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RE: A first car for my son to learn on

    I know I'm a little late on this one, but I felt I should add my 0.02 worth
in here.

    You are deciding between a BMW 318i and a 4000CSQ and your son wants the
BMW???  I think you should let him practice driving a little bit on your car.
They can learn on almost anything!  As long as you are in the car, they won't
be doing anything stupid.  I learned how to drive a stick shift on a '65
Corvette.  Anyways, once he gets some experience, let him decide for himself!

    When I turned 16 I got mom's old Honda Accord.  It wasn't a bad car and got
me around just fine, but I always wanted a BMW 3-series or an Audi.  I prefered
the BMW btw.  I thought they were so cool and I knew a lot of well-off kids at
my school that had them.  A BMW 318i was about the only thing in my price range
that I could afford.

    I just have a feeling that once your son drives one, he won't want one
anymore.  They are a total dog!  You practically have to lean forward to help
that little 110 hp 4 stroker climb up a hill!  A friend of mine's mom had one
and it used to have all kind of problems and it made all kinds of funny noises.
But, it is still pretty good handling (actually these cars sucked in the rain
and are even worse on snow) and are safe german engineered cars, are definately
not going to win any stoplight races, and are pretty cheap.  One more drawback
is that these were only made from '84-'85, and stopped production in '86.  I'd
maybee get a 325 coupe if he wants a good BMW.  They are still very cheap.  Can
be had around here for between $2,500 and 4,000 for a decent one.

     But, I have a feeling once he drives a 4000CS quattro, he will like it
much better.  They have 115hp 5 cylinder and a lot more punch!  Actually not
a bad amount of power for the size of the car.  Very comfortable, good german
desighn, relatively reliable, great handling, and the safety of AWD!  These
are great cars for the money.  A friend of mine at school just bought an '87
4000CS quattro from it's original owner for $2,300.

     Whatever you do, once your son gets his driver's license let him do some
driving schools.  I am not talking about Taggert's or whatever cheesey high
school driver's ed programs they offer most kids, but a proffessional driver's
school like Skip Barber or Track Time, or a Quattro CLub or BMWCCA event.
Either of these cars would be good to teach you son some basic performance
driving skills and will help him to be much more confident in his driving
abilities and know his car's limits.  Plus, this will definately get him hooked
and he will get into racing and autocrossing!

      Let me start by saying I bought my 5000CSTQ for about the same price I
could get a decent 325 coupe for, and I think the quattro I got was a FAR
better car and had much more to offer a serious driver.  Also, I just did my
first driver's school last year and it was great!  I gained a lot of experience
and I learned so much in one weekend.  I also gained a lot of confidence in
myself.  I just wish I had done it earlier!  I have done a lot of dumb things
while driving in my short time while driving, and I just chock it all up to
experience.  I just wish my dad had made me do a serious driving school when I
was in high school.  I think it is invaluable and it could even save his life
someday.  If I have kids, when they get thier driver's license, they are also
going to get some proffessional driving experience on the track!

       ex- 5000CSTQ