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

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 325Xi has over 281,000 miles on the clock. That’s farther than a trip to the moon, and this Bimmer doesn’t have Mission Control backing it up. Maybe the price will make it worth lighting this candle.

Tell me, what’s the happiest song you can think of? Is it Y.M.C.A. by The Village People? Perhaps the eponymously titled Happy by Pharrell? Or maybe it’s Dismembered Virgin Limbs by the Norwegian Death Metal band, Gorelord because being happy means different things to different people.

Whatever it is, that happiest of songs seems to have met its automotive equivalent is yesterday’s 1994 Honda del Sol, and I don’t think it proved so popular just because I mentioned pizza in its write-up. No, it just came across as a happy little car, and its $3,900 price tag was seen as just as smile inducing by an eager 75-percent of you who happily gave the car a Nice Price win. For everyone else? Well, let’s put on some good Friday music.

Here’s another question for you: what’s your favorite German estate? Now if you answered the Wartburg Castle that looms over the town of Eisenach in in the cental German state of Thuringia, then mad props my friend. That of course, is represented on the iconic badge of Wartburg automobilwerk, but still, it’s not what I had in mind.

That’s not to say that Wartburg didn’t build some tidy estate cars in their time, but I doubt that more than a handful of you might consider any of those to be a favorite. No, I think for fav German estate you might like something a little more modern, like say a BMW 3-series.


Now, BMW has built several editions of their 3-series estates over the years. The first of them on the E30 platform. BMW didn’t think Americans worthy of that ride so we were denied it’s official importation. That hasn’t stopped a number how them from making there way over here owing to their age and the will power of a few bold and noble souls. That earliest 3-wagon was the boxiest and hence by definition the best. I would wager however, that the much roundier E46 edition is arguably the best looking of all 3-series estates in existence. As always, your mileage may vary.

The E46 longroof was also the first model officially offered for sale here in the U.S.. We just so happen to have one of those today—a 2001 325Xi Sport Wagon, which comes in what I think is Steel Blue Metallic, over what I do know is a light biscuit interior.


This E46 is notable for a couple of its features. First off, it sports AWD. That’s via a viscous center diff that in most situations allocates torque 37% to the front and 63% in back. That can change to 80% offered up to the grippiest axle depending on how slippery things are.

The other feature that gives this estate a leg up is its five-speed Getrag gearbox. Manual, AWD wagons are usually something you equate with Subaru, but this Bimmer will likely give those Japanese pancake purveyors a run for their money.


Powering the car is a 184-horsepower/175 lb ft of torque M54B25 six. That’s a 2494-cc edition of the all alloy (with iron cylinder liners) engine that was BMW’s workhorse in the Aughts. It’s a pretty tight fit under the E46's hood, even if the DOHC mill is fairly mama bear in its displacement.

The ad says that the car ‘runs very smooth’ and that ‘[E]verything work in a car.’ It also has recently passed its California emissions test so it’s got a clean bill of health. Aesthetically, the car looks reasonably clean, although the seller does note some dings and paint chips in the otherwise straight and rust-free body. There’s also a clear bra up front.


The interior is likewise a tidy bowl and it’s nice to see all the various LCDs/LEDs/Whatever the hell they are working as they should here. The leather on the sport seats has held up well and there’s a fancy Harman/Kardon stereo for all your listening pleasure. Two sets of alloys and tires are added enticements, and the car carries a clear title.


The big issue here is the car’s mileage, which clocks in at an amazing 281,730. There’s no mention of either mechanical malady nor refreshing, so assume that everything is working, but for how much longer is anybody’s guess. I’d like to see maintenance records on the car, and I’d also like to feel just how slinky-like the suspension feels, but unless the plan is to Gymkhana it, I don’t think either is a deal killer.

What might be however, is the price. The seller is asking $5,200 for this E46. If you look at E46 pricing, that’s on the high side. Of course few if any other cars for sale offer both the X factor and a stick. You’ll now need to weigh those features against that massive mileage in determining whether this Bimmer can command that kind of cash.


What do you think, is this 325Xi worth that $5,200 asking? Or, is this an estate with too high a tax?

You decide!


Fresno, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!

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