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I have had my 1.8T for coming up 2 yrs now and I am contemplating a change as it is now a 7 year old car. It is a '99 AGU with full leather Recaros, Aircon and the usual bits & pieces and done 68000 miles. Performance wise I have done the basics such a Upsolute ECU Remap, Carbonio CAI, N75J Valve, and Milltek Exhaust system which I fairly happy with, however when looking at sorting out the suspension, getting new wheels, and all the other mods that I would want to do would to get the car looking as I'd want it would end up being another ?2k spent, and on looking at the valuation of the car on parkers it doesn't really seem to make sense.

Budget wise and depending on how much get for mine I would be looking at a maximum of ?10k to spend on a replacement. So far I have shortlisted a few that interest me and fall into the budget range but I wondered what your guys opinions where and if you had any other ideas

BMW 3 Series Coupe E46 (323i/325i - basically any of the Straight 6 versions)

Pro's - RWD, Build Quality, Good Performance as standard, certain amount of prestiege/quality about them meaing that I would not mod it

Con's - Most that fall into my price bracket are gonna be around 6-7 years old

Honda Civic Type R

Pro's - Ultra reliable V-Tec engine, Very Fast, Sound as VTec kicks in [:p]

Con's - Front Wheel Drive, Cheap feeling interior, Would be prefacelift so there is the handling which was questioned on the Early Versions



Audi TT Coupe (225)

Pro's - 225 Engine, Audi Build Quality, 4WD, still like the look of it, nice interior

Con's - New Version not far off release & could cause residuals to take a hit, Most that fall into my price bracket are gonna be around 6-7 years old



Seat Leon Cupra R

Pro's - 225BHP engine, Sporty, Well Equipped

Cons - Front Wheel Drive, Comparitively Poor Residuals against the VAG alternatives
 

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If you are set on the ?10k limit, I would go for the Civic Typre R or
Leon Cupra; the sort of E46 coupes and TTs you can get for around ?10k
will be the oldest, ropiest and most tired, and IMO will ultimately
dissapoint you. Having said that, I've seen a few 323Cis for about ?8k
on Autotrader which, for ?8k, seem alright, if a bit shiny inside!
 

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2000 BMW 3 SERIES 330 Ci 2dr Coupe,
58,000 miles, Topaz Blue, Black Leather, Electric Sports Seat, PDS, 6 CD, Silver inserts, manual, FBMWSH, 58k, recently had service 2, excellent to drive, Good condition all round, new car forces sale, willing to discuss offers or trader gets the car, MOT Nov, Tax June. ?10,400. ono Email

Telephone: 07778 412553 or 01252

Doesn't sound that ropey. No xenon's though.

2001 BMW 3 SERIES 330 Ci 2dr Coupe,
54,000 miles, Silver with black leather interior. Very high specification, including heated electric seats with memory. Cruise control, multi airbags, auto wipers, parking sensors, multi CD etc. Very good condition with only 54,000 miles on the clock. Next service due in approx. 9000 miles. Viewing recommended. ?10,995. Email

Private sellers offer em 10K and they'll take it on autotrader

Rather have either of those than most things on the MKIV platform.
 

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It depends on your criteria. Out of those, I would go for the Leon Cupra R. You can pick up a decent 2002 one for around/under 9k!!

Some others for you to consider...

-Seat Leon Cupra 1.8T 180ps

-Seat Leon Cupra TDI 150

-Skoda Octavia vRS

-Audi A3 1.8t Quattro 180ps

-Audi A4 1.8t Quattro 190ps

-Renault Clio 172 (and have a few grand change, but build quality is poor)

-Ford Mondeo ST220 (great car but build quality is iffy)

-Skoda Octavia 1.8t 4x4

Out of all the cars mentioned including my suggestions, the one I feel you would be happiest with/most value for money would have to be the Seat Leon Cupra 1.8t 180ps.
 

