BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - Brettsza

I have recently changed jobs at the moment have zafira 1.8 petrol and can get 47mpg which as per my friends who have the same car says it is quite good. I do about 20k miles a year and looking for a decent saloon in about 12k budget, have to fit two child seats at the back so something reliable and safe. I am inclined towards a bmw3 320d series with efficient dynamics returning about 80mpg which I might not achieve anyways but even if i can get to 70 it should be good, my run is about 18k on motorway and 2k on local mileage. The ones i have looked so far is 13 reg done 40 to 50k miles and checking mot history just to get an idea if there is any problem on it already documented.

Since i am going to be doing so many miles and mainly on motorway looking for something comfortable and easy, manual or petrol i am not sure but after reading the forums looks like manual is better for good fuel efficieny.

Initially i was looking at insignia but i dont think they will last me too long and resale value might be really bad.

Am i going in right direction or are there any other better options. please suggest.

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - RobJP

Er .. .forget the 80, or even 70, mpg figures.

Something like a 320d Efficient Dynamics will, if fitted with sensible wheels (17" or even 16") achieve 60mpg on a good run. Probably more like 50mpg around town.

HJ (the man himself) ran a 320d ED for nearly 10k miles, and averaged 63mpg. His review is here :

www.honestjohn.co.uk/our-cars/bmw-f30-320d-ed/

Do be aware that, with most of them being RWD, the transmission tunnel robs quite a bit of rear legroom. In addition, they aren't the most spacious cars in the back anyway (I've got a 2013 325d estate), and getting 2 child seats and a person sitting in the back at the same time will probably be impossible.

I've had mine nearly 4 years now, and still think it's great. My only gripe is that rear legroom.

If you went for a 320i then you'd be more like 40mpg.

The automatics are a ZF 8-speed torque-converter unit, and are very efficient, especially on motorway trips when it just sits in 8th.

MSport spec, while it looks nice, can be more grief (big wheels, hard suspension) though the (expensive optional) adaptive suspension on mine does make it quite comfortable, even with 19" wheels.

Depending on where you are in the country (I'm in rural North Wales), winter wheels and tyres can be pretty essential. The difference they make is extraordinary.

Edited by RobJP on 09/08/2017 at 14:04

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - SLO76
I'm amazed at you getting 47mpg from an 1800 petrol Zafira. The last 1800 Astra I ran anywhere struggled to hit 35mpg driven gently, in fact the chap I sold it to has complained about its thirst ever since despite doing next to no mileage. If you can get 12mpg more from a heavier less aerodynamic car then you're an economy wizard indeed.

As for a replacement, well BMW don't have a great reputation particularly the diesels in regard to longevity. They suffer from loads of issues as they age. They are good on fuel and have plenty of performance plus you have the prestige of that BMW badge if it so appeals.

I guess it all comes down to your budget and your attitude to car maintenance. If you accept that servicing and repair costs will be high and you intend on using the main dealer to maintain it then it'll probably serve you well but if you plan to scrimp and use aftermarket parts and non-franchised workshops none of which have any clue how to maintain a complex diesel executive like this then you'll suffer major and costly problems.

If I were shopping with your prerequisites and budget I'd be looking at the more modest but much more robust Honda Civic 1.6 DTEC which has plenty of interior space and few vices or perhaps a Seat Leon 1.4,TSi, Skoda Octavia/Superb 1.4 TSi, Audi A3 1.4 TSi or Mazda 3/6 2.0 petrol skyactiv. All of which should if properly maintained offer more value and better reliability.
BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - Engineer Andy
I'm amazed at you getting 47mpg from an 1800 petrol Zafira. The last 1800 Astra I ran anywhere struggled to hit 35mpg driven gently, in fact the chap I sold it to has complained about its thirst ever since despite doing next to no mileage. If you can get 12mpg more from a heavier less aerodynamic car then you're an economy wizard indeed.
As for a replacement, well BMW don't have a great reputation particularly the diesels in regard to longevity. They suffer from loads of issues as they age. They are good on fuel and have plenty of performance plus you have the prestige of that BMW badge if it so appeals.
I guess it all comes down to your budget and your attitude to car maintenance. If you accept that servicing and repair costs will be high and you intend on using the main dealer to maintain it then it'll probably serve you well but if you plan to scrimp and use aftermarket parts and non-franchised workshops none of which have any clue how to maintain a complex diesel executive like this then you'll suffer major and costly problems.
If I were shopping with your prerequisites and budget I'd be looking at the more modest but much more robust Honda Civic 1.6 DTEC which has plenty of interior space and few vices or perhaps a Seat Leon 1.4,TSi, Skoda Octavia/Superb 1.4 TSi, Audi A3 1.4 TSi or Mazda 3/6 2.0 petrol skyactiv. All of which should if properly maintained offer more value and better reliability.

