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Cammsport

What would you choose? E61 vs. E91

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Good morning team, 

Looking at moving on our powerful and noble steed, the E46 318i sedan. We're really keen on sticking with BMWs, but switching up to a touring. 

So far, the E61 & E91 have caught our eye and are in our price range. What I can't figure out is why the E91 seems to be more expensive? E61 seems to be a lot of car for the money. Apparently a 200kg difference which sounds hefty (based of N52B25 as example). 

My buying checklist:   

Car will be used as the main car. Used for weekly commutes with odd weekend road trips. Usually carry the two of us, sometimes some friends. After the boot space to haul car parts/weber/tent etc.                              

Engine: 6 cylinder. More familiar with the M5x series. Clueless about the N5x. Diesel would be nice but the price goes up. Most likely go for b25. Would like better optioned versions motorsport/highline. 

Gearbox: no preference. 

Colour: lighter the better. 

Interior: anything but cloth. Preferably dark. 

Clueless with the new tech as we own an e30, e36 and e46. Any input on iDrive would be appreciated also. 

Look forward to hearing opinions and preferences. 

 

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If you're dead set on an m54 they came in the e61 for a couple of years 

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I went for an E61 to replace my e39 touring, heaps of space, beautiful cruising car, mine is 07 Lci and the idrive is showing its age now, cant get up to date nav DVDs etc, engine wise I believe the diesels are probably the most sensible choice in these, which is why I got the M5! ;)

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21 minutes ago, eliongater said:

If you're dead set on an m54 they came in the e61 for a couple of years 

Really? I did not know this. This would totally change my mind on our next wagon. 

Edited by Gabe79
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you have to drive a couple .A 5 series is more car than a 3 series imo.I think after you drive a couple your choice will become clear.

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The 2.5L N52b25 is alright in the e91 3 series but you will find the 2.5L lacking if you go for the e61.

You will want at least a 530i or higher.

Totally different cars in terms of size and how it drives.

I personally wouldn't bother with the m54 versions in the new 5 series. There is nothing wrong with N series engines. If you want the e61 try to go for an LCI if it's within budget. 

 

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Would have to agree with Paul drive both and get a feel for the 5 and 3 series and you will see what we mean chalk and cheese. Kyu's points on engine size is also something to bear in mind as the difference between the e91 e61 maybe minor weight ,size wise but a couple of hundred cc makes a whole lot of difference. Don't rush it spend some time look at every thing, research them both then look for something that you like and  put it through the purchase ringer. make sure you get a warranty with it. Just for those unexpected things that do go wrong after all it is a bmw ;)

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I considered both a couple of months back and ended up with an e91 for several reasons - which is not to say they're all applicable to you but; in no particular order:

 - after driving a couple (530i & 330i) the e91 felt that bit more eager and engaging.

 - I/we don't need a big car; just two of us, and the wagon is added convenience on the odd occasion.

 - and the most important factor was because there was one available which ticked most of my buying boxes (namely NZ New, reas svce history, no iDrive cos first gen is pants, within budget).

 

When it comes down to it; as above - drive a few; figure out what you like/want, and get the best one available.

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Just want to point out that the e91 is not as spacious as the e46 wagon imo. If it's just for the odd use then it's fine but if you need the space often the e61 gets my vote. They are cheap now too

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Having owned an e60 and an e92 (not wagons but same series) it's a toss up. I liked both but am slightly swayed towards the e90/91 etc as I like the smaller more nimble car. That said if you need space for a family go the 61. The older I drive in the 61 is pretty basic so if you want Bluetooth etc go for an LCI, it may not have Bluetooth from the factory but a retrofit is much easier.

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Easy choice.  E61 530i M-Sport LCI.  The E91 isn't fast enough (unless it's a 335i) to counter the E61s superior size and comfort.

 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/bmw/auction-1408654204.htm

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/bmw/auction-1421022125.htm

edit: neither of the above are facelift unfortunately but they do pop up frequently.

Edited by GorGasm
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The E61 is a huge car BTW.  When deciding between my old E60 and a similar spec E61 the E60 was an easy pick.

What made it seem much bigger was the huge number of blind spots.  Especially for my short Mrs.

