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Thread: buying a first car

  1. #1

    Default buying a first car

    I am considering some different older BMWs to buy as a first car, and I really like the E34. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Sydney, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 2224
    I am considering some different older BMWs to buy as a first car, and I really like the E34. Any thoughts?
    Unless you have to tote the family around I'd be going for an E30.
    Whatever your choice you will have to be prepared to spend some $$ to keep it on the road, like, you said "an older BMW".
    E30 318iS & BMW K1200LT

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA


    Present: Black 1995 525i | Past: Red 1989 535i; Black 1985 535i

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by Logan 2224
    I am considering some different older BMWs to buy as a first car, and I really like the E34. Any thoughts?
    E24 - I had very hard time desiding between it and E34...

    deleted air conditioning

  5. #5


    I have owned e28's, e36's, e34's and an e39 M5.

    The e30 M3 is like no other e30. The e28 M5, e34 M5 and e39 M5 are not even in the same league as their non-//M brethren as far as performance goes but maint costs are way higher on these cars. That's not to say the non-M cars are anything to stay away from as they cost dramatically less to purchase and maintain comapared to the M cars.

    So, my advice for an 'older' BMW?
    -E30- Lovely car in any configuration
    -e36 328 or M3 (2 or 4 door) $8-20k 1995-1999. Stay away from high mile or early year M3's
    -e28 535...$3-5k run forever... I have an '87 535is auto, love it
    -e34 535/5 speed. $4-10k the first real 'modern' BMW's IMO. I have a 30,000 mile '91 that is my favorite car. 525's get better mileage but have lots less power. 530's and 540's may be more thaan you want to deal with but you can search that topic all day long so I won't bore you.
    -e39 528/5 $7-12k. Maybe to modern for you. They should run forever if maintained properly.
    -I would put ALL M5's out of your head until you really know what you're in for.

    This is by no means a complete list but rather just the surface.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    San Francisco. CA


    My M20 engined E34 is and was my first car. It gets pretty good gas mileage, has had relatively few problems, has enough power to get me around, and handles better than any car of similar size and weight I've ever driven. A good choice for a first car IMO, but if you can afford to pay a little more for gas than definitely go for a 535i.

    1992 525i 5 speed (Calypso/Parchment) - 1989 525iA (Schwartz/Natur) SOLD

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Goulburn Australia


    Get a good car that is safe and in good nick. An older BMW would make a great first car as they are extremely safe. The amount of money that you have to maintain it will be the issue. Inexperience tends to lead to silly little knocks and dings so be mindful of that when considering spending extra bucks on a car with a schmicko finish. It will only break your heart when you back it into something. Good luck in your search.

    '89 525i/A Exec 193000kms
    '94 Subaru Liberty AWD Wagon
    Looking for Merc 300TE
    NSW, Australia

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Brisbane Australia


    they also handle well,
    and you can move around quite quickly in them
    on my way to work i somehow manage an average speed of 80 kph on the way to work.
    i must also say FIND A manual. any manual whether it be 520i or 540i or whatever i have a 525i manual sure its not hellava fast, but its a good experience!

    Germans: Why can't they make everything?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    This is primarily an e34 board and most people here think the e34 is the bomb. In fact, it is arguably the best bmw ever made--The pinnacle of bmw engineering before they got stupidly over engineered.

    What is best for you depends on what is important to you. I have owned an e30 and 2 e34s. As the e30 is lighter and smaller, I found it to have more of the press you back into the seat factor. I prefer my 535 the best of the 3 cars because of the classic elegance and comfort along with the sports car features.

    I agree with whoever said get a manual even though it will take you a while to find one. And don't get the m20 engine (baby six). I disagree with wingman about the finish. Most anything with the engine you can fix yourself. Body work and paint is not a do it yourselfer thing. We all get nuts about these cars and want to make them perfect. I would say find the best body you can because trying to fix up the exterior is totally cost prohibitive. And just because you are a new driver doesn't mean you are going to ding it up.

    When we sold our last e34 I wrote up a "sale brochure" than explains the e34 ownership experience. If you will private message me with your email address, I will send it to you.

    buyer's guide that explains the different models
    Last edited by Gayle; 05-25-2006 at 10:55 PM.
    Dinan chip, Bilstein sports w H&R, RD sways, RD strut brace, 750 bushings, Zimmermans/MetalMasters, O.E. M Pars, Eisenmann muffler

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Wellington,New Zealand


    i truly beleive an e 34 is not a first car type of car
    Gone but not forgotten

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