These 3 series wagons are becoming a rare breed, one with a manual transmission is almost unheard of.Â So, what’s the big deal?Â As you may have heard the automatic transmissions in the 3 & 5 series cars of this era can be kind of fussy.
Granted, that is the exception and not the rule.Â But why take a chance on something that is unreliable and less fun to drive?
“I am the second owner (both from Northern California) and purchased the car after a long search for a M/T wagon.Â These are very hard to find.Â I only wanted a car that had never seen salt/snow.
The car has 118k miles on it.Â Many of the common issues have been addressed.Â VC gasket, window regulators, front control arm bushings etc.Â Owned by an enthusiast before me so most things were up to date.
Options on the car are Sport Package, Premium Package, xenon lightsÂ and Harmon Kardon Audio.Â It does have a moonroof.Â It does not have heated seats, navigation or park distance sensors.Â The trim is wood.
Work I have done since purchase:Â Tinted rear glass, OEM homelink, oil level sensor with LOF, final stage resistor,Â new cowl trim, new a-pillar trim, new hood emblem, new front grille, various clips here and there.
Original paintÂ – no accidents. I measured all the panels with a paint depth guage prior to purchase
Unmodified – completely stock
Runs extremely well.Â Smooth and quiet.Â Transmission shifts well and clutch take up is good.Â Ride quality is amazing with no squeaks/rattles of any kind.
Color – I scoured the internet for Alpine White Sport Package wagons.
All controls work – power window, mirrors, A/C, moonroof, steering wheel controls etc.
Michelin Tires matching and in good shape. Â Full size matching spare.
Folder full of records
Has the tonneau cover/dog guard missing on most cars
Tags current til October 2012
Brand new cargo mat
No CORROSION!Â Super easy to work on.Â Engine bay is beautiful
The wheels have some light curbing here and there.Â Still look great overall – no structural issues.
Paint has some chips that have been touched up by me.
Slight crack in the shift knob clearcoat – I replaced all the other wood with better stuff from other E46 wagon
Driver’s seat needs some attention.Â Two common seams have come apart.Â One in the bolster and one in the cushion.Â I did not address this as I was considering changing the seats to alcantara from a ZHP.
Rear exhaust and front/rear bumper valances are scraped.Â Previous owner had very steep driveway.Â I planned on installing a Dinan exhaust and putting on a ZHP front bumper anyway. Can’t see unless you bend down and look.
That’s pretty much it.Â I am sure there are some normal maintenance items that will need to be addressed in the future.Â Front brakes should be done in a few thousand miles (I planned the Brembo upgrade), the oil pan gasket or oil filter housing gasket is beginning to leak, diff bushings and flex disc starting to crack etc. Â Nothing immediate
Considering the limited number of manual transmission wagons available pricing is market based. Â There are very few vehicles that offer the driving enjoyment and practicality for this kind of money.”
The seller is correct, it is tough to find a 3 series wagon for this kind of money regardless of the transmission.Â Given how thorough the seller is I would say any and all flaws have been disclosed so there are no surprises on the horizon.
… well there can always be surprises but you know what I mean.
Anyhow, a wagon such as this for under $10k is a good value.Â It does have some patina but nothing that can’t be sorted out by the next owner.Â I am curious to see if the market agrees with my assessment.