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Which would You buy?

  • 2001 BMW 530 $17K

    Votes: 9 60.0%
  • 2002 Passat V6 GLX $13K

    Votes: 6 40.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope this is in the proper forum...

Well, I'm new here and am in the market for a nice quality used vehicle and figured the people on this site aren't dummies and drive nice cars :biglaugh: and maybe I can get a little insight and opinions. So please, tell me what you think.

2001 BMW 530 sedan ~17g's (spotless, mint, excellent condition etc.)
or
02-03 VW Passat v6 GLX sedan ~12-13g's (haven't found it yet, but did let one fall through)

Consumer Reports gave the 2001 BMW 530i the title of their best car they ever reviewed, like ever.
They also show that '02 has been the most reliable year for the Passat.

Both prices are under KBB and Edmund's recommended values, and are good deals.

Basically I'm looking for what's going to be the more reliable car. I understand this forum is going to be heavily biased towards the V-Dub, but please let me know your honest opinion :whistle:


[slightly off topic...] I'm kicking myself in the butt for being too late to get a 2002 VW Passat GLX v6 with low miles in excellent condition for 11k!!!:banghead: I thought there would be a catch, but the car didn't show any clues of having any crashes or damage, and it was from a certified VW dealer, sounds like the deal of the century IMO!

soo... again, let me know what you think! Thanks!
 

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Confused
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If I had the choice, honestly, I'd go with the 2001 530i. That being said, I love my 2001.5 Passat, but an Inline 6 3.0L is a great motor. RWD antes up the fun quota as well.

Cost of ownership will be higher in the bimmer though.
 

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I'd probably go with the BMW, unless you need AWD.
That said, they'll liekly be of similar mechanical reliablitity, but teh 5230 will ahve more stuff to break.
Also, repair costs if something breaks on either will be higher than a japanese or american car, but on the BMW you're fixing a 50k car, while on the passat, a $30k. It will be more expensive to fix the BMW. The BMW will likely be a biut more fun.
 

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The "Odd" one
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Some questions I would have..

1. How many miles are on both cars?
2. My opinion the BMW might be a little more $ to maintain...is that an issue?
3. Are either of these AWD? Or are they FWD and RWD?
4. Where do you live? An area that snow alot I may not choose a RWD
5. Is there maintenece record on either vehicle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the quick responses guys! Not dead like some other forums lol...
Some questions I would have..

1. How many miles are on both cars?
2. My opinion the BMW might be a little more $ to maintain...is that an issue?
3. Are either of these AWD? Or are they FWD and RWD?
4. Where do you live? An area that snow alot I may not choose a RWD
5. Is there maintenece record on either vehicle?
The Bimmer sounds like it wouldn't be in such great condition with its kind of miles, but it is. It rides beautifully, starts up and idles great (there's that classic bmw I-6 at work), and was checked by an experienced mechanic friend I know. 90,000 miles. Not too high mileage a car for an 01, but high none the less. The good condition+miles would lead me to believe it was used as a highway--a good thing from what I understand. Also, I've detected not a single ding on it. No visible oxidation anywhere on the plastics, moldings, rubber, or metal, it was garaged for sure.

I forgot to add it is also a sport package version: 17"s, firmer spings, and perhaps lowered :hmmm: not sure


Neither AWD, RWD or FWD only.

There's zero snow in my daily driving; I live in Southern California.


Higher maintenance cost has been in my mind, definitely something to consider. Labor costs are not a problem, parts will be--I'm sure. It's a freakin bmw lol. Hopefully they shouldn't be too bad though, considering that platform has been around for over 10 years.


and the passat:
I haven't exactly found a specific one, but whatever I do look into can easy fit in my above criteria (OT again: they're trying to get rid of all the old body styles for the new ones). I use carfax so checking the service records is not a problem. I most likey won't have to worry about any monkey-business.

Thanks all
 

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I am a bimmer fanatics. Currently I own a 98' 540i, 90' 325i and my 99' Passat wagon. I also owned a 00' 328i and I sold it last year and bought my Passat wagon cause I need more space. As well as a few more diffenent E30 in the last 10 years.


