ALTF4
Topic Author
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BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:55 pm

Alrighty, so right now I drive a POS old beater and would like to replace it with something a little nicer in the spring or early summer. I'm thinking something along the lines of an '06 BMW 325i, '04 - '06 Acura TL, '05 Infinity G35 Sedan, etc. I'm mostly looking at first or second model year of new body styles. I know that might be inadvisable due to first-year production issues, but I don't want to get a last model year before a body style refresh. Budget is ~$15k, which for the most part, all of those cars fall into that range.

I'd be paying cash for the car, no financing, however what I would normally pay for the monthly payment I would like to put away for the next car. I'm leaning towards the 3-series, but I've heard rumors they can be quite expensive to maintain. It would be my top pick if everything were equal - I like the way they look. I've seen some that are still within the factory free maintenance period and warranty, both which are transferable, so those seem like they might be a good deal.

I haven't looked at similar offerings from Mercedes or Lexus, because I'm not sure what is considered to be a similar type of car across all the makes.

Or, am I out of my mind and should just get a loaded 2009-ish Jetta, Accord, etc, and save the dough to buy a one year old (skip a lot of the depreciation) entry luxury car a few years from now?
The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
 
Flighty
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:16 pm

$15k is a good price for a CLEAN 2006-ish 3 series. Do not accept unclean or non-standard cars for that price. Much respect for your choices. But really, the Infiniti or BMW are both great picks. I'd go BMW here. Cost of ownership is very low. They are quality autos, not pieces of expensive junk like other brands. My 2c  
 
EasternSon
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:38 pm

I have a 2004 BMW 325xi, and I love it.

I bought the car in March 2007 with just over 40,000 miles on it.

Since then, I've had the brakes done ($600), the alternator and battery replaced ($500) and the engine thermostat replaced ($650).

I also had to get new tires, which were more expensive because I wanted good tires, and that cost me about $800.

It's now got 135,000 miles on it, and it still runs great.

I took the car back to the dealer for the 100K checkup - but only because I was considering trading back to BMW and wanted it done to their standards. They dinged me good, but I was prepared for that. $1,400.00

The oild changes are every 15,000 miles and cost about $100 from the dealership - which isn't bad considering it's roughly the same cost for three oil/filter changes every 5,000.

I'd but another one, definitely.
"The only people for me are the mad ones...." Jack Kerouac
 
Molykote
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:21 pm

The 3 series is a great car. I own one.

BMWs are generally expensive cars to own and properly maintain. This isn't hyperbole, isn't an antiquated school of thought, and isn't putting the exception before the rule. If you enjoy driving, I think they are generally worth it.

Some will tell you that "I owned XXX BMW and never had a major problem with it." While these individual claims may be true, I think it's wrong to interpolate such claims into general advice. Keeping a BMW in running condition (such that you can pick up groceries without breaking down) and keeping a BMW in a state where it's a joy to drive are 2 very different things.

I've only owned one BMW myself (E46 330Ci), though I've had experience wrenching on nearly a dozen due to family ownership.

As I said above:
The 3 series is a great car. I own one....BMWs are generally expensive cars to own and properly maintain.

Quoting EasternSon (Reply 2):
he oild changes are every 15,000 miles and cost about $100 from the dealership - which isn't bad considering it's roughly the same cost for three oil/filter changes every 5,000.

Though not my primary point of this response, most owners I know (and the BMW CCA) don't advocate going the full 15k on an oil change. However, that's a personal decision and is within BMWs maintenance spec for the car.

My direct point in response (concurrence) to your post is that (even if you aren't doing the 5k vs 15k oil change math) you won't find a BMW approved oil for less than $7-8 per quart at typical street price (and it might even be closer to $9). Counting 7 quarts for the oil change and $10+ for a filter (usual street price), $100 isn't such a bad proposition at the dealer. On the other hand, my local dealer charged my coworker $225 for a 7qt change on a 530i once?!
Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
 
LOT767-300ER
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:04 am

Wow my friend, you are swimming in cash. $100 oil changes at the dealer...mind asking why?

[Edited 2012-01-05 19:07:49]
 
Superfly
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:24 am

Quoting Molykote (Reply 3):
BMWs are generally expensive cars to own and properly maintain. This isn't hyperbole, isn't an antiquated school of thought, and isn't putting the exception before the rule. If you enjoy driving, I think they are generally worth it.

