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      01-30-2007, 07:46 AM   #1
nazca
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Question Advice needed...130i vs 323i Coupe vs 320d Sedan

To all those Aussie drivers, I need your advice please.

Today I had the chance to drive a 130i and let me say it was sensational. All the BMW senses plus more when behind the wheel.

I had my heart set on a 323i E92 Coupe for a few months now...in the flesh it looks fantastic, yet driving is nothing like the 130i.

Now the other issue is the 320d E90 Sedan. I drove one of those a few weeks back and the torque is amazing. Around town it will have to win out of these three for sure.

My problem is do I go for the good looks, the fantastic driving experience or the practicality factor???



In summary:

130i = Fantastic drive, yet looks ugly and poor resale.
323i Coupe = Lacking power, yet is sensational looks wise.
320d M-Sports = Torque galore, yet terrible diesel clatter at idle.


What to choose??? I'm completely lost now after today's 130i experience.

Appreciate the advice in advance!

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      01-30-2007, 09:07 AM   #2
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Wow, such a hard choice to make. For me it would really be between then 130i and 323i.

Gut instinct - go with what puts the biggest smile on your face...

But, the 130i is a whole lotta sikly BMW engine for the money and it goes too. Deciding factor here is how nasty are the cops/speed cameras there? If they aren't like they are in NSW and Vic, get the 130i... otherwise, go the 323i and keep your license
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      01-30-2007, 03:38 PM   #3
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If having a blast/something responsive/fun is important, you may find that you get bored of the 323 Coupe after a while, so go for the 130.

I had this problem with my E46 323Ci steptronic - great looking car - but found it lacking in torque/responsiveness and the general fun factor.
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      01-30-2007, 05:45 PM   #4
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If your the kind of guy that steps on the pedal a bit id definately go for the 130. The 323 coupe is nice but its more of a cruising car then a performance one. if i had a choice between both id go for the 130
NOTICE i left out 320d, i don't like the car.

Last edited by Chris.G; 01-30-2007 at 06:10 PM.
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      01-30-2007, 07:15 PM   #5
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Prior to ordering the 335i coupe i had the chance to drive for a while a 130i. I found the car disappointing, it bounced around over bumps, and felt the bumps through the steering.
Small everywhere boot and backseat and it tramlines like no other car i have driven. However, i made a decision to go 335i on road reports and am very happy.
On the performance side there is some fine cars around and cheaper than the 130i: R32, Focus turbo and volvo.
So if BMW is the choice:for comfort and more room to move do not chose the 130i For performance only the 130i. However, do not drive a 335i you will be disappointed in anything less.
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      01-30-2007, 07:43 PM   #6
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323 would be a more refined car, more comfortable, and would still get along quite nicely... mods can always make you go faster!! lol

do you need a big car? if not, probably go for the 1er, cos it sounds like that is the one you really like...

if it was me though, i would probably get the shits with such a small car, and driving it evryday, it's a bit cramped, and just (to me) doesn't even compare in the looks department to the coupe!
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      01-30-2007, 07:54 PM   #7
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323i coupe w/ manual is not a slow car at all
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      01-30-2007, 07:58 PM   #8
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well then there you go! my vote goes to 323i..
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      01-30-2007, 08:42 PM   #9
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I think the 323i has the 140 kilowatt engine, so its no fire breather.
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      01-30-2007, 09:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I think the 323i has the 140 kilowatt engine, so its no fire breather.

True, but its still a lovely, silky smooth, revvy thing. The interior quality is way ahead of the 130i too, and I reckon it actually has more feeling of space, both in front and in the back. I wouldn't ever contemplate an auto 323coupe but I'd be sorely tempted by the manual. Or maybe try to stretch to a325 coupe, and just stay away from that options list!!

If power is our poster's thing though, only the 130i will do. And while the 335 is wonderful, it's not really fair to bring it into the equation given the massive price disparity.....
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      01-30-2007, 09:22 PM   #11
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I haven't driven an E90 or E92 323 with steptronic. However I have driven an E90 323 manual around the back roads of Mt Tamborine and it seemed pretty responsive. So if you were going to choose the E92 323 definately get the manual 323 if you want the sportier/more lively drive between the two.
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      01-31-2007, 04:01 AM   #12
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anyway nazca.. don't listen to us.. buy the car that makes YOU smile
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      01-31-2007, 04:02 AM   #13
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      01-31-2007, 05:36 AM   #14
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3 very different cars but here is my take...I'm currently selling my 320i and have already replaced it with the 130...

