Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > M Series

M Series
The ///M Series Forums. If you would like to see all new posts in all the forums, click here.

 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-24-2003, 06:11 PM
Wallenrod Wallenrod is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bay Area
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 668
Mein Auto: 330i
M3 or S4: What should I choose?

Hello Everyone! Great forums you have, a lot of mature posters and a great source of information although the M forums seem to be a little dead. This maybe a good thing as it suggests that everyone is happy with their machines and out there driving instead of complaining.

Here's my dilema. My wife and I have been sharing our E46 330i SP for over a year now and we really love it. No problems whatsoever, great car. We have been living in a city and I don't need a car for commuting (my wife does) but it seems like my new job will involve driving. Plus I want something fun for the weekends and occasional fun/relaxing drives. We both drive manuals and prefer more spirited way of driving than your average American commuter (yet we DO use turn signals when changing lanes UNLIKE your average American commuter, at least here on the west coast.) We also have a baby on the way, so there are some practical considerations.

At first, I thought it would be simple and I would just get a European Delivery of a new 330i ZHP. I love the new alcantara/cloth interior (sat in it as a matter of fact yesterday during the San Francisco Auto Show). It supposedly addresses most of the issues like DBW delay, better/shorter throw shifter and tighter suspension.

Yet, I had a possibility (yes, I should have avoided it!) of driving an E46 M3 and I absolutely love it. The car feels more responsive, even tighter in turns and the power. It seems to have and additional engine over 330i that turns on in the upper rev band. No DBW problems detected (I drove a 6 speed which is what I would be buying). I love the E46 ergonomics, everything falls in place and my body type seems to fit in so well in the cabin. The only negative is that it is not a sedan. Why couldn't they produce an E46 M3 sedan like they did with the previous generation? I would be willing to shell out couple thousands more for that. No idea.

So I kept exploring my options and really the only other appealing thing is the new Audi S4. I love the interior (although E46 has better knee room). I really like the exterior as well and V8 is nice and torquey. The car really hides its weight well. I don't know why. E39 540i which is about the same weight feels like a pig in comparison (I drove it and dismissed it right away.) Needless to say that I hate new BMW designs so the new 5 seres is out based purely on looks. Back to S4. I really liked it but it's not M3. It is softer and the steering is not "talking" to the driver as much as even my 330i. AWD is an interesting experience. I think for sheer pleasure I like RWD but I am getting a little older and my driving patterns change so maybe I don't need all this throttle steering and breaking the rear end in the back road curves. Audi tracks nicely through the curves and inspires a lot of confidence. I really, really like the S4 shifter. IMHO it is better than m3. It is shorter (both height and throw) and throws are very positive. Absolutely effortless, I love it. I don't like S4's clutch pedal. I much prefer BMW's. It is too soft and vague. New s4 has a much bigger blind spot that E46 (both coupe and sedan)

Now all the failures/problems. Both cars would be new so I don't worry that much but M3 engine failure issues seem much different from new S4 engine/transmission/etc issues. M3 engine issues seem to have been relted to a specific problem in a specific batch of cars. It was identified and fix was in place and performed. S4 (based at least on posts in AudiWorld forums) does not have a singular issue but seems to have a lot of them popping out in different areas and they are being addressed ad hoc rather than strategically. This may suggest overall lack of quality/reliability issues and dealer servicing skills.

In essence, I don't know what to choose. I guess if I needed a wagon, it would be easier. The only thing that really draws me to Audi is I guess the utility of 4 doors. It is a decent car and great competitor to M3 but in absolute terms and in my subjective driving preferences it is not as good (fun, involving, insert any adjective you like here) a car. And there is also reliability concerns as mentioned above. I can't really go back to 330i (new ZHP) as I have been unfortunately corrupted by additional power.

What should I do? Has anyone here been in a similar position, cross-shopping between M3 and S4 and what did you choose and why? Is having a coupe and a baby (baby seat issues andone?) really a pain in the ... . I don't believe in having to have a big SUV and drag around half the household the moment you conceive a little human being but would a coupe really be fine for that. I've always had a sedan in my life. I really want an M3 more but S4 appeals to me as well. Advice?


