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      06-04-2005, 01:01 AM   #1
Hossam
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Smile Test Drove: 325 vs. 330 ...

I just test drove back-to-back a 325i and a 330i. I'd like to share some thoughts:

325i: Arctic, Sports Package, manual transmission, black leatherette, silver trim
330i: Ti Silver, Sports+Premium Packages, manual transmission, black leather, light wood.

The drive consisted of a regular street with some lights, a section of a freeway with horizontal and vertical curves, and a special windy road section with tight curves on a vertical slope. The respectful salesman gave me the keys to the cars to drive alone. I drove the 325i first.

On the regular street, I could feel the low end torque advantage of the 330i. It made it easier to accelerate fast (not from still) and change lanes faster. However, starting from a stand still, I could really feel the additional weight of the 330. There was this hesitation to move that was not there in the 325. Even though that could be attributed to the clutch I really thought about the extra weight.

On the freeway, both cars were superb. The 330 engine is of course a little more flexible but the 325 was not far behind. I could totally get used to it and not feel the difference. The heavier weight of the 330 here gave it some advantage I think. I could feel that around 80 mph with a cross wind on some curves. The 325 felt lighter with just a little more need for attention to control. The difference in wheels could have contributed to that small difference too.

On the tight curvy windy road, both cars were great. Very little roll and confident control even with the DSP off (not recommended unless you know your limits). There was a section in repair with bad pavement and lots of metal plates, the suspension on both cars felt totally in control and amazing absorption of the irregularity. But overall I could also feel the run flat tire hardness and even though this is not bad I think the car would feel even better with non-runflat tires.

Other thoughts: The black leatherette in the 325i wasn't bad at all with the silver trim. The leather in the 330 was better of course, smoother and better stitching pattern that makes the interior look more elegant. But I would get leatherette totally happy if I'm on a budget.

That's it! Thank you...
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      06-04-2005, 01:10 AM   #2
spikes111
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Awesome thanks for the review Hossam this is just the comparison I've been waiting for. For some reason I hadn't seen any 325 manual vs 330 manual comparisons at all. Sounds like the 325 won't disappoint at all and isn't far behind the 330, with the exception of the low end torque.
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      06-04-2005, 01:11 AM   #3
romeo26
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good review, btw what dealer did you go to?
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      06-04-2005, 01:24 AM   #4
Hossam
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Peter Pan BMW, salesman is Henry Sipor.
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      06-04-2005, 01:29 AM   #5
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haha, there's a PETER PAN BMW?
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      06-04-2005, 01:49 AM   #6
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Thanks Hossman... now i know that if i were to get the 325 it wouldnt be that much slower then the 330 ...
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      06-04-2005, 06:31 AM   #7
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Yeah I've actually also driven both cars. But with auto... I can only concur with Hossam - The 325i is really nice and if you only drive "like normal" then you'll hardly feel the difference with the 330i. The 325i sounds just as good and is just as smooth.

The 325i lacks som of the bottom end grunt and some of the top end "ssiiiiiing" but overall it's not that much in it. If you're on a budget and think that the 330i is a bit too expensive the 325i won't dissapoint. If you choose a manual you might have to stir the gearbox a little more than in the 330i to make "good progress". But that's about it.

Personally - I choosed a low spec 330i instead of a high spec 325. No metallic, auto, leather or I-drive for me. But I like manual, I like jet black and I DON'T like the I-drive - so it's not much of a sacrifice

So why did I choose the 330i? Hmmm... something emotianal I think... If I wanted to be sensible I'd buy a toyota prius...
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      06-04-2005, 10:56 AM   #8
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Great info! As I put in another thread I'm looking at both, the 330 for me and my wife is either thinking of a 325 or a X3. I've driven the 330 with SP & PP with auto but hadn't driven a new e90 325 yet.
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      06-04-2005, 12:54 PM   #9
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Hossam, thanks for the review.

I was wondering about the weight difference and where it comes from since the engine is essentially the same with different intake and tuning. The difference in stock weight is about 130 lbs. In your review this weight seems to come across as significant.

The only things I see that might add significant weight are the power seats and larger rims, unless those 3 extra speakers are huge!!

