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2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
by Karl Peskett

2009 BMW 325i Review and Road Test

Two cylinders more means two thumbs up

Model Tested:

  • 2009 BMW 325i automatic – $75,900 RRP


  • Electric sunroof – glass – $2920
  • Metallic paint (Blue Water) – $1700
  • BMW light-alloy wheels star spoke 286 with mixed run-flat safety tyres, 17-inch with 225/45 R17, 255/40 R17 – $1000
  • Interior Trim (Walnut Light) – No Cost Option

CarAdvice Rating:

I was reading an article in a magazine a few weeks ago that talked about class distinction. The author flew on an airline that was completely first class. In other words, no economy, and no business class.

There were the usual niceties like champagne on arrival, hors d’oeuvres, beautiful meals, and affable hostesses. Sounds pretty good, but for some reason, he was disappointed.

2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test

The reason, well there was no one to look down upon. No passengers to peer through the curtain at, and think “I’ve made it. Yeah, you guys are all jealous.” He wanted to be revered, and to be thought of as special by someone else.

Which brings me to the BMW 3 Series range. There always has to be a base model, I suppose, so other models in the collection look better.

A couple of weeks ago, we took the base 3 Series for a spin, in the form of the 320i. Our consensus, and our readers too, was that as nice as the 3 Series is, the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol really doesn’t cut it.

The diesel powered 320d is demonstrably better in all aspects, and for only $3000 more.

But if you go further up the aspirational ladder, and the first six-cylinder you come across is the 323i. As it’s a detuned version of the 2.5-litre six fitted to the 325i, we opted for the latter for our next test. With the 325i making 160kW and 250Nm, it’s starting to put the excellent 3 Series chassis into perspective.

As it also carries the six-speed automatic, the extra torque certainly does smooth out the changes, and thankfully, the lever goes the right way for changing manually – forward to downshift, and backward to upshift.

We’ve had this engine on test before, however in a larger-bodied car, so how does it fare?

2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test

The bottom end torque, the swelling power, and the screaming top end will certainly have any car junky’s spine tingling. It’s also the way it motivates the 3 Series that impresses. Sure, it’s not the biggest engine, but it sure does punch well above its weight, in terms of pulling power.

Making most of its free-revving nature, the sonorous six is best above 3500-4000rpm. That doesn’t stop it hauling from low revs, though. It’s tractable, yet will smash the 100km/h barrier in 7.7 seconds.

But the best thing about the engine is its dual-role function. Happy to baby its passengers with a smooth nature (helped by the commendable gearbox), it’s remarkably quiet, notably at idle. Yet stick the boot in and it screams to the heavens, with the driver smiling uncontrollably.

Of course, with its bigger wheels, and similar weight (1445kgs), the 325i has the edge on its little brother in the handling stakes. Turn in is a little crisper, it’s similarly suspended, and steering feel and weight is also excellent, save at low speeds where, again, it gets a little heavy. As it’s more a driver’s car, you care less about that.

The combination of brilliant balance, excellent brakes and sweet engine means that the 325i distinguishes itself as the starting point for desirable cars in the 3 Series’ range.

2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test

Of course, you end up paying for it, though. With a starting price of $75,900, it’s a good $21,400 more than its little brother, the 320i. Cynics would complain that that’s a lot of extra cash for just two more cylinders, but they need to remember that there’s a lot more included equipment as standard.

iDrive is fitted, as well as the larger, clearer screen and Business Navigation. The outstanding voice command system must be mentioned, with just about every function of the car being able to be controlled by pressing a button on the wheel, and giving your decree.

It’s intuitive, too, as everything you read on the menu is a spoken command, which means not having to read through 50 pages of an instruction manual to find out how to get somewhere. Blitzing Audi’s MMI system, the new iDrive with voice control has to be now the best system on the market.

In addition the Bluetooth system, and stereo are both clear and crisp, with touch sensitive favourites buttons that display what their functions are by just brushing your finger over the top.

The rest of the interior is pure 3 Series, and is echoed in the 320i we tested earlier. Again, the revised (and now excellent) iDrive was optioned, as was metallic paint and sunroof.

To look at, apart from the wheels, there’s not a lot to distinguish the different designations of the 3 Series. Good for base model owners, not so good for the higher versions. I guess that’s why “model designation deletion” is a no cost option.

2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test

However, that all disappears into the back of your mind, as soon as you’re behind the wheel of the 325i. It’s the way it drives that really matters.

It’s nice to sometimes look down on those below you, however, I prefer to look in my rear vision mirror at those left in my dust.