130i - a great little car but I'd recommend getting an ex-demo as they do depreciate a lot in year 1. Contrary to what people say about the space, the front is fine and moreso you can get a 6ft passenger in the front and a 6ft person behind them without much trouble - the boot is also fine for a weeks food shopping.....yes, not as much space as a 3 but depends on how often you take people/luggage and for how far. Well optioned in Aus for the price range with Xenons, decent electric seats and the engine is the most powerful 'six' bar the current M3 unit. Consider that in the UK a 330 is AU$5K more than a 130i (ie. you'd never buy a 130 there) and here a 330 is (was) around AU$30K more than a 130 and you'll see the "value" a 130 is here....

323 - didn't test drive one but the 3 series coupes are great cars inside but you need to option them up with wheels, suspension, paint, alarm, etc etc so you loose all that when it comes time to sell (less so on a 130 as it has most of it). I went in a 323 coupe the other day and found it okay but did little for me...a bit like an E46 325 in power really so nothing exciting - DON'T get an auto unless you want a slug!! Also you can only get 4 people in them and coupes are a hassle if you regularly need to get people in the back.

320d - popular in Europe. Good economy, good torque but limited revs so you can't wring them (wring a 130 to 7,000rpm in 1st and 2nd and you'll see/hear what you are missing!!!!!)

I'd go for the 130, then 323 then 320d in that order.....BMW sixes are awesome and stand head and shoulders above those glorious sixes!!
 
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      01-31-2007, 05:40 AM   #15
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oops - i mean head and shoulders above the diesels LOL
 
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      01-31-2007, 05:48 AM   #16
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Get the 130. A mate's got one, his garage also includes a modified 996 TT and the fastest street registered BMW in Australia and he loves the 130.
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      01-31-2007, 06:12 AM   #17
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go the 130 if you want performance, and 323 if you want appearance.

I drove the 320D with 4 people in the car it and struggled big time. Whereas the 130, no sweat

Depends on what you want really. Also big price difference as well!!!!
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      01-31-2007, 06:23 AM   #18
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The other BIG thing is whether you go auto or manual. The 130 auto only takes 0.2 off the 0-100 (6.1 vs 6.3) whereas the 3 series seems to loose the best part of a second!!

I've had my 130 for 3 weeks now and for the first time booted it in first and second the other day and it just kept going.....it's also great on corners - I'd argue the chassis is better than the E90.....seats are great too...

Put your foot down in a 323 and you'll be waiting forever for something to happen (again, I have to say don't get an auto!!!!!). I haven't been in the diesel but having had a couple of sixes, I'd pay extra just for the sound and ability to rev it lots....

I even get a grin every time I start the 130 as you get a wonderful exhaust note blip (I can't say that I get a grin when i start my 320!!!!!!). Those are the little things that make a car special IMHO. It's like listening to that flat four sound from a (stock) STi...music to the ears...
 
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      02-01-2007, 03:44 AM   #19
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yea i reckon the chasis is better on the e87 >> e90 as well
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      02-01-2007, 07:44 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo JB View Post
Contrary to what people say about the space, the front is fine and moreso you can get a 6ft passenger in the front and a 6ft person behind them without much trouble
ok, i'm sorry, but i so can't agree with that... when i was looking for a first car, i looked at the 1er, and how i had my seat set (driver's seat) there was no way even a midget could of sat behind me, and i do not sit too far from the wheel... when you can reach out and touch the other side of the car from your seat, it's a little too small IMO

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Originally Posted by Neo JB View Post
you'll see the "value" a 130 is here....
since when is a bmw condiddered good value?

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Originally Posted by Neo JB View Post
Also you can only get 4 people in them and coupes are a hassle if you regularly need to get people in the back.
maybee it is different with convertibles (roof up, mind) to get people in and out of the back, but i doubt it... i have no trouble getting people in and out of the back seat, nor do i have trouble myself doing it... that is what the seat bends forward for, damn, it is even electric, so no excuses, lol

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320d - popular in Europe. Good economy
isn't that why people buy a 320? economy?

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I drove the 320D with 4 people in the car it and struggled big time. Whereas the 130, no sweat
that is... if you can fit 4 people

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Originally Posted by Neo JB View Post
I'd go for the 130, then 323 then 320d in that order.....BMW sixes are awesome and stand head and shoulders above those glorious sixes!!
head and shoulders above the diesels... so why the 325 bashing?




to each their own on buying a new car... why is the OP asking US what he wants.. he should know better what he wants then people who have never met nor spoken to him?
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      02-01-2007, 08:18 PM   #21
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Quote:
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anyway nazca.. don't listen to us.. buy the car that makes YOU smile
Best post i've read from you.

When i went to buy my car, i only frawn during my bmw testings but smiled during my %#$@ testing. The smile hasn't went away.
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      02-01-2007, 11:25 PM   #22
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let me guess.. lexus?
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