bland, bloated design. I hated it when it came out, but have grown to midly like it now. Compare it to an e34 though and its chubbyness shows throw.

I vote 330ci !

*th-up*
Umm, that basically what I said :confused: *th-up*

windwagen
11-02-2004, 12:24 AM
wow ! only about 25 replies and finally someone in the same mindset as me - D12. Nice summary of the facts

REading the responses I am thinking this is an E39 board or forum version of the video game lemmings: "540 ... me too!... me too!" jesus. I can only speculate that you are either all midle-aged men in your 40s who drive 5 series, or young guys with their first e30 or e36 who think *they* know bmws, and "a 5 series must be better than a 3 series cuz its a higher number, right? Bigger engine = better car"

I have driven both the 540 6speed and a 330ci 5speed... and I can say wihtout doubt that the 3 wins hands down! It has a much lighter, crisper feel to the handling. Better fuel consumption. Comparable performance, and it looks about 10x better! You can't beat an inline six for smoothless... The e39 while classy is certainly not the best looking beemer to date. Its fast in 540 form, but feels like a heavy, ponderous tank at times.

And lets not forget styling - the e46 coupe is gorgeous while the e39 is a lackluster if bland, bloated design. I hated it when it came out, but have grown to midly like it now. Compare it to an e34 though and its chubbyness shows throw.

I vote 330ci !

*th-up*


C'mon ...Any 3 series will beat a 5 on a TIGHT track because of the weight advantage...but anywhere else, all 3 series drivers (except M3) knows their A$$ is gonna get smoked hard by a 540.

"lighter, crisper feel to the handling. Better fuel consumption." - sound like excuses
"Comparable performance" - NOT accelleration
"looks about 10x better" - subjective
"You can't beat an inline six for smoothless" - nothing unsmooth about the V8
"feels like a heavy, ponderous tank at times" - only when NOT busy killing a 3 series

You forgot overall fun factor - advantage 5??

At the risk of sounding like a snob, I really enjoy hunting down 3s and killing them...heh heh....270 degree ramps, accelleration lanes, on the highway, at the stoplights...540 will tromp a 330 with authority. If you like getting killed by the car you "could have" had, get the 3.

One more thing, my cousin says you can't get a heated steering wheel in a 3. I'm not sure if this true. I thought this was a useless feature, but actually, I use a lot in the cooler weather. Works awesome!

Axxe
11-02-2004, 12:30 AM
What im saying is that the 4.4 doesnt pull as smoothly as the 3.0 does. The 4.4 has a lot of low end, put no top end. The 3.0 has it more evenly spread out...

Pardon me? You're saying that an abundance of low end torque makes it less smooth than a rev-happy 6-cylinder? Maybe it's because you can't control the throttle properly? The 4.4 has got to be one of the smoothest motors out there, with broad power delivery and shitloads of power on the highway.

Axxe
11-02-2004, 12:45 AM
wow ! only about 25 replies and finally someone in the same mindset as me - D12. Nice summary of the facts

REading the responses I am thinking this is an E39 board or forum version of the video game lemmings: "540 ... me too!... me too!" jesus. I can only speculate that you are either all midle-aged men in your 40s who drive 5 series, or young guys with their first e30 or e36 who think *they* know bmws, and "a 5 series must be better than a 3 series cuz its a higher number, right? Bigger engine = better car"

I have driven both the 540 6speed and a 330ci 5speed... and I can say wihtout doubt that the 3 wins hands down! It has a much lighter, crisper feel to the handling. Better fuel consumption. Comparable performance, and it looks about 10x better! You can't beat an inline six for smoothless... The e39 while classy is certainly not the best looking beemer to date. Its fast in 540 form, but feels like a heavy, ponderous tank at times.

And lets not forget styling - the e46 coupe is gorgeous while the e39 is a lackluster if bland, bloated design. I hated it when it came out, but have grown to midly like it now. Compare it to an e34 though and its chubbyness shows throw.

