GoAutoLogo
MENU

Future models - BMW - 3 Series - 325Ci Convertible

BMW drop-top price chop

Pauper’s delight: Now it’s possible for four people to pose in a new BMW convertible for under $100,000.

The ageing E46 3 Series convertible gains a lower-priced, lower-spec 325Ci variant

BMW logo10 May 2004

BMW has finally brought in a cheaper 3 Series drop-top.

Out in August, the 325Ci Convertible cruises in from $92,400 for the five-speed manual version and $95,000 for the five-speed automatic.

Currently the least expensive 3 Series Convertible is the 330Ci, from $109,000 for the six-speed manual and $111,600 for the five-speed automatic, while the M3 Convertible, in six-speed manual or SMG guise, opens up from $158,000.

Power for the 325Ci comes courtesy of BMW’s 2.5-litre six-cylinder engine. Its peak kilowatt count is 141 at 6000rpm, while the 245Nm torque top takes place at 3500rpm.

It’s the same in-line unit as found in the 325Ci Coupe (among other BMWs) that has been on sale in Australia, along with the 330Ci Convertible and Coupe, for three-and-a-half years.

In Europe buyers have been able to choose the 325Ci, as well as 318Ci and 320Ci versions of the E46 3 Series range, since 2000.

Meanwhile, the 330Ci and M3 units produce 170kW at 5900rpm and 252kW at 7900rpm, and 300Nm at 3500rpm and 365Nm at 4900rpm respectively.

The 0-100km/h sprint takes 8.0 seconds in the manual 325Ci Convertible, 1.1 seconds behind the equivalent 330Ci but also 1.1 seconds ahead of the automatic 325Ci Convertible, on its way to a 234km/h top speed.

On the European Combined Cycle the 325Ci Convertible averages 9.6L/100km/h which, surprisingly, is identical to the 35kg heavier 330Ci Convertible.

Standard features will include an electric roof, six airbags, leather upholstery, power-operated and heated front seats, cruise control, 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control air-conditioning, a six-stacker CD player and wood trim.

14 center image A BMW Australia spokesperson said there was room in the sub-$100,000 luxury convertible segment for the 325Ci, with no cannibalisation of sales to the higher-priced models envisaged.

The 325Ci’s main rivals will be the $84,900 Audi A4 1.8T Cabriolet and $89,900 Saab 9-3 Aero Convertible. Volvo’s archaic C70 Convertible is also available from $98,000.

Up until April this year, BMW had shifted 215 330Ci Convertibles.

In the same period Saab has sold 277 9-3 drop tops, Audi 63 A4 Cabriolets and Volvo 31 C70 Convertibles.

The last 2.5-litre BMW 3 Series convertible sold locally was the E36 325i from 1993 to early 1995.

That replaced the 1990-1993 E30 325i ragtop, which succeeded the E36 320i Convertible released in early 1988.

But the first chopped-roof 3 Series was the Baur-coach built E21 323i Cabriolet from March 1982 to mid-1983. That was usurped by the E30 version from June ’84 to late ’85.

There was also a Baur convertible 325e in 1986/87. Powered by the infamous low-rev BMW 2.7-litre ETA straight-six engine, it delivered good fuel economy but none of the peaky zing so demanded by BMW aficionados.

Future BMW convertibles will include the 6 Series variants as well as the rumoured 2 Series cars based on the recently unveiled 1 Series range.

An all-new 3 Series coupe and convertible (rumoured to be dubbed "4 Series") are expected to debut sometime in 2006.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

BMW models