That is what I was thinking. Although they aren't my style of car, I do respect the engineering that goes in to these cars. All owners of older BMWs that I know say the same thing. They absolutely LOVE their BMW and don't mind paying the high cost of owning one. If you want a low maintenance German car, you buy a Volkswagen TDI (any model) and if you want a no/low maintenance BMW, you buy/lease a brand new one and get rid of it after 3-4 years.

Quoting ALTF4 (Thread starter):
I haven't looked at similar offerings from Mercedes or Lexus, because I'm not sure what is considered to be a similar type of car across all the makes.

Lexus is the most reliable brand you have mentioned. Perhaps their styling isn't as flashy but Toyota/Lexus makes some of the most reliable cars in the world. I know plenty of Toyota/Lexus owners with up to 500,000 miles on the odometer.
My mother's 2nd car is a 1996 Camry that has 315,000 miles on it and only has had the water pump and radiator replaced. Toyota/Lexus is the ONLY Japanese brand I'd trust.

Have you considered a used Lincoln LS?
Dodge Charger SRT8?
Or even a Pontiac G8 GXP?

Long-term ownership of those would be much cheaper than the models you listed.
Bring back the Concorde
 
User avatar
Revelation
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:53 am

Quoting Molykote (Reply 3):
Some will tell you that "I owned XXX BMW and never had a major problem with it." While these individual claims may be true, I think it's wrong to interpolate such claims into general advice. Keeping a BMW in running condition (such that you can pick up groceries without breaking down) and keeping a BMW in a state where it's a joy to drive are 2 very different things.

Very well said. I found the same thing with the first car I really enjoyed driving, a 1979 Celica GT, which was of course a much simpler car, but still needed a good amount of TLC to keep it sharp.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
That is what I was thinking. Although they aren't my style of car, I do respect the engineering that goes in to these cars. All owners of older BMWs that I know say the same thing. They absolutely LOVE their BMW and don't mind paying the high cost of owning one. If you want a low maintenance German car, you buy a Volkswagen TDI (any model) and if you want a no/low maintenance BMW, you buy/lease a brand new one and get rid of it after 3-4 years.

I hear you. I'm enjoying my 3 series tremendously, but when it's all done with, if my practical side wins out, I'll probably end up with a Jetta TDI. I drove one around the lot, and the low end torque makes up for the relatively small engine. However low-end 3 series models are going four cylinder too (if they haven't already, I don't keep up with level of detail). In any case the interior was quite nice, esp considering you could buy one loaded for half the price of the loaded 3 series.

I drive too many miles for a lease to make sense.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Toyota/Lexus is the ONLY Japanese brand I'd trust.

Some feel they are resting on their laurels. One thing for sure is people want a lot of money for used 'Yodas.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Have you considered a used Lincoln LS?
Dodge Charger SRT8?
Or even a Pontiac G8 GXP?

Long-term ownership of those would be much cheaper than the models you listed.

If my less-practical side wins out, I'd be looking at a Dodge Challenger. I can't help myself, my brother was a huge Mopar fan as a kid and deep down I'm one too, even though Dodge has put out some 'dodgy' cars over the years. Problem for me is it's probably too large a car for my small garage, and probably my practical side will win when I compare MPG figures. It's too soon in my car buying cycle to do any careful consideration, but every time I see one the little boy in me goes 'wow'!. I wonder if I'd feel the same way after driving one?
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
scrubbsywg
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:35 am

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 4):
Wow my friend, you are swimming in cash. $100 oil changes at the dealer...mind asking why?

that probably isn't that bad a price although i won't comment on the other prices he quoted.... I have a 2007 rabbit which is by no means a BMW. Doing an oil change myself costs me about $70 in parts/oil alone. take an hour or so of my time and i am pretty darn close to the dealership price. Of course, the dealer's costs are considerably less than mine so they are making quite a bit of money for a simple task, but there is very little money to be saved. If you don't have the garage/driveway, are not mechanically inclined, don't have tools, etc. it isn't that bad.
 
andz
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:55 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
I'll probably end up with a Jetta TDI. I drove one around the lot, and the low end torque makes up for the relatively small engine. However low-end 3 series models are going four cylinder too (if they haven't already, I don't keep up with level of detail). In any case the interior was quite nice, esp considering you could buy one loaded for half the price of the loaded 3 series.