CarAdvice Overall Rating:
How does it Drive:
How does it Look:
How does it Go:


  • Engine: 2.5-litre, six-cylinder, inline
  • Power: 160kW @ 6500rpm
  • Torque: 250Nm @ 2750-4250rpm
  • Induction: Naturally aspirated multipoint injected
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Differential/Driven Wheels: Open centre/rear
  • Brakes: Single piston vented discs front and rear
  • Top Speed: 242km/h
  • 0-100km/h: 7.7 seconds
  • 0-400m: Not tested
  • CO2 Emissions: 212km/h
  • Fuel Consumption: 8.8 litres/100km
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 63 litres
  • Fuel Type: 91RON petrol
  • ANCAP Rating: Five stars
  • Airbags: Six
  • Safety: ABS, EBD, DSC
  • Spare Wheel: No
  • Tow Capacity: 1600kgs brakes, 745kgs unbraked
  • Turning Circle: 11 metres
  • Warranty: Three years/unlimited
  • Weight: 1445kgs
  • Wheels: 17-inch alloy

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2009 BMW 3 Series Review & Road Test
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  • blindfreddy

    On what planet does a shiny plastic faux wood interior equal class and luxury? Oh that’s right … 1970s world ….

  • The Realist

    325i, 335i and M3 is where the 3 Series shows how good it really is. This is what, $80K? I’d probably also get the Professional Navigation system option, with full HD Television on board, and Logic 7 sound with 14 speakers. A colleague’s 335i has these, and they’re brilliant. I was a fan of the old I-drive, and the new version is even better. I like the new rear with LED’s, however don’t like the crease lines on the bonnet nor the huge mirrors.

    Interesting that one could also purchase the rep special Ford FPV GT E ABCDEFG for $78K. With “luxury” features like power windows, single seat (drivers) seat electrical adjustment, and a 6 speaker audio system from the XT Falcon, the car must be an “executive express” ay!!

  • Bavarian Missile (.)(.)

    Blindfreddy most manufacturers use faux wood in their interiors these days,whats your point ?

    You want to sit in a formal lounge room then stay at home, you want a drivers car then buy a BMW !

    Thanks Karl,great review fantastic car !

  • Devil’s Advocate

    IMHO BMW still make the best 6 cylinder engines in the world. There is nothing like the sound of a BMW straight 6 howling in the upper registers. It makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up! It sounds even better IMHO than many V8s.

  • alec

    If only they had a good looking body to wrap around that chassis and interior.
    I hate the look of the current 3 series sedans, especially the rear end which has no class or style! Coupe is a different story

  • zahmad

    Audi A4 a much better value option…

  • Dan

    I agree with Alec. If only it looked better, I’d happily own one.

  • Factual

    Blindfreddy… the “shiny plastic faux wood interior” is actually real wood.

  • Tony

    Quote from above report: “It’s nice to sometimes look down on those below you, however, I prefer to look in my rear vision mirror at those left in my dust.”

    I am surprised to see such blatant arrogance on display for all to see. I hope the economic recession during 2009 will humble such arrogant people by sending them broke.

  • NotTheStig

    And anyway if you don’t like the wood (BTW. I am alergic to wood in cars – LOL…), there are other choices unlike say with a Lexus when you get what you are given and that is it…

  • Dan

    Ummm, there are choices of interior colours in Lexus mate, just like in the BMW. There are not as many options however, as they are already fitted with them. I’d rather get it fitted with the car at the rrp price, than having to pay for it seperately. That’s the downside of BMW, 100s of options, at a premium price.

  • NotTheStig

    I know you have some choice in a Lexus but not much at all.

    I would rather pay to get what I want and not be stuck with that hideous Lexus glossy wood thanks…

    You pay a high price to customise your car (BMW/Merc/Audi/Volvo etc) but at the end of the day it makes you feel special as it is exactly as you wanted it. Just depends how passionate/pedantic you are. I am one of those people and you aren’t but can’t we all get along ?

  • Dan

    Let me re-phrase what I wrote above. All the options you want to ‘customise’ your beemer with, are already fitted in the lexus as standard equipment. Hence the lack of options. If you want to “feel special” by choosing to have less equipment in your car, then I guess that’s your choice lol!

    And last time I checked, the Lexus wood and BMW wood looked exactly the same. And I own(ed) both :)

  • NotTheStig


    All the options you can get in a BMW aren’t standard in a Lexus at all. Have a look at the listings.

    I don’t care if the Lexus/BMW woods look the same, the thing is that if you get a Lexus you have to get the wood but in a BMW etc, you have a choice of wood, aluminium, gloss plastic or whatever.

    As I said, you are the sort of person who accepts a prebuilt solution whereas I (and there are many others out there) like to have exactly want we want and makers like BMW etc provide this. Eg. You want black and not grey headlining ? – BMW can do this for you.

    So what if it costs more ? That would be my choice. At the end of the day that is why a Lexus is cheaper…


    Won’t buy one. Looks like a 320 with 80K price tag. What were the germans thinking??