Thanks!

Last edited by Wallenrod; 11-24-2003 at 07:02 PM.
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 11-24-2003, 07:05 PM
Wallenrod Wallenrod is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bay Area
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 668
Mein Auto: 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumatt
May I politely suggest adding some paragraph breaks in that text?

It's very hard to read that way.
Sorry! Hope this looks better. Writing has never been my forte. It reads like a teenage girls rant as I look at it now.
  #3  
Old 11-24-2003, 07:09 PM
mowgli mowgli is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: new york-long island
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 40
Mein Auto: 2004 330ci
m3 or s4

i had a twin turbo S4 prior to the 330CI i just bought approx 3 weeks ago. I opted against either another s4 or M3 because at some point I thought enough horesepower is enough! A few initial thoughts...the S4 is a great car, the allwheel drive handeling is wonderful, the speed is great and the 4 doors are nice. Plus the 2004 audi's are a step above interms of some optional equipment; all that said, the Audi's are very quirky cars and I also have an Allroad that shares many strange mechanical flaws from time to time. The Bmw rides a bit smoother, has slightly better road feel, I think it is made better and smarter and I think it is more of a sports car then a family sedan like the S4 is. I do like the fact that noone really knows what the S4 is but if thats the cae, I guess one could even consider the Volvo S60r which I also like. All that said, for me the BMW is preferable, for my wife the Audi! Either way, you can not go wrong and to be honest, I do miss the exra power/speed in the lower gears. gOOD lUCK!
  #4  
Old 11-24-2003, 07:14 PM
Riuster's Avatar
Riuster Riuster is offline
Riuster = Rooster
Location: Metro New York
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,243
Send a message via Skype™ to Riuster
Mein Auto: 02 M3, 07 X3 and 04 TSX
Audi RS6

forget both..get the RS6.....
  #5  
Old 11-24-2003, 07:19 PM
Wallenrod Wallenrod is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bay Area
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 668
Mein Auto: 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riuster
forget both..get the RS6.....
OK. That's like saying why don't you get a Ferrari, it's better... RS6 is in a completely different price range. And on top of that it is even heavier and much bigger than S4. I'm sure that negatively affects its handling. If I was going for such a big car I would probably get a used E39 M5, but I'm not.
  #6  
Old 11-24-2003, 07:24 PM
Zappo Zappo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: West Coast
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 149
Mein Auto: Varies Day-to-Day
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riuster
forget both..get the RS6.....
Get the M3.
  #7  
Old 11-24-2003, 08:12 PM
Wallenrod Wallenrod is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bay Area
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 668
Mein Auto: 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumatt
Better!

Seems to me like you've already done quite a bit of homework on the subject and know most of the tradoffs. I drove the previous model S4 before making up my mind, and for some reason there was just something about the S4 that I didn't love. It really was a great car so tt was hard to explain what I didn't like, but when I test drove the BMW 330 I just loved the driving feel.

Anyway, I'm not helping much. My only (not so deep) advice is to drive them each again (and again, and again) and you'll decide at some point.
I know what you mean. I wish I could have both of them for the weekend! This would help. New S4 is actually nothing like old one. It feels much tighter, more BMW-like. Couple of my friends have an old one and it's a really different car. I don't like the old S4 at all, it compares pretty bad to my 330i despite the huge power from turbo coming at a very low RPM which totally confuses the but dyno into thinking the car is very very fast as you take off from the lights. Driving dynamics of our 330i are excellent compared to the old S4.
  #8  
Old 11-24-2003, 08:52 PM
Riuster's Avatar
Riuster Riuster is offline
Riuster = Rooster
Location: Metro New York
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,243
Send a message via Skype™ to Riuster
Mein Auto: 02 M3, 07 X3 and 04 TSX
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallenrod
OK. That's like saying why don't you get a Ferrari, it's better... RS6 is in a completely different price range. And on top of that it is even heavier and much bigger than S4. I'm sure that negatively affects its handling. If I was going for such a big car I would probably get a used E39 M5, but I'm not.
I didnt say Ferrari...comon....RS6..is probably 300 more per month..give or take..after driving my M3, well its the same ol same ol..333HP..just doesnt crank it anymore..in my opinion..it is played out, not too many RS6s around here in NYC...