BMW is not as expensive to maintain as a lots of people think. Especially if you are like me...( I like to work on my own car.)I bought my Passat wagon last years. Really enjoy the design of the Passat and the handling. But you can not compare with BMW. They are really different car.

Also after owning the Passat for over a year, I found than Passat is more expensive to maintain both parts and labor. ( Lots of my bimmers friend still don't believed that I have to remove the front bumper to do the timing belt)

But I think very nice about VW passat is that . Almost all of the passat owner here are super nice. Everytime I have question posted here. Everyone willl jump in and share their knowledge and experience. which is the most vaulable feature of the Passat.:thumbup: :thumbup:


Just my thought.... Hoped that helps
 

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I've been checking bimmerforums.com off and on.

There are LOTS more cars and owners over there than here. That being said, it probably wouldn't be as hard sourcing parts, or people to help you out, as it would be on here.

There's also many NICE cars that go for pretty damn good prices on BF, and something I like is that when someone posts a car, if something isn't priced juusstt right, people will speak out -- Good for the potential buyers, not so much for the seller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
BMW is not as expensive to maintain as a lots of people think. Especially if you are like me...( I like to work on my own car.)I bought my Passat wagon last years. Really enjoy the design of the Passat and the handling. But you can not compare with BMW. They are really different type of car.
That's good to hear :thumbup:
Also after owning the Passat for over a year, I found than Passat is more expensive to maintain both labor and Parts. ( Lots of my bimmers friend still don't believed that I have to remove the front bumper to do timing belt)
But I think very nice about VW passat is that . Almost all of the passat owner here are super nice. Evertime I have question posted here. Everyone willl jump in and share their knowledge and expensive. which is the most vaulable feature of the Passat.:thumbup: :thumbup:
Agreed! you can say that again, I'm impressed with this forum already, the friendly knowledge gets spread around to everyone
I've been checking bimmerforums.com off and on.

There are LOTS more cars and owners over there than here. That being said, it probably wouldn't be as hard sourcing parts, or people to help you out, as it would be on here.
Yup, I've checked that place out and it does seem big, but for some reason I'm a registered member here and not yet there.

I made the same exact consideration a few months ago when I was looking for a car.
The way BMW 5 series drive, accelerate (stock vs. stock), stop, and the interior build quality really makes it better in every way over the Passat except for price. Even if the parts are more expensive to fix BMW's, its still worth it if you find a good one. I like my Passat, but the 5 series is better. I had a V6 A4, which has the same motor as the V6 Passat in case you're looking for the V6, and the BMW with its I6 is still better.

If only the Passat interior didn't rattle so much and use so much hard plastics I'd be feeling less painful memories of not being able to by the 5 series I wanted.
Thanks, this is all good info. I like to hear everyone's different points of views. The Passat seems like it has excellent build quality all over, that's why I'm debating over the two. So far it seems like everyone recomends the BMW, that I'll just have to be willing to spend the buck$ for keeping it up.

Thanks
 

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You must admit, it's pretty cool when a bunch of people from different walks of life all unanimously agree that the Passat is not the best car in the world. I've been on other sites where people really think their car xxxxxx is the best there is.
Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You must admit, it's pretty cool when a bunch of people from different walks of life all unanimously agree that the Passat is not the best car in the world. I've been on other sites where people really think their car xxxxxx is the best there is.
Cheers.
yup as have I, and I find it annoying
It is cool how everyone can talk about different cars on a certain forum, I thought there would be a stronger bias here but instead people are just honest.

I opted for the bimmer guys, thanks again. I'm really glad I got it, it was a really good deal, below any book price and great condition. Hopefully it works out for me, it should.
Thanks everyone, drive on--safely :thumbup:
 

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BMW every time, just to get a decent RWD drivetrain, but the BMW is a sector above VW, so not being hard against VW as they are not really competitors.
 