  • Dan

    You’re missing the point NotTheStig. You have to pay extra to get something that comes as standard in the other one. I just went through the BMW options list, one by one, the following are standard on the IS:

    4500 for Innovations pacakge, 1900 for active cruise control, 2860 for active steering, 1700 for mettalic paint, 3K for sunroof, 1K for an alarm, 1400 for comfort access system, 750 for headlight washers, 2200 for bi-xenons, 920 for adaptive hedlights, 510 for foldable mirrors, 620 for rear parking sensors, 700 for electrochromatic mirrors, 2.5K for speaker upgrade, 7K for satnav package and so on. Can’t be bothered typing the whole list out.

    Why not get more than you want, for less? Makes absolutely no sense!

    Plus, you do get a choice of type of woodgrain, despite what you claim.

    The only options that aren’t standard are the moonroof and the satnav on the base model Prestige, which isn’t the direct competitor of 325i anyway. The Sports Luxury version, which sits near that price bracket, has no options, but is fully loaded with all of the equipment you gotta pay extra for in the beemer. And whooptie doo, black headlining. The money you save on the IS, you can take it and get it done aftermket somewhere else, and then buy some second car with your spare cash left over haha. Although it would probably be worth asking about it at the dealer, maybe they can do it. I’ve never been fussed about black headlining.

  • Alex

    Only someone who couldn’t afford one would think it was too expensive…

  • JML

    Dan said: “You have to pay extra to get something that comes as standard in the other one.”

    Of course, mate. One is a BMW, the other is a Toyota. If they were the same price, no one would buy the Toyota.

  • Tom

    Considering its about as quick as a standard 6 cylinder commodore or falcon, i doubt its going to leave much in its rear-view mirror…

  • http://skyline Just a Customer

    IMO i would never even consider buying a Lexus. They are considered the poor mans luxury car, a joke in high society. Comparing a BMW to a Lexus is like comparing bottled wine to cask. Pease, don’t even try……..

  • Dan

    I’ve seen a 320i once with M badges. Kind of like putting HSV badges on a 6 pack commodore haha. Anyone who buys these cars for performance, obviously has set their bar too low. 330i would be the bare minimum to be considered in any way as performance, in the 3 series range.

    Still a nice car, if it only had good looks *sigh*

  • Dan

    “a joke in high society”

    JustACustomer, you know the bigger joke are the people who buy a 320i thinking they now belong to ‘high society’. What does a car have to do with it? LOL!

    I know a few very well off people with a Lexus in their garage, including certain B grade Perth celebrities, who no one actually makes any jokes about, so you certainly aren’t accurate with your comments there. In fact, quite ignorant to tell you the truth mate.

  • http://skyline Just A Customer

    I drove a Toyota once with Lexus badges. Hard to compare pedigree and a mutt with a new hair cut. BMW has a racing history that comes standard with the badge, it screams i am a connoisseur of motoring. Lexus has no story to tell, no history to be proud of, its fake and empty.

  • NotTheStig

    Well, Dan, get out there and tell everyone why they should buy a Lexus not a BMW etc and you won’t make one iota of difference to the sales figures.

    A BMW drives and handles like a BMW.

    A Lexus is a tarted up appliance for people who want bells, whistles and don’t care how a car drives.

    Look, you don’t get it, not me. No real car lover would drive a Lexus. I guess you buy a cheap no name Plasma TV as well and say that is superior to a Sony etc. too ?

    (and no, I am not affiliated in any way with BMW)

  • NotTheStig

    Dan, just because some loser celebrities drive a Lexus, you think they are superior ? LOL…

    That is the end of my comments on this matter as clearly you have no idea.

  • Dan

    Honda has racing history also, you don’t see them crapping on about it when they try to sell you a Honda Jazz do you? 320i is a joke. Nothing racing or performance in it what so ever. This is NOT a performance car mate, no matter how BMW marketing dept tells you. Standard with the badge? I just pissed myself laughing mate. Sure, believe what you want. I’ll beat your “standard with the badge” performance 320i with my Suzuki Swift or similar haha.

    NotTheStig, you are wrong on so many levels. I don’t care who outsells who, coz frankly, I don’t give a toss. I’ve own(ed) both. Only that I am not blinded by badge alone, and I feel free to critisize either side, as I please, if I see the need to. Initially I merely stated about how overpriced BMW options are, and you seemed to disagree, despite plain facts being shown to you. I am a car enthusiast myself, had heaps of nice cars, still do, and compete in amateur motorsport (drift). Yet I drive a lexus as a daily. So that automatically makes me a non car lover does it? Ahh, the ignorance, plenty of it on here isn’t it?

    P.S. I got a 50″ Samsung 1080p TV. No non-brand name LG crap in my house thanks.

  • Dan

    “Dan, just because some loser celebrities drive a Lexus, you think they are superior ?”

    So… because some Joe Bloggs drives a 320i, you think they are superior higher class? It was simply a response to your retarded statement of “joke in high society” LOL!

    He’s a well known and respected sports presenter for channel 7, for the last 20 or so years if not more. Thought I’ll mention that as an example.
    Being at the Lexus of Perth grand opening of new dealership, I could notice heaps of various high society people there. Goes right against what you have said.

