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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > Tempting -- E91 320d Msport, Alpina D3 or ... E61 520d?



View Poll Results: Family choice:
320d Msport Touring 6 20.69%
Alpina D3 Touring 17 58.62%
520d SE Touring 6 20.69%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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      04-06-2012, 05:20 AM   #1
Malbolge
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Question Tempting -- E91 320d Msport, Alpina D3 or ... E61 520d?

Hi guys,
Asking this in UK section as in general not many would have heard of 520d.

Simply put if money is the SAME, would you take a loaded 320d Msport, a biturbo Alpina D3 Touring or an SE spec 520d with leather and auto and low miles (good shape)? Why?


I have a problem - need a car that's better on gas, and that is bit bigger than 3 series sedan i got now. So, above are my choices.

The E61 520d fits the bill as it is also more refined, quieter inside, and costs similar money in the used market of 3-4 year old cars with low mileage.

Any review I've seen said take the 5 series over 3 series because that's the car BMW makes best and comes standard with many things that 3er has as option. Hence price wise they're not that bad a deal.

What bugs me with 3 series is that it's not big enough at the back, it tramlines like a mother... , and it's got a compromised (imho) suspension set up that on anything other than 16s is way too harsh on bad roads. I heard Alpina D3 is better in that respect, softer etc.

By comparison the e60 I drove the other day felt quieter, smoother, and didn't feel heavy or slow. The 520d I tried was chipped and felt very strong too, plus it was a proper tune - not with just throttle map changes but something a bit more thorough. That kinda sold it for me. Im only worried - what's the catch with the previous gen 5 series - are they less reliable than 3 series, and have much higher running costs?...
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      04-06-2012, 05:33 AM   #2
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To be honest mate I'd post this question in the E60 section if I was you as you'll et much more feedback from 520d owners.

I've driven the 3 and the 5, I can tell you that the ride is harsher in the 3, but for pure driving experience it's a better car IMHO. The 5 will be a better cruiser. I was looking at an e60 530d m sport before getting my 330d. Glad I went for the e90.
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      04-06-2012, 01:09 PM   #3
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I've had a 520D SE (177bhp) and it was one of the best cars I ever had, with the sports seats providing excellent support and plenty of room, I never found it lacking and when pressed on it responded beautifully to twisty roads we have here in Scotland. Remember that the 520D was a 30K car in a class where the average spend is 40~45k.

I've now got a 330D E91 - which is a great car to drive, fantastic blend of performance and "just" enough space.

The perfect car? A 530D Touring IMHO
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      04-06-2012, 01:11 PM   #4
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Btw - I looked at a Alpina D3 Touring, but becuase of the way pricing is set up in the UK, I was never going to find one with Xenons and Heated Seats, let alone the host of extra's I've got on my 330D - which is a shame because to me the Alpina is a great engineering solution and very much a complete car, but IMO compromised becuase of spec.
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      04-07-2012, 05:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G_M_S View Post
Btw - I looked at a Alpina D3 Touring, but becuase of the way pricing is set up in the UK, I was never going to find one with Xenons and Heated Seats, let alone the host of extra's I've got on my 330D - which is a shame because to me the Alpina is a great engineering solution and very much a complete car, but IMO compromised becuase of spec.
I agree, Alpina's offering is compromised so finding used one you pay similar money to Msport, may be a bit more, but given that ALpina depreciates more than Msport, as Used they are similar buys. Yet, ALpina is a better car overall than Msport given its suspension set up and engine you can't get in 320d.
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      04-07-2012, 05:19 AM   #6
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I had a 520d auto (08) whilst I waited for my company 320d to arrive.

I was expecting it to be guttless but actually I really liked it. Rode really well and was very relaxing on longer journeys.