I vote 330ci !

*th-up*


Wow. Not to make stereotypes (which you managed to be good at), but are you someone that wanted a 5 but couldn't afford one? Seriously, just because everyone is agreeing upon something doesn't mean you have to label everybody. Yes the 3-series is more snappy, but have you ever gone on long trips in a 5er, especially a 540i? On a business trip that I tagged along with my Dad (make fun of me because I don't have a 5 if you want, I don't give a shit), we went 4 hours nonstop, and after getting out, you don't even feel that you were in a car for so long.

For a daily driver and all-round fun car, you really can't go wrong with either. If it was my money, I would get the 5, not because "it's a higher number and therefore better," but because I like it more. THAT'S THE KEY. Drive both, pick the one you like more. Just watch out, once you dip into the deep well of torque that is 4.4i, you will be tainted forever :D

windwagen
11-02-2004, 12:56 AM
Vaio - I still don't agree...My 540 starts pulling HARDER at above 4000 RPM - and at least in any gear except 5 and 6, the redline comes so fast, I don't have time to realize any lack of top end.

Axxe
11-02-2004, 12:57 AM
Vaio - I still don't agree...My 540 starts pulling HARDER at above 4000 RPM - and at least in any gear except 5 and 6, the redline comes so fast, I don't have time to realize any lack of top end.

I'm with windwagon. Just because it stops producing more power doesn't mean it stops producing power. Maybe it's time for vaio's dad to change the air filter?

windwagen
11-02-2004, 01:07 AM
Hey Bmwstylz, don't feel bad just because more people voted for the 5 instead of your car :)

Sorry...couldn't resist

anfreny
11-02-2004, 04:15 AM
well a decent 330XI driver with a 5psd could have a chance to decimate a 95 or 97 auto 540 =)

GEEE$
11-02-2004, 10:16 AM
wow ! only about 25 replies and finally someone in the same mindset as me - D12. Nice summary of the facts

REading the responses I am thinking this is an E39 board or forum version of the video game lemmings: "540 ... me too!... me too!" jesus. I can only speculate that you are either all midle-aged men in your 40s who drive 5 series, or young guys with their first e30 or e36 who think *they* know bmws, and "a 5 series must be better than a 3 series cuz its a higher number, right? Bigger engine = better car"

I have driven both the 540 6speed and a 330ci 5speed... and I can say wihtout doubt that the 3 wins hands down! It has a much lighter, crisper feel to the handling. Better fuel consumption. Comparable performance, and it looks about 10x better! You can't beat an inline six for smoothless... The e39 while classy is certainly not the best looking beemer to date. Its fast in 540 form, but feels like a heavy, ponderous tank at times.

And lets not forget styling - the e46 coupe is gorgeous while the e39 is a lackluster if bland, bloated design. I hated it when it came out, but have grown to midly like it now. Compare it to an e34 though and its chubbyness shows throw.

I vote 330ci !

*th-up*



Judging from your post, I honestly think you've never actually driven a 540i. Firstly, IT IS A BETTER CAR. Price generally dictates what advantages a car has over another, that's fact, especially levels of car within a manufacturer. Looks are completely subjective. You need to talk only about facts for this discussion.
Why is the 540i 20 grand more? WHY? Is it because it's slower, or has an unrefined, notchy engine? Maybe it's because the interior is cheaper looking when compared to the 3 series? Why are there levels of cars within the BMW arsenal? Why don't we all drive 760s? It's because they need to sort out price brackets for everyone(in order to sell more cars to more people), and with the more expensive cars comes better technology, better safety, better refinement, better engines etc...it's clear, I cannot understand how you can disclaim that truth?? The 3-series is the entry level lineup from BMW, yet you're claiming it's a handsdown winner over the more luxurious, more refined, more expensive, more potent older brother. I just don't get it. The 330 is a killer car, I would take one any day of the week...if there wasn't a 540 already in my driveway. :D

"comparable performance" ????? *no-no*

That statement is completely retarded. The two are opposite ends of the spectrum in performance.

