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      07-30-2012, 11:20 AM   #1

Drives: n/a
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: NJ

iTrader: (0)

'06 330i vs '06 325i vs '09 Volvo S40

I am shopping for my first car, now that I am out of college and starting my career.

My budget is $18K, which will be financed & cannot exceed $18K.

I have been drooling looking at everyone's post here ever since E90 3 series came out, and I was determined to get my dream car, even if it was used.

Within my budget and proximity, I have found two cars.

2006 330i
75,000 miles
$18,000 (OTD price)
Premium package
Cold weather package
Bi-xenon Headlamps

2006 325i
59,000 miles
$15,000 (OTD price)
Premium package
Cold weather package
NO Nav
Halogen lamps

But then on the other hand, since both these cars' warranties are expired, I am questioning my decision, and wondering if I should go for a newer, a little cheaper, non-BMW car with a little less mileage. Something like...

2009-ish Volvo S40
30K-50K miles
$13,000-$15,000 (OTD)

Logically it makes sense to go for a less-old car for my budget, but it really hurts my heart to give up a chance to get a car I've been dreaming about, and test-driving for years.

Whichever car I end up buying, I will be taking her to a BMW service center or local mechanics for a pre-purchase inspection. Hopefully it will be sufficient to reveal the true condition of the cars.

Please let me know of your opinions, (i.e. what you would advise your son/cousin/nephew do when confronting a big decision like this

Thanks in advance!