95 Volskwagen GTI vr6, 95 Saab SE, or 92 BMW 325 is

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Josh Ryan, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. 95 Saab SE

    4 vote(s)
  2. 95 Volkswagen GTI vr6

    8 vote(s)
  3. 92 BMW 325 is

    7 vote(s)
  1. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    New choices! the Acura is out of the running. I'm leaning towards the Saab, but could be talked into any of these cars. The BMW seems a little old to me, but they do seem to hold up really well. What do you all think based on these three choices?

    edit: are BMW's expensive to repair?
  2. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Saab, if the interiors satisfy you(even some 90's models tend to have bit clumsy interior design) and it has reasonable amount of miles.

    The VW sounds you are paying extra for the GTi status(unless you just can't live w/o it), and the BMW is, as far as I know, bit more expensive to maintain.
  3. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Yep, I actually like the Saab interior. With the VW I'd be paying for the v6 engine. I don't want a four cylinder GTI. The BMW also lacks the hatchback that I want.
  4. iplaybass


    Feb 13, 2000
    Houston, TX
    If you like speed, that VR6 is mighty fast. Otherwise, I think you'd like the more managable Saab. It would probably be a better daily driver, since I don't think the GTi is available in an auto. (I could be wrong)
  5. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I should add that I want a manual trans. in any of the cars. I feel weird with no clutch.
  6. Saab all the way!
  7. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    The Saab is the first choice, but there's something about the BMW....
  8. I would be torn between the SAAB and the VW. The BMW is too small, has a tiny boot, is expensive to maintain and has rear wheel drive. In the rainy little country that I live in, the BMW develops a very twitchy tail end - I've had several friends get caught out momentarily when the tail end of their 'ultimate driving machines' have stepped out of line unexpectedly!

    The boy racer in me says VW Golf - but that is also a smallish car (but has the advantage of the hatch). The SAAB is a big comfy car ,and reasonably swift too.

    Nope, the Golf - that's what I'd do. It'll handle probably about the best for most people, will leave the BMW and I think the SAAB in a straight line dash and with the hatch would be big enough for my needs! That's the way I'd go!

    Funny, I've been trying to work out what I want next car wise, and had been set on a Mercedes E300 Turbodiesel - yeah, I know and old man's car. Still think I'll look into them as a serious option. However one of my work colleagues has just picked up an Audi TT, and although way smaller than ther Merc, I'm getting boy racer type twitches...... :D
  9. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I drove the BMW today. I REALLY liked it.
  10. Let me tell you... I really like Saabs. The style and feel is immediately identifiable - I love the quirky looks and ergonomics. They have such character!

    However, after living with an '82 BMW 633CSi on a daily basis for a few months now, I am completely converted. Granted, the 6 series is a VERY different car from the 3 series - the 6 is BMWness to the max, while the 3 is a little more distilled, methinks.

    BMW inline six cylinder engines are some of the most wonderful engines ever produced, period. When properly maintained, they should have no trouble going over 300,000 miles before needing any top end work. The response is silky smooth and the sound is delicious.

    Unfortunely, these cars have gotten a bad rep for eating camshafts and such. They do have some interesting design quirks that, when in proper tune, work wonderfully, however, let them go, and they'll rattle themselves to death. Regular valve adjustments MUST be performed, fluids changed regularly, that sort of thing. If the car's previous owner(s) have kept on top of the regular maintainence, then the car will be fine, as long as you keep up the trend.

    If possible, find a mechanic who knows these engines inside-out and ask him to evaluate the car before you purchase it - there are a number of telltale signs to show an engine has been neglected or abused.

    The drivetrains, especially the manuals, are solid - especially in the 3 series. Nothing feels like a BMW manual transmission when it's been taken care of - the shifts feel clean and precise, with just the right amount of resistance to tell you when you're in gear. Clutches can be a bit heavy, but I've always found them to be quite easy to use.

    As for Johnny BoomBoom's point about rear wheel drive vehicles, he's right on - any rear wheel drive vehicle drives differently than a front drive vehicle. It rains a lot here in Vancouver - it's especailly nasty on the roads after a week or so of no rain - then it rains, and all the oil that's been spilled on the road turns slick... nasty business - I've nearly had the 633CSi kill me a couple of times - but each time, I was really giving it too hard for the conditions, and each time, I was able to catch the rear end before doing any damage.

