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Bmw 323ci or a S3


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Hi guys - are there any websites dedicated to the 323CI?

I’m going to be selling my Golf 1.8T and at presently I’m heading towards the S3.

Im not trying to make this thread into a slanging match.

I would love to hear from you 323ci drivers - I understand that you guys have 2.5 litre lumps in yours?

I’m doing my research about this car - and trying to find that’s fully loaded as in the S3?

What should I be looking for - when was xenon’s introduced on this model? Do they have ESP as standard - I'd be looking to retrofit a satnav (oem) too.

Any help most appreciated


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Try www.bmwcarmagazine.co.uk

Don't get me wrong, I am a BM'o'phile, as many on here will confirm, but of those two, I'd go for the S3, It'd feel more special and when the time came for more speed, you can tune it easy enough, 323 is not really an exciting engine, smooth yes, I'd be looking at a 328 or even better, an early 330ci, don't worry too much about mileage, engines are extremly strong.

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Xenons and Leather were standard from Day 1 - the early cars (1999 & 2000 ?) were 210 bhp, with later cars (2001 ?) upgraded to 225bhp, plus different lights (still Xenon). I think 18" wheels and chrome mirrors also became options at around that time, as did Sat Nav - you may be able to find a car with Sat Nav and thus avoid the need to retrofit.

I thought my S3 was an awesome car and a great compromise between luxury and performance, and was almost as quick in the wet as in the dry.

In favour of the 323i, the engine sounds great, is real wheel drive for better (more fun?) handling, and there is probably slightly more room in the back / boot. I've no idea how prices will compare, but I'm sure that in the dry, the 323 wouldn't see which way the S3 went, even more so in the wet (unless you are a pretty hot driver). I think an S3 is probably similar in performance to a 328i or 330i. In snowy icy conditions, the S3 is awesome, based on my experience with my M3, the 323 would be much more of a handful in the wet.

Let us know how you get on !



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  • 1 year later...

Consider a 325 sport compact , i bought one today after toying with an S3 or borrowing some money and getting a R32 .

Been running a 318 coupe for 3 three months previous which turned me towards bmw quality of build and drive .

Think the S3 looks a bit dated now and and although it has a superb and super quick engine it is quite common to alot of cars i.e TT, cupra , golf ( i'm sure someone will put me right on this )

The bmw has the drive of a cooper s with almost as good a sound track of an aircooled 911 , both of which i've owned in the past .

Just a thought


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  • 3 weeks later...

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