My 2006 BMW 320d is a 4 cylinder, with 320Nm of torque which is the same as the current 2.0 VW TDi engine. I had a Golf 6 TDi on rent in the UK in 2010 and I agree with you, the low end grunt is great. I am seriously considering the Golf TDi as my next car as a result of the experience in the UK but I would really like my next diesel to be auto, which is not an option on the Golf in this country.

Regarding cost of ownership of the 3 Series I can't comment as this is the only one of the four I have owned that I have run out of Motorplan (100,000km). It is due for a service now (almost 120,000km on the clock) and I have been quoted the equivalent of 405 USD which includes an oil change.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
Superfly
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:28 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
I hear you. I'm enjoying my 3 series tremendously, but when it's all done with, if my practical side wins out, I'll probably end up with a Jetta TDI. I drove one around the lot, and the low end torque makes up for the relatively small engine.

Although I love my large land yachts but I sometimes miss my old 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit diesel and 1980 Dasher diesels with manual trans.
I miss the oily diesel smell and the rattle those old diesel engines make. I also kept a log of local gas stations that sold diesel. In the big cities, finding diesel fuel can be a bit tricky.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
Dodge has put out some 'dodgy' cars

Well they're supposed to. They're Dodge.  
Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
If my less-practical side wins out, I'd be looking at a Dodge Challenger.
my practical side will win when I compare MPG figures.

The new Dodge Challengers get great mileage for the amount of power they put out.
The V8s and 6s that put out over 425HP coming out of Germany get much less MPG than the Dodge HEMI 6.1.
Bring back the Concorde
 
EasternSon
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:21 pm

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 4):
Wow my friend, you are swimming in cash. $100 oil changes at the dealer...mind asking why?
Quoting scrubbsywg (Reply 7):
although i won't comment on the other prices he quoted

Again, when you do the math for the oil, it really isn't that bad. It's premium synthetic oil, which is more expensive than good 'ol 10W30 or the like. And when I only have to have it changed every 12-15k miles, it averages out. I take it back to the dealer because they do much more than just changing the oil and filter as well. The car will eventually be traded back to BMW, and while you may say that it doesn't make a difference, they have record of the regular maintenance of the car.

As for the other prices - yeah, it's a BMW. Even aftermarket parts are more expensive than those that would go on another car. Further, I'm big on preventative maintenance. I trust my mechanic (quit laughing) because he's saved me lots of money in the past. If he comes to me after one of his inspections, and shows me something that may be an issue down the road, i tend to take care of it on the spot. The prices I quoted above had other minor corrections included - and were totally off the cuff.

All in all, I think it's worth the money to drive it. It's comfortable, rides great, has wonderful power and looks great.
"The only people for me are the mad ones...." Jack Kerouac
 
ALTF4
Topic Author
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:23 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Have you considered a used Lincoln LS?

I'm a pretty young guy, by no means anywhere near grandfather age. Nor am I a black golfer with multiple trophies and an animal for my first name. So I think I'll pass. 
Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Dodge Charger SRT8?

Never been a fan of Dodge

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Or even a Pontiac G8 GXP?

Or Pontiac. I'm looking for the entry-level luxury as opposed to an entry-level muscle car, which is what I (correctly or incorrectly) equate this car with.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Volkswagen TDI

I'm seriously considering it. The Jetta TDI is a nice car by all accounts. An '06 Jetta TDI looks like it'll run me just about the same as a 3-series, or ~6k to ~7k over a standard Jetta.
The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
 
BMI727
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:40 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Dodge Charger SRT8?

You might have a hard time finding one of those for $15,000. $20k is no problem, but I would guess that any cheaper than that probably aren't in great shape.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Or even a Pontiac G8 GXP?

You'll never find a G8 GXP for $15,000. Only about 1800 of them were made before production ended and those cars are well known with enthusiasts. Even finding a G8 GT for under $20,000 could prove challenging, as G8s have retained their value exceptionally well.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Flighty
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:27 pm

Quoting Molykote (Reply 3):
BMWs are generally expensive cars to own and properly maintain. This isn't hyperbole, isn't an antiquated school of thought, and isn't putting the exception before the rule. If you enjoy driving, I think they are generally worth it.

