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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Thinking of buying 330i/325i: How do they compare to Acura TL?



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      01-25-2006, 09:55 AM   #23
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I test drove all G35, TL and 325/330 (all auto) before I purchased.

G35 - Very strong feel in accelation, but feels light when in high speed. Curves handling is good, but not the best. Engine sound is very attractive. Interior fills with cheap plastic materials. Comfortable seat setting.

TL - Very luxury-like interior. Good drive overall, but not as agressive as the G35 and E90 (I guess it is partly because of its front-wheel drive setting). Quiet. Very comfort seat, good leather material, and spacious.

E90 - Best handling among the 3 cars. Accelation does not feel as strong as the G35. Stiff ride, but gives you the best road feel. The car follows 100% (not less and not more) of you command. Simple but elegant interior. Best looking exterior (IMHO). High-tech key and start/stop button (but not a good thing to have when you need valet parking... hehe). I knew I have to get this car after about 1 minute of test driving it.......It's a BMW!!!
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      01-25-2006, 10:04 AM   #24
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Let your decision be guided by how you plan on using the car. It really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks you should buy. Cost of ownership is nearly identical for both the 325 and TL (per Edmunds). In my opinion, the extra space in the TL its biggest positive. With the BMW, its all about driving dynamics. Decide if space or driving dynamics are more important..my 2 cents. Either car will serve you well. Ive owned 3 BMWs and now own a Saab 9-3. The Saab is fun to drive and a great value. It also is great in nasty weather.

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      01-25-2006, 10:10 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D&G
You would not go wrong going with either vehicle. Here are the benefits I find comparing the TL and 330i:

1) TL is faster if comparing auto to auto/manual to manual.
2) TL has a better Navigation System if not one of the best in the market today. Voice activated and touch screan and ease of use.
3) TL is more roomier and feels more luxury and has nicer interior. (Guages are glowing blue/red with blue ambient light)
4) TL you will save yourself a good $4000-7000 because the TL comes fully loaded and the 330i you would have to add sport/premium package just to get what the TL comes with.
5) BMW 330i is a more fun vehicle to drive overall.
6) BMW handles better and is a true Sporty Sedan
7) BMW is a more solid built car over the TL.
8) BMW over Acura....Branding!!!!


Those are my honest opinion so take your pick. Let us know what you end up with.
My experience having driven both, this sums it up very well.

When I got my e90 in Nov, selling price for the car in my sig was a hair over $38k (ZSP, CA, heated seats). I could have gotten a loaded TL for $31k w/o nav and $33k with nav. No other options to choose from on the TL since it's all included (except auto/manual, which has no affect on price).

Since I leased, BMW's strong lease program made the decision easier. Monthly payment was coming out not too far apart, but I basically substituted the extra options of the TL for the better driving of the e90.
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      01-25-2006, 10:26 AM   #26
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I have a Honda Odyssey van. To me, the TL is inbetween the E90 and the van. The TL is more practical, but much less fun to drive. In some ways the TL is more comparable to a 5 series. Like others have posted, fwd is death -- torque steer ruins the fun of driving. If you need a floating living room, get the TL (or RL if you can afford it). If you enjoy driving, get the BMW. If price is an issue, consider getting a 325 on Euro delivery -- that will put it at about the same price as the TL.

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      01-25-2006, 10:49 AM   #27
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I was in the same boat, one of my turn offs was the 60/40 split folding seats. The TL doesn't have this, and often times I'd like to have the option of folding the seat down for long items (especially if you go to Ikea to buy stuff ).

The BMW comes standard with this.

Again, some people may think this is minor, and some people may value this in a car.

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      01-25-2006, 10:59 AM   #28
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Split fold downs are a $450 option in the USA market. (Grrrr...)
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      01-25-2006, 11:12 AM   #29
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Yeah it's in the cold-weather package, far from standard option here in the USA.
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      01-25-2006, 11:35 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stressdoc
Split fold downs are a $450 option in the USA market. (Grrrr...)
I second that Grrr. Even my 98 Honda Accord came with split fold downs!
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      01-25-2006, 11:55 AM   #31
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I took long test drives in the G35, 325, is350, nearly new is300, and a few other cars, and intended to take long drives in the TL and an is250, but when I got out on the road they were just so boring to drive.

The TL I drove was a 6sp MT and although I absolutely love the way the car looks, the huge rear seat, the navigation, and a ton of other things about it, as soon as I got on the street I was ready to turn around and go back. It just didn't engauge me at all in the driving experience. This was a total let-down as asthetically the TL was my favorit car, and I've had terific experiences with several high mileage hondas in the past.