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Type R is pretty dissapointing in the lower revs from the two I have driven and keeping it up in VTEC for power can become tiresome! Sounds ace but lacks torque

I was just in exactly your position with 10k in my hand and my shortlist was>>>

Civic Type R

Leon Cupra R

Clio 182

After driving them all I wanted the Clio 182 but my wife thought it was cheap and tacky and poorly build, and too small as we have a new born so that was out but was the best fun to drive I think

Civic Type R was an anti climax I was expecting soo much from it but it didn't deliver I found the old Integra Type R much more fun Rawer and faster plus the Integra has more of a step in the VTEC which makes it more fun too!

The Leon Cupra R was ace 5 door too!! couldnt fault it apart from my missis saying the VW Golf is classier and will hold value better than a Seat she'd always wanted a Golf and had always loved the look of them, she also thought insurance was too high and petrol would be too expensive too! She had a point as I had just sold a 300 bhp Nissan sx which drank petrol and was grp 19 insurance and was looking for something quick , sporty, but more practical and cheaper to run/Insure

I wasn't too keen on getting a Golf but thought ok I'll have a look at a few. went through the trader, pistonheads etc and spotted a tuned Golf Anniversary GT TDI PD 150

My wife fell in love immediately, I wasnt looking for a diesel but from looking at the performance figures and amount it had spent on it along with the fact that it did nearly 50mpg and was only insurance group 13 I went to have a look.

Torque was nothing like I had ever experienced was absolutly thrilling I mean more so than my Nissan! It wasnt as much fun as the other Hot hatches to drive on the twisties but was by far the best quality feel car I had ever driven the interior was a very nice place to be and it oozed quality and solidness, it ticked all the boxes and was quicker than the 182 and Type R in a straight line.

My wife wanted me to buy it so I thought why not its a beautiful looking hatch good size/Practical, good economy, very quick, cheap to insure, good residules and the best bit was I had it for an exceptionally good price of 10k and it had 2k's worth of mods an 02 registration and only 30k on the clock with full VW service history which I will be keeping up!

I could sell it tomorrow and make a profit but I love it! It will definitly be staying for the long term, and when my shares come out in 2008 and I get my Estorial Blue BMW M3 EVO Convertable, My wife will have the Golf.

I am really happy with the decision and if someone had said to me last year your next car will be a diesel I would have laughed at them but I didn't realise how far the TDI's had come over the years! I must also add that all the above cars are excellent cars and you won't go wrong with any of them
 

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Don't go near a 320 or 323ci if possible.

The earliest 330cis (non Sport) W/X reg can be bought for ?10k.

Just make sure it has FSH and everything is straight. Better a high mileage one of these than a lower mileage 320/323.

Alternatively, consider a saloon ?
 

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Doesn't sound that ropey
Fair point! I just had a look at Autotrader to have a browse, and its
true, E46 values have been hit hard of late - early cars have dropped
at least ?3-?4k in the last six months, some nice buys starting to
appear. Having said that, I drove six cars before I bought mine and
felt E46s with more than 50k on them felt quite shiny and dated inside
- the mechanics may go on forever, but interiors don't. I ended up
buying a newer, lower spec car as it felt so much better.

As said above though, if you can, I would definetly go for a 330 over a 323 or
325. Its infinitely better despite the small difference on paper, and no
more thristy in real terms than the 325. But when you drive it....
 

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out of that lot i would say the LCR

but have a look at the mk4 astra GSI

200bhp and half leather recaros as standard all for around ?9k for a low miles 52/53 plate
 

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I agree with the comments regards avoiding 320-323-325i; I ran a E46 325i(192bhp) and tbh it felt little quicker than my previous stock 1.8T/AGU. Infact mid range acceleration  was slower. My current 1.8T/180 is much quicker in the mid range and probably quicker off the mark too.
 

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My old boss had a 330 as her company car when they first came out. Very nice car in a totally different league from our cars. Only thing is BMWs tend to date really quickly when the new models come out.
 