I agree - no way can a car of that size and shape with a 1.8 NA petrol engine achieve a real 47mpg (even if only one person on board) - probably them reading a none-too-accurate trip computer or getting their sums wrong.

Looks like another 'copy 'n' paste' job for your comments SLO, yet another aspiring BMW owner who probably can't afford to run one properly. Maybe you should just have 'standard comments' in other threads/posts that you just link them to?

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - Brettsza

Thanks for the replies

well i am amazed too how come a 1.8 petrol gives me such an average but I dont have any computers in the car as it is a zafira, i just put in 50 liters of fuel and go for 500 miles give or take depending on how much local mileage i have done, my usual route is motorway almost always and i drive alone most of the times, my office as per google maps is 35 miles one way and I see it is taking the right mileage.

I only plan to use the car for 3 years as i am already buying 4 to 5 year old car and with 40k mileage on it and i will add another 60k in 3 years and once its over 100k i wouldnt keep it longer.

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - Engineer Andy

Thanks for the replies

well i am amazed too how come a 1.8 petrol gives me such an average but I dont have any computers in the car as it is a zafira, i just put in 50 liters of fuel and go for 500 miles give or take depending on how much local mileage i have done, my usual route is motorway almost always and i drive alone most of the times, my office as per google maps is 35 miles one way and I see it is taking the right mileage.

I only plan to use the car for 3 years as i am already buying 4 to 5 year old car and with 40k mileage on it and i will add another 60k in 3 years and once its over 100k i wouldnt keep it longer.

47 would be quite a feat, given the manufacturer's data (EU test, which is normally an over estimate to variying degrees) quotes a maximum of 49mpg for 'extra urban' driving, 30 urban and 39 combined.

I get more (41-42) than the 'combined' mpg figure (38-39) in my 2005 Mazda3 1.6 petrol [mk 1, not the mk1.5 figures on the car-by-car section] with a similar type of driving pattern and generally being light-footed, but not that near the 48-49mpg for the 'extra urban' figures. I would be (pleasantly) surprised if you could get 500 miles out of it on average over the year - maybe in warm (though not enough to need the A/C on - using fuel to power it) dry weather (I've managed 46-47mpg in that sort of weather, but only mid 30s and 380 miles out of a tank [with a reasonable buffer left over] at best in winter).

Anyway, best to go with the good advice from SLO76 and Avant - your 20k miles a year would normally be on the cusp of the changeover from petrol to diesel engined cars, but given you've indicated most of your journeys will be on fast-moving roads, then looking at some diesels (those that are more reliable as well as comfortable and value for money [but still visually appealing]) may be worth a look. Just avoid the Ford-PSA 'diesel-of-doom' (1.6) in them and Volvos and Mazdas; not sure about the larger variants - best to review cars here that have those 2 and 2.2 ltr diesel engines in them (car-by-car reviews section) and look at other threads on the forum. I know the Mazda 2.2D doesn't exactly have the best rep, however I still think a lot of reliability problems associated with diesels come about when owners primarily use them for short runs - those doing so for regular longer trips on fast-flowing roads seem to have far fewer problems.

The problem you'll find looking at used diesels in particular is that you can't always tell if the car has been used for short trips a lot, even if the mileage is low (this could easily have been due it being driven less often but on longer trips, giving the car a chance to fully warm up and burn off all the nasty soot etc from the system). The VAG 1.4 (140 or particularly 150 ACT) TSi/TFSi petrol would probably do nicely as much as those others listed by SLO and Avant if you want economy and a decent amount of pace.