I consider myself a driving enthusiast and enjoy just going on random drives for fun, and after test driving a stack of cars the 325 fit what I was looking for the best.
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      01-25-2006, 12:03 PM   #32
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On paper, it would seem that the Acura TL is superior, especially compared to the 325i (which is still pricier)

1) Better ACCELERATION - 0-60 in 5.9 secs vs. 7.1 (auto). Fine, so the TL has a little torque-steer from the FWD, but it's hard to argue with 1.2 second superiority in 0-60.
2) Better CORNERING/MANEUVERING - 0.91g skidpad performance and 62.5mph lane change beat the 325i, G35, and IS350 in the 10/05 Car and Driver comparo. Yes, the TL is a FWD with 60/40 weight distribution, yet it STILL corners better.
3) Better SAFETY (most likely) - Acura TL was one of the safest vehicles according to www.informedforlife.org. This site provides a weighted score based on NHTSA/IIHS/etc. crash tests, vehicle weight, rollover risk, etc., and is superior to individual crash test results. I can discuss this further if anyone is interested.
4) Interior is roomier and more luxurious
5) more RELIABLE

So what does the 325i offer? A sportier ride, with inferior acceleration and cornering, and that BMW emblem...all for 6k more?

Anybody wanna comment?

SmellyGas
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      01-25-2006, 12:13 PM   #33
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Big difference is front wheel drive for the Acura vs BMW rear wheel drive. The Bimmer handles better. The transverse engine configuration in the Acura yields more cabin volume and inferior handling to the 3 er. Acura has more features for the money. Some argue that it has a better Nav system.

My son and I test drove the competitors to the 3 er. Nothing out there drives like a BMW. He selected a 330 and did Euro Delivery.
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      01-25-2006, 12:15 PM   #34
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My first two cars were Acuras (an '88 Legend and a '00 TL) and I had planned on getting a G35, an IS, or another TL for my third car, but after test-driving an E90 (a 325i) I was completely sold even though I wasn't even seriously considering buying a BMW and was dead-set on getting another Japanese car.

The E90's Japanese competitors are tempting because they offer more power and more standard options compared to the 325 for about the same price, but there's no comparison in how they drive, look, and feel. There's also no comparison in how you will feel towards the car: Had I not test-driven the E90, I would have been none the wiser and would now be the proud owner of an Infiniti, Lexus, or Acura (probably an Infiniti), but I doubt I would have the same feeling that I have now of really owning and driving something special: I probably would not be meticulously handwashing my car, constantly reading and posting to forums like this, and decorating my garage with framed pictures from my car's catalog like I am now!

I really liked my Acuras, but I love my BMW. I love it, I tell you! I love it! But that's just me... Best of luck with your decision.
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      01-25-2006, 12:22 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smellygas
On paper, it would seem that the Acura TL is superior, especially compared to the 325i (which is still pricier)

1) Better ACCELERATION - 0-60 in 5.9 secs vs. 7.1 (auto). Fine, so the TL has a little torque-steer from the FWD, but it's hard to argue with 1.2 second superiority in 0-60.
2) Better CORNERING/MANEUVERING - 0.91g skidpad performance and 62.5mph lane change beat the 325i, G35, and IS350 in the 10/05 Car and Driver comparo. Yes, the TL is a FWD with 60/40 weight distribution, yet it STILL corners better.
3) Better SAFETY (most likely) - Acura TL was one of the safest vehicles according to www.informedforlife.org. This site provides a weighted score based on NHTSA/IIHS/etc. crash tests, vehicle weight, rollover risk, etc., and is superior to individual crash test results. I can discuss this further if anyone is interested.
4) Interior is roomier and more luxurious
5) more RELIABLE

So what does the 325i offer? A sportier ride, with inferior acceleration and cornering, and that BMW emblem...all for 6k more?

Anybody wanna comment?

SmellyGas

I've tryed both cars and I was not looking for BMW name. To me it doesn't mean much. However, I bought BMW just because there is a huge diference the way you feel when you drive - BMW is simpler much more fun. It inspires you to zip in cornering. TL is very good and it was my second choice after 325. As you can tell I just loved how BMW feels... In terms of 0-60 - they both are very good.
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      01-25-2006, 12:27 PM   #36
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Now an E90 fanatic. (but not a full fledge BMW follower)
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      01-25-2006, 12:53 PM   #37
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I also forgot to mention

My wife, who isn't a car enthuesiast at all drove an automagic TL and 325 back to back very non-agressively before I even really talked to here about my opinions of the two cars and came away liking the bmw a lot more too. She said there was just something about the way it felt at freeway speeds that made her enjoy it more.
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      01-25-2006, 01:25 PM   #38
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E90 is a different breed

My wife and I were interested on a TL and a A4. We were most interested in the A4 quattro as we wanted four wheel drive for the midwest winters. We sat in the TL and like the car but did not test drive it as the showroom was closing. The next day we went to the Audi dealer and test drove an A4 1.8T quattro. It was a nice car but the steering was too lose. It had very little road feel.

I asked my wife if she wanted to go look at the BMW 325 just for the fun of it, before we went to test drive the TL. All three dealerships are within a mile of each other. We were not really that serious about the BMW.

Well we test drove a BMW 325i and were sold (there were no 325xi to test drive at that time). My wife, who isn't a car enthuesiast at all, drove back to the BMW dealership and said that this was the car before I even told her how much I liked the BMW. She loved the way it handled and the styling.

