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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 04-11-2013, 01:32 PM   #1
iTWiTCH
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2002 325 xi, couple of questions.

So I've saved up my money and sold my old Mustang in preparation for my entry into the world of bimmer. Living in the northeast and having previously driven a mustang, I believe the xi is probably a solid choice over the RWD variant even though I have a soft spot for coupes. So my question is if it is really worth it to keep saving for the 300xi versus the 325xi and if the transmission difference is important. I have driven both manual and automatic transmissions and genuinely prefer a five speed but am not particularly opposed to an automatic. A big issue I've come across though is that I cannot find a five speed 325xi in good condition at a reasonable price anywhere near me, and the market seems flooded with beautiful automatics. Money wise I have around $7,000 to buy the car with and $500 or so set aside for immediate maintenance (I know what I'm getting myself into). So, what should I do? Save up and try for a 330xi with a manual gearbox, or is an automatic 325xi good enough for someone more interested in the look and feel of the car as opposed to the raw power? Thanks for your help everyone, I'm really excited about becoming a part of this community.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:47 PM   #2
mcopenha
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What is a reasonable price? The absolute max an xi on the used market will go for is 13 - 16K.

It sounds like you should buy a cheaper car. I would say with any used car, be prepared to drop 1000 right off the bat. 500 is nothing for these cars.

I don't mean to be a downer, but I find too many people on here straining their finances to buy a car, or worse, add stupid mods they can't afford. Read this: http://www.financialsamurai.com/2012...e-must-follow/. If you're following that advice, then you should be making at least 70 - 80K a year.

Last edited by mcopenha; 04-11-2013 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:28 PM   #3
basketthis
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Buy a manual. No questions. Replacing the clutch is insignificant to the other worries you will have by owning an auto...
The 330 is very nice and very powerful. I suggest you spend no more than 10k on a well maintained e46. Good luck.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:34 PM   #4
iTWiTCH
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By reasonable price I mean the car is worth what they are asking for it, not the actual sticker price of the vehicle. Obviously I would pay more for a car if it is in better condition, but I don't plan on spending $8,500 on a five speed xi with 120,000 when I could buy an automatic with the same mileage and overall quality for $6,500. And is that article really suggesting only people with six figure incomes should buy a car worth $10,000 or more? That seems a bit much to me. I know plenty of people who have purchased and paid off 40-50 thousand dollar cars without making half a million a year.

Last edited by iTWiTCH; 04-11-2013 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:38 PM   #5
basketthis
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Originally Posted by iTWiTCH View Post
By reasonable price I mean the car is worth what they are asking for it, not the actual sticker price of the vehicle. Obviously I would pay more for a car if it is in better condition, but I don't plan on spending $8,500 on a five speed xi with 120,000 when I could buy an automatic with the same mileage and overall quality for $6,500. And is that article really suggesting only people with six figure incomes should buy a car worth $10,000 or more? That seems a bit much to me. I know plenty of people who have purchased and paid off 40-50 thousand dollar cars without making half a million a year.
I would suggest you must take into account your particular financial situation and not necessarily follow what an article says. Things will be different for living situations as well as regionally different. It's ultimately what you can afford.
And, yes, maintenance is expensive. And frequent. So plan by buying a well maintained vehicle and working on it regularly.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:20 PM   #6
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcopenha View Post
What is a reasonable price? The absolute max an xi on the used market will go for is 13 - 16K.

It sounds like you should buy a cheaper car. I would say with any used car, be prepared to drop 1000 right off the bat. 500 is nothing for these cars.

I don't mean to be a downer, but I find too many people on here straining their finances to buy a car, or worse, add stupid mods they can't afford. Read this: http://www.financialsamurai.com/2012...e-must-follow/. If you're following that advice, then you should be making at least 70 - 80K a year.
Worst article ever. People who make 100k a year can absolutely afford to drive something a lot nicer than a Honda Fit or Fiat 500.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:19 PM   #7
Big Rick
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Buy what you want and can afford. If you drive in open country.. Get the manual. If you have a lot of rush hour traffic I'd go with the automatic.

Maintenance is nothing if you are a DIYer. I just saved almost $2k by doing a complete cooling system refresh and oil filter housing gasket myself. It took me pretty much a whole weekend working alone but it wasn't hard as I have the tools. It just took a little time and checking a few of the DIY articles here and on other sites.

