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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BIMMERPOST Universal Forums General Automotive (non-BMW) Talk + Photos/Videos Have to sell the 1er and get something cheaper - Any suggestions?
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      12-11-2011, 10:29 PM   #45
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GTI, S2K, EVO, WRX.... or maybe a 350Z
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      12-11-2011, 10:46 PM   #46
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So what did you decide on?
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      12-11-2011, 11:38 PM   #47
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MINIs are great, I have owned two, and they were so much fun. Practical in terms of safety, economy and all weather handling as well. Safety-wise, MINIs should outperform most other cars because they are German-engineered. The other alternative in the sub $18000 range would be a used BMW with about 50,000 miles. Late 90's and early 2000's cars are lighter than the current models, and easily as fun as a new 1 Series. I had a 1992 3 series and a 1996 Z3, both of which were reliable, and great cars. The other car you might find in this range is a Z4, which is a little slower than the S2000, but spacious, efficient and quick. Good luck with your purchase. Take time to do some test drives!
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      12-11-2011, 11:39 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by amancuso View Post
So what did you decide on?
I think it may be down to an s2000 or a 350z, although I've been reading up on the numerous issues the 350z has had over its tenure and makes me a little uneasy. Then again, every car has its faults; however, I won't have a warranty where I can just bring in my car whenever, for whatever.

I may be over thinking this decision, but that's what I do...
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      12-13-2011, 02:31 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by jaf89f View Post
I think it may be down to an s2000 or a 350z, although I've been reading up on the numerous issues the 350z has had over its tenure and makes me a little uneasy. Then again, every car has its faults; however, I won't have a warranty where I can just bring in my car whenever, for whatever.

I may be over thinking this decision, but that's what I do...
To chime in as a current S2000 owner (looking for an E82), the S2K is the PERFECT car... for weekends. After going through GTI's, Civic Si's, and A3's, the S2000 was definitely the most fun to drive but is an absolute logistical headache for every day life. Overnight stays/trips with a passenger require extra planning (i.e. do I really need the spare tire or can I save space?) that you wouldn't think twice about with a normal car. When I bought it, I thought that I could work around its practicality (or lack thereof), but runs to the grocery store can even lead to sticky situations if you're carrying any additional items/passenger.

I would strongly suggest looking into an R32 or the like if you are able to find one with low miles. If you'd like further opinions on the Si (2008 sedan) or GTI ('03 "20AE" or '06), let me know!
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      12-13-2011, 01:42 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltsfan619 View Post
To chime in as a current S2000 owner (looking for an E82), the S2K is the PERFECT car... for weekends. After going through GTI's, Civic Si's, and A3's, the S2000 was definitely the most fun to drive but is an absolute logistical headache for every day life. Overnight stays/trips with a passenger require extra planning (i.e. do I really need the spare tire or can I save space?) that you wouldn't think twice about with a normal car. When I bought it, I thought that I could work around its practicality (or lack thereof), but runs to the grocery store can even lead to sticky situations if you're carrying any additional items/passenger.

I would strongly suggest looking into an R32 or the like if you are able to find one with low miles. If you'd like further opinions on the Si (2008 sedan) or GTI ('03 "20AE" or '06), let me know!
If you have direct experience with either of those cars and you don't mind saying a few things about each, please do. I'm very indecisive and need all the advice that I can get.
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      12-13-2011, 02:39 PM   #51
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I had a 2000 GTI VR6. This was before they started making the R32 and my car was fun to drive but it had a bug that would not go away. If it wasn't for that being faulty, I would probably like VW a lot more. I came from a Civic and never had a problem. I drove it around for 123,000 miles then sold it and got my e82.
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      12-13-2011, 02:43 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaf89f View Post
If you have direct experience with either of those cars and you don't mind saying a few things about each, please do. I'm very indecisive and need all the advice that I can get.
I drove an S2000 for a few months and can echo that while it is a fun driver's car it is not practical as a daily driver for all the reasons mentioned. What it does have going for it as a daily driver is that it is very docile until you put your foot in it, but that is also what I hated about it. No low end torque. In that sense it reminded me of my '01 Prelude which I had to make scream at me to get the performance it was capable of. I know the engine of an S2000 is very happy at very high RPMs, but let the RPMS drop and it falters and keeping the RPMs up constantly to make the car perform is work. It wasn't my kind of car.
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      12-13-2011, 02:59 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by jaf89f View Post
What are the issues with the VQ engine? I just test drove a 2005 Enthusiast 350z that had a Nismo exhaust on it. The exhaust note was intoxicating and it handled extremely well compared to my non-sport 128i and on a similar level as an s2000.

