Volkswagen Mark IV Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I've changed jobs and I have to get myself a new car. I dont have to drive so many miles now (not like the 40k in my old job!) and so I have the option to drive something a little more thirsty.

I was initially thinking of going for something boring/smart like a diesel Masda 6 or vectra but my colleague has an Honda S2000 which has got me in the mood for something faster.

I was looking to save up for a while but I need a car more quickly than that so I'm looking at a budget of just ?5000 now. This could get me a fairly new rep-mobile but i'm looking at more sporty options.

There are a whole stack of M3's on the autotrader website for less than ?5k and I was wondering if anyone has any experiences/comments about these.

The M3 ticks all the boxes and I like the idea of having something very fast yet fairly professional looking for turning up to customers in. Also leathers would be a bonus as I have never had leathers in a car and I want them!

So whats your thoughts on the ~1995 M3?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,686 Posts
I am a big fan of E36`s btw.

I have driven many M3`s and Tbh they are nothing special. I wouldnt class them as fast, they are horrid to drive unless you are nailing them about, nosiey and rough ride, mega hard to find a mint one (as 99% are accident damaged, and worked on by bodger mechanics) , if something goes wrong then the parts are mega expensive, and trust me things do go wrong, High service costs. Heavy clutch (can be modified with a braided clutch hose, cost ?69 and a pain in arse to fit)

Surely could add alot more to this but i want to move on to what you should have....

Forget all the M Power nonsense on the E36 range. And invest in a 328i. In these you get a solid M50 engine, not that much slower than the M3, but retaining the comfort factor, Nice all round drive ie smooth to drive whatever you are doing, alot cheaper service/parts prices, I think you`ll impress the people more in a debaged 328, Not sure on the prices between the 2 but id imagine 2.8s go for alot less.

Good luck. and keep us updated
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,686 Posts
Echo above; clean and original E36 M3 4 Doors are uber cool and I liked the idea for a while but at ?5k
its not going to be a minter and running costs / abuse are high - BMWs
fall into the wrong hands as they get older, and the E36 is reall
knocking on a bit now. If you go with an M3 buy the cleanest, most
original car you can from the oldest owner you can find....and avoid SMG V1.0 like the plague.

But I think
you would enjoy a clean 328i just as much, at half the running costs.
You'll get a cleaner one for ?5k as well. Make it a Sport!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cheers guys.

Sounds like excellent advice. I imagine insurance should be lower on the 328i too. Although I checked for an M3 on confused.com and I got a quote less than ?1000 so its not as bad as I thought.

What are the spec options on these 328i's? What would I get in the sport? Would I find one with leathers and air-con?

Any comments/advice appreciated guys
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey, the next shape (which I preffer) might just creep into my price range:

=========

1999 T Reg BMW 328i SE

4 Doors, Automatic, Saloon, Petrol, 135,000 miles, Metallic Blue. ABS, Adjustable seats, Adjustable steering column/wheel, Alloy wheels, Computer, Driver airbag, Electric mirrors, Electric windows, Electric sunroof, Foglights, Front armrest, Headlight washers, Immobiliser, Passenger airbag, Rear armrest, Radio/Cassette, Side airbags, Traction control, Air conditioning, CD Multichanger, Central locking, Full service history. ?4,995

========

Is it a real no no to go for a high miler like this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,686 Posts
That seems quite cheap, never knew they were fetching that. Seems like a good buy as long as the condition is good, Dont let the millege put you off (its mad how much millege knocks off a car) , i have seen alot of these covered over 200k and still going strong.

Any pictures?

If you are considering this then a few common things to look out for are, If it has origional radiator then 9 out of 10 have bowed out at the bottom ready to burst(bottom of rad looks like a banana ) , new rads are modified now with a centre strap to hold them inplace Check front ball joints , as these cannot be replaced seperatly, the whole arm needs replacing..?200+ just for parts...more if its an MTec arm. Worn brake reactor bushes can cause juddering when braking/over bumps, easy to change , 30min job. Rear road springs always snap within a few years, most of e46s in for servicing have this problem.

Rear trailing arm bushes pulled out, you`ll hear knocking from rear and will feel like the rear ends on skates when turning. Brake pipes need inspecting where they cross over the rear axle, as with all Bmws they are prone to rusting , if caught soon you can clean and rewax, if not then its a replacement job.