  • Dan

    “clearly you have no idea.”

    I’ve been on ‘both sides of the camp’. You haven’t. Clearly you’re the one lacking any idea.

  • http://carAdvice The Salesman

    P.S. I got a 50″ Samsung 1080p TV. No non-brand name LG crap in my house thanks.

    HA HA, both are Korean :)

  • Dan

    Nothing wrong with Korean TVs mate. See, as opposed to some people (no need to mention names, it’s obvious), I don’t wear blinkers.

  • Dan

    Sorry, LG is crap, forgot to add that in haha.

  • Bavarian Missile (.)(.)

    Its all about power to weight in BMWs thats where the driver excitement comes from,their engines and the general set up of the car through their chassis’s makes them masters at what they do.

    Karl clearly enjoyed the car .

    Oh and they dont do a 330i anymore Dan,they do a kick arse 335i …………..a 3.0 litre inline 6……….

  • Wheelnut

    As I said in another topic to do with Toyotas:

    Toyota tend to design and build their car in “sections” – Sure they may have a good engine or a good gearbox or whatever.. But they very rarely build a car where the gearbox or the suspension or the brakes is of the same quality as the engine and is unable to handle the power

    Whereas at BMW the designers and engineers appear to work more closely wth eachother and they build a car with an awesome [international award winning] engine with an equally impressive gearbox along with suspension and brakes that can do the job.. the set up is just right

    Which is why to most car enthusiasts prefer BMWs because they are more of a complete package.. It just feels that much better when everything works together – seemlessly

  • Wheelnut

    Okay then Dan – in relation to the IS-F… are visits to the Chiropractor Optional or Standard? .. given that they have forgotten to include a Suspension System

  • Wheelnut

    If anyone either buys or follows a particular make of car because a so called celebrity happens to own/drive one is a truly shallow individual indeed.. they obviously don’t realise that in most cases the stars don’t actually pay for the car.. but its given to them for “endorsing” the “?”
    Yet I doubt that if they had the choice they probably wouldn’t buy the “?” at all

    I mean John Laws for instance endorsed Toyota for years but he never actually had one in his Garage..
    Infact when you saw him on TV leaving court during the “cash for comments” case he was often seen in either his Aston Martin or Porsche

  • SteveH

    ‘Whereas at BMW the designers and engineers appear to work more closely wth eachother and they build a car with an awesome [international award winning] engine with an equally impressive gearbox along with suspension and brakes that can do the job.. the set up is just right’

    You are kidding right? After all of the grief the 320i has copped on this site, the one series hatchbacks and the early three series compact, you still claim that BMW design a more ‘complete’ package.

  • Bavarian Missile (.)(.)

    The 320i is still a good car for what it is Steve ,there was only one reason the 320 thread got out of hand and its the same reason that this thread is being over run with Lexus crap!

    3 Series compact……yeah well everyone makes a mistake,the one series ……….nothing wrong with them! Especially the Coupe ,the 135i is a GREAT car!

    BMW set out to own the Luxury car market and they have ,a few mistakes along the way are expected!

    I have a framed picture on my wall in the office that says “‘Its not just how fast you go,its how you go fast.” Yep its on the new M3 Coupe …………..

  • ZoomZoom

    Welcome back Dan! (sarcasm).
    Not that finding out the rubbish you own isn’t interesting and all but no one gives a stuff. This is a car blog not a TV blog.
    Do we seriously have to find out everything you own from Toyotas to TVs.

  • Wheelnut

    In terms of performance and handling yes… one main reason is because unlike the Yaris-Corolla the 1 Series [like virtually all BMWs] is RWD.
    Which means when pushed hard the car is more evenly balanced givng the driver more confidence as s/he is able to maintain control alot easier.

    In terms of looks – yes… because whilst some may think the 1 series may be alittle odd looking its lines are more naturally flowing than that of Yaris-Corolla. Not only that BMWs are more distinctive they grab your attention because [overall] they look so good. Whereas the Corolla-Yaris look like every other “econobox”.

    I mean the current Camry looks like its been ploughed into a wall before it leaves the factory.

    The only reason that Toyota have made changes to the look of the Yaris-Corolla; not to mention offer more features etc is because cars such as the Mazda2 the Ford Fiesta VW Golf and even the Hyundai i30 have raised the bar.. in terms of looks performance and value for money etc.
    Cars that Toyota considered weren’t a threat to the Corolla but now find themselves playing catch up in an anttempt to try and keep its position as the #1 hatchback

  • ZoomZoom

    Very true wheelnut, now that the corolla isn’t the no.1 selling small car in australia they are gonna have to try a lot harder than just offer heavy discounts on unsold stock. I guess it is just reality sinking in to the public. Now that buyers can see Toyota for what it is, it will be interesting to see what toyota will do to lure customers once again.

  • Wheelnut

    The other thing that makes BMW better is well look at the 3 series for example – in the one model range you have a coupe a sedan a cabriolet a wagon and a cross over.. look pretty much the same are derived from the same platform [with the exception of the M3] and all build on the features and characteristics of other models in the same series.