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - Avant

If you make a list of your priorities, Brettsza, as you always should, it seems to be something like comfort, safety, longevity and reliability, with perhaps an inclination towards a prestige badge.

I would direct you towards a Volvo S60 (saloon) or V60 (estate). Most Volvos on the market are diesels: go for a 2.0 litre diesel and it should suit you very well.

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - pd

£12k should get you a respectable one and, yes, it is possible you may get a bill but doing that sort of mileage you are going to put wear and tear on any car.

Personally, I'd go for the auto as (as per above) the 8-speed is if anything more econmical than the manual and a lot more relaxing. I'd go for SE spec and sensible sized wheels too for the sort of use you are going to put it to.

As others have said, it won't do 80mpg but should do 60mpg.

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - Brettsza

I am not really looking for a prestige badge on the car, if i can find something cheap and cheerfull but does that kind of mileage and is of similar size to a 3 series i would be happy to go for that too. Is skoda octavia a good choice in that case.

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - skidpan

I had a 118d Efficient Dynamics for just over 5 years. In mixed use it averaged 47 mpg, on a long run I could squeeze 53 mpg if I stuck to 70 mph max. As far as I was coincerned that was fine and what i expected, the previous 2 litre turbo diesel I had owned with less power would only average 40 mpg.

I swapped the BMW for a Seat Leon 1.4 TSi. Loads cheaper to buy, same to tax and it did 45 mpg which is brilliant for a petrol, no more diesels for me.

Forget the ficticious mpg figures manufacturers and some owners claim, be realistic.

Edited by skidpan on 09/08/2017 at 17:51

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - SLO76

I am not really looking for a prestige badge on the car, if i can find something cheap and cheerfull but does that kind of mileage and is of similar size to a 3 series i would be happy to go for that too. Is skoda octavia a good choice in that case.

Yes, it's a great option. Especially with the 150PS 1.4 TSi petrol. You'll get a 16plate car with low mileage and 2yrs worth of manufacturer warranty left if you buy with a full dealer history. Look at the specs. It'll offer diesel economy and excellent performance plus loads of space but there's no risk of DPF problems the diesels can suffer from. It's a complex engine so It will need dealer servicing to stay healthy but Skoda dealers are less likely to empty your wallet than BMW. Auto Trader: www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170510530...9 The Civic is bigger inside than you'd expect too and will do a genuine 65-70mpg. Our CRV uses the same engine and averages 56mpg day to day and exceeds 60mpg no bother at all on longer runs. It's an excellent engine, smooth gutsy, with little turbo lag and I've not heard of any issues to date with the engine or DPF. Watch out for juddering clutches though so make sure you test it from cold. The Estate has loads of space and will hold its money better too. Auto Trader: www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170628686...5 Auto Trader: www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170603608...5
BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - TheGentlemanThug

If you're driving 20,000 miles a year then resale value goes out the window. A 3 Series will be worth more than an Insignia, sure, but residual values will be hit hard regardless of which car you buy.

For mainly motorway journeys, a manual gearbox will be better; better economy, better performance and easier to maintain, at least in general. Good luck getting 70mpg out of a 320d mind you; you'd have to drive like a cardinal carrying the Pope.

Speaking of which, have you test-driven a 320d? I only ask because you may not find it particularly comfortable. The suspension is a tad firm and run-flat tyres apparently don't help. A Mercedes C220D could be a better option.

If you aren't a badge snob then a Ford Mondeo 2.0 163 TDCi is a great choice. I've driven one as a company car and it's perfect for long distance cruises. You'll probably have plenty of choice and save a fair few quid into the bargain.

Edited by Bicycle_Repair_Man on 10/08/2017 at 15:01

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - RobJP

For mainly motorway journeys, a manual gearbox will be better; better economy, better performance and easier to maintain, at least in general. Good luck getting 70mpg out of a 320d mind you; you'd have to drive like a cardinal carrying the Pope.

The 3 series has a ZF 8 speed box which is incredibly efficient on motorways. I had a 530d touring a few weeks ago as a loan car, which has the same gearbox. 75mph on the cruise control, roughly 1500rpm in 8th, and it returned a real 55mpg.

