At $4,900, Could This 2003 BMW 325Xi In BRG Be A BFD?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

You may not be able to have it all in life, but with today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe BMW you could get damn close. With AWD, a stick shift, and a sport interior, this is one rare wagon, but could its flaws and price make it less than the sum of its parts?

I like to go swimmin’ with bow-legged women and swim between their legs, swim between their legs…


It goes without saying that, extant James Bond’s submersible Lotus Esprit, cars, like many cats, don’t appreciate an unexpected baptismal. Last Friday we looked at what at first glance appeared to be a fairly decent-looking 2005 Mercedes Benz E500 wagon. Diving deeper, however, things went south for that car pretty damn fast.

The mid-sized Benz did have a V8, AWD, and a third row making it the perfect antidote for the SUV malaise sweeping the planet. Unfortunately, it also had a salvage title and that was due to the car being a flood damage write-off.

Now, it may be just fine, but would you trust a car with extensive electronics to have spent any time below sea level to not suffer issues owed to that past dunking? It seems few of you would, seeing as even at a modest $3,000 asking the wagon garnered a 72 percent Crack Pipe loss.

It would have been better had the seller of Friday’s Benz been more forthcoming in the car’s description. I actually had to do a VIN search to deduce the history and title challenges.


Today we’re going to look at another German wagon, and this one too is AWD. The seller of this 2003 BMW 325XiT, however, seems to lay all the cards on the table, giving us the bad along with the good.


Let’s start with the good. First off, this small Bimmer comes in Oxford Green Metallic II over a biscuit leather interior. Now, I don’t know about you but Oxford Green is about as BRG a color name as you could want. Also, there are few color combinations better than BRG over biscuit. Change my mind!


The mechanical makeup consists of a 2494cc M54B25 DOHC straight-six and Getrag 250G five-speed stick. Yes, this wagon has a stick. That combo sends power to all four wheels through the rear-biased full-time AWD system, which uses open diffs on both ends and a single-speed intermediary transfer case.

The seller says in the ad that all fluids have been refreshed here, as have the major consumables—tires, brakes, filters, etc.. In fact, the ad notes only one noteable mechanical flaw, which we’ll get to in a sec.


The interior carries the Sport package so you get a three-spoke tiller and the seats with the cool adjustable under-thigh supports. The load area in back features one of those plastic trays to keep the carpet clean. Above that is the privacy curtain which should also have a dog net on top.


The Takata airbag recall has been completed on the car, and it shows no sign of any malarkey with the work. The title, thankfully, is said to be clear.


Okay, enough of the pluses, let’s get to the ugly business of what’s bad on the car. First off, let’s get the mileage out of the way. There’s a substantial 187,000 on the clock. That’s a humdinger of a number for any car that isn’t a Toyota or old Volvo, but for something as complex as this Bimmer, that’s something of which to take note. The seller also states in the ad that the car suffers from a number of cosmetic flaws that have developed over the course of the years and those miles.


The driver’s sport seat, for instance, suffers from tearing in the off-side bolster, a very common malady on this type of throne. On the outside, there’s a number of issues with the clear coat on the hood. Those don’t look like something you could just have detailed out. There’s also the description of a “patch and paint on left side quarter panel.” That’s something that bears further investigation.

The sunroof is on non-op but at least it’s stuck shut and not open. The final issue that the seller claims to be aware of is what is described as “Intermittent 5th gear flop.” That’s probably only going to get worse and would require pulling the box, something that’s made only more time consuming due to the AWD system. Also, I’m not sure what’s going on with the plastic wrap on the coolant reservoir cap? Anybody want to offer a guess?


Okay enough tipping the scales one way or the other, it’s time to do the vote thing. What’s your take on this desirable but modestly flawed 325XiT? Could it be worth the $4,900 the seller is asking? Or, do the issues—5th gear flop!—make that to be asking too much?


You decide!


Pittsburgh, PA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.