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in_d_haus
09-03-2002, 09:38 AM
So after flinging the M3 around the twisty mountain roads over the weekend I have a more detailed report.

We'll start off with the short list of dislikes (from owning my E46)

1) Rear view mirrors are too small.
2) Ashtray is too small (no, I don't smoke but I always kept a pack of gum in there, the new M won't hold one)
3) I miss the stereo adjustment buttons on the steering wheel.
4) I miss the seat memory
5) I miss the tray under the armrest. I kept my garage door opener in there.
6) Cup holders suck

Not much to complain about.

In daily driving, 0 to 60mph) the car is great and the suspension doesn't feel any different than my Sport package on the E46. Power is linear and it pulls well through all gears. Gas economy is better than I expected. Handling is crisp.

At higher speeds and in the twisties the car really shines. It rides like it's on rails and corners like a demon (even on crappy tires) This car is very competent and will make a bad driver look good, I've actually lost a bit of respect for people who track these cars especially ones that didn't come up through the ranks from a lesser car. Yes, I know, someone is going to mention the snap oversteer.

During strong acceleration and at higher revs the exhaust note is amazing. I love to hear it rev! In hard cornering the suspension seems to stiffen up (do these cars have progressive rate springs?) and corner with only a small amount of body lean (for a stock street car) The stock brakes and pads are very good at hauling the car down from speed quickly and didn't exhibit any fade during the trip under moderate usage. Like all stock BMW pads they are dusty though (time to wash the wheels)

SIDEBAR: The Moda R6wheels that came on this are a breeze to wash! (I thought type 44s were easy)

Seats are comfortable, side bolsters could be a bit better. Stereo is adequate for a stocker (HK) We had the Beatles "1" cranked and were singing along with it. Clutch is very easy to drive after my E46. This is one of the easiest cars to rev match I've driven because the revs build so easy it makes blipping the throttle simple. This would be a better car to teach someone to drive a manual in than the E46 (non-M)

I love Cosmos Black! The more I look at it the more I love it! Awesome color!
The car looks aggressive in Black/Black and I love the space shuttle rake of it.
This car gets lots of looks and comments. Especially when clean and shiny.

My .02 cents,
Haus

DougDogs
09-03-2002, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by in_d_haus


At higher speeds and in the twisties the car really shines. It rides like it's on rails and corners like a demon (even on crappy tires)

My .02 cents,
Haus

Nice review, and I liked the pictures in the other thread.


I guess you had no luck getting your old tires back???

in_d_haus
09-03-2002, 09:45 AM
I emailed my salesman Saturday with the question. I'm going to call him today. Being a holiday the boss may not have been in. I'll let ya know

blackdawg
09-03-2002, 09:45 AM
the m3 i used to own is still a benchmark for me everytime that i drive a car.

handles very well and has sufficient power to cause (good or bad) sorts of excitement.

going from it to the M coupe was a nightmare in terms of handling; the m3 was so good it was easy to control the car. that twitchy, awkward rear end on the M coupe is something i will never miss.

that said: the only thing that i dislike about the e36m3 are the cheapish plastic door trim. you know? that rough looking trim right beneath the window?

anyways, happy motoring.

johnlew
09-03-2002, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by in_d_haus
SIDEBAR: The Moda R6wheels that came on this are a breeze to wash! (I thought type 44s were easy)



Nice write up and I like the sound of above. Getting similar wheels for the 540. I may have to drive an E36 M3 when I see one.

Jetfire
09-03-2002, 10:06 AM
Nice review. I'm with you 100% on the handling notes. I took my car to an empty parking lot (abandoned discount store) near my house to play with the traction control off, and I drove home very impressed. This is my first Bimmer and my first RWD car, so some things I noticed are just general characteristics of this type of car. However, I was struck by how easily I could modulate my tail during hard corners by playing with the throttle. I was also impressed by how much the cars just sticks to the pavement. The car's also great in a straight line, from accelerating to braking. Hell, even after a few intentional panic stops, the brakes had barely faded. I know they won't hold up to track use, but they're great street pads if you don't mind the dust.

As for the tray under the armrest, I think you can just pull out the cupholder/ashtray modules from that console. I hate using cupholders period, but I keep them in there to hold my garage door opener and cell phone steady.

I am also unimpressed by the plastics used in the interior. Especially on the door, they just look cheap. They probably looked fine ten years ago, however.

in_d_haus
09-03-2002, 11:30 AM
In Detailing news this car is easier to wash than my E46 (less body lines) and the paint "seems" to be harder than the E46. Also the finish is a bit nicer.

johnlew
09-03-2002, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by in_d_haus
In Detailing news this car is easier to wash than my E46 (less body lines) and the paint "seems" to be harder than the E46. Also the finish is a bit nicer.

I would think the Calif blade works better on the less curvy surfaces.

Jetfire
09-03-2002, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by johnlew


I would think the Calif blade works better on the less curvy surfaces.

A water blade works best when it doesn't come within ten feet of a car's finish. :D

johnlew
09-03-2002, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by Jetfire


A water blade works best when it doesn't come within ten feet of a car's finish. :D

I only use mine in the shower now.

Jetfire
09-03-2002, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by johnlew


I only use mine in the shower now.

Same, but I just can't seem to figure it out. The water doesn't slide off my skin like it did on the car. And if you want to talk about curvy, difficult-to-clean surfaces...

(ba-dump ching) Sorry for the temporary off-topic hijack.

PhilH
09-05-2002, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by Jetfire
..I am also unimpressed by the plastics used in the interior. Especially on the door, they just look cheap. They probably looked fine ten years ago, however.
This may make me sound like I'm not a hard core car enthusiast, but the interior of the E36 M3 (small back seat included) is the number one reason I think I would prefer owning the E46.

Imola Ed
09-05-2002, 12:12 AM
Originally posted by PhilH

This may make me sound like I'm not a hard core car enthusiast, but the interior of the E36 M3 (small back seat included) is the number one reason I think I would prefer owning the E46.

I may be remembering incorrectly, but I think I liked the e36 dash/console layout better than the E46. I also still miss my kick-ass trip computer. That thing was completely awesome.

in-d, I'm surprised you say the suspension feels about the same as the SP on the E46. I remember my E36 M3 being much harsher. Especially on all these cement highways down here in the Bay Area. But again, it's been a while...

Jetfire
09-05-2002, 08:02 AM
The trip computer is sweet, but it wouldn't make or break the deal with me. I wish it had the timed venting feature that a lot of 5-series have.

Overall, I love my M3...but I would've sprung for an E46 M3 if I had the money. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything right now, though.