I have not been able to find any subarus or gti's in my price range near me. I may have to try out the mustang as that car never really crossed my mind. Thanks for the input.
I had a 2003 VQ35DE engine, which has less problems than the later VQ35HR engine, however mine had the same problem that the HR engine had...oil consumption issues. I was not the owner for the entire life of the vehicle, so it is certainly possible I got an abused engine, but I sold mine long before I wanted to because the blowby was extremely severe for the miles I had on it. I also had a strange issue where the engine sometimes refused to start - this really isn't an engine issue, it's an issue with the security keys.

It's been about 2 years since I had my 350z, but when I did, people that experimented with any boost later were on forums talking about how they were rebuilding their engine. The VQ engine is a great engine, but it's not mod friendly in my book. If you are content with a (very expensive) low-boost, properly setup, then you might be able to get a little bit of power, but the cost alone will scare you away. The other problem is the manual transmission seemed to give guys a lot of headaches with the extra power. If you run too much power through it, they break as well. I don't know what the specifics were because I had an auto. Those things aside, I ran mine for about 3 years and loved it (I just didn't mod it). If you were going to get one, I would recommend going with a 2005 or up (why?) because the 2003 - 2004.5 had suspension issues that caused the car to ride like it was on hydraulics. I had to spend $600 on a set of tokiko struts because the factory ones are not valved correctly. On top of that, in 2005 Nissan switched to a dual-piston front caliper, and a roughly 1" larger diameter front rotor. The early models stopped fine, but would warp the rotors way too quickly. Thankfully they are swappable so if you can only go with an early model, you can swap them over without replacing major components.

If you are going with a stick, then you might want the "HR" engine because it has a little more HP up high (Sacrifices tq a bit) as well as a higher redline. If you are going with an auto, I would stick with the "DE" engine because the higher tq (as well as lower-rpm tq) leads itself better for the auto.

Lets see...what else...

- The tires are different sizes, and if you try to replace them with a square setup, the traction control will drive you nuts. You need to keep them different sizes.
- Typical first mod is an intake spacer, that yields you a few HP.
- Tracked cars run into oil temp issues like we do. They have a oil "cooler" that dumps oil heat into the cooling system.
- Base cars come with Halogen lights, so if you want Xenons, get yourself an "Enthusiast" at minimum.
- The VQ engine is hard on oil, also, it likes to keep about half a quart in the sump even when you drain it. I ran a diesel oil (Shell Rotella -T6 5w-40) and the car ran much better with it.
- I found when I was looking at used ones, that the seat fabric wore very quickly. I ended up getting a "Touring" car because I wanted leather (It held up better)
- The power window motors are the HPFP for the car. Expect to replace them every two years. It's not too hard to do, but costs you about $150 every time.
- My car had the Bose sound system. It was not very good, and made upgrading the stereo more difficult because the factory amp would re-q the system depending on the ambient sounds in the car.

Hope this helps!
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      12-13-2011, 04:47 PM   #54
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I daily drove 2 s2000's and loved every second of it. If you like the car, it is doable without much compromise. I know I will own a 3rd s2000 one day as a second car, but the two I've owned were only cars
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      12-13-2011, 05:27 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltsfan619 View Post
To chime in as a current S2000 owner (looking for an E82), the S2K is the PERFECT car... for weekends. After going through GTI's, Civic Si's, and A3's, the S2000 was definitely the most fun to drive but is an absolute logistical headache for every day life. Overnight stays/trips with a passenger require extra planning (i.e. do I really need the spare tire or can I save space?) that you wouldn't think twice about with a normal car. When I bought it, I thought that I could work around its practicality (or lack thereof), but runs to the grocery store can even lead to sticky situations if you're carrying any additional items/passenger.