The difference is NIGHT & DAY.




G$

windwagen
11-02-2004, 10:24 PM
well a decent 330XI driver with a 5psd could have a chance to decimate a 95 or 97 auto 540 =)

"decimate" is a strong word. The 330 would be lucky if it could even keep up. The non sport auto 540 may not look threatening, but beware the sleeper!

Bmwstylz
11-02-2004, 11:15 PM
GEE$ - Bigger does not always equal better. And after some quick research on the net (http://www.car-videos.com/performance/speed.asp?Speed1=0&Speed2=60) it appears the 0-60mph times for a 2001 330ci are faster than for a 2001 540i. Still it is "comparable performance" since it falls within about half a second.

You say you think I've never driven a 540i? Why because I don't march lockstep with your belief that it is superior - just because you own one? More options don't make for a better car. What bmws have you driven other than your 540 with ... automatic transmission.

I am not the only one that feels this way - look at the residual values for used BMWs. The much "better Bmw 540" with its "better technology, better safety, better refinement, better engines etc...it's clear, I cannot understand how you can disclaim that truth?? " Well apparently used car buyers can disclaim that fact. Look at the used values of say a 98 5 series versus a 98 3 series ... The 5 endure much higher depreciation and the prices end up almost equalling out (within a couple thousand) even though the original selling price was probably "20 grand more." This is a very capitalistic perspective but the market never lies!

That said - the looks are completely subjective I agree. but isn't that an important part of buying a new car? I am sure a lot of people would and do choose a 3 series over a 5 - based on looks alone (irrespective of price/ performance).

Windwagen - I don't feel bad because more people didn't vote for "my car"! I don't even own a 3... but the heaviest, most behemoth bmw of all - a euro-spec 7 series! Which must be better than a 540 (according to Gee$) because my car is bigger with more options? right? hmm....

Although maybe this argument comes down to an age thing... 5 series screams old man.. and 3 series coupe says young playboy. I'm willing to bet that buying habits are strongly correlated with age.

That said... I just want you all to know that I love all BMWs equally! but prefer to drive certain models more

:)

windwagen
11-03-2004, 12:03 AM
Ooops...sorry, I confused youwith Vaio...

I've seen that car video site before. I don't know where they get their specs from, but they show a 330 at mid 5 sec, and another one at mid 6 sec (both indicate 5 speed) ....whatever... I find 0-60 numbers on the web for any car all over the map. 6.7sec for an automatic 540 sounds slow.

All I know is that every 330 I drag race, ends up way behind :)

GEEE$
11-03-2004, 10:07 AM
GEE$ - Bigger does not always equal better. And after some quick research on the net (http://www.car-videos.com/performance/speed.asp?Speed1=0&Speed2=60) it appears the 0-60mph times for a 2001 330ci are faster than for a 2001 540i. Still it is "comparable performance" since it falls within about half a second.

You say you think I've never driven a 540i? Why because I don't march lockstep with your belief that it is superior - just because you own one? More options don't make for a better car. What bmws have you driven other than your 540 with ... automatic transmission.

I am not the only one that feels this way - look at the residual values for used BMWs. The much "better Bmw 540" with its "better technology, better safety, better refinement, better engines etc...it's clear, I cannot understand how you can disclaim that truth?? " Well apparently used car buyers can disclaim that fact. Look at the used values of say a 98 5 series versus a 98 3 series ... The 5 endure much higher depreciation and the prices end up almost equalling out (within a couple thousand) even though the original selling price was probably "20 grand more." This is a very capitalistic perspective but the market never lies!

That said - the looks are completely subjective I agree. but isn't that an important part of buying a new car? I am sure a lot of people would and do choose a 3 series over a 5 - based on looks alone (irrespective of price/ performance).