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Having had two E61's (525i and a 550i) previously and currently drive an E91 (330i) my choice between them would be a coin toss, I preferred the E61 525 to drive as it was roomy and had enough acceleration, the smaller E91 looks nicer and more modern IMHO (esp from the rear where E61's look a bit dated) but its a bit cramped inside compared to the bigger 5 series (im 6'1").  The 550 was beautiful on long trips but didn't handle anywhere near as good as the 525 (both motorsport models) and of course drank more.  If you want your friends to enjoy the ride in the back on your weekend roadies then get a 5 series - unless your friends are dwarfs ;-)

 

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Still on the hunt. To make things harder for myself, I've also started looking at E87s. Looked at an '06 130i Msport, such a nice car but the dealership was an absolute let down. Also the flaking badge, deep scratches, nil service history (or booklet), incomplete toolkit and exhaust valve tick turned me off. My #1 choice after driving several would have to be an E91. Now to find the right one... 

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I also have a 130i and it's just too small for us as a family now.

We'll be looking at upgrading to an F30 328i , or F10 528i.  If we run out of money then a 530i LCI as mentioned earlier.

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28 minutes ago, GorGasm said:

I also have a 130i and it's just too small for us as a family now.

If you don't mind me asking, how grown up are the kids? Ever had to use car seats in it? 

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1 hour ago, Cammsport said:

My #1 choice after driving several would have to be an E91. Now to find the right one... 

What are you after? Coming to Wellyfornia any time soon?

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E87 130i - a great car for a couple with a baby but not suitable for family of adults/grown up kids. It was totally fine when I had to take my family around occasionally and have even done some road trips with friends. This car is more suitable if you enjoy driving (solo) and still need to do the grocery run etc.

E91 325i - (Our current family car after changing from an E39 touring) smaller yes, but slightly better on fuel, still enough power from the 2.5L N52 engine. If budget allows try to find the newer LCI 325i model with the 3L engine for more power but otherwise still fine and well priced these days.

E61 530i etc - these things are big. and heavy. you need at the very least a 3L engine and still will feel underpowered IMO. Really need like a 535d or a 540/545/550 but then you have issue with higher fuel consumption and higher maintenance for the bigger engines. Also, the good well looked after ones are still too expensive and the cheap ones have been thrashed to death by those who can get their hands on a "cheap V8 BMW" and neglect all service.

 

My opinion is E91 if family car is the most important. But if you are driving it for day to day etc then a 130i is waaay more fun than a 325i. The 130i can still easily handle 2 adults in the front and a baby seat. Even roadtrips are fine if not awesome with that lovely straight 6, 3L engine sound. Bootspace will be tight if you need to take 4 adults and legroom is a bit average if the people in the back are taller than 6ft. 

Go testdrive a NICE E87 130i before you decide.. there are heaps on the market and reasonably priced too.

 

edit: there is a nice 330i E46 wagon on trademe at the moment $12-14k. a bit expensive but worth a look and negotiate a deal?

Edited by qube

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12 minutes ago, qube said:

E87 130i - a great car for a couple with a baby but not suitable for family of adults/grown up kids. It was totally fine when I had to take my family around occasionally and have even done some road trips with friends. This car is more suitable if you enjoy driving (solo) and still need to do the grocery run etc.

E91 325i - (Our current family car after changing from an E39 touring) smaller yes, but slightly better on fuel, still enough power from the 2.5L N52 engine. If budget allows try to find the newer LCI 325i model with the 3L engine for more power but otherwise still fine and well priced these days.

E61 530i etc - these things are big. and heavy. you need at the very least a 3L engine and still will feel underpowered IMO. Really need like a 535d or a 540/545/550 but then you have issue with higher fuel consumption and higher maintenance for the bigger engines. Also, the good well looked after ones are still too expensive and the cheap ones have been thrashed to death by those who can get their hands on a "cheap V8 BMW" and neglect all service.

 

My opinion is E91 if family car is the most important. But if you are driving it for day to day etc then a 130i is waaay more fun than a 325i. The 130i can still easily handle 2 adults in the front and a baby seat. Even roadtrips are fine if not awesome with that lovely straight 6, 3L engine sound. Bootspace will be tight if you need to take 4 adults and legroom is a bit average if the people in the back are taller than 6ft. 

Go testdrive a NICE E87 130i before you decide.. there are heaps on the market and reasonably priced too.

