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I'm thinking about buying a ti. Ask all your questions about the possible purchase of a ti. Keep in mind, we are biased.

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Old 08-24-2016, 03:35 AM   #1
cjm1219
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Default 318ti or 325xi wagon or x3 or Outback. What should I buy

Hello to the nicest group of BMW peeps on the web! Hope y'all are doing well. Looking for some opinions. I bet you guys have some.

I am kicking myself for selling my clubsport 2.5 years ago. Mostly cuz they seem to be going up in value and because i could really use that car now. I am back in a job that I commute a lot and am missing my little car.

I have been looking around a bit for the a good car to buy but am not finding anything great. Solid car around $4k, or one not so good to fix up $1.5 to $2K. I did get an 92 318is for cheap a year ago and fixed/cleaned it up and made a good chunk of change selling it on. Not nearly as fun of a car as the TI.

My other option besides finding a cheap 318ti to play with as a second car is to pick up a larger wagon to handle all my needs. 4 door, AWD preferred, Manual, Can tow small trailer. I know some of you have good knowledge of other cars. Looking for an opinion.

325xi. Love the car. Found a wagon with manual, which seem to be quit rare. A little scared of maintenance but not sure if I should be. How much more trouble is a E46 over an E36? I loved working on my E36 and was surprised how easy and relatively affordable it was to work on.

X3. I haven't driven one yet. but they are kinda cheap (some under $10K) and come with a 6 speed manual.

Subaru Outback 2005-2009. Probably the most sensible choice although the head gaskets and other maintenance worries a bit. Will I like figuring out how to be a Subaru mechanic as much as I did being a BMW one? And everyone in the NW has one. Any thing else I should be looking for? Sorry for rambling on.

Last edited by cjm1219; 08-24-2016 at 03:36 AM. Reason: formatting
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:01 AM   #2
Mongwit
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Your choices span a wide spectrum! My parents love their Outback but I find it to be ponderous and disconnected on the road. If your taste is for precise handling, the Outback may disappoint. The Outback is in its element when itís on a snowy highway on a ski day. A friend of mine had trouble with his WRX clutch and heard from a shop that Subaru clutches are not be the most robust Ė though one personís experience isnít too telling.

Last year I sold my E46 and still regret the decision. I bought the car through European Delivery and put almost 250,000 miles on. Overall, it was an excellent, dependable car that gave me little trouble. However, the window regulators were terrible and the plastic clips that secure the sunroof shade broke every few years. I had the coolant expansion tank replaced preemptively but never experienced the cooling system problems for which the E46 is infamous. Fixing the sunroof wasnít a terribly difficult task and brake/rotor replacements werenít bad. The ti is my first E36, so I canít compare the relative ease of working on either Ė though the ti sure has a lot more room in the engine bay! The only thing that would give me pause with the E46 youíre looking at is the complication of the AWD.

I donít have any experience with the X3 aside from my E82 having (I believe) the same engine. The X3 is based on the E90, right? If so, expect a reliable car but complicated electronics and a design that seems to say, ďdonít trouble yourself Ė take this to a qualified technician for serviceĒ. Iím disappointed that the E82 even requires a trip to the dealership to ďinitializeĒ a new battery. But X3 with a manual sounds like a rare and compelling choice!

Hard choice Ė but I think you need another ti!
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Old 08-25-2016, 03:46 PM   #3
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Yes, another 318ti maybe calling. It's just finding one. too many automatics. Going to see a good looking silver Mtech in another town this weekend.

The larger wagons(325xi, x3, and outback) are to be my main vehicle as the TI would just be a second commuter, fun car.

The 2005-2009 may not handle like a bmw, but it is surprising sporty and fast. Plus some ground clearance to handle non paved gravel roads. I'm just not sure if I am able to tackle most mechanical on it. I do not like taking my cars to mechanics. Want to take care of everything myself. I think for that reason I am ruling out an X3. E46 might still be ok as the more I read the more it sounds like most things I should be handled.
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Old 08-29-2016, 07:16 PM   #4
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Almost pulled the trigger on a 325xi but then saw a 96 318TI mtech on Craigslist with some potential. Picked it up last night. Needs a good cleaning inside and out among a few other things. I'll get some pictures and post more later.
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:57 AM   #5
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I saw your post about the car. Congratulations!
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