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      01-21-2019, 01:10 PM   #23
TodmordenLad
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I'd go for the Touring and I've owned both (pre LCI touring and LCI GC).
More practical rear seats and better cargo space. The GC drives a bit better and looks nicer but if it's practically you're after, the Touring 's the better bet
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      01-21-2019, 02:45 PM   #24
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i have a 328i touring and currently drive a 335i touring. i think they are great cars and we have a three year old and an 8 month old. we also have a one series, which works with two car seats but the boot space is no where near as good. i reckon you would be fine with either, it is just finding one as i was looking for 8 months or so.
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      01-21-2019, 04:15 PM   #25
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Touring =hearse = yuk...
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      01-21-2019, 04:23 PM   #26
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Touring looks way better than the repmobile saloon
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      01-21-2019, 04:31 PM   #27
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We had a similar dilemma a few months ago, with our 14month old to bear in mind.
Went with F31 335d in the end, 22k quickly spent in one go!

I do have to say, my last car Octavia vRS hatch, could take WAYYYY more in the boot than the BM. We barely get our pram system in (Venicci) and the Octy could swallow our system, our friends, all the baby bags and room fore plenty shopping.

But still rather have the BM
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      01-21-2019, 06:52 PM   #28
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I've got an F31 335i. Fantastic car. Had it from new and it's now just over 4 years old. Kids well past baby stage, but for practicality you can't beat the touring. I don't think driver engagement is much different from any of the other f3x variants.

One point about the 4GC though - I recently was rear seat passenger in a 4GC and thought the ride was absolutely horrendous. 19" RFTs probably somewhat to blame but even so I'd avoid one for the sake of rear seat passengers.
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      01-22-2019, 04:46 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logit View Post
Also, is it worth stretching for the x40i – is it really worth the extra outlay (about an extra £7-8k on the loan)? I’ll probably have to stick the MPE on whatever I buy
I haven't noticed any answers to this (apologies if I have missed any).

As a 440i owner, I give the B58 engine 10/10, it's faultless for the things I like in an engine - smoothness, effortless urge, sporty when you want it and very good economy especially on long runs.

I haven't driven a 35i, but I am sure it's a lovely engine that surely does 90% of what the B58 does in most areas.

If your budget is £20k, then I wouldn't suggest smashing it to get a 40i. From the examples you gave (14 plate vs. 17 plate), I guess there are mileage, tech and condition benefits in the extra £7-8k as well as the engine. All the same, a £20k 435i is going to depreciate slower and will still have a long life left ahead of it. If you get a minter then it's going to be every bit as good as a newer 440i that's lived a harder life.
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      01-22-2019, 05:21 AM   #30
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Morning all,

My first post on here, looks like a great forum with plenty of helpful people

Apologies for the long first post but I'm after a bit of advice on my next car purchase. I normally have a good idea about what I want to buy next, but my thoughts have been thrown in to a bit of a muddle with the announcement that I'm going to be a dad come the summer, and so whatever I buy must be suitable for being the main transport for a newborn.
The plan is to sell our current car (my wife’s Scirocco) and buy a used car with a bank loan to finance the rest - I think this is the better option than buying new and leasing etc as I'd prefer to minimise depreciation costs.

I get the train to work so we will only have one car and my wife will be driving whatever we buy at least 50% of the time. She has absolutely no interest in cars - her only stipulation is that it must be an automatic and easy to drive. She knows I like my cars so she's happy to leave the buying decision up to me. Key for me is that the car must have a nice petrol engine - even though I won't be driving it quickly with the family on board, I characterful engine can make even mundane journeys more of an occasion. Whatever car I buy I’ll be looking to add an MPE and the M Performance rear diffuser as I think it finishes off the rear nicely.

With one eye on practicality, I started looking at the 335i M sport touring. No reason other than I think they'll be more practical for carrying baby paraphernalia than the saloon equivalents. I’m struggling to get my head around driving an estate car having always had coupes and 2 seaters (they seem a bit bland and boring to me), but needs must I guess. There also don’t seem to be any 335i tourings for sale at the moment – guess it must be a rare car. Hopefully I can pick one up for less than £20k. The cheapest 340i start at £24k but when you start getting towards £25k and above there are other cars that catch my eye (always wanted an RS4 though the running costs are another level). I also see the new 3 series is being released in March this year which looks very tidy, so spending big on a nearly new one now doesn’t feel right to me.

During my search I’ve also come across the 4 series gran coupe. Never knew it really existed tbh, but the more I read the more it seems like a great compromise - the hatchback gives easy access to the boot (which is a decent size) and they come with memory seats as standard which is a big plus as I’m sharing the car with my wife. If I can get one with a reverse camera it looks like a perfectly practical car for baby duties – the only downside I can see is more hassle putting the car seat in the rear isofix due to the sloping rear roofline – I’m only 5’10 and my wife is 5’3 so we’re both not very tall so won’t have to bend as much as someone who’s over 6’ – I’m thinking it’s an ok compromise for the sleeker styling (out of interest, does anyone know if a mountain bike will fit in the boot of the GC with the seats down?).

