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I have been searching for a nice 80's model luxury car for a weekend driver ... a fun car for interstate rides, light travel, short errands. The car should look good, drive well, and ride well. It should also have an element of style and fun about it. I am considering the 1985 Eldorado and Seville (really like the styling of these cars and the luxurious feel) and a 1988 BMW 325i convertible (like the styling, not so luxurious interior, kind of a VW Beetle feel to the ride, though). All models I am looking at are in great condition and have service records. Mileage is at 100K for all. What would be your reasons for selecting a Caddy or the BMW? I am really having a rough time deciding because I like all the cars, but I can buy only one. Thanks!
 

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2005 White Diamond STS N* 1SF RWD ACC/HUD
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I have to think that asking this question on a Cadillac enthusiast website will get you mostly, if not all "Cadillac" for an answer...
 

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I will be non biased...

Get whatever will make you happy. You only live once in life, so live it to the best that you can. Make yourself happy, look them both over if possible, and decide which one is your preferance, and buy it.
 

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1993 ETC, in Windsor, Ont.
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Both have their caveats.
The 80's Cadillac will have more little electrical gremlins, and little things won't work. The BMW has less of these systems to fail. The major repairs will be MUCH cheaper than on the Cadillac however. BMW parts, especially dealer items like things relating to the convertible system, are HUGE $$$.
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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The Cadillac....I don't like the '80s Bimmers....not enough luxury items.
 

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02 STS
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The only Bimmer I'd consider against a Cadillac is a 5 series.
Absolutely! to the above...

I've owned both... The 3 series Bimmers are crap... Other then Car and Driver I know of very few who bought a second one of these.

The interiors are cheap hard black plastic. These cars are also know for one electrical problem after another.. Of course caddys have there issues too...

On the 80's caddys avoid the 8/6/4 and avoid the 4.1s

You will find the parts for the BMW hard to get and very pricey.
IMO the 80's BMW to have would be a 6 series.

On my list of things to do would be to buy a 80's BMW 318 and swap in a Chrysler 318 and make a real car out of it.:thumbsup:
 

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95 Fleetwood Brougham / 01 DTS / 11 CTS Lux / 11 DTS Platinum
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What?
 

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99 Seville STS, 08 STS4 N* 1SG F55
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Brake job on my buddy's Bimmer: $800
Brake job on my Caddy: less than half
Busting his cookies: priceless

(OK - so his gas gauge actually works, his sunroof doesn't whistle, he doesn't have an aquarium in his trunk and gets better gas mileage, but we don't discuss that) :)
 

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A BMW 318 is a 3 series with a 1.8L POS 4 banger... A totally gutless POS
I want to yank that and install a 5.2L (318 CID) Chrysler motor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_LA_engine#Magnum_5.2

Partly because the torque of this little V8 is a blast..
Partly because this motor was in the first car I ever owned...
Mostly because swapping in any Detroit mill into this poofda car from the land of soccer players would p!ss off all of the Car & Driver editors big time... I would then enter this POS into C&Ds one lap and spank some euro butt.

When the 330s get cheap enough then I will buy one of those and swap in an Olds 330...
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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Im pretty qualified to answer this as BMW and Cadillac are pretty much the only things I drive when Im driving a luxury car.

Im not really sure what to recommend to you. A 3 Series convertible and a Seville of the same 80s era are entirely different vehicles. The 3 series will be funner to drive and more zippy around town, as well as the drop top capability... but will lack the luxury, size and waft factor of the Seville.

Every BMW I have ever owned has actually cost *less* to repair AND maintain than any of my Cadillacs, with the exclusion of the Escalade, which is just a big Chevy truck with some toys in it. The difference is, this is modern BMWs versus modern Cadillacs with their headgaskets and all the other electrical and body goodies that go along with them. If you dial that all the way back to the 80s, I do believe the Seville would be the less costly car to maintain because the engines and driveline are pretty straightforward and they are not nearly as complex as the modern ones.

So you have to decide what it is you ultimately want out of the car. Nothing we say can make up your mind for you, especially between two such disparate choices.
 

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Unlike most of the replies to this post, im gonna go ahead and actually give you some advice, if you take it great, if not oh well. For the money youre going to spend on a late 80s 3 series in good condition you can grab up a 96 - 98 Seville, In my opinion the BMW is going to be a much sportier drive, and a little bit more work as far as driving it fast. I own a 98 SLS and i love it. I also love the late 80s 3 series. In my opinion youre gonna have fun with either car, the cadillac will be much more enjoyable as far as comfort and luxury, but there are times when i wish i had a 5 speed and a car i could throw around corners.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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Thats a good bit of advice. After the E46 (which is by far the best of all the BMW's... probably one of the 10 best cars ever period), I find the 80s 3 Series the best. The 92-98 model was a complete snooze.
 

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1996 STS (181,000) Arnott Struts, 245/45/ZR18, 1" Drop -SOLD
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Knock, Knock...
80's BMW = Ugly.
If you want it light take the beamer but don't expect much.
 

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Forget compairing a 3 series to a caddy. If you want a nie 80's beamer get a 5 or 6 series they are more on par from a luxury stand point.
 
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