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Looking to buy a beautiful BMW with change from €25k? Here are 3 unusual options

It is possible to buy Bavarian auto magic without remortgaging your house. Here’s our advice.

Image: DoneDeal

SPEND ANY AMOUNT of time on BMW’s new car configurator, and you’ll soon see that when it comes to adding optional extras, the Bavarian manufacturer is just as good at building up its prices as it can be at making motors.

But taking a budget of €25,000 (the average price of a new compact crossover), into account, just how much BMW can you get for the same money?

Here’s our look at three slightly left-field examples of what you could also buy for the same amount of money.

1. BMW 7 Series (F01 & F02, 2008-2015)

Source: DoneDeal

One of the benefits of considering a used luxury saloon like the BMW 7 Series is that the previous owners have taken the brunt of the depreciation hit. With a budget of €25,000, you can have your pick of the litter when it comes to used 7’s, especially with the newer generation increasing in popularity.

Most of the models sold in Ireland were the standard wheelbase version (F01) with the 244hp 3.0-litre diesel engine. Later models sold from 2012 onwards got a slight power increase to 258hp. These weren’t as problematic as older 7 Series models but as ever with a car like this, try to seek out one with a solid service history as it can potentially help with any goodwill warranty claims.

The long wheelbase model was referred to as the F02 but uses the same engines. BMW also produced two other lesser-known 7 Series variants with the F03 and F04 model designations. The F03 is the armoured sedan, which was typically sold to embassies and could withstand both ballistic and chemical attack depending on specification. F04 was the code for the hybrid model, which was called the ActiveHybrid 7.

2. BMW Z3 (E36/7, 1994-2001)

Source: DoneDeal

You might not always think of a two-seater sports car when you hear the BMW name, but there are a few to choose from.

By far the cheapest these days is the Z3, and even though its design is now 23 years old, it still holds plenty of kerbside appeal. It was penned by Joji Nagashima, who also styled the BMW E36 and E90 3 Series as well as the timeless E39 5 Series. Others will always associate the Z3 with James Bond, as it appeared in Goldeneye with Pierce Brosnan behind the wheel.

Under that two-seater body style is basically a modified 3 Series platform, which in truth, wasn’t all that great to drive. Most of the cars you’ll find for sale have the four-cylinder engine, but if you’re willing to push out the budget, you can have a Z3 M or a Z3 M Coupe, the latter of which is even cooler thanks to its breadvan shooting brake style.

As for the regular drop top do pay attention to the fabric roof when considering a purchase as they are prone to leaking – so maybe run a garden hose over one before you put your money down.

3. BMW i3 (I01, 2013-onwards)

Source: DoneDeal

The BMW i3 was the company’s first dedicated production electric vehicle and was also available with a range extender, referred to as an i3 REX.

Not to be confused with a dinosaur with tiny arms, the i3 REX used the same battery technology but also had a small 647cc petrol motor onboard that was used as a generator to recharge the battery. It didn’t power the wheels directly.

The i3 looks like no other BMW that has gone before. If anything it looks remarkably similar to the Audi A2 in side profile, though there has never been a challenge to this from its German rival. So what can you expect from an i3 in the real world? Well, if you have the REX, and choose to have it kick in when the battery first runs out then you can see up to 200 kilometres between a full charge and emptying the rather small nine-litre petrol tank.

The i3 remains one of the most interesting EV (electric vehicle) designs on the market and uses an advanced production method that makes extensive use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) to give it strength while keeping weight down.

It’s not perfect. There’s the fact that you can’t open the rear doors without first opening the front doors – as there is no B-pillar between them – which can make dropping off passengers on the school run, for example, a bit of a pain. All in all though, it remains a great car to drive with sharp handling and punchy acceleration.

More: How to buy a serious Mercedes-Benz on a €20k budget – and 3 models to check out>

About the author:

Dave Humphreys

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