Windwagen - I don't feel bad because more people didn't vote for "my car"! I don't even own a 3... but the heaviest, most behemoth bmw of all - a euro-spec 7 series! Which must be better than a 540 (according to Gee$) because my car is bigger with more options? right? hmm....

Although maybe this argument comes down to an age thing... 5 series screams old man.. and 3 series coupe says young playboy. I'm willing to bet that buying habits are strongly correlated with age.

That said... I just want you all to know that I love all BMWs equally! but prefer to drive certain models more

:)



Bmwstylz -

Never once in my post did I say bigger is better. If you reread my post, you'll realize I can be quoted as saying "Price generally dictates what advantages a car has over another" & "and with the more expensive cars comes better technology, better safety, better refinement, better engines etc"

Size has nothing to do with anything, and never did I once say it does. Price certainly does.

I can appreciate your quotes for web times, however, let's be realistic. We all know that web & magazine times are all over the map-and you can never declare a "perfect" time for any particular car. Too many variables. Some people can better mag times, while others are completely unrealistic and therefore cannot. The E46M3 has times from 13.3 to 13.7 in the quarter mile, throughout all the magazines and websites out there. Do you understand how INCREDIBLY DIFFERENT those times really are? If you've raced a car at any of the local tracks(cayuga/st.thomas), you'd understand that .4 of a difference in time makes all the difference in the world. It's not close, by any means.
"since it falls within about half a second." ....even that is a world apart on a quarter mile run.

What bimmers have I driven other than a 540ia? Let's see...

79 633
86 635csi
86 318i
88 325is
87 535i
89 735iL
92 750IL
93 850i
95 540i
95 740iL
96 318i
97 540i
98 328is
2K 325i
2K2 530i

These are examples that I have actually driven. There are even more...I've driven 5x as many manuals. I've been around in the auto industry, even though I'm relatively young at 28. I kick curbs whenever and wherever I can.

You are now adding new ingredients into the pot by saying that "The 5 endure much higher depreciation and the prices end up almost equalling out (within a couple thousand) even though the original selling price was probably "20 grand more." This is a very capitalistic perspective but the market never lies!"

That's great, but depreciation happens to virtually every car...but what does that have to do with anything? You can buy a 95 740il for 13k cdn. And? What does that have to do with anything upon the initial purchase of the vehicle for roughly 120k. ?? Nothing. Depreciation is a moot point when discussing original value of one car vs the original value of another car.


"I am sure a lot of people would and do choose a 3 series over a 5 - based on looks alone (irrespective of price/ performance)"

That's a very interesting statement. I certainly cannot validate that, and I know you cannot either because it's an assumption without any factual backing. The fact is, most 3-series buyers cannot afford a 5 series. It's simply not in the cards for the masses to dish out an extra 20k, when they're not in that price range. It's a simple concept, which is exactly why there are different levels of cars from one manufacturer to the next.



G$

Bmwstylz
11-03-2004, 05:35 PM
A couple points (well 5 actually)

1) regarding the acceleration difference... I don't understand how "INCREDIBLY DIFFERENT" a half second in the quarter mile is. I personally (and I am sure many others) couldn't care less about 1/4mile times. They are not the be-all and end-all tool for judging car supremacy. I am a BMw-lover and I even like the old, slower models, because they are fun to drive. I used to own a vintage 2002 which probably wouldn't score high in your 1/4 mile runs but was a blast to drive. A similar 'numbers' debate occured on bmw newsgroups regarding WRX being faster than most bmws? So What? Being the fastest isn't always the best.

2) Depreciation has a lot to do with buying a car since it is one of the number one costs associated with ownership

3) Again - you seem to be implying that a car that costs $20k more is a superior car with "many advantages". Certainly on paper it may have more options and better "performance" as judged by statistical numbers. but I strongly disagree with the idea that this would make a better car. Since the function of a car is to transport you from point A to point B, All cars achieve this goal. A $2000 e30 can be just as much fun , if not more fun to drive than a brand new M3 if you are in the right mindset.

