Today’s Nice Price or No Dice 3 Series has a lovely interior, AWD and a six-speed stick. While those are all extremely desirable facets, the car’s rusty tailgate is far less of one. Let’s see what you might be willing to pay for this well-kitted but slightly wounded wagon.
The 1985 Chrysler LeBaron convertible we looked at yesterday was one of nine different models/body styles the company offered that particular year. I just checked the Chrysler website and found that its present lineup consists of a van and just a single car. That’s going to make buying a decent classic Chrysler pretty tough, come 15 or 20 years from now.
Lucky for us we live in the here and now and have cars like yesterday’s LeBaron to enjoy. Based on the comments, many of you considered that to be a good thing. Based on the votes, even more of you found the car’s $2,750 price tag to be equally laudable. That earned the car a solid 59 percent Nice Price win for its troubles.
Nobody likes trouble, especially when it comes to their automobiles. Having trouble come knocking on your daily driver’s door can really put a damper on your day’s drive, don’t you think? That doesn’t mean that we always go out of our way to avoid bad happenings. Doing so would lead to a life so dull we might actually die from the boredom. That, or make us turn to watching C-SPAN for entertainment.
That balance between risk and reward is exactly why cars like today’s 2007 BMW 328xi Touring exist.
Now, owning any BMW of a certain age is going to have a higher risk factor than owning, say, a Toyota Camry or metro bus pass. The thing of it is, driving a Bimmer is also going to be a lot more fun than either of those two safer options. The E60 M5 we looked at last week was an extreme example of the love/hate relationship many older German cars can elicit, albeit one that could easily eviscerate your wallet should something major go south.
Today’s 328, on the other hand, is probably going to be at the lower end of the BMW ownership cost spectrum — maybe equatable to ultraviolet but not quite x-ray levels.
Probably the jankiest thing here will be the full-time AWD system. That adds a lot of complexity to the driveline but in itself does not have a reputation for significant failures. Balancing that somewhat is this car’s six-speed stick which means no worries about an auto-box going cogs-up on you.
There’s 230 horsepower 3-liter six under the hood. One of the biggest bugbears on the M54 engine, however, is the cooling system, particularly the water pump which tends to give up anywhere between 60k and 100k on average. Luckily, this car has had its water pump recently replaced.
Other new parts noted in the ad include the tires, front struts, and the steering tie rods. Aftermarket wheels underpin and look OK, too. This is all fairly typical stuff for a car with over 150,000 miles on the clock.
The rest of the car looks to be in pretty decent shape for the years and those miles as well. The seller notes that it has some “dings and scratches as would be expected of a car with this age and mileage,” but claims that it to be “solid” and offers that it has “great bones.”
Okay, so maybe it’s not completely solid. The seller does note some rust encroachment on the hatch. The ad claims that to be a common problem with these cars. In the case here, the ad says the road rot has been “nipped in the bud” by a previous owner’s application of some POR-15 on the afflicted areas. Still, it was bad enough that the seller considered the hatch’s replacement. According to the ad, there’s evidence of a possible respray on the back bumper, which could indicate additional shenanigans in the car’s past.
More than making up for that Swiss-cheesy back door is the interior before it. That’s swathed in Terra Dakota leather. That’s the stuff that is lower quality than top-grain leather but seems to hold up better. Here it looks amazing, with the seats and all tactile elements covered in the earthtone stuff. This offers a nice complement to the black trim and woodgrain throughout the rest of the cabin, really dressing up the place.
That’s all been applied to the Sport Package interior, which gives you the upgraded seats and steering wheel. Everything looks as if it’s holding up well, although the lack of a large screen in the center display does belie the car’s age.
One of the odd things about the ad is how the seller describes the car, saying “It’s obviously been well taken care of and maintained throughout its life” which exudes a concerning unfamiliarity. Most of us would be happier to hear that positioned in a far more definitive form — something like: it HAS been well taken care of its whole life — rather than in simple supposition.
That’s one thing we’ll have to take into consideration when slipping under the microscope the $9,900 the seller is asking for the car. There is also a clean title in the car’s favor, and that decent bit of kit that includes the AWD, the six-speed stick and even a panoramic roof to be considered.
What do you think, could all that add up to the seller’s $9,900 asking? Or, despite the kit, is this Bimmer asking too much of your caboodle?
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