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2005 Entry Level Luxury Buyer's Guide
by Martha Hindes

2005 BMW 3 Series

The littlest kid is the big kid on the block for BMW. Saleswise, the group of autos that make up the 3 Series is the most popular of the German auto maker's fleet. So it's not surprising that among '05 news items for the "3" -- BMW's entry level luxury sedan/coupe/ convertible/wagon -- is its selection as one of the BMW models to connect with Apple Computer's trendy little iPOD. The gizmo, the size of a small box, lets musicphiles carry thousands of hours of favorite downloaded tunes, and can plug into the 3 Series' specially designed, dealer installed "seamless" glovebox adapter to play over the car's speaker system.

For a vehicle with a base model starting just under $30,000 (although some versions can run $20K higher), that's a bargain that will probably add less than $200. Changing tunes becomes a flick of a steering wheel button.

Once sound is secured, there are other goodies to enjoy besides BMW's legendary road-hugging performance appeal fired by one of two six-cylinder engines in rear or all-wheel-drive. For '05, depending on trim level, in addition to some front and rear design revisions, owners can choose from 6 speed sequential manual/automatic trans, sporty five-spoke alloy wheels, rain sensing windshield wipers, adaptive brake lights, expanded airbag systems and headlamp beams that follow the curve of the road.

Some get Sirius Satellite Radio and Bluetooth cellular connection. With all those options, there's no more boom box on the hip in transit for the truly wired.

Entry Level Luxury Cars
Entry Level Luxury Buyer's Guide