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      02-08-2013, 06:37 PM   #42
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tony20009's Avatar

Drives: BMW 335i - Coupe
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Washington, DC

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Originally Posted by 328inGE View Post
I agree, the difference is not as great with the more options you add to match the standard 328. However, I also think there may be some options on your configured 320 that you are not accounting for such as sport wheels and seats, M steering wheel, heated seats, comfort access, lumbar support and sat radio. Those do add some value.
As an absolute, yes, the 320i will be less expensive. For me, the difference in cost isn't different enough to make the power sacrifice palatable. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that there are thousands of folks who would just say "cheaper is cheaper and it's still a BMW," and go with the 320i. That's cool; I wouldn't chide them for making that choice.

True enough that there is some value to having sport seats. I would argue though that having leather seats adds less value than having sport seats. So, with that in mind, configuring a sport line and leaving off the leather seats, and keeping everything else yields a variance of about $2000.

Historically, the premium for having a more powerful engine on a 3er has been $3000 or so. And were that the delta between the 320 and the 328, in either of the configurations I mentioned (this or earlier post) I'd see the 320 as a good value. As it stands now, it just seems like a revenue/market share ploy rather than an earnest effort on BMW's part to offer value for money. I say that because if one further can do without two "nice to haves" on the 328 -- PDC and the camera -- while retaining the sport line, the $328 comes in at $45,345, bringing the difference down to about $1000.

So do you really think that substantively equivalent BMWs, where one car is really only as powerful as a typical Honda or Chevy, or other "mass market" car, and the other is notably more powerful should cost just $1K-$2K less? Consider that only at high speeds on windy roads would the 320i out perform a typical Honda, its only edge is handling, not power/speed. Short entrance ramps onto highways will be no less daunting in the 320, for example. For me, it's easily worth that sum to rise above the fray because the fray, with all the options on the 320, can be had for a good deal less ($7K - $10K) than the 320i.

'07, e92 335i, Sparkling Graphite, Coral Leather, Aluminum, 6-speed