JMO but what makes BMW affordable in the long run (particularly base models) is they do not break. I think their supplier base is held to a higher standard. Just a very limited observation. At the 100,000 mile point, some cars will bankrupt you not from maintenance, but correcting failed parts such as shocks, A/C, electrical, steering pumps, brake boosters...

Yes, they do take more upkeep than a Camry.

BMW also have very good rust protection.
 
Superfly
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:37 pm

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 11):
I'm a pretty young guy, by no means anywhere near grandfather age.

You're thinking of the Town Car and the Continental. Those were the models appealing to the older crowd. The LS was a different animal. It was based off the current Ford Mustang platform and is shared with the most recent Thunderbird, Jaguar S-Type and I think the newest Avanti.
The Lincoln LS was the first Lincoln with available manual transmission since the 1940s. It's a smaller performance luxury sedan. It's a very sexy car too!   

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 11):
Nor am I a black golfer with multiple trophies and an animal for my first name.

You can be. 
Tiger Woods endorsed Buick.

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 11):
Never been a fan of Dodge

Me neither but I have to give credit where credit is due.

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 11):
I'm seriously considering it. The Jetta TDI is a nice car by all accounts. An '06 Jetta TDI looks like it'll run me just about the same as a 3-series, or ~6k to ~7k over a standard Jetta.

That is true but the long-term cost is significantly cheaper than the 3-series.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
You'll never find a G8 GXP for $15,000. Only about 1800 of them were made before production ended and those cars are well known with enthusiasts. Even finding a G8 GT for under $20,000 could prove challenging, as G8s have retained their value exceptionally well.

That's right. Forgot about the low-production numbers.
Bring back the Concorde
 
Flighty
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:27 pm

Lincoln LS could be a good call. Those were solid and could be very cheap, now.
 
ALTF4
Topic Author
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:49 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 14):
You can be.

You've never seen me play golf, apparently!  
Quoting Superfly (Reply 14):
You're thinking of the Town Car and the Continental.

True, but even still, the LS has that 'look' to it. I don't know what it is. If I'm going to spend money on a car like that I'd prefer something else.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 14):
That is true but the long-term cost is significantly cheaper than the 3-series.

Yeah, very true. I think I'll look at the Jetta TDIs as well - maybe I'll pick once I can drive a 3-series and a Jetta and see which I enjoy more. Thanks for the suggestion.
The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
 
BMI727
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:51 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 15):
Lincoln LS could be a good call. Those were solid and could be very cheap, now.

Nah. Go with the LS's platform-mate the Jaguar S-Type. It isn't the best looking car out there (especially compared with its successor), but way more stylish than the Lincoln LS. The R is probably out of the price range here, but the standard V8 and V6 models can be had for around $15k or less.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Superfly
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:02 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 17):
Jaguar S-Type. It isn't the best looking car out there

WHAT?!?!?!  Wow!
I think the Jaguar S-Type of the previous decade was one of the best looking modern cars ever made!
I love that oval shaped grille with the Leaper Bonnet hood ornament.
The only concern is long-term maintenance cost. Jaguar reliability improved a lot under the leadership of the Ford Motor Company but many parts are still Jaguar specific and cost more than the Ford & Lincoln vehicles on that platform.

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 16):
You've never seen me play golf, apparently!

No but you can practice and get a tan.  
Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 16):
the LS has that 'look' to it.

Yes!   
Bring back the Concorde
 
BMI727
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:06 pm

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 16):
True, but even still, the LS has that 'look' to it.

The LS might be one of the most generic looking cars ever made. Even Toyota stylists would find it boring.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 18):
I think the Jaguar S-Type of the previous decade was one of the best looking modern cars ever made!
I love that oval shaped grille with the Leaper Bonnet hood ornament.

It wasn't bad. But the old XJ and S-Type look bland and dated compared to the XF and new XJ. Now those two are lookers.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:15 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
the old XJ and S-Type look bland and dated compared to the XF and new XJ.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I think the previous XJ and S-Type had so much class and character. The new ones you speak of look bland. They almost look German, not like classy stylish British cars.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
The LS might be one of the most generic looking cars ever made. Even Toyota stylists would find it boring.