In comparison, my 325d (still a 2.0 engine, confusingly) with a manual gearbox sits at about 2100 rpm at 75mph in 6th. Even on a run up to Glasgow from North Wales I don't see better than 50mpg, unless I'm driving really carefully.

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - Brettsza

Hi

Thanks for all the message. I just saw a car which meets all my criterias but its from private seller relocating out of uk and needs a quick sale. Price is ok too, what should i look out for coz once i buy the car he will be gone in a few days. Just basically want to make sure its safe to buy and has no finance etc or logbook loan on it. I will check hpi but anything else that i need to see. I drove the car for about 15 mins and it felt good. I have checked service history, mot etc. address on logbook and service history mot everything is one address.

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - SLO76
Might be genuine but this is a common line spun by fraudsters who want shot of a dodgy motor. How long have they owned it and what are the details, make, model, mileage, history etc etc? Length of ownership tells you a lot about a motor. If they've had it less than two years inevitably it's been a bad motor and who buys a car shortly before emigrating? Is there an advert you can post the link to?

Above all don't panic buy. If it's too cheap or sounds too good to be true, then it usually is. I'll probably get stick for this but is it a British seller or foreign returning home?

Edited by SLO76 on 10/08/2017 at 21:24

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - Brettsza

its 14 reg car sold in 15 by leasing company to cargiant from which he bought and has had it since then. Its a bmw 320d auto with 29k miles. He said hes going back and wants sell it before he goes.

It says 3 owners, i dont know if cargiant will be one of the owners?

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170722762...1

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - Brettsza

It does have some major scruff on the bumper and smal dents here and there but I am not that bothered about it.

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - SLO76
CG won't be listed as an owner unless one of their staff usd it as a company motor. They don't have a great reputation either and tend to buy in substandard stock main dealers have rejected. Often it's down to missing service history or poor quality paint repairs but some good cars do slip through. Might have poor bumper repair, does look a bit off-colour in the pics but hard to tell in a photo. Take a look at V5 to see who was the last owner too.

The advert actually does read ok but pics show it in a carpark rather than a driveway. Could be a flat parking but address tells you a lot. Rundown council house or meet me in a carpark nearby... walk away.

Fact is you'll be handing over a lot of cash to a non-British citizen who will be immediately taking that cash overseas. It's risky and I'd be very very wary here. Personally I'd rather buy an older car from a genuine private seller or a reputable dealer.
BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - RobJP
Fact is you'll be handing over a lot of cash to a non-British citizen who will be immediately taking that cash overseas.

This. Pay a LOT of attention. The risk here is ending up with no money AND no car.

Don't think it can't happen to you.

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - RobJP

Hi

Thanks for all the message. I just saw a car which meets all my criterias but its from private seller relocating out of uk and needs a quick sale. Price is ok too, what should i look out for coz once i buy the car he will be gone in a few days. Just basically want to make sure its safe to buy and has no finance etc or logbook loan on it. I will check hpi but anything else that i need to see. I drove the car for about 15 mins and it felt good. I have checked service history, mot etc. address on logbook and service history mot everything is one address.

That rings loads of alarm bells. It sounds like a classic scam. HPI means nothing - because they could well have cloned it. So the HPI all comes up clear, because the original car isn't stolen.

Logbooks can be falsified. The service history should be all on the iDrive.

Be VERY careful. Check the VIN numbers match what is on the V5, and then check the VIN against this : www.bmwvin.com/ and make sure the VIN matches the real spec on the car, to the last detail.

Got a link to the advert ? People will happily review it for you. If you've got the VIN as declared on the V5, then posting up the last bit of it (letter and last 6 numbers, so A123456) will help too.

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - pd

The chassis number of that car should be WBA3D32030J387893. Registered 11/6/14.

Checking that with BMW reveals it should be a 320d in blue with black leather. Has heated seats, navigation, DAB, hands free phone of notable options. Manufactured 24 March 2014.

Looks a nice car on the face of it.