The A4..in my opinion..got great reviews...but....doesnt have agressive look and WILD drive nature as the M3...quattro is great...but so what...

But why get a M3 now or the A4 now, its already 3 years running...many people around the NYC area has one...so be different..i have not yet seen a RS6 on the road, or maybe..im just getting old

ok..out of the two..get the M3 SMG2.....looks far better than the A4

here's mine for inspiration.
  #9  
Old 11-24-2003, 08:54 PM
Riuster's Avatar
Riuster Riuster is offline
Riuster = Rooster
Location: Metro New York
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,243
Send a message via Skype™ to Riuster
Mein Auto: 02 M3, 07 X3 and 04 TSX
pic..sorry

picture...

http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/mri...ack+M3&.view=t
  #10  
Old 11-24-2003, 09:29 PM
marksmith marksmith is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: North Texas
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: 330ci/Cooper s
Been there & went w/ the M3....

I spent months test driving the new S4 and the M3 and in the process managed to drive myself & every BMW/AUDI dealer in N.Texas nuts. Here is my take on the debate:
-My most recent BMW was an 02' 330ci w/ an obscene ($20K) amount of aftermarket stuff on it like Dinan S3 w/ 3.15 diff., Brembos, Supersprint, Hamann etc. It was/is a terrific car but I wanted more power, suspension, etc. I decided to shop for my "dream car", something I would keep until the wheels fall off. In rapid order I drove the CLK55, C32, S4 and the M3. This became a simple process of elemination:
1. The Mercedes cars had torque in spades but lacked everything else I cherish ( excellent suspension, responsive engine & transmisson, ergomonics, stylish aesthetics and a more self-effacing level of the "stare-at- me" factor.)
2. The S4, even after 8 test drives & a very patient dealer who let me have it for an extended period, never felt as nimble, light, tossable or powerful as I wanted. The S4 is simple too heavy at 3850 lbs for the wonderful 345hp/300 lbs torque powerplant to produce stirring results. The cars all-wheel-drive system contributes to the odd sense of lethargy & lack of dynamics (the drivers' sensation of forward velocity never seems proportional to the speedometer reading: 60 mph feels like 40 mph, 90 feels like 60 etc.) All in all I felt the S4 to be somewhat colorless, lacking the soul and heartbeat one might expect of a car w/ such a strong family line. The S4 may be a great car but it never managed to leave me /w the feeling that I would wake up each day and yearn to take it out for a spin (if only you could bottle the sound!)
3. Then came the M3 and I fought the idea tooth & nail: "All E46 coupes are pretty much the same", "How can a car that produces only 263 lbs of torque be that thrilling", "The M3 has become a rich-brat mobile", etc. I had a bad attitude about the M3 partially because everyone seems so enamored of it. I drove the car many, many times times and finally came away with one clear picture: THE M3 DOES ALL THINGS WELL.THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF IT'S PARTS (which are pretty impressive parts at that) I jumped in/on the M3 bandwagon and took a new M3 home last week. It's taken 5 days and 900 miles to get to know it better. All I can say is this: The M3 is a Zen car. It is amazing. It must be driven for an extended period (no test drive will suffice). The M3 can and will most likly exceed one's expectations (at ever opportunity.) There seem to be several M3's lurking within each car waiting to be discovered like layers of the mind (a great city driver, a docile family car, a great sports car, a brut & wicked beast, and a poised uber-coupe that begs to driven onlong trips. etc.)
-Finally I am simply shocked at how I have fallen in love with a bloody machine. I'm so glad I went w/ the M3 and feel pretty confident that it is the best car ever made in the history of the human race (and NO, I do not work for BMW. I am aging artist and a hopeless romantic who may have found the last car I need ever own.)
PS: I have owned 3 BMW's, 3 Mercedes, 2 Porsches and a dozen lesser car since 1966.
  #11  
Old 11-25-2003, 12:09 AM
Wallenrod Wallenrod is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bay Area
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 668
Mein Auto: 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riuster
But why get a M3 now or the A4 now, its already 3 years running...many people around the NYC area has one...so be different..i have not yet seen a RS6 on the road, or maybe..im just getting old

