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About a few weeks ago I saw a special deal regarding leasing 325 for $309 a month with $2500 down payment. That's very close to some of the leasing quote I got from some Acura dealers, if not lower. I checked the BMW site again today and found that it has gone up to $315 (blame the weak dollar). Since I will definitely need a car this summer for work after graduation, I look forward to bring down the leasing quote of TSX to at least 10% lower than the lowest 325 quote I can get, otherwise I might consider the 325. I will test drive both when I have time, but just for now could someone tell me what are the differences between the two that I cannot get from reading the specs, if you did test driving both, please share your story too. THanks a lot!
 

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First of all, I don't think it makes sense to use the BMW lease price as any kind of reference point for what the TSX should cost, because the 325 that you're talking about has less features than the TSX.

Beyond that, this isn't really what you asked for, but.....I had a 3-series car for 12 years -- granted it was a long time ago. :D
I had the 320i in the first model year -- '77. It was a great car, when it RAN. A lot of the time it didn't. For a long time I assumed it was just because it was the first year for the model, but I then found out that BMW in general has had reliability problems. BMW reliability has been on-and-off over the years, especially for the 3-series. Supposedly it's been not too bad for the last year or two, but with the 3-series you never know.

Most people seem to say it doesn't matter while the car is under warranty, because things will be taken care of. But to me, that misses the main point, because a car with problems is a royal pain, totally aside from whether it costs you any money.

The reliability issue was the main thing that made me turn away from BMW after that. I've had only Acuras since then.
It's not that I decided to be a down-the-line Acura guy; it's that each next time I went looking for a car, the one that came out on top happened to be an Acura.

Besides reliability......The 325 and TSX are pretty similar cars, with two main exceptions:

(1) The TSX is front-wheel drive, and the 325 that you'd be getting for that price is rear-wheel drive. I won't go into detail about that -- you probably know the main differences.

(2) This isn't widely recognized, but the TSX is a bigger car. Not much, but IMO just enough to give it slightly different characteristics. I think the TSX ride is slightly more comfortable and it takes the bumps better. And the TSX's rear seating IMO is slightly more comfortable, just enough to be noteworthy, although this isn't shown in the stats and some people say the BMW rear seating is better.

Other things:

-- The 325 that you'd be getting for that price is pretty "stripped down," while a base TSX is pretty loaded (since all the most important stuff is standard).

-- The 325 probably performs a little better although this also isn't clearly shown in the numbers. Most people think the BMW's handling is a little better, although just a little, and in fact some people say they feel the TSX handles better.
I think the people who feel the TSX handles better are being "fooled" by the slightly better ride. I know that "ride" has nothing to do with handling, but when the ride is more comfortable, you have a better feel about the car in general, and it can affect your perception of the handling.

Both cars are real good. Take your pick.
But I don't think it makes sense to use the BMW price as a reference point for what the TSX should cost.
 

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BUM
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yofoofoo said:
About a few weeks ago I saw a special deal regarding leasing 325 for $309 a month with $2500 down payment. That's very close to some of the leasing quote I got from some Acura dealers, if not lower. I checked the BMW site again today and found that it has gone up to $315 (blame the weak dollar). Since I will definitely need a car this summer for work after graduation, I look forward to bring down the leasing quote of TSX to at least 10% lower than the lowest 325 quote I can get, otherwise I might consider the 325. I will test drive both when I have time, but just for now could someone tell me what are the differences between the two that I cannot get from reading the specs, if you did test driving both, please share your story too. THanks a lot!
BMW will offer really good lease rates/prices right now. The 2006 BMW 3 series is all new, with horse power increases for both 325 and 330. You could probably do better on the 325 in another couple months....like $300 per month with $1000 down.
 

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pocketkiller said:
BMW will offer really good lease rates/prices right now. The 2006 BMW 3 series is all new, with horse power increases for both 325 and 330. You could probably do better on the 325 in another couple months....like $300 per month with $1000 down.
3-series leases have always been a good deal, thanks to low depreciation. But soon they'l be a steal, as pk says.
 

