First Car dillema

Good day Guys. I need your opinions on choosing my own first car.
I have two options that are available here in my country for a budget friendly RWD car.
Nissan Cefiro A31 and BMW E36 Series 3
Both costs around $3,000-$4000
You can get the Cefiro with the RB20DET but only the 316i BMW E36 for the same price.
Should i just buy the Cefiro or should i buy an E36 without an engine and install an RB20DET?
I really like the boxy look of the E36 and i also like nissan engines with turbo thats why i thought of the engine swap.
What would be a more economical and less stressful choice? Would the engine swap be difficult and expensive, and also performance and maintenance wise between the two cars. Thanks for your opinions.

A 30 year old Nissan or a 25 year old BMW, neither one of them are a very good choice for a first car.

But if those are your only choices, I’d go with the Nissan.

As for an engine swap, that would be an expensive and labor intensive nightmare.


Thanks for the info about the engine swap. Im just really into older boxy looking cars.

I agree with @It_s-Me. The Nissan is the better choice, and adapting the Nissan motor into a BMW is not for the uninitiated.

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If you have to asked about the cost and complexity of an engine swap, particularly swapping an engine from from one make/model into another, then you likely don’t have the necessary skillset to pull it off. Put it this way, if you wanted to swap a RB20DET into an E36 BMW, you’ll likely end up spending as much for the engine, car, and labor as would have had you just bought a M3 of the same vintage outright, if not more.

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Sure , if you want to spend a dump truck load of money for a venture that will not improve anything. Why do people think this stuff is simple ? Also it would help if you told where you are located , as most of the regular posters here are in the US .

Im from the PH, those two are the only rwd cars that fits the budget range. :slight_smile:

OK , I give up . What does PH stand for ?

PH is the abbreviation for The Republic of The Philippines.
Because that Nissan model was manufactured in PH, I would assume that there are a fair number of used specimens to choose from.

No more Jeepneys?

Jeepneys are still the primary mode of mass transit in urban areas of PH.
And, in case anyone is wondering, those highly-decorated, stretched Jeeps are usually powered by Nissan diesel engines.

The Jeepney’s are being dragged into the modern era, some based on trucks like the Mitsubishi L200,

That comment was for the OP that desired a RWD vehicle.

PJ O’Rourke wrote about the Jeepney’s and one of his favorites was owned by a local sound man who worked for ABC news named Dindo Ramos. A 1600 twin cam Toyota 4cyl with dual solex carbs on what looked like a T Bucket dragster built out of a jeep. Could lay rubber from one end of the line for green cards at the U.S. embassy to the other.

Being in the U.S., I’d never heard of the Nissan Cefira, but per Wikipedia, it’s a RWD sedan introduced in 1988 to compete with the Toyota Cressida, and it has the contemporary Skyline (R32) powertrain. That sounds like a heap of fun; I’d have gone with that even before knowing the OP is in the country where it was built.