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    Ok I am planning a new motor and know of 2 3 series which I can get a good deal on...

    96 e36 5dr saloon , 135k, 2.5 6cyl. Needs a little bit of work & a little tlc - could be a good wee project. Only worrying thing is does seem quite rusty underneath.

    01 e46 5dr saloon, 70k 2.0 4cyl, mint condtion needs very little

    ok the e46 is almost 3x the buying price of the e36, but if I got the older one I would probely budget a fair bit to spend on it. It does have the nicer engine.

    Opinions please
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    I hope you are aware that if you intend to run a BMW properly the servicing costs will likely be much, much higher than you are used to. A 30-40k car will still cost that much to run regardless of how little it costs to buy now!

    I'd stay away from rust unless you can weld IMO, you have no idea how bad it could be until you strip everything down! The E46 is a much more modern looking car and less of them have been abused by chavs and other idiots who bodge repairs.
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    135K is way too much.
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    (Original post by AP.)
    135K is way too much.
    BMWs are designed and built well, 135k is not too much. A friend's dad owns a 1994 7 Series with almost 300k on it and it runs sweet as a nut. Care for a car and it will go on for ages.

    The problem is a lot of E36s are abused by folk who can't afford to run them properly, and as such are bodged together.

    There's also a big difference between 135k motorway miles and 135k town miles. The town miles will be much, much more stressful on the engine and gearbox than cruising at a steady 70.
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    (Original post by grodecki)
    BMWs are designed and built well, 135k is not too much. A friend's dad owns a 1994 7 Series with almost 300k on it and it runs sweet as a nut. Care for a car and it will go on for ages.

    The problem is a lot of E36s are abused by folk who can't afford to run them properly, and as such are bodged together.

    There's also a big difference between 135k motorway miles and 135k town miles. The town miles will be much, much more stressful on the engine and gearbox than cruising at a steady 70.
    Well we don't know how well the previous owner looked after the car. OP will have to face the fact that he's likely to come into more bills and repairs with 135K instead of the 70K. That's a BIG difference.
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    (Original post by grodecki)
    I hope you are aware that if you intend to run a BMW properly the servicing costs will likely be much, much higher than you are used to. A 30-40k car will still cost that much to run regardless of how little it costs to buy now!

    I'd stay away from rust unless you can weld IMO, you have no idea how bad it could be until you strip everything down! The E46 is a much more modern looking car and less of them have been abused by chavs and other idiots who bodge repairs.
    I would do any servicing or repairs required myslef so servicing costs are not much of an issue.

    I dont think it will quite need much or any welding just now as such just that if I was working on anything underneath it mich make a easy job a nightmare having to remove seized bolts etc.
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    (Original post by Elementric)
    Hang on, so the car that is 5 years younger, with half the mileage and in better condition is worth 3x as much just because it has a bigger engine? I'd look for some better deals, because it sounds like either one of them is a rip off or one of them is a steal.
    The newer car doesnt have the bigger engine:confused: but yes because of the better condtion, less miles and age it it worth approx 3x more than the e36 which needs a little bit of work.
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    (Original post by mr_cool)
    The newer car doesnt have the bigger engine:confused: but yes because of the better condtion, less miles and age it it worth approx 3x more than the e36 which needs a little bit of work.
    sry got them wrong way round lol.

    fail.
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    (Original post by grodecki)
    BMWs are designed and built well, 135k is not too much. A friend's dad owns a 1994 7 Series with almost 300k on it and it runs sweet as a nut. Care for a car and it will go on for ages.

    The problem is a lot of E36s are abused by folk who can't afford to run them properly, and as such are bodged together.

    There's also a big difference between 135k motorway miles and 135k town miles. The town miles will be much, much more stressful on the engine and gearbox than cruising at a steady 70.
    I know the last 20k or so have been mostly town but before that was a different owner.
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    Get the old one. The servicing costs arent nearly as bad as people are making out, and if you do the work yourself you will save a very significant amount anyways.
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    I have a 328i Sport E36 and have found it very reasonable to run so far. Servicing cost is not an issue if you find a good independent. I drove both the E36 328i Sport and the E46 328ci when choosing my car. There was about a £2000 price difference, but what swung it for me was that I found the E36 a more fun car to drive. The E46 is a brilliant car, but I just didn't feel it was involving enough - steering lacked some feel and I felt quite isolated from the drive due to how refined it was. I'm sure that changes in M3 form, but the standard car lacked something for me. The E36 is an excellent compromise between being a comfortable motorway cruiser and being entertaining on the twisties. I regularly drive it on 300 mile motorway journeys and arrive feeling refreshed, but it can still put a big grin on your face when you give it some. Drive both and make the decision as you'll be happy either way....but you may be happier with that lovely straight six in the E36!
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    (Original post by Sync)
    I have a 328i Sport E36 and have found it very reasonable to run so far. Servicing cost is not an issue if you find a good independent. I drove both the E36 328i Sport and the E46 328ci when choosing my car. There was about a £2000 price difference, but what swung it for me was that I found the E36 a more fun car to drive. The E46 is a brilliant car, but I just didn't feel it was involving enough - steering lacked some feel and I felt quite isolated from the drive due to how refined it was. I'm sure that changes in M3 form, but the standard car lacked something for me. The E36 is an excellent compromise between being a comfortable motorway cruiser and being entertaining on the twisties. I regularly drive it on 300 mile motorway journeys and arrive feeling refreshed, but it can still put a big grin on your face when you give it some. Drive both and make the decision as you'll be happy either way....but you may be happier with that lovely straight six in the E36!
    Yea I think the same as you its probely more sensible to get the e46 long term but what the heck
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    (Original post by AP.)
    135K is way too much.
    rubbish, I've seen BMW straights sixes on 220k plus. All depends on the service history , does it have any service history?
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    I would wait for some better ones to come up. There are always some good bargains to be had during the winter. Picked up my old e46 m3 vert last year for 9k in December sold it for 11.5k 4 months later.
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    why not put slightly more towards a better e36?
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    (Original post by AP.)
    135K is way too much.
    For what? Resale value?

    If it's in good mechanical condition it could easily go on for ages still.
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    I'd take the old one.

    They are relatively easy to convert to LPG too.
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    I'd imagine it's a bit like choosing between drowning and being burned alive...

    Keep the money.
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    Both shoddy, you could get a mint e30......
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    (Original post by JC.)
    I'd imagine it's a bit like choosing between drowning and being burned alive...

    Keep the money.
    Try driving one (and not a four-banger!). Once you get past the brand image and "all BMW drivers are twunts" stereotype, I imagine you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    Rubbish image, as you get the tossers/posers who buy them to show off because "it's a BMW" (forgetting that you can't really show off because it is, after all, just a 3 Series and just a BMW). Once you ignore the "pretender" image and badge problem, the drive makes up for the image.
 
 
 
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