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Old 08-04-2009, 09:03 PM   #1
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Audi A4, Mercedes CLK, or BMW 328i?

Yes, this has nothing to do with a Boxster, but I wanted some opinions because my sister just got a job and now needs a car to get there.

She's looking for a used, 18-24k region. She said since she already can drive my Boxster, she isn't interested in a convertible or 2 seater. So we narrowed it down to those three.

I like the BMW best because it's the remodeled version, therefore has more standard equipment such as an AUX port which is pretty important as my sister lives in her Ipod. That plus I hear the 3 series is quite a nice car to drive.

Just wanted to know what you would go for and why. The A4 is going to be the last generation, which I hear has nasty electrical problems. Not sure on that though. As for the CLK, I think it's a nice car but my sister doesn't like the interior too much (she doesn't look wood apparently).

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Old 08-04-2009, 09:30 PM   #2
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In that price range, why a 328 over a 330? And it's probably over the top, but she could even get an M3 in that price range.

She could easily have this for 18k (330i)
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeph
In that price range, why a 328 over a 330? And it's probably over the top, but she could even get an M3 in that price range.

She could easily have this for 18k (330i)
I don't think the engine is her priority. The 328 is cheaper and she will be just as happy with it.

Now I'd get an M3 over those, but this isn't my money.

Also, did that generation of 3 series come with Ipod integration? At least an AUX port? I think that's the biggest pull for getting a new generation 3 series, my sister isn't even that happy with BMW anyway in terms of how it looks.
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:28 AM   #4
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Big thumbs up on the '06 325i / '07 328i. My 77 yr old father has an '07 328xi "sportwagon" and absolutely loves it. I've driven it many times and have often thought to myself, "This car would be perfect if it had stick." He regularly gets 22-23 mpg in everyday driving - not driving like a Grandpa, although he is one - and up to 29 highway. It's a great balance of sportiness and economy and a phenomenal value. You really can't go wrong.

My brother bought a 30k mile '06 330xi sedan last fall after selling me his '02 Boxster S (wife said the Box must go). After driving the 330 many times, I don't think the ~$3k price premium over the 325/328 is worth it; the added power just isn't that noticeable. A well optioned 325/328 should have everything you need.

Of the cars you mentioned only the 3 series is on Consumer Reports recommended list for reliability, if that matters to your sister.
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:33 AM   #5
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I recommend some form of warranty on all of these cars. Each has had persistent issues, BMW and Audi with Auto trans and Mercedes with electrical in general.

Gotta love the 328i though. I am looking for a manual trans E46 as we speak.

Good luck.
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:45 AM   #6
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Why a German car? She'll have a more trouble-free experience with a Toyota or Honda and in that price range, a newer model as well. I'm even reading really good things about the Fusion and Malibu, which could be purchased new in that price range.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:10 AM   #7
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Are you considering an e46 or e90 3 series?
You can get more options (NAV, heated seats, etc) & the same performance chararistics in a G35/37 sedan for the same price as a 330. BMW has very limited options standard nickles & dimes you for every option.

That roundel is an expensive status symbol...and 3 series are ubiquitous

The 335 on the other hand....
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:15 AM   #8
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iPod

If you're concerned about iPod integration:
As far as I know the AUX port to connect your iPod is an option so the model year alone does not gurantee you the AUX port

However: look here: http://www.bavariansoundwerks.com/ where you can but very nice aftermarket iPod / Phone / Sat Radio integration for BMW (I just ordered the iPod integration and the Sat Radio from them for my new X3)
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:38 AM   #9
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I have to say that on Saturday, I drove an E46 325i sedan with a 5 speed manual trans. For a sedan, this seemed to me to just hit the spot. Great handling, comfy and quiet.

IMHO
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:06 PM   #10
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I think we are sticking to the A4. My sister likes how it looks, and we have driven it when I sent my Box to the stealership for a repair.

As for Ipod integration, she is planning to get one of those FM converter things that transmits an FM signal to your radio. It'll be good enough for her liking.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:44 PM   #11
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p-car and audi driver

I have both and all I can say about the A6 twin turbo with quatro...is more parts, more problems. It is a nice car but go with an extended warranty.

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