M3 or M Coupe? [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: M3 or M Coupe?

01-20-2006, 10:15 PM
Can't decide which to ***** E46 M3 or E37 M Coupe. I've been wanting an M3 SMG for a long time, but recently I've really started to like the M Coupe. Some say it's ugly, but it's a beautiful car to me. Nonetheless, the M3 is a bit more economical for me as far as passenger space. The M Coupe is a fun little car but only seats 2 and has no cargo space whatsoever. The M3 I want with an SMG because I like it and also I kinda need something the fiance can drive, as she's not fluent in manual. I'm not sure how well she can learn manual, but she's not too enthused about it. I originally was looking at the M3, the M Coupe, and the E39 M5, at least until I found out how much it costs for M5 mods. No thanks. That eliminated the M5 pretty damn fast.

So, does anyone have any advice? I know this is just going to start some fights, so here's what I want:

I want a car that's really fun to drive and would be a good summer-only car. I'm also concerned about factory defects and problems. Which one is more reliable in the long-run? I had a friend with an M Roadster blow a rod in his 2000 or 2001. Anyone got any ideas? There are no M Coupes around to drive, so I can't really determine what it'd be like to have one or drive one, so anyone with experience would be of much help.

Thanks all. Cheers!

Bob Clevenger
01-21-2006, 12:08 AM
I own an M coupe and I have driven an M3.
The M3 has more room, more amenities, and more cargo capacity.
My 2002 M coupe is faster and more fun to drive -- and has a surprising amount of cargo capacity as long as no one package is too big.

A newer M3 is probably more likely not to have a major failure; The rear sub-frames of the Z3 line are prone to cracking, but that can be fixed. The 1999-2000 M coupe has the S52 engine (in the US) and it is pretty darned reliable. The 2001-2002 M coupe has the S54 engine (same as the E46 M3) and in those years it had a possibility of bearing failure. M3s got new engines; M coupes did not, but they did get a 100,000 mile engine warrantee.

Decide what is important to you and have fun!

01-21-2006, 12:56 AM
I have a z3 coupe and it really does have a lot of room. There is a pic somewhere around here of someone with like $200 worth of groceries in the back of a M coupe. I shop at sams and can easly carry 5 cases of gatorade along with my normal groceries. Plus, if you get the M3 it will be cool, just like all the other M3's out there. But you will be one of only a few M coupes. So for my biased opinon, M coupe just for the unique and cool factor :)

Let's Go!
01-21-2006, 07:04 AM
I started out looking at the M3 but bought the MCoupe. As others have pointed out, there's more cargo room than you might expect in the Coupe. The major benefit, if you like weekend road trips ala grand touring, is that it forces your SO to travel light.

01-21-2006, 08:25 AM
The M Coupe is becoming a cult car. Get one now if you can. They are an absolute blast to drive. I'd love to have one, but I'm too tall for it to fit me comfortably. If your fiance can't drive a manual, too bad for her, she just won't get to drive it -- and that's a good thing for you and the car. :D

01-21-2006, 09:09 AM
At the beginning of this I was very much still leaning towards the M3, but now I'm seriously considering the M Coupe. I like the M Coupe style, and I doubt I'd get the M Roadster as my buddy has one so if I want to drive it I can just ask him any time. Dammit, now I'm all confused even more. How about this-how are the M Coupes for ride comfort and ride quality? Are they pretty smooth do they jar you pretty good? I drove the M3 and it wasn't so bad, but the Z3 I drove was pretty bumpy and rigid.

Also, are there very noticeable differences between the S52 and S54 motors in the M Coupe?

01-21-2006, 10:35 AM
Well..... you said that you want a car that's really fun to drive and would be a good summer-only car. Sounds like you will have a second car standing by, so the M Coupe would be my choice. As for ride comfort and ride quality, it's a sports car so it will ride accordingly. Drive your buddy's M Roadster and see if you like it; they should feel very similar, although the Coupe should be a bit more rigid (a good thing). M3s are great cars, but they are everywhere.

01-21-2006, 01:46 PM
I agree with the other posts...definitely try to get an S54-equipped M Coupe first. Arguably, a much better summer only/second car than the M3.

Numbers aside (where it's no contest), the almost turbine smooth S52 is no slouch but the S54 engine is a pure bred M engine...a real screamer.

01-21-2006, 04:14 PM
I'll have to look into the S54 models then and see what they're like. I can't remember if my buddy's got a 2000 or 2001.

01-21-2006, 06:04 PM
will the ///M Coupe fit 2 golf bags full of clubs?

Let's Go!
01-21-2006, 06:49 PM

01-21-2006, 10:12 PM
i'd definitely go with the M3.....more practical with more room, dont get me wrong the M coupe is badass looking, but the M3 is soooo sick.

01-22-2006, 12:37 PM
If I got an M3 I'd be modding it right away with tons of other mods and wheels. With the ///M coupe I'd maybe put wheels on, but past that it'd be amost sacriligious to do any body mods or anything major for a car that rare.

01-22-2006, 11:44 PM
You can fit a lot more than 2 golf bags. As far as comfort, I bought my z3 coupe on ebay. It was in Indiana. I flew up to sign the paper work and then drove it home that day. From Indianapolis to Dallas in one long, great, getting to know you drive. I had no comfort issues what so ever, other than being tired :)

Micky D
01-24-2006, 09:44 AM
I would like to comment but am a little confused. Where I come from a coupe is a 2 door.

So the M3 is a coupe.

So have I got this right, when you guys are talking coupe, are you talking about the Z3? Being a 2 door it is a coupe like the M3. But they are obviously 2 very different cars.

Don't want to upset the purists but if you want the ultimate fun summer car, with lots of space and versitility then get an M3 cabrio. It's the best car I have ever owned. Hell forget 2 sets of clubs, you can get the whole Rider cup team in with the roof down. Goes like a cut cat and looks good. Add the hard top for the winter and enjoy all year round.