With its all-wheel drive and engaging five-speed stick, today’s Nice Price or No Dice BMW 325Xi should let its driver laugh in the face of pretty much any weather. Let’s see if its price is any laughing matter.
Lotus founder Colin Chapman was famous for his ethos of “adding lightness” to cars to make them go faster. The 1989 Range Rover Classic we looked at yesterday had been lightened through the removal of almost all its interior and a bit of spotty rust. That probably didn’t live up to Chapman’s mantra, but then again, no one’s very likely to try and drive it fast either. At $4,500, all that added lightness didn’t add up to a great deal, at least not to the 58 percent of you who voted the big Brit down in a No Dice loss.
One thing in yesterday’s Range Rover’s favor was its stoic and stalwart all-wheel drive. If you are anticipating the upcoming winter with trepidation, then perhaps we should stick with something that offers the security afforded by an AWD drivetrain. That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t do something that’s also fun and stylish. And also not a crossover.
Unlike yesterday’s beater Range Rover, this 2002 BMW 325Xi Touring appears original and to be in very nice shape. Painted Steel Gray Metallic, the exterior doesn’t show any noticeable scrapes or dents, nor significant yellowing of the headlamp lenses. The Style 73 wheels also look to be clean and unmarred. Overall it seems to have held up well for its 20 years of life and 185,000 miles.
Those years and miles are a bit more evident on the interior. The steering wheel is shiny and there’s a good-sized tear in the driver’s-side seat bolster. The headliner, as well, seems to be on its way to failure mode. On the plus side, those seats are the highly-bolstered sport thrones, and that makes this AWD wagon’s five-speed manual all the more a delight to find.
The stick shift is bolted to a 184 horsepower M54 DOHC straight-six on one side and on the other, BMW’s capable AWD system. That setup offers a 38/62 front-to-rear torque split most of the time, but can send up to 90 percent of the power to one or the other axle when it detects slip.
According to the ad, this two-owner clean-title car has been well maintained and is currently in what the seller describes as “excellent mechanical condition.” Service records come with the car, as does the original Monroney sticker. Not only does it have the sport package, and hence the cool seats, but it also has the cold weather package. That means the impending winter should be a less daunting proposition. The question is; what might all that be worth to a prospective buyer?
Per the ad, the seller seems to think it’s worth $4,900. Of course, there’s a lot on the table with any older BMW, and this E46’s AWD system just adds to the car’s complexity and cost to maintain as those complicated parts wear and are in need of replacing.
Do you think that $4,900 is a fair cost of entry into such a love/hate relationship? Or, is that too much, just to spend next winter in style?
H/T to Don R. for the hookup!
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