4) My statement about buying based on looks is not backed up by factual evidence but is certainly believable in many cases. How many times have you bought a car because you liked the over-all look of it? I know I have been drawn to certain brands and models for their looks. Hell I keep buying e36 coupes because the sedan (with almost identical performance) never tickled my fancy!

5) I am happy you have driven all those Bmws. Like you I am young (25) but have driven an extensive repertoire of automobiles including numerous BMWs. In the last few months I have taken a 2004 645ci for a long test-drive on the Autobahn, as well as driving a 2004 M3 Cabriolet, as well as a 97 M3, and a 93 325is, and a ..... so on and so on...

So having said all that, I must re-iterate that I would choose an e46 coupe any day over a 540 (provided I don't have any children) hehe

Over and Out,

Bmwstylz

GEEE$
11-03-2004, 06:06 PM
A couple points (well 5 actually)

1) regarding the acceleration difference... I don't understand how "INCREDIBLY DIFFERENT" a half second in the quarter mile is. I personally (and I am sure many others) couldn't care less about 1/4mile times. They are not the be-all and end-all tool for judging car supremacy. I am a BMw-lover and I even like the old, slower models, because they are fun to drive. I used to own a vintage 2002 which probably wouldn't score high in your 1/4 mile runs but was a blast to drive. A similar 'numbers' debate occured on bmw newsgroups regarding WRX being faster than most bmws? So What? Being the fastest isn't always the best.

2) Depreciation has a lot to do with buying a car since it is one of the number one costs associated with ownership

3) Again - you seem to be implying that a car that costs $20k more is a superior car with "many advantages". Certainly on paper it may have more options and better "performance" as judged by statistical numbers. but I strongly disagree with the idea that this would make a better car. Since the function of a car is to transport you from point A to point B, All cars achieve this goal. A $2000 e30 can be just as much fun , if not more fun to drive than a brand new M3 if you are in the right mindset.

4) My statement about buying based on looks is not backed up by factual evidence but is certainly believable in many cases. How many times have you bought a car because you liked the over-all look of it? I know I have been drawn to certain brands and models for their looks. Hell I keep buying e36 coupes because the sedan (with almost identical performance) never tickled my fancy!

5) I am happy you have driven all those Bmws. Like you I am young (25) but have driven an extensive repertoire of automobiles including numerous BMWs. In the last few months I have taken a 2004 645ci for a long test-drive on the Autobahn, as well as driving a 2004 M3 Cabriolet, as well as a 97 M3, and a 93 325is, and a ..... so on and so on...

So having said all that, I must re-iterate that I would choose an e46 coupe any day over a 540 (provided I don't have any children) hehe

Over and Out,

Bmwstylz



1. You obviously don't understand what a half second in the quarter mile is, because you haven't raced, that's clear. I don't care if you haven't, but please understand it's drastically different. Ask anyone who is involved with any aspect of racing, and they will tell you the same thing...it's a NIGHT & DAY difference. I completely understand acceleration(quarter mile times) are only one aspect, but it's one of the biggest aspects, especially in this new generation of beasts. Acceleration is one of the biggest selling features on a car in this day and age, you cannot argue that. 2002's are incredible machines, I would never argue that. My brother had a tii back in the mid 80's, and it kick some serious ass. Virtually every car BMW produced before 95 gives me a hard on.

2. Depreciation - I've owned 5 cars in my life so far, and I've never once thought about depreciation of the vehicle. What's there to think about? Why would you not purchase a car because of the possibility it might depreciate faster than something else, when there's not a piece of evidence to say it will? Infact, out of all the people I know(buying new or used vehicles), depreciation isn't even a factor in the actual purchase. The problem with this is that nobody can decide, nor predict, when a car will hit a certain price level, so it shouldn't be a concern to anyone. It's out of everyone's hands, and there is no control of the selling market in the future...so I'm a little confused. Oh-well.

