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Newer VW Passat or older BMW 3 Series?

Hi Shane & Paddy,

I am looking at changing my car. I've a 2002 BMW 318Ci with 106,000 miles on the clock. It has Bluetooth, multi-function steering wheel, alloys, cruise control etc. Due to on-street parking it has some damage to the rear driver's side panel and the alloys need to be dipped to look their best. We have a baby on the way so need something with back doors.

I have looked at a 2007 2.0-litre Passat saloon: 90,000km, leather interior, heated seats, cruise control and Bluetooth and the garage is asking €11,950. I also saw a 2005 BMW 320i SE saloon with leather seats, cruise control etc. and they are asking €11,950 too. I was also thinking of looking at Audi A4s but haven't yet.

Assuming I can get approx €5,000 for my current car then €11-12,000 is the total budget. Should I do the repair work on the damage and alloys now to improve value? Can you recommend someone?

What can I expect to get for private sale and trade-in? What would you recommend as replacement? We do mostly city driving with a country trip once a month or so. Petrol or diesel? Head says newer Passat but I like driving the BMW and think the Passat / A4 might be less enjoyable to drive.

Sorry for all the questions!

Thanks. Enda

Filed under choosing used car - Asked by Enda Lowry (Dublin) - Sun, 20 Mar 2011 14:21


Hi Enda,

This was a long one, so I thought I would answer by video. Click on the link to see the answer!

Answered by: Complete Car Adviser

2 responses (latest at the top)

Hi Enda,

I had a look at both of those cars and it is quite a tough choice. The Audi A4 has quite a mean specification and harks back to a time in Ireland when you had to have your chequebook out to get the most basic of toys. Even those wheels look tiny!

We did find one just like it though for under €10,000 - so that might be worth a look. The engine is pretty good, with 163hp vs the 120hp in the 316i. The spec on the 316i is much better, although it will feel quite weedy compared to the Audi I would imaging. The 316i was only around for a couple of years if memory serves and it didn't sell that well. You could go back one year and get a 318i petrol with lots more guts. That would be a nice car.


Posted by Paddy Comyn (Drogheda) - Wed, 18 May 2011 19:43:15

Hi Paddy thanks a million for that video - great to get your opinion. I have been looking around since then and have seen these two. I was wondering if could let me know what you think if you don't mind - 2007 BMW 3 - and 2006 Audi A4 - I brought the Audi for a drive last weekend and it was a nice drive (missing lots of features we are used to like bluetooth, parking sensors, multi-function steering wheel but to be honest I would be ok with losing them if the car was good overall). I haven't seen the 07 BMW yet. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Enda

Posted by Enda Lowry (Dublin) - Tue, 17 May 2011 22:33:07