Tuesday, 5 April 2011
2002 BMW E46 318i tiptronic
So you have always wanted a BMW?. No?. Well for those of us who have you will most likely not want to spend "BMW money" on a BMW. So can you still get in to a good second hand BMW that ticks all of the right boxes on a budget?
Keep reading to find out.
Over the years I have owned many different cars but one of my personal favourites and current daily drive is a 2002 BMW E46 318i tiptronic face lift. The BMW E46 was the successor to the legendary E36 and was in production from 1998-2005, with a face lift becoming available in 2002 and like all BMW's it continued to offer the right balance of luxury with a sporty yet extremely comfortable driving experience. The most common type of E46 for sale these days in South Africa would have to be the 318i. There are two types of E46 318's on the market, the face lift and preface lift models. What`s the difference you may ask - well think of Madonna in 2002 vs 2010, it`s still the same person just with a few enhancements here and there. The face lift model came out as I mentioned in 2002 with a new front end upgraded engine and reworked rear end, making the car look more modern even compared to today's standards.
So are there any good deals to be had on what is essentially an older BMW?. What are some of the more common faults to be found on some second hand 318's and what it is like living with a second hand E46 318i (servicing costs, fuel economy, driving pleasure, resale value, etc).
You know the drill by now, keep reading.
Deal or no deal:
There are always car deals to be found out there. How good of a deal it is all depends on how hard you have been looking. Let`s take my car as an example - as I said before it`s a 2002 318i tiptronic with only 38 000km's on the clock, with a full service history and it was in immaculate condition - all for the low price of R102 000 including registration and licensing. Not bad considering some of the standard features of the car which I will list below:
Electric windows all round
Six speaker BMW business radio sound system
Abs with break discs all round
Audio and cruise control buttons on the steering wheel
Five speed automatic gearbox with manual sports shift function (Tiptronic)
Plenty of space, can easily accommodate five passengers comfortably and their luggage thanks to a big boot.
So in my opinion a pretty darn good deal if you look at what`s available on the market today with that kind of mileage in the R100 000 price bracket. Sure there might be newer cars out there but none of them will give you the same driving pleasure that the BMW can.
BMW 318i's range in price from as low as R50 000 up to R105 000 depending on year and mileage and condition. A good starting point if you are looking for a face lift model(2002+) would be a 2002 model with 120 000kms +- for R65 000- R85 000 again this all depends on the overall condition of the vehicle.
Problems? What problems?
All new cars that roll off the production line will at some stage or another begin to show their age as time goes on, be it mechanical break downs or a fading interior, it is inevitable. But just like people some cars are predisposed to certain niggles that pop up in the vast majority of them as the years pass by and the BMW E46 318i is no exception to this, but thank fully most of them are rock solid, quality built machines that will give you years of driving joy even if it is second hand.
I will list some major and minor problems that the E46 318i may suffer from, starting with serious problems