    Front drive cars are quite safe when you push too hard - they start to understeer - you can let off the gas, and everything'll probably be okay unless you're really pushing too hard, especially in the wet.

    Conversely, when you get a well set-up rear drive car on nice back road or winding highway, nothing compares. The feeling of balance is incredible - when you're really pushing hard, you can steer the front end with the wheel, and the rear end with the throttle. I've never pushed a 3 to its limits, but the 6 is quite happy at 10/10ths once you learn to control the rear end with the throttle. It puts a lot more control in the hands of the driver - you can keep the car balanced at its limits, rather than having the thing lapse into wholesale understeer on you. The only cars that'll really bite you in the butt if you aren't a driving-master are Porsche 911s - having the rear engine back there does some very interesting things with oversteer...

    Anyway... if that BMW has been babied and the mileage is reasonable, go for it. It'll take care of you if you take care of it!

  11. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Thanks Jeff! the BMW checked out, so I put a deposit on it. I have to go sign a few things on Thursday, they repair a scratch on Tuesday, then the car is mine.

    Here it is. Mine is the smaller red one.


  12. Congrats on the car. Boy Racer Red too! Drive carefully and enjoy!:)

    (Watch that tail end when it gets slippy!!!)
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes - I can't understand why BMW have such a good reputation - loads of people I know have had big problems with them - big money to maintain!
  14. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I did the research by checking out parts and comparing them to the prices for parts on my Saab. The prices are comparable. Local BMW shops here are not really any more expensive than others, and my insurance company said it was a good choice in terms of true cost to own. I hope I'm right! You can't go by anecdotal evidence when buying a car, you have to look at the bigger picture, then choose the individual car carefully.
  15. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Now that's a good thing to remember, actually I forgot it totally. The main reason why I didn't get a BMW (80's 500-series IIRC) for my first car was the rear drive. Nothing like a young driver trying to keep his rearpowered car in control on a slippery snowy slope when leaving from traffic lights :rolleyes:

    Latest BMWs have electric traction control though, so they are bit better.
  16. Geeze louise! People really hate rear-drive vehicles around here! Sure hammering a RWD car in the snow is going to get you in trouble... so don't hammer it! Drive smart.

    BMWs sure have gotten a bad rep for expensive repairs - but in my experience, that's because owners often neglect their cars after they come off warranty and don't perform regular maintainence. Also they have had a couple of issues with their larger engines - to wit, the whole Nikasil/Alusil shortblock issue with the early 4 liter V8s, and the horrendous reliability of the early 5 liter V12s. All of that stuff has been ironed out by now, particularly the V12 - WOW. What an engine. If you ever get the chance to even ride in a 7/8 series with a V12... you'll be amazed.

    Either way, ol' M30 and M50 inline six cylinder engines, used in the 3, 5, 6, and 7 series at one time or another, have been around for over 35 years. They've had a long time to fix the original design flaws.

    Can't tell much from the picture... but I hope it looks/feels good! If that thing has been taken care of, it'll keep a mile-wide grin on your face for years and years to come.


  17. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Jeff, I drove it for an hour and just listened to it purr. It was sweet, the thing sounded very tuned. It ran perfectly, smooth idle, even acceleration. It actually did not feel as fast as my SPG, but a glance at the speedo on the on ramp has me thinking it would at least keep up. NO TORQUE STEER!!!!! I'll get some snow tires, throw some weight in the back and drive slow in the weather, I'm not a new driver, just new to RWD.
  18. Josh, sounds sweet so far! It's certainly a big departure from your SPG - an awesome car in its own right. I find BMWs mask their speed a lot better than Saabs, though the 325is isn't exactly the most powerful BMW. It's more about smoothness, and the fuel economy is somewhat better than the 328is. The new 330Ci is ridiculously quick - I can only imagine what an M3 would be like...

  19. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I know I'll miss the SPG, but the rust has won. I'll make myself feel better someday by buying a Viggen.
  20. My Uncle had a Volkswagon. That thing lasted forever, untill he sold it. Then he got a Saab, and man nothing but BS up the wahzooo, and back. And if you drive a BMW people think you are an a$$whole.