Nah I'd say the newer generation Mercedes and just about all BMWs would fit that description. Yes they are great cars but come up short in terms of 'looks'. With the 3-pointed star and propeller, people are just impressed by the status associated with such emblems.
Bring back the Concorde
 
BMI727
Posts: 11089
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:30 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 20):
I think the previous XJ and S-Type had so much class and character. The new ones you speak of look bland.

They were not muscular or athletic looking at all. They seemed rather geriatric in appearance.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 20):
Yes they are great cars but come up short in terms of 'looks'

The C-Class isn't great, but the new CLS, E, and SLK look good. The first go-around of Bangle styling at BMW started rocky with the 7, but steadily improved with the 5 and 3, with the 3 coupe being especially good. The second run through the lineup (mostly under Van Hooydonk) looks really good to me all the way around. I like that they keep a lot of the creased look but make it tighter and more athletic.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:51 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):
They were not muscular or athletic looking at all.

They were not supposed to. They catered to mature buyers that wanted sophisticated styling.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):
The C-Class isn't great, but the new CLS, E, and SLK look good.

That last good looking Mercedes (in my opinion) was the 1988 560SL.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):
The first go-around of Bangle styling at BMW started rocky with the 7, but steadily improved with the 5 and 3, with the 3 coupe being especially good.

I still associate the BMW 3-series with spoiled frat boy or sorority girl.
BMW 7-series of the mid 1990s were going in a stylish direction but then they went bland again. I can't think of a single BMW that I find 'visually' attractive.
I've take a Lexus LS (any year) over a BMW 7-series if I wanted to go in to import snob territory. Honestly my favorite import luxury sedan is the Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas 2004 and older.
Throw in the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow as well.

Sorry to go off topic. None of these cars are in ALTF4's price range.
Bring back the Concorde
 
slider
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:00 pm

My recommendation is to ABSOLUTELY scour the Consumer Reports Car Buying Guide and look at the best/worst used models by year, make and model...there is a WILD variance in reliability on some makes even from year to year. Do your homework. Maintenance costs could cripple you at a $15k price point if you're not careful.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
Have you considered a used Lincoln LS?
Dodge Charger SRT8?
Or even a Pontiac G8 GXP?

Ah Supe. Love you man, always carrying the agua for Detroit.  
 
BMI727
Posts: 11089
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:39 pm

Quoting slider (Reply 23):
Ah Supe. Love you man, always carrying the agua for Detroit.

Of those three, only the Lincoln was built in Detroit.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:40 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 24):
Of those three, only the Lincoln was built in Detroit.

Actually that was build in Wixom. Michigan.

Quoting slider (Reply 23):
h Supe. Love you man, always carrying the agua for Detroit.

Damn right!

[Edited 2012-01-06 11:41:08]
Bring back the Concorde
 
Flighty
Posts: 7648
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:10 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 20):
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I think the previous XJ and S-Type had so much class and character. The new ones you speak of look bland. They almost look German, not like classy stylish British cars.

Agree, new jag XJ doesn't look right. XF is nice. Old XJ was exceptional (2005-09?). Best jag of the last 30 years imo. Just didn't sell much.
 
Superfly
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:16 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 26):
Old XJ was exceptional (2005-09?

No.
1994-2002.
Bring back the Concorde
 
BMI727
Posts: 11089
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:22 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 27):
No.
1994-2002.

That's the good one.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 26):
Old XJ was exceptional (2005-09?).

That one just looked like a big X-Type.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
MrChips
Posts: 933
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:56 pm

RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:06 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 1):
But really, the Infiniti or BMW are both great picks. I'd go BMW here. Cost of ownership is very low. They are quality autos, not pieces of expensive junk like other brands.

BMWs are actually quite reasonable in terms of cost of ownership. I currently own an E46 330Ci 5-speed, and between gas, insurance and budgeting $1500/year for tires and scheduled/unscheduled maintenance, the car cost me about $480 per month for about 15,000 miles (25,000 km) of driving per year. Hell, even my old E46 M3 cost me less than $700/month (kind of wish I kept it now, instead of buying that wonderful but troublesome E82 135i).

One thing you'll find pleasantly surprising about owning a 3-Series is that they get very good fuel economy - I average just under 29 mpg between city and highway driving - and it's not like I drive like an old man, either!

