Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 45 total)
  • Help me decide which of two specific cars to buy (BMW content)
  • snowy1
    Free Member

    The background: I live in the newly expanded ULEZ zone. I have a non-compliant 2000 BMW 3 Series coupe (2.5l). I’ve had it since 2010 and I love it. Three years ago it was written off after it received a little shunt and I bought it back for salvage for £400 – so that is its nominal value. My mileage and number of trips is low (I go to the tip, I take my bike to races, we have the occasional day out), so I was going to keep it and suck up the charge – except TFL is generously giving me £2k to scrap it. So I am looking for a new car.

    I’ve thought a lot about what sort of car to replace it with, modelled the cost of ownership based on my mileage etc and decided after some deliberation that I want to replace it with… a newer 3 Series coupe.

    I have found two specific cars on a well known used car advertising platform, and am torn between them. They are both £5k and both have essentially the same mileage of around 90k. I have seen neither in the flesh, but if I was to look at one at the weekend that would be the one I bought.

    Option 1: Older and faster

    • 2009
    • Euro 4
    • £240 tax
    • 2.0
    • M Sport – 160BHP
    • Flashier trim
    • Nicer colour
    • Black leather – hides dirt from muddy bikes

    Option 2: Newer and cheaper to run

    • 2011
    • 2.0
    • £200 tax
    • Euro 5
    • 140 BHP
    • Less flashy trim
    • cream leather with woody dashboard – not my ideal choice

    So – newer car, Euro 5 so more resistant to further Ulez changes, slightly more dull; Older car, bit faster (I don’t go fast), higher bills?

    (Don’t suggest a car club – I’ve modelled it and it’s way more expensive)

    2
    SSS
    Free Member

    Someone will be along soon and tell you to buy a van/another car not mentioned above

    snowy1
    Free Member

    I suppose my question really is, is a two year fresher car ‘better’?

    1
    SSS
    Free Member

    Is the insurance cost similar / a factor?

    Id go for the newer one. Less flashy, not an ‘M’ so less chance of others wanting to race you/be **** around you, presumably cheaper insurance, likely cheaper spare parts, and more ULEZ proof in the future (presumably)

    2
    davros
    Full Member

    Have you considered a Berlingo 😆

    andybrad
    Full Member

    pics please

    Ro5ey
    Free Member

    You know you don’t have to spend the 2K scrappage on a car right?

    It’s yours to spend how you like ….. New bike !!

    nickc
    Full Member

    milage much different? Service history?

    Realistically the newer one for me (if the choice is those two) I won’t notice the 20hp difference, Flasher trim; who cares? £40 tax is only going to go up, plus it’s ongoing cost, but the cream leather and wood trim aren’t my faves either. Tricky

    Yak
    Full Member

    Given that you keep cars for a long time, you might as well go for the euro 5 one to buy a bit more time. See if you can get one without the cream leather and wood though…there must be one out there somewhere.

    1
    timmys
    Full Member

    Cream leather and wood are both instant NO from me – so combined it’s a NO squared. Plus the other has more power, better trim, better colour. No brainer.

    snowy1
    Free Member

    Realistically the newer one for me (if the choice is those two) I won’t notice the 20hp difference, Flasher trim; who cares? £40 tax is only going to go up, plus it’s ongoing cost, but the cream leather and wood trim aren’t my faves either. Tricky

    Exactly!

    Cream leather and wood and both instant NO from me – so combined it’s a NO squared. Plus the other has more power, better trim, better colour. No brainer.

    Also exactly. So confusing!

    bensales
    Free Member

    I assume they’re both petrol?

    At that age and mileage, I’d buy whichever was in the best condition, but would probably er towards the Euro 5 one for future proofing.

    Interior colour wouldn’t bother me. Mud shows up just as much on black interiors as on light ones.

    whatgoesup
    Full Member

    At that age / mileage I would choose primarily based on condition.

    They’re such similar specs that I doubt it will make much difference once you’re used to it.
    Does the Euro 5 make a difference for future ULEZ within the likely timespan you’ll have the car? I assume that that the future ULEZ plans are published somewhere.

    mdavids
    Free Member

    Personally I wouldn’t go for any 4 cylinder bmw from that era. They’d probably be fine but general consensus is to get a 6 cylinder N/A as that’s what bmw are really good at and renowned for. Running costs will be very similar but the sixes are much less prone to going bang, also a much nicer drive.

