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      03-30-2011, 02:32 PM   #1
zlee11
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E90 Pre-Buy Questions

Hello,
I have some questions and I could use some help, please.

I have had three 3ers in the past and I currently have a 2008 X5. The X5 is the best car I have ever owned. The lease is up next month. Due to my current financial situation, I need to downgrade. It is a very different world today than it was three years ago.

I'm thinking of buying a 328xi, coupe. White on Red.

I have several concerns, maybe you guys can give me your views:

1) My main concern is the transmission. In my last E46, I had a jerky transmission. I got seasick. My mom has the same jerky transmission in her 2008 750. The dealer says it's because the tranny tries to learn your driving style. Because we all sit in a ton of traffic every day, the trans gets confused and starts to jerk. This is totally untrue in my X5. Three years and the drive is still smooth.

Would you guys characterize the transmission in the E90 as jerky?

2) Next, I've never owned a couple before. I usually drive alone, but I have a wife and two small kids. My daughter is still in the booster seat. Do any of you have a coupe and have small children? Are you sorry that you did not get a 4 door instead?

3) I was amazed how hard it is to find a 4 door with Xenon lights. The dealer told me it would have to be a customer order. This is not a cheap car and once you have Xenon's I don't see how you could live without. Is there something that I am missing? Any Xenon problems?

4) Run flats. The E46's runflats shortened my life span by the three years I owned it. I ended up installing conventional Continentals that leaked all the time. Had to fill air every 10 days. The times were properly installed and checked several times. Now, on my current X5, I forget that I have runflats. The difference is amazing. No problems at all. Haven't even had a flat. Is there anything I should know about the E46 runflats?

5) Fuel economy. Without any exaggeration, my 3.0 X5 give my 12.5 MPG, at $4.50 a gallon. I like 8 miles from work and it takes me 1-1/2 hours to get home. What do you guy think I will see on the 328x? I am not buying a non AWD BMW again. The trunk is small enough without the recommended bag of kitty litter in the trunk.

6) Do you guys understand this balloon finance thing: The monthly payment is cheaper, but after 5 years, I still owe $15K to own the car, or I can sell it or trade it in. What if the car is not worth 15K?

7) I can't believe that there is STILL no standard alarm. What will I loose without the alarm? Is it worth installing one?

Here is the car, any advise:

Alpine White
Coral Red/Black Dakota Leather
Aluminum Trim
Premium Package
Value Package
STEPTRONIC automatic transmission
Heated front seats
Heated Steering Wheel
Navigation system
Satellite radio
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      03-30-2011, 02:54 PM   #2
mikracer
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You'll be making a mistake if you buy a coupe and have 2 kids. Even the sedans are small in the back seat.
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      03-30-2011, 05:43 PM   #3
bmwpride335i
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I have E90 and I like it over E92. of course coupe IS sexy but e90 has beauty of its own, that balanced and aggresive look. I think it looks better.

yes, i do NOT LIKE RUN FLATS! I had a bump after 2 months of owning the car. you got to be very careful of the bumps and pot holes...

it is more functional, will be of ease to put kids in/out, more trunk space. ( I think)

my 335i CAN get 30 MPG if I dont push it so hard. i get about 27 mpg avg. and thats kind of pushing it, going 75 on fwy and be quick on local.

just be deathly afraid of POT HOLES!
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      03-30-2011, 09:31 PM   #4
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Well, my 328i doesn't have anything in/on it except for run flat tires, automatic transmission, and that's just about it.

1) When it shifts, it doesn't jerk but sometimes it does(when shifted at a really low RPM = 1500). Drive it normally, then it won't jerk.

2) I don't have kids (I'm only a teenager) and I got a sedan. Just like you, I drive alone most of the time but with a family the sedan would be a more practical option.

3) Xenon lights are rare on a 328 sedan. Get one if you can. It's something I really like and would do pretty much anything to have Xenon head lights.

4) From what I heard from other people that had run flat from older BMWs, I'd say e90 runflat tires are better nowadays. I'm just unsure with the high PSIs. The rims that comes with the run flats are pretty nice.

5) Fuel economy...not bad, in fact pretty good. When I don't try to conserve gas, I do about 22~24MPG in the city and about 28 in the freeway. When I extremely conserve fuel and get lucky with the green lights, I even hit 28MPG in the city. I've never done more than 28MPG in the freeway. When I drive recklessly, I do less than 14MPG.

6) I don't know anything about financing.

7) Since I'm still a teenager, not having an alarm/and kind of beeps when locking/unlocking the car is really great when I go out. No one hears me going out/going back home = no one gets bothered = I don't get caught/get in trouble.
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      03-30-2011, 09:39 PM   #5
FVM3
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my 335i trans is smooth as butter
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      03-30-2011, 11:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zlee11 View Post
6) Do you guys understand this balloon finance thing: The monthly payment is cheaper, but after 5 years, I still owe $15K to own the car, or I can sell it or trade it in. What if the car is not worth 15K?
If the car isn't worth 15k then you are upside down on the loan. You can pay the loan or declare bankruptcy.

I'm glad you are asking the right questions now. Balloon loans are for suckers who can't really afford the car... most people that get into them don't have the requisite four brain cells strung together to see anything past the "monthly payment". You are paying interest on that 15k the ENTIRE length of the loan. You are infinitely better off paying the 15k at the BEGINNING as opposed to the end of the loan. Any additional money that you are "saving" is much better suited to going towards principle reduction. DO NOT listen to the car salesman. Go play with an online loan calculator, and sign only after you fully understand how loan/lease/balloon loans, etc work. Pay particular attention to the amount of interest you pay over the loan period.
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      03-31-2011, 08:05 AM   #7
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Sedan

I have 2 young kids. Get a 4 door. A coupe will kill your back when buckling the kids in the back seat.
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      03-31-2011, 09:40 AM   #8
zlee11
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You all confirmed what I already was thinking...

328xi Sedan, Xenons, 3 year lease.

I will have to order the car. I hope the salesman will honor the price, even if I don't buy out of his stock.

I wish the X1 was available in the US. I would really like another truck and the prices of the X3 are absurd right now.

Thank you all for your kind and helpful replies.
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