I would assume that if that is most of the difference, then a premium/sport pkg equiped 325 would loose most of this advantage.

Anyone have any thoughts?
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      06-04-2005, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90Toad
I was wondering about the weight difference and where it comes from since the engine is essentially the same with different intake and tuning. The difference in stock weight is about 130 lbs. In your review this weight seems to come across as significant.

The only things I see that might add significant weight are the power seats and larger rims, unless those 3 extra speakers are huge!!

I would assume that if that is most of the difference, then a premium/sport pkg equiped 325 would loose most of this advantage.

Anyone have any thoughts?
Actually, yes.

- According to my calculations, the Getrag Type "I" 6-Speed manual transmission of the 325i weighs about 30 pounds less than the more robust Getrag Type "H" (including its larger diameter clutch and pressure plate) of the 330i.

- The extra Amplifiers and sub-woofers of the Logic7 audio system have to account for something. 10-15 pounds maybe?

- The larger diameter brake disks and larger calipers probably account for another 15-25 pounds.

- The larger wheels and tires of the 330i vs. a like equipped 325i (ie. two non-SP cars or two SP cars) could well be another 30-40 pounds since I've heard that for every incremental inch in wheel size (assuming overall tire diameter stays unchanged), you gain between 7 to 10 pounds per wheel/tire combo.

- Then there is the extra weight of the Xenons (which if I'm not mistaken require an extra amplifier compared to halogens), the power seats, and who knows what else.

I guess it's not too surprising that the 330i (manual) weighs in at an extra 132 pounds. Your point is well taken that by optioning up a 325i and some of the weight difference is offset, however, two key performance components, the transmission and the brakes, will always be heavier in the 330i.

Best Regards,
Shipo
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      06-04-2005, 01:43 PM   #11
Hossam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shipo
Actually, yes.

- According to my calculations, the Getrag Type "I" 6-Speed manual transmission of the 325i weighs about 30 pounds less than the more robust Getrag Type "H" (including its larger diameter clutch and pressure plate) of the 330i.

- The extra Amplifiers and sub-woofers of the Logic7 audio system have to account for something. 10-15 pounds maybe?

- The larger diameter brake disks and larger calipers probably account for another 15-25 pounds.

- The larger wheels and tires of the 330i vs. a like equipped 325i (ie. two non-SP cars or two SP cars) could well be another 30-40 pounds since I've heard that for every incremental inch in wheel size (assuming overall tire diameter stays unchanged), you gain between 7 to 10 pounds per wheel/tire combo.

- Then there is the extra weight of the Xenons (which if I'm not mistaken require an extra amplifier compared to halogens), the power seats, and who knows what else.

I guess it's not too surprising that the 330i (manual) weighs in at an extra 132 pounds. Your point is well taken that by optioning up a 325i and some of the weight difference is offset, however, two key performance components, the transmission and the brakes, will always be heavier in the 330i.

Best Regards,
Shipo
Thank you Shipo for the estimates. I failed to mention that the 325 had electric seats (stand alone option). I mainly felt the weight difference starting from still. It still could be that the different clutch and gearbox amplify that weight perception. I am not sure. Probably needs another long back to back comparison.
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      06-04-2005, 07:18 PM   #12
romeo26
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hay hossam is the dealer in norcal or socal? dosent the 325 come with the subs under the 2 front seats(nonlogic7)?
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      06-05-2005, 06:07 PM   #13
Hossam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romeo26
hay hossam is the dealer in norcal or socal? dosent the 325 come with the subs under the 2 front seats(nonlogic7)?
Peter Pan is in the Bay Area 25 miles south of SF. Sorry I'm not sure about the subs!
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      06-05-2005, 06:40 PM   #14
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Thanks for the analysis Shipo. The 330i is probably worth its weight plus some IMO.
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      06-05-2005, 07:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romeo26
hay hossam is the dealer in norcal or socal? dosent the 325 come with the subs under the 2 front seats(nonlogic7)?
I thought only the logic7 comes with the two subs under the front seats?? Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
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      06-05-2005, 10:13 PM   #16
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10 speaker setup (standard 325i) or 13 speaker setup (Logic 7) will BOTH have subwoofers under the two front seats. The Logic 7 might have upgraded subs though.
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