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Well, I'll say that if the money is not the biggest factor, I'd go with a BMW 530 5speed. Now don't get me wrong, I love my Passat, and am considering importing it to the US (replies on earlier thread guys, please!) but I have driven that model and thought it was really one of the most enjoyable cars I've ever driven.

One suggestion though, you might want to check out the model I have. It's a 2002 Passat W8 with 4.0 liter engine, AWD, Nav, leather, Monsoon, etc. etc. As a new car it was just a bit overpriced, but now they represent a great value if you find a good one. Good Luck!
 

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I don't know, this doesn't seem exactly an "apples vs apples" comparison........the 530i probably cost close to $50k brand new, and the Passat was probably $32k........ The 530i is more directly comparable to the Audi A6, obviously.

I'm not going to get into the pros/cons of the Passats, because others already have. I'll tell you what I think about the BMW.

I just wrote a 3 page long diatribe about how bad our ownership experience with 5 BMWs has been, then deleted it because I dont think you want to read about all the repairs my '00 BMW 328i had (between 36k and 67k), nor of the $12,000 my parents sunk into their '98 740iL (between 55k and 120k).......

If it is in good shape, YES a 530i is going to drive like a whole lot more car than a Passat, because, IT IS!!! Is it going to be cheap to maintain (assuming you purchase the one with 90k on it)? Hell no.

Two important questions: 1) has the transmission fluid ever been serviced? Probably NOT, because BMW was/is convinced that it's transmission fluid is LIFETIME service fluid, and it's simply not. Ask the dealership, they'll tell you it's lifetime. Read the back of Roundel, and you'll find a bunch of people who are replacing transmissions at 120k in their 5ers and 7ers, who know for a FACt that it's not lifetime fluid. I would walk away from the car if it has 90k on it's original trans fluid, but that's just me.

2) BMW nowadays uses an electronic OCI that can range from 15,000-20,000 miles or more.........people who buy (or lease) these cars new, drive 'em for 3 years and turn them in think this is GREAT.......only a couple of oil changes over the life of the car, and they're happy about it. God knows how much the life of that engine has been shortened, though, by extending the service interval that far..........there is no way in hell that the OEM oil filter can be filtering much after 20k miles, let alone how well that filthy oil is lubricating that engine. (Is this as vital as the 5,000 OCI on a 1.8 Turbo passat? No, but it DOES still make a difference).

...just something to think about.

Ben
 

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Funny this thread should come up.......I was in the same situation a week ago.

My 98 Passat V6 was totalled 2 weeks ago, and I had to get a replacement car. It came down to 2 cars..... mint 2000 328 auto with 98k, and a decent certified 2001.5 Passat Wagon GLX tip with 77k. Both were priced about the same. Which car to get?

I struggled with the decision all freakin' weekend. My wife got tired of my indecision. I wanted the bimmer, but the Passat was the logical choice. I know how to do most of the work on the Passat. It would be cheaper to maintain. No learning curve. On the other hand, the bimmer is, well, a bimmer. I always wanted one. I can finally own one.

In the end, what Ben said rang loud and clear to me. This bimmer was very well taken of by the owner. Well taken care by BMW standards. Meaning, he followed BMW's recommendations. He even admitted changing oil every 15k. I talked to a well known local BMW mechanic over the phone, and I indicated that I was concerned that the owner likely did not change the ATF at all, and the 15k oil changes. He concurred, and indicated that he would be concerned too. He also did add that he hasn't seen any 328 in his shop needing tranny work either. That was enough for me to turn away from the bimmer. The lifetime tranny fill is crap. VW and Audi also says the same crap. I replaced the ATF on my Audi and Passat, and they were totally black by 50k. I'll be replacing the ATF on my new (used) Passat as soon as the weather gets warmer.

Well, I guess the bimmer will have to wait. Maybe I can get a 911 later....
 

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Actually, there's a decent chance that that 328 uses the same ZF tranny as passats :)
Also, I don't trust that 15k oil change
 

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Ever see in how many p[ieces the oil filter come out after 15,ooo miles !?!?!
:biglaugh:
 
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