buy a 2002 BMW 3 series or 2003 Subaru WRX

Scooby2000

Distinguished Member
Ok got a budget of just 2-3k and no more, I had a 1999 Subaru turbo and loved it but old scoobs cost a fortune to run and it's hard to find one in good nick for my budget.
My brother has an 04 with ppp and its fun but costs a lot in insurance and tax, also a bit cheap inside, I loved my scoobs leather seats and would like a quieter ride.

I was thinking of an Audi A4 but can't get a decent one for the money and BMs are more fun to drive and at my budget look better.
The 318i is a great looking car and very affordable, problem is its less powerful than a modified Rover I once had:rolleyes:. After having a 2ltr turbo scoob I think I'll miss having the power on tap, but then Im guessing it'll still be fun with better handling?.

Now thinking of going 2002 325i instead of 03 318 as it's still affordable, the coupe styling looks good and it has some poke all be it still less than the scooby.


Thoughts, anybody had these cars?
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
I've got a E46 330D saloon. Depending on mileage, you may need to do some repairs.

I'm on 121k now, and it needs some suspension stuff refreshing.

 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
I've had a 2000 E46 from new & couldn't recommend buying one as old as 2002. Apart from general electrical gremlins there wasn't a mark on my bodywork two years ago. Now just about every panel has rust bubbles & it's broken through on one wheel arch. My former business partner also has one of the same age & it's the same story with his.

Also at that age you could be one major repair away from costing more to fix than replace.

Off topic but if anyone knows a cheap & cheerful body repairer around north Essex/south Suffolk I'd appreciate a PM.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Buy one made after 1st Jan 2004 and you get a 12 year rust warranty :smashin:

Had my 2 front wings replaced FOC by BMW only 2 weeks ago.
 

djcla

Distinguished Member
My 2000 330d lasted a year of ownership before I sold it.. Rust on arches, suspension stuff, callipers etc. started to cost me a fortune.
 

MedMick

Active Member
I picked up an 03 wrx sti last month. What a fun car to drive. Puts a smile on my face everytime I drive it! Not the cheapest to run, and not the best looking (this one is black with gold alloys and pink writing!) But its got character
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
If you do go E46 have a look at 330i. The difference in fuel consumption to a 325i or even a 320i will be negligible & may be cheaper to buy, as buyers don't necessarily understand this.
 

Scooby2000

Distinguished Member
Cheers chaps:smashin:

Hmm problem is my budget has been cut in half from 5k to 2.5, do can't afford a newer BM sadly. I had decided on a 3series but now I hear about problems I'll need to re-think.

Classic subarus are a known entity to me as I had my baby for 7 wonderful years.
Had to sell it for 550 after I list my job, it was running fine but ideally needed about a k spending on it as it was still the original engine and gearbox. Amazing cars, apart from thin paint they're bullet proof if you get a good one.

Guess I could look for an unmolested low mile 2000 UK turbo for around 2k. Don't arf cost when they go wrong though and insurance for me is around 500 a year...arghh its tempting....
 

Scooby2000

Distinguished Member
If you do go E46 have a look at 330i. The difference in fuel consumption to a 325i or even a 320i will be negligible & may be cheaper to buy, as buyers don't necessarily understand this.
Problem is budget, I was looking at a 2003-04 318i but they lack any sort of power.

Also looking at Audi but again its hard to get anything decent for my budget.
I'm asking a lot for my money I think.
 

Scooby2000

Distinguished Member
Well decided on a BMW 325 coupe sport for 2k, going to look and maybe buy on Friday.

Any advise on what to look for? it's an 02 with 118000 on the clock, full kit with fill leather interior. Any specific tells to look for engine wise? Thinking of getting an AA check done but may save the money as its with a decent local(ish) trader.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
At 118k miles, you're going to need to check all bushes and give it a thorough test drive to make sure it pulls in all the gears, especially if its an autobox.

Cooling system is usually overhauled at around 100k miles, check to see if its been done.

Check previous MOTs, make sure the mileages all add up.

Make sure the service history checks out, should be Oil Service, inspection I, Oil Service, Inspection II, Oil Service, etc etc. servicing is roughly every 15-18k.

Check shocks for any leakages, its probably on original shocks. Mine (original) have started to leak at 122k miles.

And don't forget your HPI check. E46's are at that age that if they're involved in an accident, they're usually written off, so check for Cat C or Cat D status.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Check wheel arches for any hint of paint bubbling as it will only get worse.

Have the fault codes read. Intermittent faults may simply have been cleared down rather than fixed.

Listen to it idling with the AC on & see if there are any odd noises.

Check the climate control fan works & changes speed responsively.

Check for signs of pulling to one side, both when driving & braking.