I’ve been looking at the 435i GC as you can get a 14 plate for around £20k, or maybe a bit less if a private sale comes up. The 440i starts at £27k for a 17 plate – again, I’m not sure I want to stretch the budget that much as not sure the differences are worth it.

Grateful for any thoughts and advice from owners. Does anyone have a GC that they use to ferry around their baby? Is it ok or should I just bite the bullet and go with the touring for ease? Also, is it worth stretching for the x40i – is it really worth the extra outlay (about an extra £7-8k on the loan)? I’ll probably have to stick the MPE on whatever I buy
I have a 440i GC, a 2yr old and another baby due next month. I got the GC as I needed to be able to get the kids in the back sometimes (my wife has the big family 4x4 so we use that most of the time).

I have to say the 440i is a massive pain with babies/young kids and looking back it was not a good choice in this regard. There are three main issues:

1) The rear seats are at an angle, so when you put in a baby seat it tips it up at a weird angle - my wife's car the seats are flat, so the baby seats sit properly. Yes most baby seats have an adjustable angle, however I have tried multiple units a d none correct the angle enough

2)the biggest problem is access - most car seats, or at least good ones like MaxiCosi, Joie, etc, now are pretty big, and because the rear door is so small, plus the roof is sloped down, you have to kind of post the baby through straight, then turn it to get it in the car seat. This is easy enough when they're tiny, but believe me with a 2yr old it is a pain and my wife struggles with it if she's using my car. Also, you can forget about getting them out without waking them up if they're asleep u less they're a very heavy sleeper.

3) The boot is way too small if you're going away with all your stuff Inc. pram, etc

Long story short, the 440i/435 is not good for babies/young kids, so if this is to be your main car then get the 340i.

That all not withstanding, I LOVE my car. I've got the MPPSK and then had an aftermarket tune with DMS to take it to 444hp and it's incredible.
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      01-22-2019, 06:03 AM   #31
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Go for the touring, you'll need as much space as possible with a child and wife. The kid takes up a little bit of room but it's the wife that decides to bring everything you could possibly need for the kid every time you leave the house. No matter if you're going out for a couple of hours/day/week/month, you'll be kitted out as if you were touring the world and miles away from civilisation.
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      01-22-2019, 06:28 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWiltshire View Post
2)the biggest problem is access - most car seats, or at least good ones like MaxiCosi, Joie, etc, now are pretty big, and because the rear door is so small, plus the roof is sloped down, you have to kind of post the baby through straight, then turn it to get it in the car seat. This is easy enough when they're tiny, but believe me with a 2yr old it is a pain and my wife struggles with it if she's using my car. Also, you can forget about getting them out without waking them up if they're asleep u less they're a very heavy sleeper.
.
This is one of the main reasons i didnt get a GC and went with a coupe with my then 2yr old.... the rear doors are too small... with the longer front coupe doors it was actually easier to push the front seat forward and let them climb in and strap them in straight and not sideways.
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      01-22-2019, 06:33 AM   #33
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I have no issues with my GC and my 2.5yr old. She climbs in (often straight across into the other seat ha) and its fine. Havent tried putting a baby carrier style seat in this car.

When she was born we had a 64 plate Focus and a 15 plate Fiesta ST. Managed with both but then changed the Fiesta ST for a 17 plate Focus ST and immediately wished I had gone for the estate version...

Now she is older and you dont take much stuff with you in comparison, I could manage with even a Fiesta size car again.

My advice is get the estate and after 18-24 months review your car. Its better to have more boot space etc as you have to carry the entire contents of the house even if you go to Tesco.
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      01-22-2019, 06:50 AM   #34
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With a baby there's more stuff to carry (travel cot, pram with bassinet etc). You fill up the space very quickly with all the paraphernalia and that's before you've even considered your own luggage. We regularly fill up our X3 to the max (2 adults, 10 month old baby). I'd go for a Touring with nice alloys and not in black!

Last edited by strike4A; 01-22-2019 at 10:55 AM.
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      01-22-2019, 09:15 AM   #35
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I've found the frameless doors on the GC are a bonus, particularly when in tight spaces. They allow you to lean over the top of the door (with windows open obviously) to grab items/seatbelts/unruly children etc.
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      01-22-2019, 10:14 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquazi View Post
This is one of the main reasons i didnt get a GC and went with a coupe with my then 2yr old.... the rear doors are too small... with the longer front coupe doors it was actually easier to push the front seat forward and let them climb in and strap them in straight and not sideways.
Yep 100% agreed, 2 door would actually be way more practical with kids - the only reason I got a GC is because my wife vetoed the idea of a 2 door, very annoying!
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      01-22-2019, 02:46 PM   #37
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I had exactly the same dilemma 18 months ago. At the time I had a 430d coupe which I loved. I considered the 4 series GC for the larger opening boot and the four doors, I really liked the look of them since they came out.