ok..out of the two..get the M3 SMG2.....looks far better than the A4

here's mine for inspiration.
The fact that the car has been in production for so long is a big plus for me. That means that they were able to spot and fix potential problems and that it proved to be reliable. S4 being so new is a big minus for me. I'm not interested in having latest and greatest. That has no appeal to me. No, I am not interested in RS6. Too big, too heavy, too expensive. Few hundreds a month? I don't know about you but that's a big difference for me. I would also probably pay cash for our second car.
I will get a 6 speed. I can understand why people like SMG but I absolutely hated it. In my opinion it absolutely takes away the pleasure of driving. That's obviously my opinion.
  #12  
Old 11-25-2003, 12:20 AM
Wallenrod Wallenrod is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bay Area
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 668
Mein Auto: 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by marksmith
I spent months test driving the new S4 and the M3 and in the process managed to drive myself & every BMW/AUDI dealer in N.Texas nuts. Here is my take on the debate:
-My most recent BMW was an 02' 330ci w/ an obscene ($20K) amount of aftermarket stuff on it like Dinan S3 w/ 3.15 diff., Brembos, Supersprint, Hamann etc. It was/is a terrific car but I wanted more power, suspension, etc. I decided to shop for my "dream car", something I would keep until the wheels fall off. In rapid order I drove the CLK55, C32, S4 and the M3. This became a simple process of elemination:
1. The Mercedes cars had torque in spades but lacked everything else I cherish ( excellent suspension, responsive engine & transmisson, ergomonics, stylish aesthetics and a more self-effacing level of the "stare-at- me" factor.)
2. The S4, even after 8 test drives & a very patient dealer who let me have it for an extended period, never felt as nimble, light, tossable or powerful as I wanted. The S4 is simple too heavy at 3850 lbs for the wonderful 345hp/300 lbs torque powerplant to produce stirring results. The cars all-wheel-drive system contributes to the odd sense of lethargy & lack of dynamics (the drivers' sensation of forward velocity never seems proportional to the speedometer reading: 60 mph feels like 40 mph, 90 feels like 60 etc.) All in all I felt the S4 to be somewhat colorless, lacking the soul and heartbeat one might expect of a car w/ such a strong family line. The S4 may be a great car but it never managed to leave me /w the feeling that I would wake up each day and yearn to take it out for a spin (if only you could bottle the sound!)
3. Then came the M3 and I fought the idea tooth & nail: "All E46 coupes are pretty much the same", "How can a car that produces only 263 lbs of torque be that thrilling", "The M3 has become a rich-brat mobile", etc. I had a bad attitude about the M3 partially because everyone seems so enamored of it. I drove the car many, many times times and finally came away with one clear picture: THE M3 DOES ALL THINGS WELL.THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF IT'S PARTS (which are pretty impressive parts at that) I jumped in/on the M3 bandwagon and took a new M3 home last week. It's taken 5 days and 900 miles to get to know it better. All I can say is this: The M3 is a Zen car. It is amazing. It must be driven for an extended period (no test drive will suffice). The M3 can and will most likly exceed one's expectations (at ever opportunity.) There seem to be several M3's lurking within each car waiting to be discovered like layers of the mind (a great city driver, a docile family car, a great sports car, a brut & wicked beast, and a poised uber-coupe that begs to driven onlong trips. etc.)
-Finally I am simply shocked at how I have fallen in love with a bloody machine. I'm so glad I went w/ the M3 and feel pretty confident that it is the best car ever made in the history of the human race (and NO, I do not work for BMW. I am aging artist and a hopeless romantic who may have found the last car I need ever own.)
PS: I have owned 3 BMW's, 3 Mercedes, 2 Porsches and a dozen lesser car since 1966.
Thanks! I liked M3 much better too. Weight is really such a big factor. I actually also liked the revving engine characteristics of an in-line six and high redline. It always feels to have so much more go on tap. It's fun. I feel the same about AWD. I think it makes the car more lethargic and "slow." And controlled not by driver so much but by a machine. I guess if I had winters here AWD would make sense but I don't really need it in CA. My biggest attraction to S4 is the fact that it's a sedan. If M3 was a sedan it would be a no brainer. I would hate to have to get rid of it when it turns out loading and unloading the baby is a huge pain. I also simply like sedans more both visually and in terms of utility, being able to pick up people easily, throw something in the back seat etc.
  #13  
Old 11-25-2003, 09:52 AM
Ajax's Avatar
Ajax Ajax is online now
Hydrocarbon Man
Location: Houston
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,095
Mein Auto: 991 GT3
Oh what a dilemna!