We never did go back and test drive the TL. It is only front wheel drive and I was not that crazy about the torque steer. We have had many front wheel drive cars in the past.

Besided, we loved the way the 325 handled. The BMW prestige was also a factor. Like someone else has already said, the TL is just a fancy Accord.


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      01-25-2006, 01:28 PM   #39
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TL - bad mistake.

After owning 3 series cars for several years, I was seduced by the look and price of the new TL. Bad mistake - more problems than any 3 series car I ever owned - cheap build quality - front drive dynamics are very poor - flat spotting tires. My wife and I grew to hate the car in a very short time. Sold it. Now back to two BMWs again. We've learned our lesson.

My advice - if you can't afford the BMW - buy the TL. If you've never owned a BMW, you'll probably be perfectly satisfied.

Jim

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      01-25-2006, 04:05 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smellygas
On paper, it would seem that the Acura TL is superior, especially compared to the 325i (which is still pricier)

1) Better ACCELERATION - 0-60 in 5.9 secs vs. 7.1 (auto). Fine, so the TL has a little torque-steer from the FWD, but it's hard to argue with 1.2 second superiority in 0-60.
2) Better CORNERING/MANEUVERING - 0.91g skidpad performance and 62.5mph lane change beat the 325i, G35, and IS350 in the 10/05 Car and Driver comparo. Yes, the TL is a FWD with 60/40 weight distribution, yet it STILL corners better.
3) Better SAFETY (most likely) - Acura TL was one of the safest vehicles according to www.informedforlife.org. This site provides a weighted score based on NHTSA/IIHS/etc. crash tests, vehicle weight, rollover risk, etc., and is superior to individual crash test results. I can discuss this further if anyone is interested.
4) Interior is roomier and more luxurious
5) more RELIABLE

So what does the 325i offer? A sportier ride, with inferior acceleration and cornering, and that BMW emblem...all for 6k more?

Anybody wanna comment?
SmellyGas
Lane change and skidpad numbers does not a race make. Every comparo I've read shows the Bimmer faster around a track than the TL, G35, etc.

Lane change is just that--changing from one lane to another, not taking a corner. Front wheel drive is not at a disadvantage in that manouver.

Skidpad numbers only tell you how many G's it takes to break the tires loose, but tells you nothing about what the car does once the tires are loose.

Don't get me wrong, I really like the TL, IS350, C230, and G35. I would not be at all displeased to own one (in fact I do also own a C230).

There are so many variables like repair bills, how long you keep it, etc. that there is no way to make it a sure-fire fact, but as far as cost of ownership, given the lower resale value of Accura versus BMW, The 325i may actually not cost you more.

But as otheres in this thread have mentioned, nothing I have ever driven puts the whole package together like BMW.
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      01-25-2006, 04:31 PM   #41
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It really depends on what you are looking for. From a practicality viewpoint, the TL is the OBVIOUS choice. It's roomier, cheaper, more luxurious interior etc. If you have snow, it's FWD will also give it an edge. The rear is also very large and comfortable, much more than the BMW.

However, if you are looking for a fun, fast, luxurious ride, the BMW is the right choice. It's simply takes the turns faster.

Personally, I could never bring myself to buy a japanese luxury car. An economy japanese, like the Accord, is fine. But in a luxury car, I want branding and to show off. You don't get that in the TL. I don't care how wonderful the japanese luxury car is, it'll never feel like a real luxury car to me.
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      01-25-2006, 04:37 PM   #42
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I don't think I could buy a TL because in the back of my mind I would always be thinking, "It's still an Accord!"
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      01-25-2006, 04:39 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pretender
dude, I didn't plan to buy BMW a90 at all. I wanted to get either TL or G35. I tested both of them, and they were nice to drive. But on the way home, I just dropped by the BMW dealer, tried the 330i, and I was sold. That's it.

Haha! I had the same exact experience. I had no intentions at all to get a BMW. I could've gotten a brand new, fully loaded '05 TL minus the A-Spec for $33K; which was about $10K cheaper than what I spent on my 330i. But then I had to rear my ugly head into the nearby BMW dealership and fall in love with the 3-series. Honestly, this was my best purchase ever and I cannot be any happier... unless I had a Cayman S.

The TL was nice during the test drive, but the BMW was even better. All the talk about road feel and the 3er being the "ultimate driving machine" is quite true.
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      01-25-2006, 04:51 PM   #44
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Dude, I was in the same page 3 months ago.
Thinking about should I get the TL / E90.

Test drove the TL. Nice car, but too many BS from the sales person. He doesn't know his shit. Anyway, it is a nice roomy car. Smooth ride. BUT I am getting bore for FF car. (I drove 3 Honda before).

Then I went to test drive the 325i. Big Mistake.
stronger feeling in accelation, more agressive. Good Ride too.
I was sold in 40 min. End up ordered a E90 330i. Because I wanted sunroof and power seat.

Love my E90, and my wife love it too.
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