    So that’s either 325i or 330i, preferably the N52 versions which are slightly older but more reliable.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    At that age / mileage I would choose primarily based on condition.

    👆

    And stuff selecting a particular make – other manufacturers and models are available….

    I have said on here before – I went to look at a Fiesta for mrs_oab and parked next to it was a mint Mazda 323f with full service history for 13 years in one name, in date order, from same garage, all neatly in a folder on passenger seat…The thing was unmarked and had oil changes every 5k for all 113k of it’s life. We bought it for £600, rant it for nearly two years and it cost a service, a tyre and an MOT – and then sold it for £650…

    boomerlives
    Free Member

    Option 2 – it won’t have M Sport suspension and low profile run-flat tyres that on BMW seem to be made of wood.

    1
    snowy1
    Free Member

    Option 2 – it won’t have M Sport suspension and low profile run-flat tyres that on BMW seem to be made of wood.

    A helpful thought, thanks

    And stuff selecting a particular make – other manufacturers and models are available

    That is the downside of searching online, where the search begins with make and model. I haven’t looked anywhere in person yet

    1
    LAT
    Full Member

    You know you don’t have to spend the 2K scrappage on a car right?

    It’s yours to spend how you like ….. New bike !!

    for 2 grand? don’t be silly!

    Kramer
    Free Member

    Newer and cheaper to run every day of the week to me.

    Neither sounds like it’s going to set your world on fire, so go with the least pain option.

    1
    TheGingerOne
    Full Member

    They are both 4cly 2 litre engines, I would research both engines carefully as I think that engine at around this time is known to be a bag of nails in a lot of cases.

    And you are looking to spend £3k in order to ‘save’ £1.6k? That’s a lot of daily charges before you end up paying for repairs on a car you have no knowledge of. I would stick with what you have got personally. They will both cost money to run, but you know what has and hasn’t been done on your current car.

    2
    johnners
    Free Member

    so I was going to keep it and suck up the charge – except TFL is generously giving me £2k to scrap it. So I am looking for a new car.

    I wouldn’t scrap a car I love and had owned for years just to make a few quid theoretical “profit” buying another old car which at Euro 5 (at best) can’t be compliant with many ulez anyway. It seems you tend to keep cars a long time so you’ll never realise any “profit” anyway.

    So I’d say keep it and suck up the charge.

    timba
    Free Member

    Are you anticipating any bigger bills for the current car?

    As johnners, I’d minimise trips, consider routes and costs and possibly keep the current car

    £2.5k will buy a lot of ulez charges

    mattyfez
    Full Member

    I love how people think an M-sport is akin to say an M3 or an M5..

    I’ve had my chuckle… Carry on! As you weren’t.

    doomanic
    Full Member

    A little (?) over budget, but…

    CLS AMG Shooting Brake https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202306238879425

    Kryton57
    Full Member

    If you love BMWs of an older era and really want to change, I’d be looking for a 6 cylinder as mentioned above.

    I had a E46 330i and although I love my 320d, really regret selling that car.

    mrmoofo
    Full Member

    BMW pseudo wood is really nasty

    Cream leather – you really want to move on and look at something else.

    Plenty of BMWs around

    JonEdwards
    Free Member

    I’m another one in agreement with Johners. Presumably the current car is an E46 6 cylinder? If it’s looked after it’ll just keep plugging away. It doesn’t owe you anything, whereas anything newer will depreciate just sitting there.

    I’ve got an E91 320d, so same basic model as the 2 you’re looking at but a bit older. Its been a solid car (I’ve had it 14 years/110k miles, now on 197k). I’d say both would be a bit undergunned assuming they’re normally aspirated petrol. My 163bhp lump is not quick, but being a diesel has buckets of torque which masks the fact quite well – the petrols wont have that, so you’ll be wringing their necks to get anywhere. Mine’s an M-sport and is worth it for the seats – I hated the ones in the SE I tried, slid all over the place. The stock M-sport ride was both wobbly AND harsh, but a spring and damper swap, plus a decent geo and it’s now much better controlled and at the solid end of comfortable, even on 18″ wheels. (If either of the ones you’re looking at have 19″ wheels, run away – they crack; and budget to replace run-flat tyres with proper ones).

    oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    I had a E46 330i and although I love‘d my 320d, really regret selling that car.