Quoting Molykote (Reply 3):
Though not my primary point of this response, most owners I know (and the BMW CCA) don't advocate going the full 15k on an oil change. However, that's a personal decision and is within BMWs maintenance spec for the car.

My direct point in response (concurrence) to your post is that (even if you aren't doing the 5k vs 15k oil change math) you won't find a BMW approved oil for less than $7-8 per quart at typical street price (and it might even be closer to $9)

I change my oil about every 6000 miles, which is perhaps a bit excessive, but on the other hand, the M54 engine is somewhat prone to oil sludging in the head, especially if the car has a history of going the full 15,000 miles between changes.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 13):
JMO but what makes BMW affordable in the long run (particularly base models) is they do not break. I think their supplier base is held to a higher standard. Just a very limited observation. At the 100,000 mile point, some cars will bankrupt you not from maintenance, but correcting failed parts such as shocks, A/C, electrical, steering pumps, brake boosters

As much as I love my BMWs, I can't completely agree with this.

By and large, BMWs are pretty much bulletproof, but I can't think of a single model they've made since the Niue-Klasse that hasn't had a handful of really stupid reliability issues. The E46, for example, has three well-known failure points; the power window regulators (especially in the sedan, but all models are affected), the entire cooling system (with that crappy plastic water pump impeller being the chief concern) and in rare (but spectacular) cases, the rear axle carrier mounts tearing from the body. On the plus side, the cooling system and the window regulators are pretty straightforward fixes, but the rear axle carrier, not so much.

Two rules to live by in terms of BMW reliability are:

1) The higher the series, the more complicated and expensive the repairs will be; the 1- and 3-Series are pretty good (as long as you stay away from the current 135/335), the 5 and 6 are mostly OK, while the 7 frankly scares me (don't even get me started on the 8, even though I love how they look); and
2) Anything with an M-badge on it will be 50% more expensive to fix.

[Edited 2012-01-06 19:08:06]
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LOT767-300ER
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:46 am

Quoting EasternSon (Reply 10):
Again, when you do the math for the oil, it really isn't that bad. It's premium synthetic oil, which is more expensive than good 'ol 10W30 or the like

Actually...it is. I take 7.5qts of Mobil 1 5W20 with a filter and it costs me around $55. Either you are driving a Dodge 3500 and using a premium filter or you are getting ripped.

The dealer does more than an oil filter? Like what? Check tire pressure, ATF and if the air filter is good? Its not like they are openning up front and rear diffs and a transfer case and checking viscosity of gear/ATF oil for heavens sake. Get yourself a Chilton for $9.99 and quit wasting money if you know little about cars.
 
MrChips
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:59 am

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 30):

Actually...it is. I take 7.5qts of Mobil 1 5W20 with a filter and it costs me around $55. Either you are driving a Dodge 3500 and using a premium filter or you are getting ripped.

It isn't a ripoff at all, actually, despite what you might think. BMWs are very sensitive to what kind of oil they get; non-M cars must use a fully synthetic 5w-30 oil (unless you're getting 0w-40 Mobil 1 European Car Formula, Mobil 1 isn't a true Group IV synthetic oil anymore) that meets ACEA A3 and BMW LL-01 or BMW LL-04 specifications. M variants made after the E39 M5 are essentially limited to using Castrol TWS 10w-60 exclusively.

Even with my source from which I pay wholesale cost for the 5w-30, I still pay $10.25 per litre. Figure that I need 7.5 L of oil for each 6000 mile interval, plus the cost of the filter (which is about $10); all of a sudden, I'm spending almost $90 per oil change.
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pdxtriple7
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:59 pm

I have a 2007 328i. I really love the car. I went in for a 60k mile check-up at the dealership and ended up spending $1500 on some issues that would've needed to be taken care of eventually. I probably got screwed having the repairs done at the dealership, but I wanted to get it done that day and done well.

All in all, the car runs great. Maintenance can be expensive, but this is not unusual for a nice car.
 
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:01 pm

Quoting pdxtriple7 (Reply 32):
I have a 2007 328i. I really love the car. I went in for a 60k mile check-up at the dealership and ended up spending $1500 on some issues that would've needed to be taken care of eventually. I probably got screwed having the repairs done at the dealership, but I wanted to get it done that day and done well.

