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Old 30th November 2011, 16:34   #1
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Default BMW 325i : To buy or Not to buy

Hi Team,

I came across someone who is selling a used BMW 325i. This vehicle is about 12 years old and clocked 75k kms.

The owner mentions an immaculate condition and service history.

Would you think this is worth a buy? What would be the best price to take?

What are the caveats to think?

regards,

Nitin
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Old 30th November 2011, 16:55   #2
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Default Re: BMW 325i: To buy or Not

Hi Nitin,
My first reaction after reading "12 years old" is NO. These cars can be very expensive to maintain. It may be in immaculate condition as of now but a year or two down the line it might start giving you problems. I think the cost to keep it running will be higher than what you will pay to buy it.
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Old 30th November 2011, 19:13   #3
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Default Re: BMW 325i: To buy or Not

Worth is a relative notion. I do not have any idea of BMW, but till 1990's Mercedes had good mechanics, and low on electronics, hence they are a good buy. If 12 year old BMW is similar, it may be worth considering.

Bear in mind that these German cars "eat" up a lot of money, and 1-2L per annum in repairs/maintenance, is possible.

As Japanese cars have a better resale value, your bench mark price should be a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry of that vintage. Discount that price by at least 50%, due to expensive spares, and you have the figure. (Should be in the range of 2L-4L in my opinion).

You will get a better evaluation of this model in the International BMW forums.
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Old 30th November 2011, 19:21   #4
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Default Re: BMW 325i: To buy or Not

@Hkap: Point well taken

@Aroy: Are you suggesting a net price of 2-4L? :-D What are the caveats to check for? Would the spares be available or it would be a BMW for show?
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Old 30th November 2011, 19:34   #5
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Default Re: BMW 325i: To buy or Not

Most BMWs and Mercedes shouldn't give you too many problems, even after 12 years. But when it does, it's going to be very expensive to maintain. The thing is, there is plenty of life left in this 12 year old 325i, but it will need some attention, perhaps after a few years, or sooner.

If you're ready to bear the expenses, then it would be a great buy. Older BMWs have great charm and if maintained well and driven well, they should be able to serve you for a long long time.

If I were looking for a used BMW or Merc, I would save a lot of money before hand, just for the maintenance of the car.

People sometimes are under the impression that they can afford used BMWs for 5-10 lakhs, but after a few months, they realize that maintaining it and keeping it in good condition will require BMW money, and not what the used-car price-tag would suggest.

EDIT: I'm assuming that this is an E46 325i? Could we have a picture of it, if it's available?

EDIT 2: Also, make sure that the import-documents are in order. You don't want an illegal import parked in your garage while the DRI guys are around. A well maintained 1998 E46 325i should be around 6-8 lakhs, or somewhere around that. Perhaps, even less.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 30th November 2011 at 19:37.
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Old 30th November 2011, 19:59   #6
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Default Re: BMW 325i: To buy or Not

@suhaas307: I would take a look and the BMW and give you the updates and the picture. I'm not sure of the model but was told its an automatic one with sunroof, silver in color.
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Old 30th November 2011, 20:48   #7
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Default Re: BMW 325i: To buy or Not

There are two of these in Bangalore - both owned by people with hotels.

One of them is known to me and was sold on to a friend of his.
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Old 30th November 2011, 21:50   #8
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Default Re: BMW 325i: To buy or Not

FE would also be a concern being an old BMW. BMW petrols do not command great resale value, hence you might be tempted to go for it due to the price tag, but keep the maintenance and FE in mind before you jump on it.
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Old 1st December 2011, 16:09   #9
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Default Re: BMW 325i: To buy or Not

If only we could look into the future

Basically, after owning it, you'll be in either of the following two situations:

A) Extremely happy with the car, which serves you reliably. Maintenance required will be minimal or as expected (nothing too major).

B) The car turns out to be a white elephant, chewing up your wallet (AND TIME) in repair & maintenance. You'll also have to spend a lot of time sourcing parts and the right labour. Does your weekly schedule allow such indulgences? I'd much rather go on a holiday or spend time with my family, instead of looking up parts & mechanics for a 12 year old regular sedan (it's no Ferrari).

Since the car in question is a 12 year old German, we will all agree that the odds are in favour of "Situation B". My advice = Run away. I've seen too many people who've burnt their fingers on cars that shouldn't have been bought in the first place.