Edited by pd on 10/08/2017 at 22:58

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - pd

Full spec:

S1CAASelection of COP-relevant vehicles (SELEKTION COP RELEVANTER FAHRZEUGE)S2FLABMW LA wheel, V-spoke 395 (17"LM RAEDER V-SPEICHE 395/MB)S2PAAWheel bolt locks (RADSCHRAUBENSICHERUNG)S2VBATyre pressure display (REIFENDRUCKANZEIGE)S205AAutomatic transmission (AUTOMATIC GETRIEBE)S230AExtra package, EU-speciifc (EU SPEZIFISCHE ZUSATZUMFAENGE)S249AMultifunction f steering wheel (MULTIFUNKTION FUER LENKRAD)S258ATyres with runflat properties (BEREIFUNG MIT NOTLAUFEIGENSCHAFTEN)S302AAlarm system (ALARMANLAGE)S423AFloor mats velours (FUSSMATTEN IN VELOURS)S428AWarning triangle and first aid kit (WARNDREIECK)S431AInterior mirror with automatic-dip (INNENSPIEGEL,AUTOMATISCH ABBLENDEND)S465AThrough-loading system (DURCHLADESYSTEM)S493AStorage compartment package (ABLAGENPAKET)S494ASeat heating driver/passenger (SITZHEIZUNG FUER FAHRER/BEIFAHRER)S5DAAPassenger airbag deactivation (BEIFAHRERAIRBAG-DEAKTIVIERUNG)S5DCARear-seat headrests, folding (FONDKOPFSTUETZEN KLAPPBAR)S508APark Distance Control (PDC) (PARK DISTANCE CONTROL (PDC))S520AFog lights (NEBELSCHEINWERFER)S521ARain sensor (REGENSENSOR)S534AAutomatic air conditioning (KLIMAAUTOMATIK)S544ACruise control with brake function (GESCHWINDIGKEITSREGEL. MIT BREMSF.)S563ALight package (LICHTPAKET)S575AAdditional 12V sockets (ZUSAETZLICHE 12-V-STECKDOSE)S6ACAIntelligent emergency call (INTELLIGENTER NOTRUF)S6AEATeleservices (TELESERVICES)S6NHAHands-free system with USB interface (FREISPRECHEIN. M. USB-SCHNITTSTELLE)S606ANavigation system Business (NAVIGATIONSSYSTEM BUSINESS)S654ADAB tuner (DAB TUNER)S698AArea-Code 2 for DVD (AREA-CODE 2)S8KAADummy-SALAPA (OELWARTUNGSINT. 30.000KM/24MONATE)S8SMACar ident. number visible from outside (FAHRGESTELLNUMMER,V.AUSSEN SICHTBAR)S8S2ACoding, alarm signal (KODIERUNG ALARMSIGNAL)S8S3AAutomatic locking during starting (AUTOM. VERRIEGELUNG BEIM ANFAHREN)S8TGAThiefproofing device (DIEBSTAHLSICHERUNG)S8V1AInformation plate (HINWEISSCHILD NCAP)L812ANational version England / Ireland (ENGLAND/IRLAND AUSFUEHRUNG)S850ADummy-SALAPA (ZUSAETZL. TANKFUELLUNG EXPORT)S880AOn-board literature, English (ENGLISCH / BORDLITERATUR)
BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - FiestaOwner

Checking that with BMW reveals it should be a 320d in blue....

DVLA and the Autotrader have the colour as being Grey, NOT Blue!!!!

DVLA website: https://www.gov.uk/get-vehicle-information-from-dvla

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - Brettsza

Yes its definitely grey nothing blue about it.

Just checked bmw site as well its grey.

Edited by Brettsza on 10/08/2017 at 23:24

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - pd

Yes its definitely grey nothing blue about it.

Just checked bmw site as well its grey.

The official name is "Mineral Grey" so I reckon something got lost in translation on the BMW site. Anyway, as long as it is colour code B39 it matches what it should be.

Edited by pd on 11/08/2017 at 13:06

BMW 3 Series - Which car to go for - Smileyman

For 12K you can buy a brand new 17 or 67 plate SEAT Toledo ... read this report here and search online for the dealers selling at this price - this is the top of range excellence model wiith the new 1 litre engine (if you are worried about long term reliability you can extend the warranty to 5 years / 90k miles)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/seat/seat-toledo-review/

 

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