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  #1  
Old 06-12-2013, 09:15 AM
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what do you think of this car for my kid?

1999 BMW 323i BLACK Great shape! MUST SEE!!

it is a 15 year old bmw 323i for $4k for my 17 year old. It will be his first car. The reason I am considering this is because of all the safety features. Mostly the airbags.

Please give me your opinions. Pros and cons. Especially the cons.

He is a pretty responsible kid. I am sure the car is still pretty quick.

Let me have it guys. Dumb idea or what?

Should I just let him drive my w123 300d? probably just as safe even w/o the airbags.
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2013, 09:42 AM
JB3 JB3 is offline
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4k could get you any number of simple, easy to repair, cheap Asian or domestic cars. If hes not doing his own repairs, he may be taken to the cleaners every time something breaks on a 200k 15 year old BMW honestly.

Id take that 4k and use half of it to buy an old honda or toyota instead which will be slower and more reliable.
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2013, 09:46 AM
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Just make a list of some common parts youll replace during a short ownership of the 99 BMW ,starter ,alternator ,brake calipers,etc,etc, then the labor if a shop does these repairs .Then imagine you repairing these items yourself on a 123 ,it becomes a price comparison to realize ,youll still be able to sell in most cases the mercedes for the same price you bought it for at the end of ownership to boot.
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:02 AM
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Too many unknowns to make much of a suggestion. If dad is paying for all the maintenance etc a bmw in theory will cost more in general. Does not matter who is paying actually on average it will cost more.

There is much to be said for Hondas and Toyotas for reducing overall costs. Still you want one with as low of overall miles as you can find for the dollar. Better on fuel consumption as well and that may or may not matter. Possibly cheaper on insurance as well.

Then again if money is no object.
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:03 AM
waterboarding w/medmech
 
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Nice car, potentially high repair costs...safe...airbags may need servicing? great looking car for a young man. ok fuel economy http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/14955.shtml
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  #6  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:15 AM
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As a parent the one responsibility you will take ownership of is your child driving a European car. BMW and MB are “almost” always more to repair than a Taurus or a Camry. You will have to promise yourself to occasionally drive, examine and inspect the vehicle to shore up any problems that may be happening. My kids as maybe most lacked depth in knowing when something is going wrong with a car, funny sound, smell, action as they have little driving experience and nothing to relate back to. All my children (now adults) had MB’s or BMW’s as teen cars. I had three teens driving at one time, so there is some experience talking. I personaly like an older car for a teen driver as it will force them to have some mechnical skills or at the short end to try and figure out some minor glitches.
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:27 AM
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The car itself is fine.

Here's where it sounds like I'm prying into your business, but I'm just sharing experience with you and there is no need to comment back.

IMHO and also in my experience, the most important thing about a kids first car is that it not be just handed to them for nothing. Make them kick in money, if there is no way for them to do that, make them paint the house, or some SERIOUS project before they can have the car, and make them COMPLETE their end of the bargain whatever it is, before they can leave the home place with the car.

I feel very strongly about this. If you don't, that is totally your business and I'm not trying to pry into it. I'm only trying to offer a suggestion.

You probably already have this all worked out, but I can't resist offering the advice.

To the car itself, make SURE that you consider the top three criteria for used car evaluation. They are:

1. condition
2. Condition
3. CONDITION

Best of luck with it.
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:30 AM
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Autotragic or manual? It would be a shame for him not to learn a skill that's being lost as America rapidly dumbs down.
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:35 AM
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I agree with Speed. I taught both of my kids to drive a stick shift and they both drive one even today.

