Owning a BMW 325i E92

Top up your blinker fluid and flash to pass

13w ago

So this is my current car and was bought shortly after I disabled my Civic (see my previous article). In the bid for my replacement car was essentially anything manual, RWD, reliable and insurance that didn’t require me to live in it. The short list went down to the 3 and the Toyota GT86. It was decided mostly by the fact that the bimmer, surprisingly, tends to be cheaper to buy. Also, I do have somewhat of a soft spot for a German coupe. Mine was at a pretty good price, for the mileage and age, of £9,450.

A surf trip in Devon earlier this year

A surf trip in Devon earlier this year

The car, as you might expect, doesn’t have Caterham levels of engagement. But, it does provide good feedback, it’s just toned down so you can sit on the M6 without fearing truck grooves or drowning in road noise. The torque band is quite wide, on paper, though to feel like the car is really gaining momentum you’ll have to stretch out the engine. An annoying and overzealous soft rev limiter cuts in just before 7000 rpm, the engine still feeling like it could go on.

I have a fair few images of my car posing next to my mates Jeep TJ, maybe too many

I have a fair few images of my car posing next to my mates Jeep TJ, maybe too many

Nerd Alert:

215 BHP @ 6100 rpm

199 lb.ft @ 2400-4200 rpm

1505 kg kerb weight

0-60 mph 6.6s

From ‘07 the 2.5 lite engine was switched out for a 3 litre variant (N53B30A for those sad enough to care) featuring direct injection. And for ’09 there was fairly extensive face lift: pretty new headlamps mainly, but some mechanical alterations.

My car sits on 18” wheels, combined with run flat tyres, and I’d say opting for a car with the 19’s is likely to leave the ride comfort a little compromised. Some common issues that crop up are: a faulty fuel pump, the differential failing and control arms seizing (so if you need the wheel alignment changing, that’s a new part). It’s a boring day if you’re averaging more than 30 mpg. Expectations of more than 40 mpg should be left well behind when starting the silky smooth straight six. Petrol bills aren’t going to break the bank then.

A classic BMW interior

A classic BMW interior

I do like the car, but not love. Absolutely it executes well everything you expect of it. Ergonomics and control weights are lovely. No significant complaints come to mind, there’s the slightly odd resistance from the ZF gearbox, at a push. My experience with it definitely informs my next car purchase decision. Which, having passed 18 months of ownership, is probably not far off. What I need, well want, is something that is probably objectively worse, but more exciting because of that. Stupid and vague I know. Though, that is a big part of what being a petrolhead is.

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