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Old 06-27-2003, 12:13 PM   #1
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Default Information on Bonnevilles needed, please help!

Hello everyone!

First of all, let me introduce myself. Name'* Yuri (like first Russian astronaut ;-) , living in Moscow, Russia. Now I'm seriously concerned about byuing second car, which I will drive on workdays. Before present moment, I've owned only different BMW'*, but now I've came to idea that I need more steady-tempered car (than Porsche, or even BMW), but still capable to agressive driving style in case I'd like it.

I thought about byuing another BMW 5-er, but I do know I can't resist her in her "need for speed". So I decided to take a look on American vehicles. Well, I always loved American cars for their style, great look, and comfort, so this decision is quite predictable.

Last summer I already made an attempt to buy an American car, but at that moment it didn't happen. Today I feel ready to do it. I've seen many American cars, but among all mid-size/full-size 4-door sedans there is only one sporty car, that has nice performance and offers great comfort (IMHO), the Bonneville.

So now I am interested in buying Bonneville, but still have some questions. Here in Russia there are not many people who can answer my questions. Simply, the Bonneville is pretty rare car here these days. So I decided to ask those questions to you, people who own Bonnies, and who could possibly provide reasoned answers.

I would be more than grateful if you all could help to acquire some information on this car. To be more specific, now I am looking for '93-96 Bonneville (I or II), SSE or even SuperCharged modifications.

Well, I have following questions:
1. Have you ever had a chance to compare Bonneville ('91-99 series) and BMW 5-er (E-34, '88-96 series)? Have you owned a BMW (or you friends owned BMW) along with Bonneville?

2 Could you estimate what is Bonnie'* reliability? I mean how reliable the car is, and what'* her weak spots? Could you compare her reliabilty to other models. BMW'* and Caddies as her counterparts are most preferable examples, as I know these pretty good.

I heard many people here in Russia were saying that American cars in general are extremely unreliable comparing to their European analogues. But, frankly, I seriousy doubt that, as my friends' several American cars (Cadillac SeVille STS; Ford Taurus, Contour; Plymouth Acclaim) did very well here.

How often major repairs happen, in general? How predictable major failures are?

3. Handling -- how good Bonnie performs in cornering? How stiff the suspension is? Well, I would even like to ask very provocative question: is it possible to achive good time between the cones?

4. What about breaks, are they adequate to car'* dynamics? How good Anti-lock breaking system works, especially in snowy winter?

5. Where could I find any (not only technical information) on Bonnevilles on the Internet? I already read Techinfo section, this is very interesting, but it covers mostly maintainance issues, and have a little help for people who are looking for Bonnevilles first time.

For now, that'* all I can ask, I cannot be more specific before getting more information.

Thank you in advance,
your answers will be very helpful and appreciated!

Yours,
Yuri Galtikhin,
Moscow, Russia.

P.*. Please forgive my terrible English, it'* not my native language. But I amd doing my best to imporove it. Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2003, 01:52 PM   #2
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Sounds like your looking for a BMW. A Pontiac Bonneville does not compare to a BMW. There'* an old say "You get what you pay for." The level of engineering in a BMW is not the same as a Bonneville. Buy a BMW if your looking for something that corners, brakes, and lasts a long time
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Old 06-27-2003, 02:27 PM   #3
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Thank you for opinion, your point is taken. But the problem is: I already have BMW, and I want second car: something else -- not so agressive but comfortable.

Thank you,
Yuri
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Old 06-27-2003, 02:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lash92ssei
Sounds like your looking for a BMW. A Pontiac Bonneville does not compare to a BMW. There'* an old say "You get what you pay for." The level of engineering in a BMW is not the same as a Bonneville. Buy a BMW if your looking for something that corners, brakes, and lasts a long time
Okay, I think there'* plenty of flamebait there so I'm not going to touch it, but Yuri, it is true that you will have a much easier time finding BMW parts than Pontiac parts, so if you want to buy a Bonneville for fun, please do, but if you need a car to drive every day to work, a BMW would be a better choice.

I can compare my '93 SSEi to my father'* '83 BMW 528e, and it is hard to say if one is better than the other because they are such different cars in every way. The Pontiac is bigger, the engineering is different, the kinds of accessories it has are different, the controls and interior are different, etc. Even the driving is different, because the 528e does not have a supercharger and has a manual gearbox, so the way I drive the BMW is completely different from the way I drive my SSEi, and the driving experience is different.

In your country, you can probably live with an old, worn-out BMW because you can always find parts, but if you get an old, worn-out Bonneville you will find it very hard to keep it running. If you get a new Bonneville, you probably have enough money that _no_ problem is really a problem, so let us know what you decide to do.
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Old 06-27-2003, 03:22 PM   #5
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The SSE and SSEi have the stiffer, more agressive suspensions.
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Old 06-27-2003, 03:36 PM   #6
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Yuri, if you buy a Bonne suggest you buy a SE model (not a SSEi) if your serious about resisting the "need for speed". You'll be surprised at the amount of torque the 3.8 has at low end. My old 1990 SSE (non SC) could accelerate with my 535i all the way to 90+ before the 535 would pull ahead. My present SSEi compares to the 530i, but there are many differences.

As for reliability, remember that depends on how the previous owner has maintained it. If maintained and the proper repairs are accomplished with CORRECT PARTS, the motor/trans should last to approx 150,000 miles without major expense. The predictable major failures are going to be the same for a Bonne just as with others. The weak points are going to be the rear air suspension, the circuit board for the instrument panel, and the brakes.

If you want good time between the cones, you will have to spend large amounts of money upgrading the brakes, the suspension, and stiffing up the under carriage. The Anti-lock brakes work well in the winter. For technical info. go to the following:

http://www.edmunds.com/new/index.htm...header.new.1.*

or

http://www.kbb.com/
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