When I was a kid our Drivers Education cars were only stick shifts.
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:40 AM
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The Funny part about kids and cars ,the more hps you give them the more their going to test the guts of the car when their out with friends ,weve all been their .My neighbor just bought his son a used Lexus ,I over heard him and his friends talking about the new Fast and Furious movie that is out ,the young man started to declare how his car could drift with very little problem ,and thats were it starts.I walked over and told the youngster ,as a piece of advice ,this is a great car ,but ,it will be very expensive to fix if its abused ,then left it for him to decide .
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:40 AM
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As far as money, my first car was "free" -- hand-me-down from my sister who had parked it for six years. The effort and parts involved in making it run, OTOH, was not free.
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  #12  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:44 AM
JB3 JB3 is offline
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Bunch of good first cars in your neck of the woods looks like- All manual tranny, all easy to maintain, some customizable

get him this-

Toyota truck 1985

heres a newer one-

1995 toyota pickup 2WD 4CYLINDER

heres a hideous corolla-

Toyota Corolla 5-speed

honda for 1/4 the price-

1992 honda accord lx

less than 1/4 the price-

1991 honda civic hatchback dx

this one looks pretty good-

92 honda accord

or get him this domestic-

2001 Ford Escort ZX2
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasinthesun View Post
Just make a list of some common parts youll replace during a short ownership of the 99 BMW ,starter ,alternator ,brake calipers,etc,etc, then the labor if a shop does these repairs .Then imagine you repairing these items yourself on a 123 ,it becomes a price comparison to realize ,youll still be able to sell in most cases the mercedes for the same price you bought it for at the end of ownership to boot.
Alternator & brakes already done .
Quote:
Originally Posted by TX76513 View Post
As a parent the one responsibility you will take ownership of is your child driving a European car. BMW and MB are “almost” always more to repair than a Taurus or a Camry.
The Taurus is actually quite stinky. I'd take a W123 before a Taurus any day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by spdrun View Post
Autotragic or manual? It would be a shame for him not to learn a skill that's being lost as America rapidly dumbs down.
Autotragic... . Find a manual instead, I say!
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:45 AM
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I'm kinda with Larry and Speed on the stick thing, longer term, but I would opt for a more disposable, starter car. Something like a late Dodge Spirit/Plymouth Acclaim can be had for $1-$1.5 k. Still had airbags (late production) Big enough to survive a bump. Actually, that's what I gave my wife to start out on (she learned to drive at 36- unfortunately she refused to do the manual thing but what could I do?)

Learning a manual might be a bit much out of the box. The second car should be a stick.

That's what I did. My first was an auto . Six months later I was tired of it and got a snazzy MGB.
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  #15  
Old 06-12-2013, 10:46 AM
benhogan's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Air&Road View Post
The car itself is fine.

Here's where it sounds like I'm prying into your business, but I'm just sharing experience with you and there is no need to comment back.

IMHO and also in my experience, the most important thing about a kids first car is that it not be just handed to them for nothing. Make them kick in money, if there is no way for them to do that, make them paint the house, or some SERIOUS project before they can have the car, and make them COMPLETE their end of the bargain whatever it is, before they can leave the home place with the car.

I feel very strongly about this. If you don't, that is totally your business and I'm not trying to pry into it. I'm only trying to offer a suggestion.

You probably already have this all worked out, but I can't resist offering the advice.

To the car itself, make SURE that you consider the top three criteria for used car evaluation. They are:

1. condition
2. Condition
3. CONDITION

Best of luck with it.
good points Larry. understood and appreciated. sometimes as parents we want the best for our kids NOW and we forget the long term big picture.

If I pay for this and he has no skin in the game, well, you know the rest.

I think he needs to bag groceries at the Food Lion at minimum wage first .

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for opening my eyes.

What the heck was I thinking? When I was 17, I drove a Corolla and RESENTED the rich kids who drove BMW's in high school. Now, I can afford such BMW's and I forget what it was like. If I do this, I will be putting him in that group of kids I resented. dang...

Nice car the 323i but no thanks!

Thanks to this forum for helping me sort this out in my mind. When I was looking at cars on CL, of course, I gravitate to the cars I know but this is the wrong car for my kid.

He needs to fix mowers in a hot garage like me. Thanks guys.
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