I've read a couple posts on potential buyers opting for the 330i vs. the 325i. Being an e36 M3 owner for almost a decade and a loyal enthusiast I couldn't imagine forking over the extra $7K. When do you remember a time when BMW had the same displacement (3.0L) in all their 3 series? I'm sure this will change in the near future (335i). However, for the 2006 model year the 325 is an incredible value.

From Automobile magazine's web-site:

"Slightly confusingly, both the new 325i and the 330i have the same 3.0-liter inline-sixes. The 325i has retuned software and a different exhaust and intake system, lowering power and torque from 255 hp and 220 lb-ft to 215 and 185: the 325i would need only ten more horses to fill the previous 330iís stable. In both forms, the engine has a great note. While we favor the more powerful of the two, a $7,000 difference is hard to argue against. Buying a base 325i and spending one to two thousand dollars in the aftermarket could result in a $32,000 330i, although warranties might vanish in the process. The change to the larger engine strengthens the connection between the two 3-series levels. The 325i sounds and feels more like the stronger 330, and low-end torque is greatly improved over previous generations. Near-perfect six-speed automatic and manual transmissions transfer power to the rear wheels".

P.S. Go for the 6 speed manual transmission if you have the option. And save the extra $7K for upgrades from tuner's such as Dinan, Turner Motorsport, etc.

Cheers,

sammy-d
Los Altos, CA
'06 325xi 6spd. Delivered on 12/24/05

Previous Bimmer's:
'95 M3
'97 328iC
'86 528e
'88 750iL
'85 635csi