    Whereas in Toyota you have the Corolla hatch and sedan and thats about it.

    so much more veratiltiy flexibility and even practicality in a Beemer

  • Wheelnut

    Mind you.. could you imagine what a convertible Camry would look like?

  • SteveH

    I appreciate the general dislike for everything Toyota, but why compare $50k plus BMW’s with $15K – $25 Toyota’s? I also don’t know if anyone who supports BMW’s should really be throwing stones about another cars looks. I wouldn’t be calling many BMW’s the supermodels of the automotive world.

    In case you ask, I had an 86 Twin Cam Corolla. Awesome car, but Toyota seemed to lose their way with sporty cars not too long after.

  • Wheelnut

    I wasn’t comparing a Corola with a 3 series perse.. given that the 3 series and the Corolla are the most popular cars from BMW and Toyota
    I decided to use them as examples inorder to illustrate how the two car companies go about designing developing and building their cars.. and the impact they have on the end product in terms of looks handling and performance etc.

  • Wheelnut

    As they say the destination may be the same but how you get there can be a completely different experience – depending upon where you start from and the decisions you make along the way

  • Cupid Stunt

    it worked – awaiting moderation.

    As for the drive – great reoport. Obviously outguns the 320 by a margin. Personally I don’t mind the wood and prefer it over large swaves of cold aluminium (aka 335d the boss had). My reall problem with the 3 series is the lack of rear leg room for such a large car. A colleague has one and for an adult entering and ergressing the rear and staying there for any length of time it’s awkward.

  • SteveH

    Don’t you think that the markets that the two cars are aimed at are completely different? People who buy are corolla are after a cheap and reliable car with good interior room. A front wheel drive car offers better packaging benefits than a rear wheel drive car, hence the corolla is FWD.

    BMW 3 series are aimed at people who can afford a more expensive car and are after the handling benefits of rear wheel drive, even if they never use it.

    Therefore, as for a 3 series and Corolla both being cars with four wheels, yes they are the same ‘destination’. But the cars are aimed at different markets, so I would argue they have different ‘destinations’.

  • blindfreddy

    wow -kick off a comment at the start of the day and 14hours later there are 50 comments. What is it about beemers that is always so divisive?

    I stand corrected if the wood in a beemer trim is real and not faux. I was really just trying to say that I find the bmw interior dated (wood or metallic or whatever option you use) and the shiny wood look just makes me want to scream. I’d pick a matte metallic or piano black any day. But it is the whole shape I hate, not just the trim.

    I know some people find the interior simple and ergonomic. Styling is subjective and to each their own, but my personal view is that it is plain, uninteresting and somehow dated. I’d opt for an audi or volvo interior any day (though the A3 and even the A4 aren’t as good as they should be).

    Of course, I acknowledge that it is unsophisticated to knock a car on interior alone, the driving experience should be the key concern. But no matter how well it drives I still wouldn’t want to sit in one all day looking at that dash and sure as hell wouldnt pay $80K plus options for a vehicle I find aesthetically disappointing.

  • Dan

    Why the heck are you comparing a beemer 3 series to a corolla?? You’re comparing a car that costs 80K versus a 20K car! Looks like ZoomZoom’s logic (or lack of) must be contageous… Of course the 80K car will be better in terms of engine, gearbox and suspension, and everything else Wheelbut! That’s the most retarded comment I read today!!

    I agree with Blindfreddy. They really ‘bangled’ the looks. E46 was a great looking model, both inside and outside. This current model makes me wanna puke. How can a brand new car’s dash look so dated straight away? I just couldn’t bring myself to buy one, those looks repulse me.

  • Wheelnut

    Im not comapring the two – read my comments again and you will see that I never said the BMW kicks the Corollas arse or vice versa..
    Because for what they are they do an excellent job and both are very popular in the markets in which they compete.
    I merely used the Corolla and the 3 series as an example of the different approaches the two companies take in relation to designing and building a car.

    If you want to then let’s compare the Corolla to another German;the VW Golf.. which [although irrelevant to the discussion] is the same price as the Corolla…
    The Golf also backs up my arguement that a number of car manufacturers be it BMW VW Subaru Mitsubishi all have a more overall outlook to building a car than Toyota.

    The Golfs engine is more better matched to the gearbox the steering the suspension and the braking etc.. which is why it looks handles and performs better than the Corolla

    Not only that but the Corolla is Toyota’s “bread and butter” car its what their reputation for reliability etc was built on.
    Yet because their rivals have adopted a more overall approach to building cars it shows how Toyota have sat on their Laurels..
    I mean Only now are Toyota introducing features on their cars that the competition have had for quite some time.. again highlighting another difference in Toyotas attitude.

    Remember its often easier to chase than it is to lead

  • The Realist

    Bavarian Missile (.)(.) Says:
    March 5th, 2009 at 9:02 pm
    “I have a framed picture on my wall in the office that says “‘Its not just how fast you go,its how you go fast.””