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yofoofoo said:
I went to an Acura dealer today, checked out both TSX 5MT w/o and w/ Navi. I am impressed. =)
I'd be concerned about the missing gear if I was you. Did they work that into the numbers??? :D :p
 

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jcg878 said:
I'd be concerned about the missing gear if I was you. Did they work that into the numbers??? :D :p
:D I hear that you can get 1/6 off the price if you take it with only 5. :D
 

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nychousehero said:
....If at all possible, save up some more down payment and buy one or the other. Personally, I would buy the TSX... you can't beat the value for your money as far as Acura goes.
Totally agree.

About buying rather than leasing: You don't even necessarily need to come up with more money. When I bought my first Acura (long time ago), I put down only 10%. Dunno for sure if you can still do that, but I think you can, and then you're not paying much more than you would usually put down for a lease. (Right??)

And you don't necessarily have to pay more per month either. Just make the loan as long as you can (6 years or even more), and you've got it. The fact that you might be planning on only keeping the car for a shorter period is irrelevant; when you sell the car, you pay off the rest of the loan (and you probably have some money left over).

I know that all of this is "contrary to popular belief."
But that's how it is a lot of the time with "popular belief."

But of course crunch the numbers yourself before you might do it.
 

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If you drive less than the 12 or 15000 miles you get each year..then you should probably lease. If you go over 15000, then definitely definitely buy.
 

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yofoofoo said:
With a good credit history, how much interest rate can I expect for financing?
It changes a lot over time, and it also depends on how long the loan is.
You can probably find out some pretty up-to-date info online.
When I last took a look, which was almost 2 years ago, it was something like 3% for shorter loans (2-3 years) and up to 5-6% for longer.
But those figures are meaningless now because of how things change.

P.S. It also varies according to the car. When they're having trouble moving a particular model, they might offer financing at very low rates, sometimes even "zero percent," but that's just a disguised way of selling the car at a discount.
TSX isn't in this category anyway.
 

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yofoofoo said:
With a good credit history, how much interest rate can I expect for financing?
I can give you a more accurate quote if you tell me how many years you want to finance

Larch is about right for the 2-3 years around 3-4% and 4-6 years around 5-6%.

The best thing to do is wait until Acura/Honda Financing offers a special 3.9 or 2.9% rate for 60 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, I called an Acura dealer yesterday, they told me that unlike Honda/Toyota, they never offer any special deals.
 

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yofoofoo said:
Well, I called an Acura dealer yesterday, they told me that unlike Honda/Toyota, they never offer any special deals.
there was a special finance for 2.0 intrest in the month of february for repeat honda buyers. i got this deal in feb when i bought mine. it was like some three week promotion that was until the last week of the month of feb for repeat honda/acura buyers with perfect credit score from honda finance. i was also told it was a limited time deal due to slow sales in the month of january for all hondas and acuras.
 

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pocketkiller said:
BMW will offer really good lease rates/prices right now. The 2006 BMW 3 series is all new, with horse power increases for both 325 and 330. You could probably do better on the 325 in another couple months....like $300 per month with $1000 down.
True, but the selection will be even more limited than it is now.

The E90 is vastly improved over the E46, and the E90 325 and 330 both have 3.0 liter motors, the 330 just has a more complex induction system. That said, I'm not at all sure I'd want to buy one in its first year.
 

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Don't get too focused on finance rates and special financing deals (separate from looking at what purchase price you can get).

Just like you shouldn't get too focused on purchase price (separate from looking at what finance rate you can get).

Really, this might seem so obvious that it's stupid to be saying it, but.....people often DO look at one or the other without considering the other.

First of all, as I said before, super-duper financing deals (when offered through the dealership) are just disguised ways of giving you a lower price on the car.

It's kinda like how sometimes if you "insist" on getting a higher amount for your trade-in, they'll say sure -- but then they (quietly) make the price higher on the new car than they were going to.

To a large extent, all these things work together. Obviously if you aren't doing a trade-in and/or if you aren't financing, it's just purchase price. But when two or more of these things are mixed in, you need to consider it as an overall thing. (The dealer sure as heck does.)

Cliff's Notes: What it all comes down to is (of course), how much money are you gonna have to put down, and how much will you pay per month, and for how long.
The purchase price is a component, the finance rate is a component, and the possible trade-in is a component.
 
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