3. Are you trying to say that purchasing an 85k car, compared to a 65k car, will yield the same results when comparing apples to apples? C'mon man. More expensive cars are in general, better. I don't see why you're arguing that point, it's useless. A 760li is a better car than a 745i. Can you argue that point? All the facts are on paper. Bigger engine, bigger brakes, better this, better that etc....virtually everything is an upgrade of some sort. Just like the 330 and 540...almost everything on the 540 is in some form or another an upgrade. Even though they have different purposes, nobody buys a 330 because the 540 is worse do they?

4. Like I said...I agree, but it's subjective.

5. I've driven everything you've listed less the 645, and they're all stunning examples. I've driven(or been driven in) almost everything BMW has built, except the early 70's batmobile, the original 3.5L M1, and the newest of the new vehicles like the 4th gen M5, and the 2nd gen M6, and 645i.

The slickest BMW's I've been in have been the E28 B7, E30 M3 2.5L, 3.0CSL, E34 Euro M5, 2002 tii, E28 M5, E21 M6, and the E39 M5 for all-out brute strength.


It's all good dude.




G$

Bmwstylz
11-03-2004, 08:10 PM
response to 2) - I'm not super concerned about depreciation but it is a reality when buying any car that you don't plan on keeping for a long amount of time (like ten years). I am pretty sure it is the biggest cost in owning a car. Accountant worldwide would agree with me too!

response to 3) Again I agree more expensive cars may on paper have better performance and options, but in reality it doesn't make them a better buy for everybody. Like If I my rich uncle was going to loan me a 330ci for a year or a 760i and pay full gas / costs. I would still pick the lower spec car because that just suits me better. I think you are suffering from a bad case of *Conspicuous Consumption* - read Thorsten Veblen's book "The Theory of the leisure class" for a full description. ;)


I think we can agree to disagree :)

Thanks for the pleasant debate - this board rocks! (unlike some other ones where this type of discussion usually breaks down into "you're a fag" type name-calling)

windwagen
11-03-2004, 11:18 PM
Agree to disagree is what we'll have to do boys....But we are getting off topic because we are supposed to be helping someone pick between two specific models, with a few constraints in mind.

I have to call BS on one thing though....

"A $2000 e30 can be just as much fun , if not more fun to drive than a brand new M3 if you are in the right mindset"

I have a hard time with that statement! For that to be valid, the driver's mindset may have to be ...unconscious???

GEEE$
11-04-2004, 10:38 AM
I have to call BS on one thing though....

"A $2000 e30 can be just as much fun , if not more fun to drive than a brand new M3 if you are in the right mindset"

I have a hard time with that statement! For that to be valid, the driver's mindset may have to be ...unconscious???[/QUOTE]


:D



G$

thinair
11-04-2004, 04:25 PM
Here are my 2 cents:

Just because the 540 produces it's torque at lower rpm doesn't mean it's inferior to the high rpm 330. I'd rather have a nice low and wide power band then a high and narrow power band. The low end torque is what will be driving you around 95% of the time. For example, my car has some decent pull above 4500rpm, but I can't get the wheels to spin in first from idle at like 1000rpm, they won't break traction until like 5000rpm. A decent Mustang for example can peel out in gear (no clutch use) practically out of idle. It's all about torque.

When you get to the end of your power band, shift, it's that simple. Before I modded my car I never pulled to redline, my car started to die at like 6000rpm, so I'd shift early, and I was faster. Now my car is peakier, I shift very close to 7000rpm depending on what gear I'm in.

vaio76109
11-05-2004, 12:07 AM
For some reason I wasnt getting any updates for this thread.....anyways

The spread of false information in this thread is astonishing.

I really dont even think some of yall have even driven either one of these cars. I dont care what you say about how your cars pulls harder above ~4500rpm...I DOESNT! Jesus people, there are dynos to prove it!

