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Thread: Is a 1 or 3 series worth buying?

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    Default Is a 1 or 3 series worth buying?

    Hello from someone who doesn't know a whole lot about BMW's (although I am a big fan).
    Helping my mother find a used car... top of the list at the moment is a manual Golf with the 90TSI engine, which is fairly reliable.
    but, she has seen an E90 3 series at a dealer and loves it. I was also going to introduce her to the 1 series (the second newest generation).

    Firstly, aside from obvious differences, any opinions on 1 vs 3 series?

    Secondly, could anyone comment on reliability, running costs and longevity. Her previous car (a Subaru) had about 280,000km with next to no issues and while I'm not expecting that from a BMW if it's going to be nothing but a money pit, it'll have to be ruled out.

    Thanks!

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    Nobody?

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    ok, very subjective, but the 1 series will feel 'lower' quality than the 3. Plastics, trim, etc.

    For the E90, what year? They had a long running... 2004 to about 2012 from memory.

    An early car could cost quite a bit, with bushings, suspension, and potentially some electrical things that would need replacing.

    I do prefer the 2nd gen of the 1 series much more than the first gen.. They are a fantastic car to drive, but I would say getting in and out of it will be much harder the Golf...

    All depends on what she is after. The 3 series will be much larger to park, will use more petrol, but might feel 'safer' than the smaller cars.

    What are some of her criteria?

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    Criteria I suppose are things like reasonable fuel consumption, safety, nice interior (both in aesthetics and build quality), and reliability. She's come from an 05 Outback which although a bit boring, was nice to drive, good on fuel, practical and unbelievably reliable.

    E90, would probably be looking at 2005-2008 simply due to budget reasons. It seems that you can pick up an 06-07 with under 130,000 on it for about 10k.
    The appeal of a 1 series that I can see is, as you say, lower fuel usage, but I don't know how they compare with reliability.

    With the E90, I've been told that the 325i or 328i are best as they have the straight 6, but most of the ones I can find are the 320i. Are they still a good motor?

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    The 2005-2008 models will have quite bad fuel consumption to the newer models.

    Interior of the 3 series will always be nicer than the one series, as they use 'nicer' plastics etc.

    An 06-07 is quite old (10 years now), so there will be money you will have to spend on the car, irrespective of the Kays that it's gone.. Things like hoses in the engine bay, suspension, steering components etc are common faults that will require fixing.

    I would suggest that you go with as later model as you can, if you want to keep away from mechanical bills in the future...

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    Why do the older models have higher fuel consumption? Do they use different engines or computers or something?

    In regards to maintenance costs... I have no doubt that you'd be right about those sort of components starting to fail on a 10 year old BMW but once they're replaced, they're fine... even on a newer model, the same things will need doing 3 or 4 years down the track. So end result isn't that different...

    Obviously a newer car is preferable, it's just a matter of budget.

    But what I'm trying to find out, regardless of that is... compared with 'traditionally' reliable cars from Japan, are BMW's manageable in terms of runnings costs, or are they only for those who like flushing money down the drain?

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    yeah, the newer models normally have some 'tweaks', could be the cat's they are using, the software, injection types etc... Each year they try and improve on 'economy', but for most, we don't drive the way that the figures want us to drive (widows up, no more than 3K rpm etc), so they are a bit of hit and miss.

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