    +1

    snowy1
    Free Member

    You’re right I already have an E46 six cylinder. Would I really be disappointed with a 10 year newer 4 cylinder?

    I don’t ever really drive fast but I do like how the power is applied really smoothly whether I’m moving from the lights or accelerating on the motorway. I guess I would lose that…

    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    I’d buy whichever had best MOT history and condition but I’d be 100% sure there weren’t any glaring issues with the engine/drivetrain (I don’t know anything about BMW’s) as touched on by posters above

    Superficial
    Free Member

    I had a 325i (6cyl) e91. I did love it, but it wasn’t fast, and that’s 220bhp iirc. So I don’t think either of the cars you mention is going to be particularly nippy. I’d still have the M Sport if possible because I think the internal trim is nicer (I had SE).

    The 6 cyl e9x cars have better trim by default that their 4cyl counterparts which is worth considering if you are looking at one of those.

    Oh, and my e91’s engine just suddenly went pop in a cloud of smoke one day. I sold it to a guy who was going to try and fix it, though DVLA records suggest he failed. They’re not indestructible.

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    How long is the £2k scrappage available for? I’d be holding out for better options. I had an E46 330ci for 10 years, nice car but can’t say I really missed it (after I switched to a Skoda Octavia estate). Took some time to get used to the lack of torque but you quickly adapt your driving style. Not saying you should go down the sensible estate route for your needs but I’d personally look at other options for something you only drive occasionally and don’t care much about the performance of, especially if the BMW option is a 4cyl 3 series.

    tall_martin
    Full Member

    I have a non m sport 3 series. It broke and I was given a 2 series (the people carrier one) with m sport suspension.

    My car was in Edinburgh, I live in Nottingham. I drove the loan car up 500 miles on motorway and a road.

    It was the most uncomfortable car I’ve ever been in.

    So get a non m sport suspension car!

    Size of the wheels makes a massive difference to the cost of tyres. When it’s time to replace mine,I’ll be going for the smallest wheels fattest tyre combo for comfort and cost.

    Option 2 – it won’t have M Sport suspension and low profile run-flat tyres that on BMW seem to be made of wood.

    I’ve changed to non runflats, cheaper, slightly nicer ride and slightly quieter.

    DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    As above – I’d do some research into the 2.0 petrol engines in the E9X cars. I really wanted another E91 last year but the wife put her foot down and said no to another 3l petrol for bimbling around town etc (fair enough) so started looking at the 2l versions and whilst I’m sure it’d have been fine, there are a lot of red flags warning people away from them.

    Ended up with a similar vintage (2011) C-Class with the 1.8T engine and its a really nice thing.

    snowy1
    Free Member

    Ended up with a similar vintage (2011) C-Class with the 1.8T engine and its a really nice thing.

    I’ll look into the Merc – thanks.

    My head has been turned by the 3l BMW option but it might be a bit excessive for my needs.

    scotabroad
    Full Member

    I have owned a few older three series and tbh i would go for M sport every time now for the spec you get from the M sport – I have always had 6 cyl diesels and wouldnt have anything else but friends have the 4 cyl and get on fine with them.  I recently switched to a 2011 five series tourer and I have to say for biking and other activities is a great car – much more room inside, comfier drive and they are cheaper than the three series – worth considering.

    DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    I’ll look into the Merc – thanks.

    I’m dead pleased with it. Rock solidly built, loads of nice stuff which I don’t think BMW 3ers of that era had (auto high beam, soft/auto closing boot, lots more of them have xenons and nav (albeit out-dated) as standard etc).

    That said, the styling of the E9X series wins hands down mostly especially with the estate and coupe versions vs the Merc alternatives.

    Other option if you want a coupe, A5? Loads around and pretty cheap…

    smokey_jo
    Full Member

    1.8 turbo merc’s of that age can stretch the timing chain and jump a tooth courtesy of crap tensioners. Cost about £1k in non London to fix.

    But yeah great engine power delivery wise adn will do 30ish mpg around the doors and 40 on a motorway run.

    The 1.6 Kompressor engine (supercharged not turbo) only has single tensioner and is less likely to fail apparently.

    ceept
    Full Member

    Cream leather would be a show stopper for me.

    However, this suggests you haven’t found the right car yet. You could get a Euro 5 with black leather for the same cost?

    Why do you want a coupe for skip runs & carrying bikes 🤷‍♂️

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