In Reply to: Is a 328 THAT much better ($5k) than a 323? posted by Chris on April 14, 1999 at 15:54:55:
Here is how I arrived at this figure: There is $7000 difference in the MSRP of the two models. However, the 328i includes all the features of the 323i Premium Package with 16" wheels ($2840) as standard. You also have to add fog lights ($260) to the Premium Package 323i to bring it up to 328i equipment level. Therefore, by subtracting $2840 plus $260 from $7,000, you arrive at $3,900. For this sum, you get bigger brakes, 23 more hp and 25 more lb-ft of torque, plus some cosmetic differences (chrome trim around side windows, chrome grille, etc.)
Keep in mind that if you wanted to add the sport package to a 328i, it is only a matter of an extra $1350. To get the sport package on the 323i(with ugly looking 16" wheels vs. nice 17" ones for the 328i), you have to pay $2400 and settle for manual sport seats, and order the on-board computer separately. Of course, you wouldn't be paying the $2840 for the Premium Package (can't get both packages on 1999 323i).
I still think $3900 is a bit steep for the upgrade in power. As an example, the Audi A4 has about the same $4000 price difference between the 1.8T four cylinder and 2.8 V6 models. For this sum of money, you get two extra cylinders, 40 more hp and extra 52 lb-ft torque, plus std. wood trim and power front seats, not to mention the availability of leather for the 2.8 model.
In summary, I think the 323i is the better value.