The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice BMW 330xi makes some onerous demands of those wanting to take the car on a test drive. Let’s see if its price is a little more flexible.
First, let’s acknowledge that many great things have come out of Canada — yesterday’s 1999 Honda Civic SiR, for instance — along with notable accomplishments like poutine and Michael J. Fox, which establish our neighbors to the north as a prime purveyor of quality goods. Of course, not everything that comes from Canada is legit good. They have, after all, given us Justin Bieber and Nickelback.
Given that Craigslist is accessible almost everywhere, our hot Honda wasn’t limited to Canuck car shoppers exclusively. Canadians and others may have wanted to take pause, however, since the car’s $8,200 asking price—that’s in Canadian dollars, mind you—found insufficient favor in our voting, eventually falling in a narrow 51 percent No Dice loss.
Hey, do you like to go places and see things? More important, do you have a lot of long, fairly thin items you need to transport while you’re doing all that going and seeing?
If you answered yes to either or both of those questions, then we have much to discuss. That discussion will no doubt revolve around this 2002 BMW 330xi, described by its seller as a “Fun Weekend Car for Second Homeowners or a Sporty Daily Driver.” It also comes with one of those Thule roof boxes, so you can pretend you’re whisking Spock to the Genesis planet whenever you drive it. The box is paired with a bike rack in case you’re the type who likes to exercise in places that you have to drive to.
The car also comes with a 225 horsepower 3-liter M54 inline-six and Getrag five-speed manual gearbox. That powers a full-time AWD system through a central diff with a torque split that goes 38 percent front and 62 percent rear.
There are a lot of miles on that drivetrain. The ad notes 269,000 miles under the tires but claims that the car has been “meticulously maintained” by a Master Mechanic. Mods added over the years include a Dinan Stage 2 ECU update, a cold air intake and an aftermarket stainless steel exhaust. A hardwired laser detector behind the grille will make you feel like a super spy or something. Recent maintenance includes a new clutch, battery and brake calipers in the back. The alternator has also been replaced.
Aesthetically, the little Bimmer looks a bit like something Mad Max might choose to take the family out for an evening of Roo Burgers and beer. Overall it’s not bad, but the nose has seen a few fights, including, apparently, a recent round with a parking lot dent-and-dash culprit who dinged up the right-front corner.
That just adds to the bruiser look, as the nose is also compromised by a clear bra that’s clearly past its use-by date and some chipping and abrasion wear in the paint outside of that. The rest of the silver paint looks intact, and there doesn’t appear to be any road rot. Factory alloys also look to be in decent shape, and it appears by the ad that the car comes with both winter and summer tires.
The interior presents better, and aside from an aftermarket shift knob, is in laudably stock shape. The leather on the seats appears unbroken, if a bit crazed from age and use. The boot could stand a cleaning but is otherwise in perfectly usable shape. If you out-pack that, you also have the option of that Thule Mountaineer on top.
Should you be interested in this all-weather ride you’ll need to pass a bit of a test in order to take it for a test drive. The seller lays down the following criteria:
• Must arrive in clutch car demonstrating clutch shifting skills. I reserve the right to refuse test drives to anyone who doesn’t demonstrate competent shifting skills.
• Masks must be worn at all times. I will wipe down the car before and after test drives.
• I will hold your driver’s license, current insurance card, and your car keys in a touch-free small box.
• Maximum of 5 miles measured by odometer.
That’s a lot to remember so let’s just delve into the car’s asking price to see if it’s even worth the effort. The seller wants $5,900 for the clean-title car, and that gets you the bike rack and Thule coffin thing as well.
What do you think, does that price and the car’s condition have you thinking about what it will take for a test drive? Or, does that all mean this AWD Bimmer is DOA?
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