    Tell that to all the HSV and FPV drivers out there who think 0-100 and kW & Nm is all that matters…

    325i engine is very good, but once one has sampled that 335i you always want more.

    Nothing beats 10 cylinder of course!!

  • The Realist

    Dan Says:
    March 6th, 2009 at 12:49 am
    “I agree with Blindfreddy. They really ‘bangled’ the looks. E46 was a great looking model, both inside and outside.”

    And it was designed by Bangle too…

    “This current model makes me wanna puke. How can a brand new car’s dash look so dated straight away? I just couldn’t bring myself to buy one, those looks repulse me.”

    Dated? It’s simple and classy. I would have preferred a dash angled towards the driver myself like Bimmers of old, but am perfectly fine with this – though I can’t stand the interior when brushed aluminium trim is used!

  • Dan

    “I merely used the Corolla and the 3 series as an example of the different approaches the two companies take in relation to designing and building a car.”

    Again, you are effectively comparing the two! Of course the approach a company takes in designing and building a car will differ between a 20K car and a 80K car, can’t you see it?? Those are two totally differnt spectrums, with totally different goals! One is a budget car for a to b transport, and the other is a luxury car that does more than take your from a to b (and don’t bother to argue on the semantics!). Apples with apples mate! It’s like comparing the 320i to a Veyron mate!

    Realist, I guess it is a matter of taste, and that will differ between people. Personally I prefer the E46 dash, and at least to me, it looks more modern than the current dash in the 3 series, even though it’s 10 years old now. The exterior, maybe, I’d be able to put up with, but the dash and interior was the deal breaker to me when it came to me choosing not to upgrade to this new model. Yes, car dynamics and whatnot do matter too, but for a daily car, I personally felt a need to sit in something that looks good. Hopefully next model will improve in that department… or again they won’t be getting any money from me 😛

  • Dan

    Oh, and Wheelnut, you should expand your horizons, and go visit Europe, speak to the locals and ask them what they think about the golf for example lol! I’ve lived in Europe for about 10 years. What I find hillarious about Australia is that locals over here tend to think that anything from Europe is absolutely awesome. While to some degree that of course is correct, there are certain brands and cars which are considered bread and butter, cheap, and common over there, while people over here tend to think they’re driving something special, just coz it’s european. Believe it or not, some jap brands are actually highly valued over there, but I guess it’s a matter of ‘the grass in greener on the other side’.

  • http://skyline The Salesman

    KIA wins UK Car Maker of the year.
    Need i say more?

  • Dan

    Nope, no need haha. You have just proven my point Salesman, cheers! :)

  • Wheelnut

    Dan Says: current model makes me wanna puke. How can a brand new car’s dash look so dated straight away?

    I thake it then that you haven’t seen the dash of the Cam-Aurion then?

    And as for an $60-80k car being better than a $20K car or having a better engine gearbox brakes or suspension than a $20K car..

    That isn’t always the case because there are a number of luxury prestige or performance cars out there that have either an engine gearbox or brakes that feel as thoguh its come from a $20K econo-box.
    I mean there are a number of smaller cheaper cars theat can perform just as well as a more expensive car and have similar features etc..

    Not only that but apart from some slight modifications there is nothing stopping Toyota putting the same engine gearbox brakes or suspension form say the Lexus into a Camry now is there?
    VW for example have been sharing engines etc across the range of cars for sometime now

  • Wheelnut

    Dan says: One is a budget car for a to b transport, and the other is a luxury car that does more than take your from a to b (and don’t bother to argue on the semantics!).

    I won’t bother getting into symantic with you in regards to a car being nothing more than a form transport to get you from A to B be it a Luxury Sedan a Ute a Hatchback or whatever..

    As I see no point repeating myself just because you have a problem dealing with logic or admitting when you are wrong

    I recall we had this debate on a previous topic. When I proved you wrong by stating that No matter what car you drive you’ve got to stop somewhere/sometime as every journey has a starting point and destination – you refused to accept it & went off on a completely different tangent
    [as usual]

    It wasn’t until other bloggers agreed with me by saying that a car is used to get you from A to B.. the only difference being how fast you want to get there and what you want/need to take with you which determines the type of car you should use that you went quiet on the issue.