I agree on prompt attention to minor issues. I learned that lesson earlier in life when I had a good car that I didn't keep on top of. I got sick of the car merely due to some relatively minor issues that I let pile up to the point where I didn't like driving the car. I ended up giving it to my brother who drove it several more years, and he traded it on to another guy who drove it even longer. I kicked myself for not taking better care of the car, and now I make sure I get everything fixed at regular intervals.
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Flighty
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:53 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 27):
No.
1994-2002.

Super attractive car. There was a huge refresh in there (1998?) with a lot of Ford high tech upgrades. When it became XJ8.

Ford's finest work was the later series (maybe it is uglier... people's opinions can go any direction hehe). It supposedly drove like a BMW. Ford must have lost a ton of money on the last series with all that engineering. The older round headlight series was good looking and would be very cheap now.
 
asuflyer05
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:03 am

A 2006 3-series is a great choice. I recommend paying for a couple of hours of labor for a pre-purchase inspection at a BMW dealership. Have them look for leaks (oil, transmission and coolant). Also have them listen for lifter noise. Every single BMW I have come across has had lifter ticking. When lifter ticking transitions to lifter tap is when it becomes expensive. The service advisor can also give you an indication as to what warranty repairs have been done in the past.
 
N1120A
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:31 am

I disagree with Molykote about the expense of owning a BMW. A properly maintained BMW will actually end up costing its owner less, because you almost never face a major repair.

The expensive thing is the tires.

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 4):
Wow my friend, you are swimming in cash. $100 oil changes at the dealer...mind asking why?

I never had my oil changed at the dealer, but I did have the relatively expensive Inspection I and Inspection II done. BMW Oil Service (the $100 oil change at the dealer) is a little more than just an oil and filter change, but not much. They check and top up other fluids, tire pressure, etc.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 18):
I think the Jaguar S-Type of the previous decade was one of the best looking modern cars ever made!

I also liked the look of the S-Type.

The unfortunate thing about that platform is that both the LS and S-Type were nice looking, relatively affordable and well appointed. They also had awful quality. I've driven several of both, including 2 of the relatively rare 5-speed manual LS', and they have always been dragging.

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 30):
Actually...it is. I take 7.5qts of Mobil 1 5W20 with a filter and it costs me around $55.

I never put Mobil 1 in my M3, unless it was an unexpected top up at a gas station. I always put the BMW synthetic, which is made by Castrol and is both cheaper and better than Mobil 1.

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 30):
The dealer does more than an oil filter? Like what? Check tire pressure, ATF and if the air filter is good?

They do a full fluid check and fill. Also, Molykote is a real driver - he doesn't own automatics.
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andz
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RE: BMW 3-series Cost Of Ownership Vs TL, G35, Etc

Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:37 pm

My 2006 320d was in for a service today. 120km over distance as indicated by the SII.

I took it to the selling dealer, Autobahn BMW.

Actual mileage was 119,585km

Directly from the service invoice, in ZAR:

Service - standard scope R 102.72
Service - vehicle check R 410.88
Engine oil service R 154.08
Brake fluid service R 308.16
Microfilter service R 51.36
Estimating costs to repair R 256.80.... I'll come back to this one
Consumables R 40.00
Car wash R 40.00
Brake fluid 500ml R 36.70
Microfilter E90 R 325.50
Oil filer element R 181.40
Castrol Magnatec R 370.70
Windscreen wash additive R 11.30
Service protection R 16.30... no, I don't know what this is either
VAT 14%: R 322.83

Total: R 2,628.73

One labour unit is R 51.36

That is USD 323.35 at today's exchange rate. I know ROE isn't always a good indication of real world cost so... a 330ml Heineken costs R14 ($1.72) in my local bar and I can get a 200g fillet steak with fries for R85 ($10.45) at my local steakhouse.

When I got home I noticed the estimating thing and called the service advisor. She told me it is a labour cost because when I took the car in I asked them to call me if it was going to be more than a certain price (the figure I gave was about $100 US more than the final cost). So, they charged me more than 10% of the total to quote me. The service advisor was very apologetic and I told her I was planning to take her to lunch but I spent the lunch tab on the estimate!

Anyway, make your own minds up if this is a reasonable service cost but I am not put out by it.

[Edited 2012-01-11 08:39:36]
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