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Pre-2014 BMW 3-Series Overview And Best Price Tips
Potential older model 3-Series buyers can use this information to help identify which models may be the best fit as well as how to then purchase at the best possible price ... and yes, even at wholesale. Here's some background information to help you narrow down your choices.
BMW redesigned its most popular vehicle for the 2006 model year with still more power and new styling, also adding a new premium compact sedan as well as a new wagon. BMW's iDrive control system was also added as an option. The 2006 3-Series design, for both the sedan and wagon, was 1.4 inches longer in wheelbase, 2.2 inches longer in overall length, and 3 inches wider than its predecessor. This fifth generation of 3-Series was produced through the 2013 model year.
All 2006+ sedans and wagons have an inline 3.0 liter six-cylinder engine, with all-wheel drive standard on wagons and available as an option on sedans. AWD models get the "xi" suffix designation. The others are rear-wheel drive.
BMW's 325i and 325xi models are equipped with 215 horsepower engines, as opposed to the 184 hp in the last generation's 2.5 liter six-cylinder. Wagons are available only as the 325xi.
The 3-Series 330i and 330xi models boosted power to 255 horsepower (an additional 30 over the earlier version). For all models, a six-speed manual transmission is standard, with an optional six-speed automatic.
Standard features on all of the new generation 3-Series sedans include sunroof, traction control, antiskid control, front torso side airbags, and both front and rear head-protecting tubular side airbags. Wagons have a larger "panoramic" sunroof. Also standard are a tire-pressure monitor, run-flat tires, and dual-zone automatic climate control.
Steering-linked xenon headlights are standard on 330 models and optional on the 325s. The Sport Package option includes a sport suspension and 17 inch tires (replacing 16 inch on 325s) or 18 inch tires on 330 models (replacing 17 inch).
Other available optional features include Active Steering (electronically varies steering ratio and assist), navigation, leather interior, heated front seats, rear obstacle detection, satellite radio, adaptive cruise control (maintains a set following distance), keyless ignition, and BMW Assist emergency and concierge service.
Coupes and convertibles, however, remained unchanged until a redesign for the 2007 model year.
Safety features are also ample. Standard safety equipment on the 2007 BMW 3 Series, for example, includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, dynamic brake control, run-flat tires, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. The 3 Series convertible is not equipped with the side curtains but has a rollover protection system.
1999 - 2005 Generation:
The 3-Series got roomier and added new features. Four-door sedans also debuted in the 1999 323i and 328i. The 323i was equipped with a 2.5 liter engine while the 328i retained its 2.8 liter. A manual shift transmission was standard, with an optional five-speed automatic for these model years.
Standard features included traction control, Cornering Brake Control and six airbags for the front passenger. Rear side-impact airbags were a new option, as was Park Distance Control (beeped to signal an approaching object when in reverse).
No matter which model you choose, whether, the current generation or the still front-running 1999 - 2005 generation, the 3 Series sports a world-class suspension with steering and braking capabilities that provide total confidence (and lots of fun) whether cruising the highway or maneuvering challenging twisty back roads. And careful shopping will reveal relatively lower mileage vehicles still exist.
And with the many features available through the years, it is likely you can find a used 3-Series model with just what you are looking for. And we can suggest some ways to help you save when buying one.
How To Buy At The Best Possible Price:
There are actually several different ways to buy a used 3-Series at the lowest price, and even at wholesale. You can click on the links to each of the following methods to get the specific instructions.
In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.