Get what you want and don't listen to anyone with a slide rule trying to figure it out for you!
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:49 PM   #8
djbradle
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Here's one right next door to me:

Autotrader.com AT-13D6808E

Last edited by djbradle; 04-11-2013 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:51 PM   #9
djbradle
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Hmmm . . does have that nice ding though on the rear left quarter.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:57 PM   #10
basketthis
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Hmmm . . does have that nice ding though on the rear left quarter.
What a great find.
That is a very odd place to have a ding. I think I couldn't buy it specifically because of that. Well, at least, for that price I couldn't....
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:52 PM   #11
iTWiTCH
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I found this guy relatively close to me, everything seems to check out but I'm not sure how I feel about buying from a private seller. What do you think?
Auto trader AT-1466C7DE
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:41 AM   #12
basketthis
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Originally Posted by iTWiTCH View Post
I found this guy relatively close to me, everything seems to check out but I'm not sure how I feel about buying from a private seller. What do you think?
Auto trader AT-1466C7DE
Go take a look at it. Check for rust. But it if it's good.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:20 AM   #13
basketthis
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Go take a look at it. Check for rust. But it if it's good.
Buy* lol
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:27 AM   #14
chilone
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325/330

This is right up my alley I had a 2002 325xi automatic with about 170,000 miles on it with no real issues, that I loved. I did my own maintenance/repairs (which DRASTICALLY will reduce your cost of ownership btw) and was very happy with it but I live in the mountains and have a 70 mile a day commute and the high miles started to kind of weigh on my peace of mind so I decided to look for another one with lower miles and I LUCKED OUT! I found a 2004 330xi 6 speed with 37,000 miles on it in pristine condition for a VERY reasonable price. I jumped on it and sold my 325 to my sister. In comparison, there really is no comparison. While the 325 is a nice fun car to driver, the 330 manual is SOOO much more so. The extra 40 horsepower and the 6 speed make a huge difference and as an added bonus, with the manual trans, I even get a little better mileage! If I were you, I would hold out for a stick shift and/or a 330 if you can get one for a decent price. A 325 stick will rock though. Just sayin'
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:43 AM   #15
Big Rick
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chilone... I agree... I wished we would have opted for the 330Xi instead of the 325Xi. But I still love my 325Xi.

OP... Not to put a damper on anything... But you may want to try to find one with the Sport Package (Nicer seats and better steering wheel) and the Zenon headlights.

Just my .02...
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:52 PM   #16
KaktusJaque
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A general rule of thumb is to set aside 20% of what the purchase price of the car is for fixerups that will need to be done. The first thing to look at is the cooling system..
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:12 AM   #17
iTWiTCH
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Wow thanks so much for all the input I really appreciate it. After hearing what everyone had to say I decided to press on and look for a manual and/or a five speed. This is what I've come up with, http://worcester.craigslist.org/cto/3710075717.html I would consider offering then $6,000 for it but does anyone here have experience in replacing that fog light bezel or interior door trim? I don't want to buy it if either of those repairs at going to be too expensive or impossible.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:20 AM   #18
basketthis
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Wow thanks so much for all the input I really appreciate it. After hearing what everyone had to say I decided to press on and look for a manual and/or a five speed. This is what I've come up with, http://worcester.craigslist.org/cto/3710075717.html I would consider offering then $6,000 for it but does anyone here have experience in replacing that fog light bezel or interior door trim? I don't want to buy it if either of those repairs at going to be too expensive or impossible.
Meh. Those repairs that you've listed are insignificant. The maintenance is what you want to be worried about. Make sure the clutch has been done within the past 50k. Make sure the suspension has had work done. If not, plan on replacing it. Big things like that you will want to look into. Great find btw. And if the suspension and clutch haven't been done, I would no longer consider it. If one or the other has been done, I would consider and offer. Base that offer off the maintenance records. And, remember, you must check for rust on the underbody of the vehicle. Very, very important!! And the rust that is visible must be treated immediately. Or the car will really be worthless in a few years. Remember to consider that in your offer as well. Touch up usually runs from 500-900 depending on the area on the vehicle and the shop you take it to. Hope that helps.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:26 AM   #19
Kubica
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^clutch should last much longer than 50k!
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:21 AM   #20
iTWiTCH
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The dealer says the clutch was replaced when they first came into possession of it and they have the service record to back it up. The suspension is stock as far as I know but I planned on doing work to that regardless. Would I be better off going with OEM or getting aftermarket parts? I know most aftermarket parts lower the car a few inches which people have said doing so causes issues with the xi models. Thoughts?
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