While I haven't had the chance to drive an S4 yet, I am at the same crossroads you are at, but I am leaning towards the BMW for the following reasons:

1) The initial Audi production problems. I don't need a dealer telling me that the first replacement transmission is on the house, but if it fails again within another 250 miles it's on my tab. Ditto for valve springs, clutch, etc etc etc.

2) While the V8 sounds realllly nice, the exterior of the car does nothing for me. Whenever I see an M3 on the road, my jaw drops and I start making Tim Allen Tool Time ape sounds. Beautiful car.

3) There is a little more wiggle room in the pricing of the BMW nowadays.

In the end, I have tried to rationalize buying a car other than the M3 time and time again, but I always come back to it.

My wife points out that if I don't get one, I will always regret it. Just a couple more months.....almost there.

Go ahead, drink the Kool Aid.
  #14  
Old 11-25-2003, 10:27 AM
mmchargue mmchargue is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: L.A.
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: '04 M3 AW/Cin SMG
Do yourself a favor...Get the M3

I too considered an S4 ( just to make me feel like I did my due diligence)...Almost everybody posting has hit the nail on the head about the overall experience of the E46 M...I have only had mine for a week and a half, and thank god I went with the M....In the end, all the options you have mentioned are great cars, but ask yourself if you will always wonder about the M if you went with the S4...I know I would have already been second guessing my decision if I didnt get an M...The sum of the parts truly IS greater!...IMO, the M is THE car that will keep you the happiest and avoid any second guessing...You obivously enjoy driving and actually demand a great driving experience, (many say they do, but few can actually know what one is)...Therefore, get the M...You will not regret it...No one does...and I have been pleasantly surprised with getting people and gear in and out of the back seats...I'm not sure, but it seems like the 04's seats fold forward more than previous years...
Enjoy...and good luck...
Remember-->NO REGRETS

-mike
  #15  
Old 11-25-2003, 11:19 AM
Stuka Stuka is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Los Angeles
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 3,675
Mein Auto: German
Get the M3.

As for the SMG, I would never get one without it. I took my E30 325is to Laguna Seca and let me tell you, having SMG in the car is cheating. You aim for your apex, you brake, you click the - a few times, unwind/roll on the throttle, and off you go.

That is, if I had had my M3. Instead, it was, aim for the apex, brake so I can have enough time for heel and toe, heel and toe, hmm, brake some more, and finally, unwind/roll on the throttle.

I love driving sideways in the M3, it is so predictable and easy to catch. If you get on the throttle to hard (say, the button hook in Button Willow) in 2nd, just keep the foot where it is, CPR, and go on your merry way. It really brings a smile to my face every time I get it sideways.