 

edit: there is a nice 330i E46 wagon on trademe at the moment $12-14k. a bit expensive but worth a look and negotiate a deal?

That 330i is nice

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/bmw/auction-1524008151.htm

But wow, that's expensive...

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An e46 330i is really really a good car.. and the price is because they are SO rare now... to find a black msport 330i touring with lowish kms is impossible (funny because john? on the forum literally just bought one not long ago, I wonder how much for hmm..)

In saying that though.. a nice E87 130i is SO much more car for 14k than an E46. 10years+ newer, more power, handles better, rides better, more comfortable.. I really do wonder why I sold my 130i now.. :unsure:

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9 minutes ago, qube said:

In saying that though.. a nice E87 130i is SO much more car for 14k than an E46. 10years+ newer, more power, handles better, rides better, more comfortable.. I really do wonder why I sold my 130i now.. :unsure:

Where is the Mini love? :)

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13 minutes ago, qube said:

An e46 330i is really really a good car.. and the price is because they are SO rare now... to find a black msport 330i touring with lowish kms is impossible (funny because john? on the forum literally just bought one not long ago, I wonder how much for hmm..)

In saying that though.. a nice E87 130i is SO much more car for 14k than an E46. 10years+ newer, more power, handles better, rides better, more comfortable.. I really do wonder why I sold my 130i now.. :unsure:

I got my E46 330i MSport Touring just after Xmas. Yes mine has more k's (206,XXXkm), but going by the photos mine would appear to be in slightly superior condition. Has a pretty comprehensive service history from day 1; most recently in Nov 17 with $1,500 spent on the cooling system refresh and rocker cover gasket replacement. 

Seems odd for a car to have clearcoat failure at 142,XXXkm...Poor cleaning/paint protection techniques over the years? Parked outside often as opposed to being garaged? Maybe just a bit neglected. Given the reserve/buy now, there is room for negotiation based on what I paid for mine. Get the bonnet repainted, give it some TLC where required, and you'll have yourself a pretty neat wagon!

I too was considering E61's and the odd E91 when I was in the market for a wagon; personally I'm not sold on the E91's, and most well spec'd E61 530D's/535D's/550i's were just a touch out of my budget.

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3 hours ago, qube said:

. I really do wonder why I sold my 130i now.. :unsure:

because they are SMALL inside....

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Hardcase, Im in the same boat :) 

I have the 130i E87, fantastic little car, looking for a E91 325 or E61 530 for the wife. 

N52s are the best NA 6 cylinder non M engines BMW have ever made. The 130 has a squillion km (230) and runs faultlessly, I give it grief and oil changes, it gives me grins. Ive only had to replace the oil cooler seal that started weeping. Hence why I want another (for the wife....)

I spent most of last weekend looking around car yards in Akl, a whoollle bunch of slimey silicon drizzled shitboxes in tatty condition... some even were Auction grade 4.5 (dealer was unable to find the auction sheet....) . Covered in scratches, overspray, bad repairs, headlights that were so crazed they wouldnt pass a wof etc etc. Have an E91 going for PPE tomorrow, has a leaking rocker gasket but everything else looks OK (from the top/outside!)

There is a Russian guy named Alexey who has entirely 3 and 5 series in his yard in penrose, worth a look, the cars are less slimey than most we saw - www.zipmotors.co.nz

This one looks like its done 5x those km, front RH looks repaired. Grade 4.. yeah right.

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/bmw/auction-1380905929.htm?rsqid=60dab60bd398423eb9e7e340fb6fc417 

This looks good from a distance, up close the tailgate looks like its been repaired, rear gaurd liners had what looks like overspray/bad masking as well. Its also covered in spiders and missing the auction sheet..

https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/bmw/auction-1191006735.htm?rsqid=60dab60bd398423eb9e7e340fb6fc417

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jacko
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6 hours ago, Cammsport said:

If you don't mind me asking, how grown up are the kids? Ever had to use car seats in it? 

My daughter is almost 1.  My wife, myself and her is fairly tight.  Pram in the boot is ok but you have to put everything else on top of it so you have to take everything out to get to it.  My m5 is perfectly comfortable for us size wise.  Once we get #2 the 130i just won't work at all.

Edited by GorGasm
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