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I have spent quite a bit of time on 330s and 325s and didn't find much difference in performance at all between the two, the 325 is plenty quicker than a stock AGU, a little slower than a remapped AGU to 100, but faster over 100.

325 would be my choice.
 

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330 is miles quicker than a 325. Just doesn't feel it because the 325 is much more revvy. Never mind the fact the stats vary so much, the 330 wins due to it better flexibility and torque. MPG from both units is very similar and I believe the 330 could actually be better because you don't have to thrash it as much to make progress.

These cars are in a different league to the MKIV, I'm using my girlfriends 330ci until I can find a nice 993 and it's amazing how slow it feels. This is a product of how smooth and fuss free it's performance is. In reality it does near 6 second 0-60 and I've seen it hit the speed limiter away from UK roads ie 155mph. The handling flatters as well, it's possible to place the car precisely and while it rolls a fair bit compared to my old anniversary this isn't at the detriment of cornering ability. It's called compliance and body control something the MKIV didn't feature. I'm getting an average of 31mpg out of it as well.

The only car I can think of that offers better VFM is the E39 5 series but I'm guessing these are too big for you. Go test drive a 330 you won't be dissapointed and I think if you enjoy driving that you'll find the naturally aspirated straight six combined with RWD make for a much better driving experience if you are used to forced induction front drivers.
 

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330 is miles quicker than a 325.
Wrong... it's clearly not is it!
You mean a 325 is quicker than a 330? Interesting point of view, I'd be interested to see you explain it.

here are some figures from the 'sad mans top trump list' in EVO

BHP Torque Weight 0-60 bhp per ton Top Speed mgp

325ci 192 181 1485kg 7.1 131 149 31.4

330ci 231 221 1522kg 6.5 154 155 31.0

Never mind the effect of the better torque of the 3ltr on in gear times. These figures prove that the 330 is indeed 'miles quicker'- 6 of them to be precise, never mind the fact it's also a lot quicker over every benchmark you can mention.

Now on with your explanation of 'it's clearly not is it!' or failing that admit defeat graciously.[:D]

I've driven both by the way and the 330 also feels significantly faster never mind what the figures say.
 

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I think carlos meant it's not miles quicker, but it isn't majorly (spelling) quicker.

My dads has had both the 325 and 330, imho i think the 325 is a great car but the 330 just had that extra bit if you get what i mean. The 330 feels smoother and feels like it has power low down in the rev range unlike the 325 when the power only really appears over the 3k rpm. If i was buying a 325 or 330ci id go for a 330d and remap it [:D] much better car but i doubt you could get one around the 10k mark.

Sat
 

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Having driven both I'd say the 330ci is significantly quicker, of course it depends what you call 'miles quicker' to a large extent. A good MKIV analogy would be the difference between a 150bhp 1.8T and the 180bhp.

Both are fine cars but one is a lot quicker especially when getting to higher speeds or considering in gear performance.

BTW the top trumps post above is meant to be somewhat tongue in cheek!

You can get 330D saloons for 10K, albeit leggy 184bhp examples. Personally I'd take a 330ci at 10K over one of those any day. Unless you are bothered about economy the 330D isn't that great unless you are talking about the later 204bhp model with a 6 speed box. Sad to say but they are miles quicker than the 3ltr petrol.
 

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I think carlos meant it's not miles quicker, but it isn't majorly (spelling) quicker.
Yes, thats what I was getting at.

Now on with your explanation of 'it's clearly not is it!' or failing that admit defeat graciously.[:D]
Obviously the 330 is quicker than the 325, but it's not much faster, is it! ..... unless 6 is a lot in your opinion.
 

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6 is miles faster, literally...........but as I said the 330 is significantly quicker over every increment you care to mention. I'd go as far to say 'much faster' particularly in gear. The high revving nature of the 325 flatters to deceive but don't take my word for it, look at the figures, over half a second to 60 is aeons in car terms. Never mind the difference at higher speeds.
 
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