And then, there's the sweet 100mph 8000rpm 3rd gear, and the 140mph 8000rpm 4th gear, and let's not forget the 167mph 8000rpm 5th gear.

There is not another car that I would buy in under 100K. The M3 is THAT GOOD, better than any PorkChop without the GT1 derived engine block. That is to say, I would never get a regular C2 or C4/S over the M3.

One last thing, if you spec the M3 like I did mine, you will notice a difference in driving. I got Xenon and SMG and nothing else, and it does feel lighter than all the bloated sunroof, Nav, HK subwoofers, and power seat equipped ones.

Get it, and thank me later.
__________________
06 M3 6 speed CB/black ZCP
13 STI sedan WRB/alcantara
14 Evo GSR White/black
  #16  
Old 11-25-2003, 01:04 PM
LmtdSlip's Avatar
LmtdSlip LmtdSlip is offline
Do the interns get Glocks
Location: The Sunshine City
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 9,309
Send a message via AIM to LmtdSlip
Mein Auto: 325iC
M
__________________


Photobucket
  #17  
Old 11-25-2003, 06:16 PM
Pinecone's Avatar
Pinecone Pinecone is offline
M Mad
Location: Maryland
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,480
Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
First, don't compare the feel of the S4 to the 540i. That is like comparing the M3 to your 330. Compare the S4 to the similar weight and setup in the M5.

Bottom line is we can't choose for you. Obviously posting the question here (on an M3 forum) you will mainly get M3 as the answer. Post on a Audi board and you will get S4 as the answer.

My take is you are trying to justify the S4 since it has 4 doors. If that is the case, you will never be totally happy with it, and everytime you see an M3 on teh road, you will say, I could have had an M3.
__________________
Terry Carraway

'95 Alpine M3 LTW
'00 Dakar M Roadster
'02 Topaz M3
Red/White SRF #4 (Chassis 561)
  #18  
Old 11-26-2003, 01:41 AM
Wallenrod Wallenrod is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bay Area
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 668
Mein Auto: 330i
Thanks everyone! I guess I am more looking for personal takes, experiences and similar choices some of you faced rather than a specific answers. Thanks again. Great feedaback. At this point I think a choice is more psychological than really having to drive the cars again. I think M3 it is. Wow! My first coupe. I hope I'm not going to regret it. I guess we have a sedan (330i) as our primary car. My wife is so great. She just said today: get whatever will make you happy. Nice.
Now I'll just have to think of colors (I know which options I want already). It is between a rational choice of silver gray/black (we have a titanium silver 3-er so there will be some variety) and something crazy like imola/black. I'm just afraid of drawing too much attention plus the upkeep of a non-metalic color. Will probably place an order in January. Really wish there was a ED on Ms with even some marginal savings to justify the trip to Europe!
  #19  
Old 11-26-2003, 02:54 AM
Pinecone's Avatar
Pinecone Pinecone is offline
M Mad
Location: Maryland
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,480
Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
No savings on ED, but definately do the Performance Center Delivery. They don't chanrge any more, but you do have to pay one way airfare to Spartenburg, SC. BMW picks you up at the airport, puts you up (for 2 people) overnight, dinner and breakfast for two. Transportation to the Center.

There you will get a driving course, where you will drive the same model and transmission type as you are buying. You also get a museum and factory tour, lunch, and a proper delivery. They go over EVERY button and switch and everything you need to know about your car. The delivery alone takes about 2 hours.

The delivery is done in your own private bay with just the delivery person, you and the car.

You will also know the exact delivery date of your car.

As for color, most M3s out there are Silver or Black. You can be a sheep, or you can be a man and get some other color.

Also consider SMG. I know you say you both enjoy a stick, and so do I. But the SMG is just so awesome. I have more fun with it than with the stick in teh Roadster. Having both is extremely nice.
__________________
Terry Carraway

'95 Alpine M3 LTW
'00 Dakar M Roadster
'02 Topaz M3
Red/White SRF #4 (Chassis 561)
  #20  
Old 11-26-2003, 07:41 AM
Ajax's Avatar
Ajax Ajax is online now
Hydrocarbon Man
Location: Houston
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,095
Mein Auto: 991 GT3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallenrod
My wife is so great. She just said today: get whatever will make you happy.


