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Old 06-01-2010, 03:38 PM   #1
sski
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2005 330xi or 2006 323i.

I was originally looking at E90 series, but I was at the dealer yesterday and they had a CPO 2005 330xi (76,000 kms) in the showroom, They want <20k. I know I'll end up more than 20K for an 06/07 323i, even worse if I try to move to a post 2006 325, 328 etc...

The 330xi is loaded, Xdrive, Harmon/Kardon stereo, leather, more power etc...a 323i would be leatherette, base stereo, less power etc.

It may seem like apples and oranges but we are in the same rough price neighbourhood. Is the E90 platform significantly better than the E46, am I getting into a whole bunch of problems by not getting into the latest platform?? I haven't checked fuel economy numbers yet. I'm driving 180k a day all hwy so fuel economy does matter.

What does the wisdom out there think?
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:20 PM   #2
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Xi ALL the way; but I'm biased....
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:31 PM   #3
sski
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Nice Ride...

How was it for power, fuel usage, reliability prior to the mods (ie/ out of the box)?
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
mstearnsy
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personally between those 2 choices I'd have the 330 over the 323. I'd prefer one without the AWD but a lot of people like it. I'd rather have a slightly older car with more power and luxury than a newer car with less of both. The fuel economy is going to be MUCH better on the 323 though. You haven't said whether the 330xi is a stick or auto, but it's going to be rated low-to-mid-30s hwy MPG, while the 323i is rated around 42 hwy MPG regardless of transmission.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:36 PM   #5
sski
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It's an auto. I kinda figured the MPG's would not be great. We're talking about a 5-10 mpg difference. That's gunna add up based on 900-1000kms per week. I had a 2010 328xi on the hwy and it was hovering around 7L/100km which is about 40 mpg so a 323i at 42 makes sense, you'd probably do even better if you baby it a bit.

Other downside now...standard financing...no deals on 2005's only 06/07/08.
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:40 PM   #6
mstearnsy
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If you could get a 330i with 6 speed, that's rated at 39 MPG! That'd be my pick. With your fuel economy savings compared to a 330xi, put the money you save towards a set of winter tires. A 330i with winter tires is safer than a 330xi without winters.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:47 PM   #7
terrence330
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323i is so basic without any luxury option right? Does it even have bixenon headlights?

i am probably biased as well but the power from 330 is definitely better than 323i. You will probably have more potential with 330 as well
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:08 PM   #8
xlr8nbimbo
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I have had my 2003 about 6 months now and like it a lot. Like you, I had almost an identical choice at the time I bought the car and went for the XI. I drove them both and went for the more luxurious and powerful XI. I liked the interior styling of the newer 3 series but not the exterior lines. That being said, my XI interior with power leather seats and HK stereo was the nicer overall package. And let's face it: You have to like the interior since that's where you spend most of the time. Drive them both and pick the one you like better but in my opininion, "there's no replacement for displacement" and the awd is a bonus (last car was a Subaru).
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:25 PM   #9
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I would take the e90 cause its newer. If it was 3 years ago then id go with the e46.

make sure the the 323 is loaded because I dont think it has any standard options.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:58 PM   #10
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For sure:

e46 - no run flats, less complex electronics.

See the recent issue of Bimmer for a comparison of the two generations on the used market. You will be convinced!
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:20 PM   #11
sski
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I'll try to find "Bimmer" somewhere. I can't find it at the regular places.

Regarding my OP...I forgot BMW made changes to the 323i from 2006 to 2007.

2006 - 174hp@5800rpm, 170lb.ft@3500rpm
2007 - 200hp@6000rpm, 180lb.ft@4000rpm

I thought the 2010 323i auto I had was a bit sluggish and it has the same numbers as the 2007. The 2006 is not even under consideration. Maybe a 2007 with a manual.

I also figured out why my 2005 X3 seemed to pull just as hard as the 2010 328xi did.

2010 328 - 230hp@6500rpm,200lb.ft@2750rpm
2005 X3 - 225hp@5900, 214lb.ft@3500rpm

The power is close but the 2005 comes on 600rpms sooner, torque comes on 750 rpms later but there are 14 more lbs of it. The 2005 330xi is the same as my X3...I'll bet it would give that new 328xi a good run for it's money...
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