Hope this helps, i would take your time and maybe look for the right E46 rather than a 36 but thats up to you. [:)]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,686 Posts
Is it a real no no to go for a high miler like this?
Trogs knowledge of the mechanics is clearly far superior to mine so
take all the above into account, but my problem with a 135k BMW is not
the mechanicals; its the interior and consumables. Anything that wears
out - suspension, brakes, bushes, etc - will need doing. The engine,
gearbox etc will be fine, but the interior really will have had it IMO
- mega shiny dash and steering wheel, cracked leather seats, etc.

If I was spending ?5k I would buy the best E36 I could afford; I
would have thought the E46, despite being a better car, will be ropey
as hell at that price. If you can stretch to ?7-?8k, things improve
dramatically on the E46 market.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi guys, i'm back!

Ok - its getting near crunch time. I need a car by the end of september.

Although I thought the 328i was the winner, I looked up the specs and it doesnt seem all that fast. I want something nuts, yet presentable.

The only M3 I could afford would be the old shape - which I will probably avoid.

Something has caught my eye.... The V8 540i. (Well i did say nuts!)

Yes, I know i'm looking at 23 mpg.. but 0-60... 6 seconds... Costs about £5-6k. and the noise... wow

Guys, thoughts please.

Also seen a Jag S-type - similar 4 litre V8. T reg - looks absolutely mint.

Help!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,570 Posts
have a look at e36coupes.com

some great advice on that forum

i would agree - e36s are notorious for being accident repaired - i would not go for the earlier m3s - a very late 328i is ideal!!

i love them!! very underestimated and i love the bbs rims!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,416 Posts
I can see you want a beemer.. and your thinking about 5 series already so how about the e34 M5 3.5 litre and overall better car than the e39 540 as the suspension will be shedloads better as it is a m car.. the standard e39 suspesion is a bit boatlike as my dads had plenty of beemas ranging all over the range e30's/e36'/e46's e34's/e39's had most of the 7 series range also.. hes best car to him in regards to overall driveabillity was the e34 M5 but the running costs also have to be taken in to account.. also if your looking at large cars how about the 750 e38 5.4 litre V12 [:D] plenty fast me thinks and so much luxury inside also and they can be picked up for peanuts these days...

Sat [y]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I keep changing my mind at least 3 times per day regarding what car to go for.

Its a constant battle between my heart and my head!

Would a 540 actually feel fast? I loved driving the 140PS GTTDI as I could fling it around the roundabouts and blast it down the country lanes.

The other cars I am considering in £6000 - £6500 price range are are:

Honda Accord type R (fast and 5 doors - an affordable Civic type r?)

BMW 328i (older shape - 'E36'?)

BWM 323/325i (E46 - love the looks 328i too expensive)

BWM 540i (ultra plush for clients - fast - absolute killer on fuel - poor on country roads???)

AUDI A3 1.8T Quattro (should be fast - can handle these northern winters!)

Golf MK4 GTI 1.8T (I hate the handling of our 1.6 MK4!)

Old Scooby WRX/Turbo (I would love the speed, just not really presentable enough)

Any other suggestions?? This is driving me nuts. There seems to be no ideal solution
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,686 Posts
e34 M5 3.5 litre and overall better car than the e39 540 as the suspension will be shedloads better as it is a m car.. t
But dynamically the E39 is light years ahead of the E34. Build and quality is also much higher on a 5 than a 3, so I think a 540i would be a very good buy. ..I had a thrash against one and it sounded lovely. Running costs won't be cheap and pray it doesn't go wrong though.

E34 M5 is cool but its VERY old now...last ones are over 10 years old. Minefield to shop for and again, running costs and insurance.... How about an E39 528i or 530i? My Dad had an 02 530i Sport and that felt quick - not mental, but certainly wasn't slow, and I loved it...a baby M5. You might also consider an E36 325i as well as the 328i, definetly drive one as they certainly aren't slow. E46 325 will be reasonable but ropey for £5k. 7 Series are dirt cheap and amazing value but horrendously expensive to fix. £80K 750ils / 840CSis drop to £5k for a reason!