Whenever my wife says that I get really nervous.

No shame in Ti Ag, it's a great color (Baaaaaaaaaa!)
  #21  
Old 11-26-2003, 07:50 AM
Riuster's Avatar
Riuster Riuster is offline
Riuster = Rooster
Location: Metro New York
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,243
Send a message via Skype™ to Riuster
Mein Auto: 02 M3, 07 X3 and 04 TSX
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallenrod
The fact that the car has been in production for so long is a big plus for me. That means that they were able to spot and fix potential problems and that it proved to be reliable. S4 being so new is a big minus for me. I'm not interested in having latest and greatest. That has no appeal to me. No, I am not interested in RS6. Too big, too heavy, too expensive. Few hundreds a month? I don't know about you but that's a big difference for me. I would also probably pay cash for our second car.
I will get a 6 speed. I can understand why people like SMG but I absolutely hated it. In my opinion it absolutely takes away the pleasure of driving. That's obviously my opinion.

My brother, I m getting a feeling you ALWAYS wanted to get your hands on the M3...why ask us....You already know the answer...

Get the M3...its already been decided even before you posted.....

Good Luck on the Ride...Enjoy it...its a really fun, and posts some pics when you get the sick 6 speeder...
  #22  
Old 12-04-2003, 06:11 PM
n2speedn n2speedn is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: So CAl
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2
Send a message via AIM to n2speedn
Mein Auto: 04 M3 (FEB)
I also had a tough time trying to decide between the two cars. As of yesterday though I finally mad my decision and placed my order for a 04 ir M3. Best of luck to you.
  #23  
Old 12-04-2003, 09:13 PM
Bruce's Avatar
Bruce Bruce is offline
///M forum moderator
Location: Lake Tyler, Texas
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,291
Mein Auto: 88 E30 M3.2, 08 451
You dismissed the 540 as not tossable. I would drive an M5 before dismissing the whole 5 series. The M5s are really coming down in price and can be had with not that many miles for a similar price to the M3/S4.
  #24  
Old 12-07-2003, 06:08 PM
HUMMM 3 HUMMM 3 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bellevue, WA
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 151
Send a message via AIM to HUMMM 3
Mein Auto: 02 M3 Coupe, Topaz/Black
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallenrod
Hello Everyone! Great forums you have, a lot of mature posters and a great source of information although the M forums seem to be a little dead. This maybe a good thing as it suggests that everyone is happy with their machines and out there driving instead of complaining.

Here's my dilema. My wife and I have been sharing our E46 330i SP for over a year now and we really love it. No problems whatsoever, great car. We have been living in a city and I don't need a car for commuting (my wife does) but it seems like my new job will involve driving. Plus I want something fun for the weekends and occasional fun/relaxing drives. We both drive manuals and prefer more spirited way of driving than your average American commuter (yet we DO use turn signals when changing lanes UNLIKE your average American commuter, at least here on the west coast.) We also have a baby on the way, so there are some practical considerations.

At first, I thought it would be simple and I would just get a European Delivery of a new 330i ZHP. I love the new alcantara/cloth interior (sat in it as a matter of fact yesterday during the San Francisco Auto Show). It supposedly addresses most of the issues like DBW delay, better/shorter throw shifter and tighter suspension.

Yet, I had a possibility (yes, I should have avoided it!) of driving an E46 M3 and I absolutely love it. The car feels more responsive, even tighter in turns and the power. It seems to have and additional engine over 330i that turns on in the upper rev band. No DBW problems detected (I drove a 6 speed which is what I would be buying). I love the E46 ergonomics, everything falls in place and my body type seems to fit in so well in the cabin. The only negative is that it is not a sedan. Why couldn't they produce an E46 M3 sedan like they did with the previous generation? I would be willing to shell out couple thousands more for that. No idea.