In the end I went for the f31, I've always liked a sporty looking touring/avant and I fancied a change from the coupe style as I'd had a few by that point. Really pleased with my choice as it'll serve me well for a good few years. it's easy to load up with the large opening and retractable cover, there's no load lip which makes a difference (not sure about the GC but the coupe had a slightly awkward lip when loading). We easily fitted everything in we needed for a trip to the south coast with a 6 month old. It looks better carrying my mountain bike than my coupe did as well, kind of suits that sort of lifestyle - A good all round versatile car with a cracking engine.

Last edited by JonBk; 01-23-2019 at 11:58 AM.
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      01-22-2019, 04:06 PM   #38
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I do like a touring, especially the f31., I'm not gonna lie. There's a mint bronze colour e91 335 that's heavily modified round my way, and that looks the bollocks.
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      01-22-2019, 05:08 PM   #39
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When my youngest was born our 4GC was the main car.

Plenty of room for baby seat and I'm 6'2" and I haven't found it a hassle to get him in as a baby or as a now nearly 2 year old. We have a 6 year old too and his seat goes in fine. The only issue with the sloping seats was with the first maxi cost baby seat. I just bought a foam wedge from Amazon to go under it and that levelled it out. No problem with next stage seats, 2 and 3, so wedge not required.

Small doors didn't seem any trouble to me. Put the baby seat in narrow ways and then just turn it once in. I'd rather do that than lean in the back of a two door when they're in the next stage seats and try and fasten those awkward buckles.

We regularly went away in it, Bugaboo cameleon, wheels off and on its side leaves plenty of room for luggage for a week away. Couple of cases and soft bags etc.

For a longer holiday to France I used a roof box to take extras like scooters, a few golf clubs, windbreak.

We went for 3 weeks and I even fitted in 150 mini bottles of ready mixed aptamil. Can't buy stuff like that abroad and we got too lazy to mix our own with second son. I got over a hundred of them in the hole underneath the floor in the boot.

When in France the mother in law flew out and we even drove round every day with 3 in the back. 2 children and an adult and actually in relative comfort. Took some thought and different ways tried. But ended up with baby seat behind me, wife behind passenger seat and 5 year old son in the middle on a booster cushion with no sides. No side protection required if you're in the middle of the car.

Yes, it's not an SUV, but I never found it couldn't do something I wanted it to with just a bit of thought.
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      01-23-2019, 12:52 AM   #40
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I do like a touring, especially the f31., I'm not gonna lie. There's a mint bronze colour e91 335 that's heavily modified round my way, and that looks the bollocks.
Yes but he'll never have enough room in the back for the kids will he....
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      01-23-2019, 03:29 AM   #41
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Yes but he'll never have enough room in the back for the kids will he....
Bit early for such a wild sense of humour isn't it?
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      01-23-2019, 09:56 AM   #42
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We went for 3 weeks and I even fitted in 150 mini bottles of ready mixed aptamil. Can't buy stuff like that abroad and we got too lazy to mix our own with second son. I got over a hundred of them in the hole underneath the floor in the boot.
I can just imagine the look on the customer officer's face when he thinks he's made a major bust only to find out it's aptamil!

Thanks again for all the thoughts and views guys. I honestly think the GC will work for us - I know it won't be as practical as the touring but it looks sooo nice That said, I'm definitely not ruling out the touring - I can see the benefits of the easy load space and access to the rear doors. There are so few x35i cars out there, it may be a case of just buying the right car that comes up, whether that's a GC or touring. Let fate decide so to speak

I also wasn't going to mention this, what with it being a BMW forum and all, but I've also got a secret left field choice that I'm also considering (though I haven't told my wife yet).... Basically I've been considering a Merc C63 estate I've had a C63 coupe before and the engine is just magnificent. Only downside is that it does look a bit dated now and the interior tech isn't a patch on the GC/touring... But wow what an engine!

So, I'll leave it in the hands of the used car market gods... I'll def update this thread when I've found a car
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      01-23-2019, 10:25 AM   #43
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Bit early for such a wild sense of humour isn't it?
Early riser me
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      01-23-2019, 01:39 PM   #44
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Congratulations!

With the imminent arrival of our son I test drove a 440i GC and took it to the pram shop...

It was better than the Saloon I was already driving but not by a huge amount. You could fit it in easier. But, you still had to be careful.

So, now with a 2 1/2 year old car and son I'm very happy with my Touring. Don't get me wrong, I would have loved to have got a 4GC, it's a beautiful car!

However, my son has somewhat shifted my priorities.
My previously always clean and well waxed 330d saloon was a loved car. Regularly waxed and machine polished every year. But, no good for throwing a pram/buggy, balance bike, nappy bag and whatever essentials are required in the boot.

The 340i Touring doesn't get as much love, maybe an annual wax and top up with spray sealant for the rest of the year if it's lucky. The boot swallows most things without thought. You can go shopping with the family and buy something. And still fit it in the boot. No worries about where to put the parcel shelf if you run out of space.

Also, the best thing about a fast hearse is that nobody expects it. Debadged 340i sunrises folk.

On a separate note, the already mentioned Bugaboo Chameleon gets my vote. The chassis is the the boot in the picture with all the shopping. This was when using the car seat. But, now he's in its buggy form it leaves much of the boot free. Or, just gets chucked in.
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