I would strongly suggest looking into an R32 or the like if you are able to find one with low miles. If you'd like further opinions on the Si (2008 sedan) or GTI ('03 "20AE" or '06), let me know!
I don't think a 08 R32 would be less than 20K I sold mine last year to the dealership for 22K (the KBB value was around 25K).

I would give a try to a Miata, bullet proof, tons of fun and reliable (plus they hold their value fairly well)
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      12-13-2011, 06:21 PM   #56
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Are these cars really available for 10 to 15K? And since all of them will be off warranty, will it really be cheaper than a '08 128i to own, insure and maintain?

One of the reasons I got rid of my '03 E46 was because I was sick of the unexpected $1K to $2K service visits (independent BMW shop too). After 3 of these in one year (to the tune of $6K), I decided I'd rather have a car payment and a low mileage, under warranty car.
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      12-14-2011, 12:12 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaf89f View Post
If you have direct experience with either of those cars and you don't mind saying a few things about each, please do. I'm very indecisive and need all the advice that I can get.
No problem!

2008 Honda Si- Very, very good daily driver with a reasonable amount of space. Like 2012_135i said, you really have to get these Honda's thing into the high RPM's to have any fun, though. Mods: Intake, exhaust, basic suspension upgrades

2003 VW GTI 20th Anniversary Edition- The most fun I've had aside from the S2K. Very practical with torque throughout the RPM range. Mods: Intake, diverter valve, downpipe, exhaust, chipped ECU

2006 Audi A3- Very reliable until it hit 50k. Once 50k hit, the coolant system failed along with several other things. Build quality (chipping paint on interior pieces, etc) would prevent me from recommending an A3.

Experience with:

2003 350z (friend's): Very fun to drive, but the clutch is too long, light, and finicky. The owner's throwout bearing in the clutch went out and it sounds like a can of marbles when he's idling (he claims it is a common issue as well but I can't confirm).

Last edited by boltsfan619; 12-14-2011 at 02:36 PM..
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      12-14-2011, 10:05 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkoral View Post
Are these cars really available for 10 to 15K? And since all of them will be off warranty, will it really be cheaper than a '08 128i to own, insure and maintain?

One of the reasons I got rid of my '03 E46 was because I was sick of the unexpected $1K to $2K service visits (independent BMW shop too). After 3 of these in one year (to the tune of $6K), I decided I'd rather have a car payment and a low mileage, under warranty car.
Yeah that's why it's sort of a gamble. I've already had a ton of issues with my 08 128i and warranty is up soon, so I'm definitely getting out of the car no matter what.
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      12-14-2011, 10:06 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkoral View Post
Are these cars really available for 10 to 15K? And since all of them will be off warranty, will it really be cheaper than a '08 128i to own, insure and maintain?

One of the reasons I got rid of my '03 E46 was because I was sick of the unexpected $1K to $2K service visits (independent BMW shop too). After 3 of these in one year (to the tune of $6K), I decided I'd rather have a car payment and a low mileage, under warranty car.
Sorry for another post, but my insurance will go down on average between most of these cars by $45 a month, and my payment will go down by $100 so that's a lot of savings in my book.
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      12-14-2011, 09:20 PM   #60
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Take a look at the RX8. Chitty gas mileage, but truly a GREAT daily driver that compels and inspires you to drive "sporty". Used ones can be had for cheap. BTW, mine's for sale!
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      12-15-2011, 08:42 AM   #61
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you want economical? You're trying to save money?

an S2000 is NOT the way to go (NO practicality, pricey tires, parts, though it may be reliable)

a 350Z is Fugly. and you'd be going through tires, again...

a VW is much cheaper. to run, to maintain. plus you can put shit in it.

Why would you get rid of the 1er, for something 'more affordable', and then get an S2000 or 350Z....that's just retarded.

whatever saving you get in insurance and payment, will just go to maintaining these older cars. So it's a trade-off.

Good luck. I say get a 2 year old GTi. Not a looker, but fun and practial and cheap. Period
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      12-15-2011, 08:49 AM   #62
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I would not recommend a mini cooper S out of warranty. Costs to maintain are just as bad as BMW. We dumped our 2010 due to carbon buildup and costly maintenance. It was a fun little car to drive though.