  • Dan

    “I recall we had this debate on a previous topic. When I proved you wrong by stating that No matter what car you drive you’ve got to stop somewhere/sometime as every journey has a starting point and destination – ”

    LOL! You proved me wrong? Ok. So when I tow my 180SX down to Collie, for some track work at the racetrack. I place it on the track. And race it around the place. Where have I left from (a), and where am I going to? (b). Please tell me? As far as I know, I am going nowhere really? Is it getting me from a to b? No, I start and finish at the same place. Is it providing me with heaps of fun? Yes. Am I burning some rubber and practicing my drift around the corners? Yes. Is that getting me from a to b? No. Wheelnut, the key to any intelligent and stimulating discussion is to open your mind up a little bit, and actually read what someone else is saying. I understand you are trying to save your face and do the best you can not to be proven wrong, but I’m sorry mate, some cars just aren’t there for a to b, no matter how many times you repeat yourself. Perhaps you don’t participate in any form of motorsport, and to be honest, I am not blaming you for the lack of knowledge on the subject. A lot of people, including my family, do not understand why I “waste my time and money” doing what I do. It’s my passion. You’ll find a lot of real car enthusiasts do whatever it is they do with their cars, not to get from a to b, but to have some fun. If I take it out onto the streets at night, and go to a deserted industiral atea to do some burnouts, what was the purpose of the trip? To get to the indistrial areas and smell the roses? Or to go burn some rubber? The purpose of the car at that point is to burn some rubber. I couldn’t do it with a Hyundai Xcel could I? I don’t expect you to understand real car enthusiats. It would be nice though if you open up your mind a little bit, and actually see someone else’s point of view, in that hey, I really do not have this car to go from a to b, so perhaps the purpose of this car is not to go from a to b… for example. I’m probably wasting my keyboard on you, and you will be back to pick on some semantics, I bet. *sigh*

    P.S. Aurion’s dash actually looks more modern than this car’s…

  • Wheelnut

    You left from [a] your home or whereever your car is stored
    You drove to [b] Collie or whereever the racetrack is located so you can do “circlework” [such a redneck term]

    You then want your car to get you from [a] the start line to [b] finish line.. where the journey starts all over again

    In both cases you would want a car that is up to the job or specifically designed for that purpose and they come in a wide range styles shapes sizes and colours.

    ALL Cars do the same job – that is trasnport you and your cargo trom one place to another it just depends on how you wnat to get there and what you want.need to carry etc

  • Wheelnut

    Dan Says: “Wheelnut, the key to any intelligent and stimulating discussion is to open your mind up a little bit, and actually read what someone else is saying.”

    Qui Pro Quo

  • Wheelnut

    Dan you don’t have to particioate in motorsport or any other sport to understand it or appreciate it.

    There are people who either don’t have the money or the ability to actually race themselves but admire and respect the people that do particularly at the professional level –
    they could only imagine the drive and determination needed to do all the training etc involved to do what the likes of Jamie Whincup do… they are known as “fans” and they often read up on and learn whatever they can about what goes on in the sport.. so much so that it can become an obsession

    For those of you who would like to get more involved in V8 Supercars; I suggest you become a [volunteer] flag marshall – because the drivers realise without them then there is no racing – for safety reasons

  • Dan

    *EPIC facepalm* I knew you will pick on semantics again

    Please read what I wrote. I towed the car to Collie. I didn’t drive it to Collie. I didn’t get anywhere with it from A to B. The purpose of the car there was to have fun in it. Because as you said, any car can go from a to b. But that wasn’t the point of it was it? I can get on a wheelbarrow from a to b. Doesn’t mean I would accomplish the pupose of being on the racetrack, if I had a wheelbarrow instead of a race car. You fail to understand the simple concept. But like i said, I don’t expect you too…

    “In both cases you would want a car that is up to the job or specifically designed for that purpose”

    FINALLY, you are slowly beginning to agree with me. Various vehicles are made for various purposes. A truck is designed to carry loads. A bus is designed to carry many people. An econobox is designed for basic a to b commuting… A limousine is designed to drive you around in luxury. A race car is designed to race. A 5 year old kid is capable of understanding this distinction. Why is it so difficult for you?

  • Victory

    I love last part of the review, the thing about leaving people in his dust. Where did that come from haha!

  • Tim

    I admit it, I only bother to read the comments of an article to see what the daily idiots have to say!

    I love it!! Back on topic though, nice car! Much better than the piece of poo 320i. Lovely interior, great engine and I must admit that I like the updated looks, especially the rear lights – remind me of the last gen model. But still at this price…its too much. For this money a Passat CC will do the trick!! Although it doesnt have the reputation of a BMW/Merc, it is still a solid luxury brand with a cracker of a vehicle line up.

  • Devil’s Advocate

    Tom says:March 5th, 2009 at 6:40 pm
    “Considering its about as quick as a standard 6 cylinder commodore or falcon, i doubt its going to leave much in its rear-view mirror…”
    …. Until it reaches the first few corners. Stringing together a good set of bends is where BMWs excel, even the base 4cyl models. However as far as I am concerned, it is not a true BMW unless it has 6 or more cylinders! Being a quick car is not always about how fast it is in a straight line, look at the Mazda MX-5 as an example. Not very quick in a straight line, but in real world conditions like the Great Ocean Road or your favorite twisty bit of tarmac, even a lot of your big, thumping V8s etc would struggle to keep up with one. 😉

  • ChineseDriver

    This is a GREAT car for people who doesn’t care about cars.

