D3 or 320/325/335d ?

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D3 or 320/325/335d ?

Post by LittleBear » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:30 pm

I'm in the market for a D3 saloon or touring. The ones I've seen advertised seem quite sparse, most seem to be manuals, with no navigation, HID, electric memory seats, cruise etc, where the equivalent 330/335d is likely to have this kit.

The spec of most D3 seem to hail from the 90s where everything was an option with German cars. Later D3S Alpinas seem to be better specced, but they're well out of my price range.

I do value the driving experience over the toys. I've driven various M sport 3 series and have not been impressed with the handling or ride quality. Too crashy and numb steering.

So my question is, has any one changed here changed they 3 series M sport to Bilstein Alpina spec dampers and springs and used the equivalent Alpina geometry settings to get the Alpina handling and ride quality ? Of course the RF tyres will be ditched too ..

I know I'd rather have a "real" Alpina, but I should be able to get a LCI 325 touring, spend money on the Bilstein suspension and end up with a nice riding M sport for a lot less than the D3S.

What are your thoughts ? I want to run through the options.


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Post by Paulb » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:53 pm

I was in the same position before I got my D3. Test drove a number of BM's and was not happy with any of them. The noise, harsh ride, skittishness on the handling all put me off where as the D3bt always felt solid, perfectly poised and equally at home on racetrack, country road, town or motorway.

It's entire down to what you want. The BM's will have better spec as the Alpina's were spec'ed to a budget by Sytner and there were very few options available. Latter ones had options of the Lux pack but still very basic in terms of toys.

As for getting an M spec 330/335d - the Alpina suspension is going to cost you a fair amount, Bilsteins or Gaz or whomever's suspension isn't a patch on Alpinas own spec. Geometry and wheel can be changed along with getting rid of RF's but personally think your going to be spending more than getting a gen Alpina. The other thing to consider is that if you spend say £5k on the changes to an Mspec car, your not going to see any of that outlay in the residual value.

But if it's just toys your after then just get an Mspec and change the RF's. It'll be around a £1k job and should reduce noise and improve handling a bit.
Nothing to see here.... move along in an orderly fashion please!
E91 D3 Bi-turbo Touring #004 - (sold)
E46 B3 3.3 Saloon #032
F31 D3 Bi-turbo Touring #172
Mk1 Focus RS #516
Mk3 Focus RS Heritage #8 of only 50
and a 1987 Sierra RS Cosworth (currently being restored)

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