Anyways, since yall are such drag racing experts, whats your 540's 1/8th mile ET?

vaio76109
11-05-2004, 12:10 AM
Pardon me? You're saying that an abundance of low end torque makes it less smooth than a rev-happy 6-cylinder? Maybe it's because you can't control the throttle properly? The 4.4 has got to be one of the smoothest motors out there, with broad power delivery and shitloads of power on the highway.
Have you even floored a 540? :rolleyes:

vaio76109
11-05-2004, 12:12 AM
I'm with windwagon. Just because it stops producing more power doesn't mean it stops producing power. Maybe it's time for vaio's dad to change the air filter?
I never said it STOPPED producing power above ~4500rpm's :rolleyes:
And he takes very good care of his car... including changing the oil, oil filter, air filter etc....

windwagen
11-05-2004, 02:03 AM
Have you even floored a 540? :rolleyes:

uhhhh....I'd like to ask the same question to you..!?!?!

I can't say that I've spent a whole lot of time in a 330 (my cousin has one), but from what I remember, both cars are very smooth and both pull nicely to redline with no "dead spots". The 540 just pulls so much harder, it's frightening (until you get used to it).

If you must insist on "dyno" performance, have a look at this...Diesel dynos (http://pics.tdiclub.com/showgallery.php?cat=531&password=) ALL Diesels really have no top end and run out of breath at about 4500 rpm, well short of the redline. Under 4200 rpm, they pull like trucks (diesel burning trucks???ha ha)

Click on the blue links to see some graphs. They are hard to see unless you are a member, but you can see how the power starts to go down slightly at 4200rpm till 4500rpm and then nosedives (problably Dyno Technician has finished the pull). Your 540 dyno pull doesn't look like that...the power is still climbing, even though the rate is not as high as under 4800rpm. When driving the diesel, you can definitely feel the 4500 rpm "wall". 540 - no wall...just rev limiter!

vaio76109
11-05-2004, 02:13 AM
Your point is moot

Have you even read what ive been saying? I never said that it stopped climbing above 4500rpm, i just said the rate of increasing hp drops severely. And if you cant feel that drop of acceleration, then well your a lost cause :rolleyes:

windwagen
11-26-2004, 09:48 AM
Ok...whatever....Mine pulls nicely to redline

///Greco540
11-26-2004, 11:18 AM
Your point is moot

Have you even read what ive been saying? I never said that it stopped climbing above 4500rpm, i just said the rate of increasing hp drops severely. And if you cant feel that drop of acceleration, then well your a lost cause :rolleyes:

Just because it stopped climbing at a linear rate above 4750 doesn't mean it stops accelerating. Why would you want to wait to get to redline to be accelerating at maximum potential?

So this dyno from a 996 TT basically says the car stops accelerating after 4500rpm, so then how does it manage to get up to 190+ mph?
http://www.6speedonline.com/forums/attachment.php?s=&postid=191338

In a 540, sustaining a 280hp acceleration from 4500 to redline is an amazing in no way feels like the car suddenly lost power. I question the fact that your dad really has a 540/6 or that you have driven one a WOT through the first 4 gears...

vaio76109
11-27-2004, 12:12 AM
I never said it stopped accelerating above ~4800 rpms. Stop putting words in my mouth. :rolleyes:

You obviously have no idea what I am talking about. I am talking about having a linear change in the rate of acceleration which the 540 does not have. This is not an arguable point, it is a FACT proven by the dyno.

Yes my dad REALLY has a 540i 6 speed speed beleive it or not. *thmbsdwn*

windwagen
11-27-2004, 01:29 AM
Ok, Now you're starting to piss me off with your ignorance.

So, if the BMW engineers read your post, they should reduce the power output between 4000-4800 rpm to have a "linear" dyno curve. WTF for? If you tune your dad's 5 to do that, then it'll be the slowest 540 on the road! At 4800 RPM, you'd have to lopp off 50 HP! Why Why Why would you want to give up 50HP?