  • BMW_Driver

    BMW 325i vs Lexus. Hmmm.. lets see:

    BMW has more power
    BMW has a better sounding engine.
    BMW has better steering (unless you are a small female)
    BMW has bigger and better brakes.
    BMW has a more spacious rear seat.
    BMW has a better interior & more standard finishes.
    Lexus has better tyres.
    Lexus has better ride quality.

    The answer is to get a BMW and change the tires.

  • OneCalorie

    Have you folks actually driven these vehicles? It does help you know. Better yet , how about hearing from someone who has owned one, or both ! So let’s talk Lexus shall we? Ok – how about that sporty two seat coupe with the super tech cool retractable hard top. Very plush, really cool looks. V8 engine. The SC430 in some markets. wow must be a Porsche stomper. Wrong. It drives like a friggin farm truck. Sluggish, non responsive steering, a poser. Turns into an un-guided floating torpedo in heavy seas above 150 km.h. But there you go – a Lexus with all the options already built in. You are welcome to it. Have a great time.

    Audit A4. Please. Ok, quattro is great for snow. you got snow – you need one of these. You got curves and corners – then you are gonna lean and plow. (Quattro = extra weight) A bit better than Lexus, but that isnt saying much. And by the way – keep that blower running compressed air into that little vibrating four.

    Ok so how about a 325i. As some have said here, if you want to do an American style drag race and see who can go straight ahead faster than the next guy – wrong car. As I learned in motorcycle pursuits – there is always somebody with more horsepower. If the horsepower output of your machine is your idea of a refined performance sedan – you don’t want a 3 series (although the M5 might give you a thrill – to me it is a bit “in your face” , too loud, no stealth – and past my budget for sure). But If you want a personal transportation vehicle that will respond to your telepathic intents – you are in the right place. It is all about what you value in a car. Have you owned a BMW. Have you driven a BMW. I own a BMW. I have owned a Lexus (and an Infiniti). It is not the same type of transportation. You really can’t tell anybody – you have to experience it. And frankly, doesn’t matter if you believe me or agree with me, because I have driven and owned them both, and I don’t own no Lexi no more, nor none of them thar Infiniti neither. No thank you.

    Lexus has better tyres – that is right funny. So I have Michelin Pilot Sport 255.40.17. Lexus has ? and they are better right? Learn something every day – here I was ignorant and all that, thinking that Lexus had to buy their tires from tire manufacturers , like everybody else.

  • http://www.lhuda.com/vb lhuda.net

    2009 BMW 325i

    Great Really this is a beautiful Car

  • TDo

    A decent drive as you would expect from a 6 beemer, HOWEVER I wouldn’t ever purchase a 3 series or any BMW for that matter.
    Such a boring and uninspirational vehicle range. Bar the M series though, but honestly how many people have the spare money to blow on that.
    If they did there are plenty of far superior rides out there to consider.
    If you are middle aged then there is nothing wrong with getting a beemer I guess, anything more might be too much of a rush ;]

  • http://www.aquatechtanks.com JACOB CHIRAMEL

    Ammonia like intolerable pungent smell from AC blower.
    My vehicle emits ammonia like intolerable pungent smell when its AC blower is switched on may for first 20 to 30 seconds in the starting. Here in INDIA none of the BMW staff could solve the issue, Nor they knew how to go about to solve it, This vehicle has run only 3500 Kms & trouble started at the time when it was at about 2200 Kms .
    It is a brand new vehicle 2009 July model.
    Now almost after 7 weeks of the complaint – their technical team has decided to replace its A/C EVAPORATOR – Hope it is the right solution
    If it claims to be a brand leader ???????? Why ?????
    If someone can pffer some tips. — Thanks.
    JACOB CHIRAMEL. Email: cok@aquatechtanks.com

  • Deco

    Hey, where’d the story go :(.

    Only shows up to the end of the airlinepart thingie.

BMW 3 Series Specs

Car Details
E90 MY09
Body Type
New Price
Private Sale
$23,210 - $26,380
Dealer Retail
$24,050 - $28,600
Dealer Trade
$18,300 - $21,100
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
340Nm @  1750rpm
Max. Power
125kW @  4000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:1600  Unbrake:745
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
205/55 R16
Rear Tyres
205/55 R16
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Suspension
Double wishbone, Coil Spring, Gas damper
Rear Suspension
Multi-link system, Coil Spring, Hydraulic damper, Shock absorber
Standard Features
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Power front seats
Control & Handling
16 Inch Alloy Wheels, Traction Control System
Cruise Control, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering, Trip Computer
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Fog Lights - Front, Power Mirrors
Leather Upholstery, Power Windows
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Side Front Air Bags
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Sport Seats
Control & Handling
17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Sports Suspension
Satellite Navigation
Premium Sound System
Metallic Paint, M Sport Package II, Xenon Headlights
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft
Service Interval
12 months /  25,000 kms
36 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Inner Guard
Country of Origin
South Africa