If you want a performance BM though £5k is quite a tight budget for anything clean IMO. Mind you if you pay £5k for an M3, thats quite a bit of car for the cash and maybe worth the risk...

Edit: How about a 1996-2000 Audi A4?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,686 Posts
Haha here goes nothing..

535, nobody wants them, are a little rarity to be honest...everybody chose the 540 over them so Bmw didnt make as many. 540`s do not feel fast due to the size and comfort factor you just dont notice. You wouldnt have fun in the 4l , just purely for luxury..although they aint very luxurious as times are changing fast in the motor world.. I.e you would have an automatic....very hard to shift it how you want to, probably struggle to spin the wheels up in the dry. So more of a grown ups car.

As on to the technical side of things. The M60/2 V8 is a cracking engine....but if something goes wrong expect major labour costs as they are a pig to work with. Common problems include throttle body seizing up, your general misfires, air leaks , also suffer alot of overheating problems, failure of the secondary waterpump, header tanks exploding. Expect high service costs , they hold 7.5l of oil, 8 spark plugs etc....

Then onto the general car, again made quite well but other commons include, rear lower ball joints worn, rear arm ball joints wearing, anti roll bar links worn, rear broken road springs, front brake reactor bushes wearing, all these contribute to uneven wear on those massive tyres,. Gearbox problems arise all the time which end in either a new gearbox or reconditioned unit. Watch out for electronic problems, elec seats, dash illum, faulty monitors.

The e36 328 may be a slower car but if you are after fun then go with it. Its not slow as the VANOS keeps you flying when you nail it, plus it`ll hold the corners better and you have the option of some added fun with asc turned OFF.

Look around and companies will offer a remap on these 328`s too.

Personally stay clear from e46`s unless you go for a 2.8, 3l or m3. Because if you are after one for fun then a 2.3/5 aint going to blow your pants off. Nice ride otherwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,686 Posts
IMO the E34`s are one of the best cars bmw have built due to the fact they are bombproof and suffered minimal problems, cant say that about all these modern cars now, 3 years old and major problems arise. But again times have moved on and people dont want to be seen driving an older car.

E34 M5, not a fan of these, again with the mpowers they are only nice if you pelt it. Correct me if im wrong but they built a 3.4 and a 3.6? or a 3.6 and a 3.8, or a 3.5 + 3.8? i canny remember. now the only one worth having would be the more powerful one,the lower one couldnt pull skin off a banana. Quite rare to find a nice one without accident damage too.

Oh and stay away from the LUXURIOUS MONDENO!!! (Shaguar) Trust me. They have nothing on an E39. Could you live with an exagerated Ford? Same key/fob, interior buttons, ford plastered over tacky parts. nasty designed. I could go on forever
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,686 Posts
E34 M5, not a fan of these, again with the mpowers they are only nice if you pelt it. Correct me if im wrong but they built a 3.4 and a 3.6? or a 3.6 and a 3.8, or a 3.5 + 3.8? i canny remember.
3.6 and 3.8...though both weren't that slow surely? [:p]

Never driven one but have always thought the E34 was a proper BMW

Original E34 M5: 3.6 315 BHP / 265 ft Lb .... 0-60 in 6.3

E34 M5 Evo: 3.8 335 BHP / 275 ft Lb .... 0-60 in 5.8

6spd Box in the later cars too. Evo had the turbine wheels...

Posted Image
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,686 Posts
Lol Mikedav, as you know i tend to exagerate a bit . By all means its not a slow car its just the 3.8 abliterates it!! (not exagerating here)

The only M power car i have driven and would like the privelege to own is the E46 M3. The others in my eyes arent worthy of the M...or they dont stand out as much as the E46...if you know what i mean. As the E46 M3 is a big leap from say a 330...(as you know) the others dont seem like such a big leap..and tend to go downhill for me as you loose out as the rides are harsh and noisey in a bad way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just so you know..

My current thoughts are towards

Seat Leon 1.8T Cupra (180bhp) with black leathers 51 reg

Skoda Octavia VRS (180bhp) half leather, 02 reg (quite new!)

I'm thinking 180bhp would be enough to give me the thrills and I think a smaller car would allow me to enjoy the back-road driving more (rather than a 4litre V8)

But as I said... I change my mind every day! Thoughts on these 2? Affordable thrills? Would they feel slow?
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top