I would have taken the option to keep it at a discount were it not Jewish racing bronze with beige and wood!
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      04-07-2012, 05:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I would have taken the option to keep it at a discount were it not Jewish racing bronze with beige and wood!
what?
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      04-08-2012, 02:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Awfully_Polite View Post
what?
lol, WHAT?

i was with ya until "Jewish racing bronze"... Platinum bronze color I assume, but ain't clear about Jewish unless it was meant in some kinda South Park way which I didn't follow.
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      04-08-2012, 03:03 PM   #9
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lol, WHAT?

i was with ya until "Jewish racing bronze"... Platinum bronze color I assume, but ain't clear about Jewish unless it was meant in some kinda South Park way which I didn't follow.
My sentiments exactly
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      04-08-2012, 03:05 PM   #10
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I think Ed didn't like the colour combo on the car so didn't take the option to buy it.

When I saw the title of this thread I thought I'd say Alpina, just to try one, so you know what they're like. But from your first post you seem set on the 520d.

My E92 has enough room in the back, it's the 'giving birth' process of getting out of the back that's a pain.
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      04-08-2012, 03:09 PM   #11
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it's the strallers, then the bike.. it's quite bit annoying.

The Alpina D3 I've tried before but not Bi-Turbo (that would be a blind buy since none are in my area) but the first version D3 compared to my old 320d felt much nicer. It has much better suspension - softer yet doesn't lose the firmness. Too bad many come with 19in wheels - i'd prefer 18s.

I'm not fully set on 520d but it did feel a class above than 3 series. I just am wary of running costs on it.
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      04-08-2012, 03:35 PM   #12
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My neighbour bought 525D with M sport body kit. I like the looks of that car and I may buy that in future. Standard E60 comes with more bits and bobs compared to E90.
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      04-10-2012, 12:47 PM   #13
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D3 touring, as you don't see many about
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      04-10-2012, 03:10 PM   #14
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We have a 2008 Lci 520d M Sport and its a awesome family GT* car. My wife loves it and i doubt I will ever be able to prise the keys away from her. We had one problem with the turbo actuator going (but I am sure that could of happened on the 320d). Recently the rear de-mister relay went. On my previous 530d, I did 65k miles and only had a DSC sensor fail.

The biggest win over the 3er is space - the boot is longer/wider eg we can get a mclaren buggy in length ways, in the 3er its at an angle. You can always stack it to the roof with the cargo net keeping the cabin safe. It also handles well and flows nicely on the A roads. Its not as agile as a 3er, but its not far behind and the ride is far smoother/less crashy.

*I say Family GT in the sense that its (just) fast enough and cruises very comfortably at 70-80 and with the family aboard why would you want to go any faster than that.

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      04-12-2012, 02:51 PM   #15
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We have a 2008 Lci 520d M Sport
mate, that's what I'm talking about. that 520d msport is in many ways an almost perfect car (perfect is the 530d xdrive).
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      04-12-2012, 03:51 PM   #16
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mate, that's what I'm talking about. that 520d msport is in many ways an almost perfect car (perfect is the 530d xdrive).
I do sometimes crave for the SE though - even more smoother drive no doubt.
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      04-13-2012, 04:02 AM   #17
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When I bought mine I went for what I thought was the best compromise for the 520D an SE model but with Sports Seats - ride was comfortable but not sloppy and the sport seats where some of the best I've ever sat in.

Now try find one of those on the second hand market...............
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      04-14-2012, 06:38 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by G_M_S View Post
When I bought mine I went for what I thought was the best compromise for the 520D an SE model but with Sports Seats - ride was comfortable but not sloppy and the sport seats where some of the best I've ever sat in.

Now try find one of those on the second hand market...............
I know, the sport seats are the deal breaker - only finding some good ones in germany but that means a 1500 EUR extra charge for taking it here and registering which takes the fun out of it (german cars are already premium in price to other countries in EU given the better quality "as used" they have usually).
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      04-14-2012, 07:09 AM   #19
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Had the pleasure of driving my Dads E60 525D M sport once or twice and will admit it's much smoother than my E90 (could be something to do with the fact he's ditched his runflats and has the auto box).

Very capable in the bends for a big car and the space inside is vast.

Im tempted to get an E61 next if the misses if happy with the size of it.
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      04-24-2012, 01:55 AM   #20
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tried selling my car now but prices must have tanked a lot after the F30 came out - very hard to get a reasonable offer anymore, like 2-3k euro wiped off price. Gonna have to wait a bit more before I dig in into one of the above.
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