usedcar filter: 2000 bmw 323it wagon
February 17, 2005 2:01 PM   Subscribe

does any one have any experience with the 323i/it series? if so, recommended? warnings? experience? thanks in advance. other used cars in the class users would recommend?
posted by specialk420 to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
Response by poster: pardon me - 2000/2001 323s ...
posted by specialk420 at 2:02 PM on February 17, 2005

Response by poster: BMW 323it . jeez.. i blew this post.
posted by specialk420 at 2:12 PM on February 17, 2005

These people on this message board sound pretty happy with their cars.
posted by onekat at 2:18 PM on February 17, 2005

My brother is a big fan of the Saab 9-3.
posted by milkrate at 3:54 PM on February 17, 2005

Great cars. Truly great. Great engine, great handling, great build, great everything. If you're in the states, the fuel economy isn't even an issue either.

Things to watch: The driving position is slightly offset, and the wheel isn't exactly parallel to your body. Take a good test drive to see if this will be a problem for you.

Otherwise, recommended. It's by far the best in its class. The VW's are in a different segment entirely, and the Audis, while good, don't handle nearly as well -- though the Quattros are close. Saabs? Eugh: dressed up Cavaliers with great engines.
posted by bonaldi at 3:58 PM on February 17, 2005

Yes, I've got experience with BMWs from 1995 -> 2002. Personally, if you can afford the parts and maintenance, I say buy it ... they're very nice cars, although they're a bit heavy and slow for the size and class compared to the japanese cars I'm used to. Be aware that maintenance and spare parts are likely to be expensive.

With these cars, since they were a little less expensive than your average BMW and there were a lot of leftovers that were sold cheaply, you need to be aware that some of the cars may be or have been "riced", even if it was undone later. Look for adhesive from ground-effects kits, panels that have been repainted, and get a dealer or mechanic to check it out to make sure that it hadn't been chipped or otherwise abused at some point. You do not want a BMW with a modified suspension; BMW strut suspensions are an integral part of the frame assembly and are not meant to be modified by end users or non-dealer shops. The suspension is most certainly not meant to be dropped using a spacer and the original strut coils ... that will not only ruin the performance of the car, it will ruin it permanently unless you completely replace the suspension. You don't need to do anything 'cept maybe add high-performance, low-profile tires, honest ... the handling's just fine from the factory.

If a BMW is close to or over 50,000 miles, you most certainly want to make sure that either the water pump has been replaced or that it is still under warranty of some sort. If there's a warranty involved, you want to either buy it from a dealer that will certify it left their condition in a waranteeable shape, or have a dealer look it over and certify it before the purchase. That's the only gotcha I can think of besides the computer components ... if they go out, you're looking at some very expensive work, on top of an engine potentially being toasty. Nothing you can really do about it, though, as they fail unexpectedly.

Get the maintenance records. If extensive transmission, engine or emissions work has been done, pass on the car. BMW did have some small quality issues and did produce some lemons in this time period, and like all german equipment -- it tends not to break, but once it's broken it's just plain broken. Can I emphasize 'have a dealer check it over and thoroughly investigate any engine codes' enough?
posted by SpecialK at 4:02 PM on February 17, 2005 [1 favorite]

err left their shop on good condition and in a waranteeable shape. :-P
posted by SpecialK at 4:04 PM on February 17, 2005

bah, in good condition. Need more caffeine.
posted by SpecialK at 4:06 PM on February 17, 2005

Response by poster: cool - thanks for the excellent tips and feedback, a good example why ask.mefi beats the run of the mill message boards. i have porsche and volkswagon experience - at the end of the day you cant beat german driving machines.
posted by specialk420 at 6:12 PM on February 17, 2005

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