Last edited by GTO : 1st December 2011 at 16:10.
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Old 1st December 2011, 16:28   #10
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Default Re: BMW 325i: To buy or Not

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
If only we could look into the future

Basically, after owning it, you'll be in either of the following two situations:

A) Extremely happy with the car, which serves you reliably. Maintenance required will be minimal or as expected (nothing too major).

B) The car turns out to be a white elephant, chewing up your wallet (AND TIME) in repair & maintenance. You'll also have to spend a lot of time sourcing parts and the right labour. Does your weekly schedule allow such indulgences? I'd much rather go on a holiday or spend time with my family, instead of looking up parts & mechanics for a 12 year old regular sedan (it's no Ferrari).

Since the car in question is a 12 year old German, we will all agree that the odds are in favour of "Situation B". My advice = Run away. I've seen too many people who've burnt their fingers on cars that shouldn't have been bought in the first place.
Couldn't agree more. I know someone with a 99 528i which was in "immaculate condition" till about 2007 and then suddenly started giving problems. Now it doesn't even start and he will probably have to sell it by the kilo.
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Old 1st December 2011, 17:24   #11
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Default Re: BMW 325i : To buy or Not to buy

Its the same story in every thread,about anything german thats more than 10 year old.I dont think GTO will ever touch one with a barge pole.:P

Jokes apart its a such sad story because E46 BMWs are so beautiful.I have absolutely no experience in owning such cars,happy with my maruti service,but woudnt mind getting something nice in the future.i would think if this was a imported 90s toyata corrolla,crown,camry might have been a different story.

nitinbose Best of luck with the car.
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Old 1st December 2011, 17:36   #12
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Default Re: BMW 325i : To buy or Not to buy

Case 1 : you are buying this as your first or second vehicle and will use it everyday. In that case, its a BIG No! Please stand clear of the vehicle however enticing the deal may look.

Case 2 : your are buying this as your 3rd-4th vehicle or weekend car, in that case as GTO pointed out ,why would you like to buy a 325i sedan, had it been M3 or 325i coupe things would have been different.

Just my 2 cents

Last edited by vagu : 1st December 2011 at 17:41.
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Old 1st December 2011, 18:56   #13
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Default Re: BMW 325i : To buy or Not to buy

@ GTO: Agree with you totally!

@ Avishar: I'm only considering... not decided on anything, just thinking of it as a timepass. I would rather wait for the new Fortuner and invest on the automatic, if its available and worth.
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Old 4th July 2012, 20:21   #14
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Default Re: BMW 325i : To buy or Not to buy

Sorry to hijack this thread Nitin.
I am in a similar predicament now. Have come across a 2008 BMW 325i with about 48k kms on the Odo. It has an auto transmission. The price quoted is 19 L. Should I go for it? What could be the annual spend on maintainence of such a car? The car looks in great shape. Are there any generic issues with BMW's of the year 2008? Would appreciate any feedback on the same. Thanks in advance
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Old 4th July 2012, 20:44   #15
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Default Re: BMW 325i : To buy or Not to buy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kontoo View Post
Sorry to hijack this thread Nitin.
I am in a similar predicament now. Have come across a 2008 BMW 325i with about 48k kms on the Odo. It has an auto transmission. The price quoted is 19 L. Should I go for it? What could be the annual spend on maintainence of such a car? The car looks in great shape. Are there any generic issues with BMW's of the year 2008? Would appreciate any feedback on the same. Thanks in advance
That's a fairly newer car. I would imagine it's maintained decently. You may not need to spend too much on it and the fact that the car is being sold after doing 48k and after 4 years is an indication that the owner is probably done with it and wants to move-on/upgrade.

Maintaining the car will cost you a pretty packet for sure. Expect service-bills of not less than 25k on a yearly basis. Blame it on the synthetic oil that requires frequent changes.

As far as I know, there are no issues with that particular model. A family friend of ours owns one and they've enjoyed a fuss-free ownership experience so far.

Don't expect the car to deliver big on FE. You won't get more than 8 in city-limits. And that's an optimistic figure.

19 lakhs is a little steep, so try and get it down even further citing hikes in petrol-prices and large service bills. After all, it has clocked a fair-share of miles and is 4 years old. German cars don't depreciate as well as Japanese cars.

Ideally, I'd pay nothing more than 17.5 lakhs for a 4 year old (pre-facelift) petrol 325i, however well maintained it might be.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 4th July 2012 at 20:45.
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