At that mileage it may well be due an Inspection II, which is the most expensive.

If it's an auto, drive slowly up through the gears & check for clean changes with no sign of "hunting" between gears. The boxes are supposedly sealed for life but many (including mine) needed a fluid change around 100k.
 

Scooby2000

Distinguished Member
That great advise and info, thanks chaps really appreciate it.:thumbsup:

Its a manual car, I love to drive so auto seems a waist of time to me, love using the gears to control the car.:)

Service 1 and 2? Guessing that's major services, Im deliberately buying over a 100000 in the hope any major service is done, 118000 seems quite good for the money some are as high as 150000, my limit is 120000, if it was at the top of my budget Id want 80-100000 and would look for a few quid of to cover any major service.

The guy said he has it in for a clean and to fix some minor trim damage, its 'We sell any car' in Peterborough if anybody knows them.

I'll be going with my sceptical mind switched on, I know cars at this age can be a false economy, my original budget was 6k which would have got me a lower mile car but given my scooby had 190000 miles on the same engine and gearbox I know 118000 should be fine as long as I check it properly.

Thanks again chaps, if I buy it I'll post a pic.:)
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
If its been registered (or is it manufactured?) after 1st Jan 2004, it'll come with a 12 warranty for corrision. :thumbsup:

I've had 2 new wings, and boot lid under this warranty.
 

Scooby2000

Distinguished Member
If its been registered (or is it manufactured?) after 1st Jan 2004, it'll come with a 12 warranty for corrision. :thumbsup:

I've had 2 new wings, and boot lid under this warranty.
04 is outside my budget sadly, looking at 02-03, budgets 2-3k though this is 1800 which is great, 2500 is my comfort zone. What's insurance like on these? My scooby was about 580 a year fully comp, guessing this will be around the same or a little less.
Im 39 with no accidents, was with Aplan with the Subaru, thinking of going back to them.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
i paid £720 last year, this year will be £500.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
What's insurance like on these?.
Too many variables, as I pay around £200 with Direct Line on my 320i.

Google should tell you the comparative insurance groups for the two cars. But I'd still get some quotes before you commit to buy, just in case.
 

jaipal2004

Well-known Member
OP - I'm sure you know anyway but Scoobynet has some good bargains on it and some sound advice from the Subaru perspective :)

I still use it even having sold my Scooby a few months back !
 

Scooby2000

Distinguished Member
OP - I'm sure you know anyway but Scoobynet has some good bargains on it and some sound advice from the Subaru perspective :)

I still use it even having sold my Scooby a few months back !
Yeah not been in there much, Im JPF on there, been a member since 2004 I think, seem to be on here do much now I don't visit there often.
Actually sold my classic on there last year to a member.

Ok chaps Mrs did a compare and looking at around 500 fully comp, 80 quid less than the scooby. Waiting on Aplan to get back to me, hope to get it to around 400 fully comp.

Unless its a pig Ill be buying it tmrw, guy just rang to say its passed the MOT, just needed a new tire which he's put on. No tax but no biggy.
Can't wait to see it, hope it is a good one, been told the same before and the car was a **** heap.
 

Scooby2000

Distinguished Member
Well gone and got myself a BMW 325ci M coupe sport:) 1800 quid 4 owners, 118000 miles and little history. It has got a new MOT, new tyre and three nearly new, had new front discs put on and it looks tidy underneath.

Two areas with paint blisters, couple of paint scuffs, interior largely good with worn gear stick and door handles but seats in good condition, staying wheel is like new and mist the trim looks fine. BMW alloys are scuffed and theres a wire hanging down at the front of the car(didn't see it when looking) no idea what the wires for, all the lights seem fine and it passed its MOT.

Rear discs my need replacing at some point but seem fine, pulls in all gears, though seems a little slow initially compared to the scooby. No leaks engine runs good with no stutters, temp is stable half way, no smoke from the exaughst, electrics all fine though auto on the air con won't turn off now.

Two things I want for it is a CD player and to know what the steering wheel controls do.

Loving the feel of the car, smooth and firm, feels solid and interior has a really nice look and feel.
I miss the scooby burble and the turbo, also rear wheel drive is new to me, overall though I think I made the right choice.:)
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
That loose wire will be outside temp probe or horn.

The steering wheel buttons; on the right is cruise control, on the left stereo and bluetooth hands free.
 

Scooby2000

Distinguished Member
To get the AC off Auto, just press the fan speed up/down.
Oh right right lol kept pressing the blooming button and it wouldn't turn off again lol.
Cheers mjn I'll have a mess about with it all today and see what's what.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Here is a good little site for you. Input your VIN, and it details all the parts used to build your car :smashin:

Welcome, BMW fans!
 

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