Buying or Lasing a New Car. Advice Wanted!

I have a 2000 BMW 328ci that I love, but is falling apart. It has a lot of work to be done and the clear coat is coming off. I went to get an estimate to have it painted and the estimator told me it wasn’t worth the money.

I’m trying to figure out what is comparable to the car I love and now BMW doesn’t even have a 3 series coupe. I drove a 430 which was really fabulous but I’m confused by the fact that my car now has a 6 cylinder engine and the 430 has a 4 cylinder, but it’s got turbos and all wheel drive so that makes up for it? I’m trying to understand torque and how to compare them to make the best purchase I can.

I also wonder about leasing it.

I know nothing about cars, but if I get a BMW I want it to be super fun to drive.

I would appreciate your advice.

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The 2000 328i coupe (specs from
Inline 6
193 hp @ 5500 rpm
206 ft-lbs. @ 3500 rpm
3197 lbs

The 430xDrive has
Power 248 hp @ 5200 rpm
Torque 258 ft-lbs. @ 1450 rpm
Curb Weight 3697lbs

How the car feels to you can mean more than what the spec sheets tell you.

Don’t worry too much about the number of cylinders as far as performance. You might notice a different engine sound with the four-cylinder engine, so test-drive it with the stereo off if that matters to you. As for the turbos, the big thing you want to check out is if there’s any noticeable turbo lag when you floor it.

Use the specs as a starting point, but you really need to do a test drive to see how the car feels for the way you drive because a car that’s worse on paper might be faster for what you need. Remember that the horsepower and torque should be considered on a per-pound basis, so see if the new car is lighter or heavier than the old one. If there is one spec to give extra consideration to, I’d say it’s the 30-50 and 50-70 times published by Car and Driver, as I think that relates to real-world driving situations more than the 0-60 time.

Leasing versus buying is a discussion that’s been held over and over here, so you really should just search for the previous discussions on that. The short answer is that leasing is generally more expensive over the long term, but it lets you get into a car today that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to drive, which some people feel is a priority over their long-term expenses.

A thread on a forum about buying or leasing a vehicle is almost a waste of time. Some of us will do it one way and others another. As Lion9 says , the discussion has been held many times. I think the number is in 6 figures .

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Torque is how much twisting force the engine produces. Horspower is how fast it produces that torque. Torque is what you feel in your gut when you accelerate away from a stoplight. Horsepower is the rush you feel accelerating up an on-ramp or making a pass on a 2 lane road.

BMW switched to a smaller turbo-charged 4 cylinder to save fuel while providing the horsepower and torque of the 6. A turbo is an exhaust gas driven air compressor that forces more air into the engine so it can make more power. All wheel drive is not a performance enhancement so much as a demand the market has made on cars sold in the snow belt. People just think they really need all wheel drive. They really don’t and it adds weight and cost to the car.

I’d suggest looking at a 2 series coupe as well. It is a little smaller and lighter so it’s more comparable to your 3 series than a 4 series is now.

I agree with others, look up the discussion on leasing vs buying in the forum. The subject has been beat to death. Read the link below for a few pros and cons.

I have a steep driveway where you can’t carry any momentum from the street. If I didn’t have all-wheel drive, there’s no way I would have made it up the driveway several times over the past week.

But you KNOW you need AWD, the OP currently doesn’t have AWD and didn’t comment about lack of traction.

With front drive and winter tires you could easily back up your driveway.

Understanding torque will not help you make a better purchase. It’s only one variable in a large number of variables that create a great car (or not). And a car that I might think is a great car may well be very different than a car that you might consider a great car.

The only thing that really makes a difference is test driving. You’ll know which car is best for you only from the driver’s seat.

As for leasing… it’s my opinion formed by over a half a century of car ownership that I you have to lease to afford the car you want than you cannot afford the car you want.

The lasing threshold is the lowest excitation level at which a laser’s output is dominated by stimulated emission rather than by spontaneous emission.

Or as the old racers would say, horsepower is how fast you hit the wall. Torque is how far you take the wall with you. :wink:

OP, for a real world understanding of torque, just know that torque is important off the line, and horsepower is important when you’re already moving along. Old Hondas used to have good horsepower numbers, and lousy torque numbers. This meant you didn’t start feeling the power until the engine was screaming along at, in some cases, over 5,000 RPM.

All that aside, I’d encourage you to consider other marques. BMW used to be great. Today’s BMW is one electrical gremlin after another. If you get a modern BMW you’ll most likely be in the shop a lot.


That summarizes my opinion precisely.

But, on a positive note, most BMW dealerships have very good “free” coffee available for the folks who have to hang-out for many hours each month in their waiting room. Yes, those customers are paying big bucks in the long run for that coffee, but if one is not good at computing relative values, then the coffee might be enjoyable.


That’s a very Clarksonion description! :smile:

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Yeah, well my Acura dealership has Starbucks and pastries from a local bakery. Good enough for me. :wink:

It’s the most Clarksonian description… in the wuuuuld.

Yes, but unfortunately you don’t get to hang out in the Acura waiting room anywhere near as often as the folks who bought BMWs, so you don’t get to enjoy that coffee as much as the folks who admire modern German engineering.


I know, right? What a ripoff!

Go grab some goodies anyway. You bought an Acura there. Buy maintenance supplies at their parts counter. It probably adjoins the waiting room anyway.

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Thanks for the great explanations!

Somebody told me that AWD does enhance performance, so that’s not true? If I get the warranty, does it pay for all the glitches?

What cars do you think are better? I drove an Audi this week, but couldn’t see well out of the back. I did like the sensors on the side though.

I really appreciate your help

That is why you read the warranty to see what is actually covered. Your definition of glitch might not match the warranty coverage.

What cars do you think are better

Again that is based on personal preference or past experience . Just because someone’s 2000 whatever was a problem vehicle that does not mean a 2018 whatever will be also.