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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting a car in about a year and I just drove a 330i sedan with the sport and lux packages and I was very impressed. However, I'm also considering getting a used (2-3 year old) 540i as opposed to a new 3 series. However, the dealer had no 540's in stock and is expecting to get one several weeks from now. I was just wondering if anyone had experience driving a 540 that owns a 3 series now. The 540 is obviously bigger, but how does it compare to a 330 in terms of suspension, acceleration, or overall handling responsiveness. Also, how do 3 series sedan owners feel about the amount of interior room they have? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks

Mike
 

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as you know 5 series are slightly bigger handling to a 3series is a lil sloppy, but your going to change it anyways and for accel. its damn good. i would pick the 5 then change the suspension.
 

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They are both great cars. I guess if gas mileage is not important get the 540i it is awsome. I test drove a 1 year old 540i 6-spd it was heaven but the price was also so sky high ;)
 

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I would take the 540i but the only thing that would concern me a bit is the re-design that is coming up. I think the 540i is twice the car that a 330 is. It will be worth the money as long as you don't mind having a dated car soon.
 

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I'd go for the 330i, due to a number of factors:

1. Resale value, 5-Series is being redesigned (expect resale to take a dive)

2. Performance, while the 540i is faster it is also heavier. IMO, a bit too heavy to be agile.

3. Newer body style, the 3-Series won't be redesigned for another few yrs (next 3-Series not due until 06 model yr) while the 5-Series won't look as "fresh" once the redesigned models start appearing.
 

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I own both. The 540i I have is Sport/Prem/6 spd and the 330 is a ci (sport suspension). The 540i has gobs of torque and refined road manners. You'll feel the road a little less than a 330 and it has a lot of room. It is a great cruising car with nice amenities. The steering of the 540 (recirc ball I think) has a softer feel - less feel of connection to the road - but not sloppy in any way.

The 330ci is nice in that it has better connection to the road through the seat and steering. I can feel what the car is doing much better than the 540. The car is more tossable than the 540 - not that the 540 is a slouch - it isn't.

For cruising - the 540. For having fun with excellent road feel - the 330 with sport suspension.
 

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this is the same decesion i will face in a year or two...if i go with the 330i i will mod the crap out of it... but if i go with the 540i i will keep it mostly stock maybe M--package what the price going to be on the new body style? can you get the 540i with the M5 suspension?
 

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yikes... if you search under my name "E46Supra" I had a similar choice...330ci SP vs 540i/6 SP

I think I made the right one.

SAVE FOR A E46 M3!!!

:thumbup: :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
1. Resale value, 5-Series is being redesigned (expect resale to take a dive)
aha!- I plan on getting the car after the redesign, so I'll be buying it after that wonderful extra price drop that occurs after a new body style comes along. I've been looking at some ads online and i can get one a couple of years old for like 41 or 43, which is about the price of a new loaded 330. I'm looking at keeping the car for the long run, so the larger, more cruising-friendly 5 series might be better suited to my taste several years from now. However I am in my younger/sportier phase right now, so a quick handling car would be really nice. Plus if i keep the 5 for however many years, it might look REAL old by the end of my ownership. what a complex decision.

btw- the new Rolls Royce has a little switch activated motor that retracts your "Flying Lady" hood ornament so that bitter passerby cant snap it off. Damn, wha artful engineering.

here's a picture of the new Rolls ornament approved by the new BMW ownership- http://thehold1999.tripod.com/dec99/hoodornament.html
 
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