If you could get 50 free HP out of your 330 at 3000 rpm, but it tops out the same, you wouldn't take it?

If you can feel your dad's 5 "run out of steam" at higher RPM, there's something wrong with that car and he should get it checked out! Every 540 I drove pulls HARD right up until you hit the rev limiter!

vaio76109
11-27-2004, 01:56 AM
Again, stop putting words in my mouth.

Every 540 I have driven and every 540 dyno I have seen has had the rate of increasing power drop off at around ~4800rpm PERIOD. I guess every 540 i have come in contact with has something wrong with its engine.

I dont even know why im responding to this thread anymore as I have thoroughly explained my point yet you all keep changing it around and putting words in my mouth. :rolleyes:

windwagen
11-27-2004, 02:55 AM
Instead of words, how about I put my foot in your mouth instead?? ha ha

"I dont even know why im responding to this thread anymore as I have thoroughly explained my point yet you all keep changing it around and putting words in my mouth."

uhhhh.... I thought it was dead...I was going to say "you're the one that revived it!", but it appears that I too have not been getting updates till today! WTF!?!?!

Where do you live? I want to take you for a ride so you can tell me when you feel the car suddenly stop pulling. Let's GO!!

vaio76109
11-27-2004, 03:58 AM
WTF are you talking about? Your the one that revived it!!!

Perhaps the "Location" marker under my name wasnt obvious enough, but I live in Fort Worth TX, and Rolla MO depending on that date...

mclaren55
11-27-2004, 04:17 AM
For some reason I wasnt getting any updates for this thread.....anyways

The spread of false information in this thread is astonishing.

I really dont even think some of yall have even driven either one of these cars. I dont care what you say about how your cars pulls harder above ~4500rpm...I DOESNT! Jesus people, there are dynos to prove it!

Anyways, since yall are such drag racing experts, whats your 540's 1/8th mile ET?

There are dyno's to prove what exactly? That it doesn't have a peaky power band? 290hp is 290hp period, I rather develop it from 4800rpm-6100rpm then from 5500rpm-6100rpm. I don't really understand what you are saying. Are you saying you rather have a peaky motor? Did you know on a track having a flat power band is better? Sorry champ, but I much rather have my 290hp available over 1300rpm then just 500 as you are suggesting with your "linear" power band. I don't see how you believe that a car with an always climbing power band will be faster then one with a plateau'd power band, if both have the same amount of peak power.

And it WILL accelerate just as hard (if not harder) after 4500rpm. You are developing the same amount of power the whole time, so why would it all the sudden start accelerating slower? You better check where you are getting your information from.

windwagen
11-27-2004, 08:05 AM
WTF are you talking about? Your the one that revived it!!!

Perhaps the "Location" marker under my name wasnt obvious enough, but I live in Fort Worth TX, and Rolla MO depending on that date...

I realize that...that's what I said.....I was only kidding about the second part, but if you did live here, I'd would be very happy to.

vaio76109
11-27-2004, 02:55 PM
There are dyno's to prove what exactly? That it doesn't have a peaky power band? 290hp is 290hp period, I rather develop it from 4800rpm-6100rpm then from 5500rpm-6100rpm. I don't really understand what you are saying. Are you saying you rather have a peaky motor? Did you know on a track having a flat power band is better? Sorry champ, but I much rather have my 290hp available over 1300rpm then just 500 as you are suggesting with your "linear" power band. I don't see how you believe that a car with an always climbing power band will be faster then one with a plateau'd power band, if both have the same amount of peak power.

And it WILL accelerate just as hard (if not harder) after 4500rpm. You are developing the same amount of power the whole time, so why would it all the sudden start accelerating slower? You better check where you are getting your information from.
I have said it all before and am not going to say it again.
This is my last post in this thread.

windwagen
11-27-2004, 09:38 PM
Denial!