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      07-30-2012, 11:20 AM   #1

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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: NJ

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'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!
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      07-30-2012, 11:51 AM   #2
Second Lieutenant
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Drives: 2008 M3 Convertible
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: MD

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I would advise not spending up to the top of your budget, but that is your choice. Cars (especially european ones) can be quite expensive to maintain, and if you spend right up to your max, make sure that you are allowing for repairs etc.

That being said, my first car out of college was a tuned Saab 9-3 (which i had always dreamed of) and i had no problems for many years, except for a $1200 fiber optic stereo repair and 3 new power window regulators.
2008 e93 M3 - Silverstone metallic, DCT, premium package, technology package, cold weather package

2008 335i Sedan - Sold

Last edited by zacnaud; 07-30-2012 at 01:36 PM.
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      07-30-2012, 12:08 PM   #3
Raja Ventureshield
Major General
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Drives: BMW M3 coupe
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Northern VA

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get the 330i and call it day. you will work harder knowing that you drive a nice car. :-)
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