Good Luck man!
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      12-15-2011, 08:51 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire007 View Post
you want economical? You're trying to save money?

an S2000 is NOT the way to go (NO practicality, pricey tires, parts, though it may be reliable)

a 350Z is Fugly. and you'd be going through tires, again...

a VW is much cheaper. to run, to maintain. plus you can put shit in it.

Why would you get rid of the 1er, for something 'more affordable', and then get an S2000 or 350Z....that's just retarded.

whatever saving you get in insurance and payment, will just go to maintaining these older cars. So it's a trade-off.

Good luck. I say get a 2 year old GTi. Not a looker, but fun and practial and cheap. Period
go vw and let's put you in a money pit when it comes to repairs.

Dude, the s2000 goes down as one of the sports cars requiring the least amount of maintenance. In the 2.5 years I had my ap1, I had to do 0 to it, not even brake pads. Same story with my ap2.
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      12-15-2011, 09:03 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by 1SerieStud View Post
go vw and let's put you in a money pit when it comes to repairs.

Dude, the s2000 goes down as one of the sports cars requiring the least amount of maintenance. In the 2.5 years I had my ap1, I had to do 0 to it, not even brake pads. Same story with my ap2.
If you had read my post, you'd see i mentioned it could was reliable. but it's totally impossible to live with on a daily basis, unless you're a single dude that eats out all the time. forget putting anything in it.

i've had nothing but good VWs.

if the OPer wants true reliability and low cost. get a friggin Civic, or a Toyota.
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      12-15-2011, 10:06 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Spitfire007 View Post
If you had read my post, you'd see i mentioned it could was reliable. but it's totally impossible to live with on a daily basis, unless you're a single dude that eats out all the time. forget putting anything in it.

i've had nothing but good VWs.

if the OPer wants true reliability and low cost. get a friggin Civic, or a Toyota.
But I am a single dude who does eat out quit often and when I go to the grocery store it is for a weeks worth of stuff around $50 bucks that could easily fit in the s2000.

I know I am taking a gamble with going used, but my car is out of warranty very soon anyways so I would be paying for repairs on my current 1er too. I also do not want to get into a newer same generation 1er because I want to see what the new US version will be like in 1-2 years.

Also, I am trying to have some joy in driving everyday. A civic does not provide that, although i have no experience with the Si version. Furthermore, Toyota hasn't come out with anything inspiring in basically forever. The new FR-S or whatever it is going to be, seems like it will be branded under the Scion name from what I've read, and inevitably will just become a newer version of the boring TC.

So saying all that, I want something that isn't turbo'd and i feel like the best options are the s2000 or 350z at this point, unless something else comes along at my neighborhood dealer that I just can't pass up.
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      12-15-2011, 10:29 AM   #66
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire007 View Post
If you had read my post, you'd see i mentioned it could was reliable. but it's totally impossible to live with on a daily basis, unless you're a single dude that eats out all the time. forget putting anything in it.

i've had nothing but good VWs.

if the OPer wants true reliability and low cost. get a friggin Civic, or a Toyota.
But I am a single dude who does eat out quit often and when I go to the grocery store it is for a weeks worth of stuff around $50 bucks that could easily fit in the s2000.

I know I am taking a gamble with going used, but my car is out of warranty very soon anyways so I would be paying for repairs on my current 1er too. I also do not want to get into a newer same generation 1er because I want to see what the new US version will be like in 1-2 years.

Also, I am trying to have some joy in driving everyday. A civic does not provide that, although i have no experience with the Si version. Furthermore, Toyota hasn't come out with anything inspiring in basically forever. The new FR-S or whatever it is going to be, seems like it will be branded under the Scion name from what I've read, and inevitably will just become a newer version of the boring TC.

So saying all that, I want something that isn't turbo'd and i feel like the best options are the s2000 or 350z at this point, unless something else comes along at my neighborhood dealer that I just can't pass up.
You're a great candidate for an s2000. Get one and never look back. Since you're looking for a used car I'd stay away from a 350z, they are known for oil consumption and tire cupping in the front which is not adjustable. How do I know? I've also owned both a g35 coupe and a g37s coupe. The issue with the newer cars (370z and g37) is the engine - they are very noisy until they lock you in with their own proprietary oil which supposedly fixes the issue, but is way overpriced. Overall they are good cars but I prefer the nimbleness of an s2000 if I had to pick.
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