So I kept exploring my options and really the only other appealing thing is the new Audi S4. I love the interior (although E46 has better knee room). I really like the exterior as well and V8 is nice and torquey. The car really hides its weight well. I don't know why. E39 540i which is about the same weight feels like a pig in comparison (I drove it and dismissed it right away.) Needless to say that I hate new BMW designs so the new 5 seres is out based purely on looks. Back to S4. I really liked it but it's not M3. It is softer and the steering is not "talking" to the driver as much as even my 330i. AWD is an interesting experience. I think for sheer pleasure I like RWD but I am getting a little older and my driving patterns change so maybe I don't need all this throttle steering and breaking the rear end in the back road curves. Audi tracks nicely through the curves and inspires a lot of confidence. I really, really like the S4 shifter. IMHO it is better than m3. It is shorter (both height and throw) and throws are very positive. Absolutely effortless, I love it. I don't like S4's clutch pedal. I much prefer BMW's. It is too soft and vague. New s4 has a much bigger blind spot that E46 (both coupe and sedan)

Now all the failures/problems. Both cars would be new so I don't worry that much but M3 engine failure issues seem much different from new S4 engine/transmission/etc issues. M3 engine issues seem to have been relted to a specific problem in a specific batch of cars. It was identified and fix was in place and performed. S4 (based at least on posts in AudiWorld forums) does not have a singular issue but seems to have a lot of them popping out in different areas and they are being addressed ad hoc rather than strategically. This may suggest overall lack of quality/reliability issues and dealer servicing skills.

In essence, I don't know what to choose. I guess if I needed a wagon, it would be easier. The only thing that really draws me to Audi is I guess the utility of 4 doors. It is a decent car and great competitor to M3 but in absolute terms and in my subjective driving preferences it is not as good (fun, involving, insert any adjective you like here) a car. And there is also reliability concerns as mentioned above. I can't really go back to 330i (new ZHP) as I have been unfortunately corrupted by additional power.

What should I do? Has anyone here been in a similar position, cross-shopping between M3 and S4 and what did you choose and why? Is having a coupe and a baby (baby seat issues andone?) really a pain in the ... . I don't believe in having to have a big SUV and drag around half the household the moment you conceive a little human being but would a coupe really be fine for that. I've always had a sedan in my life. I really want an M3 more but S4 appeals to me as well. Advice?


Thanks!
It's not clear to me. Are you keeping the 330? If so, it's a no brainer. The 330 is the baby car. If not, so it's a hassle loading the kid, but think of the kid, and how much fun he/she will have with dad ripping through the country side. Don't bother posting pictures of your new M3. Most of us know what they look like. Instead post a picture of the kid in the child seat. I'm thinking of a shot taken from the trunk with the kid strapped to the left half of the rear seat with right half folded down so you get both the kid and the tach at red line and the speedo at some ridiculously high speed. If you get SMG II be sure to get gear indicator light in the picture too. Of course your wife will be taking the picture and filing for divorce and soon as you get back home.

Enjoy the kid and the M3! Perhaps not in that order at first.
__________________
2002 E46 M3 Dinan S3-R
  #25  
Old 12-08-2003, 06:32 PM
CBlkM3 CBlkM3 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 2003 M3
I see that I don't really need to post as you have already made up your mind, but let me make a couple of comments to ease any worries...

First, I drove the previous S4 (twin-turbo S4). It's a _nice_ car, but it reminded me a volkswagen, and the luxury seemed cheap. Almost as if Nissan and VW had a baby with greater aspirations. The particular S4 I drove belonged to a friend of mine, and while he hasn't had any mechanical problems, the cheapness of the interior has begun show which supports my initial feeling of when I drove it new. That being said, and although I have only had my M3 for a few months, I feel that the material quality is much higher, except for the plastic trim, which I have come to accept. Also, I would hae greater concern regarding the mechanical reliability of the new S4. From their board, the mention what sounds like significant engine and transmission problems with the new model. Perhaps these are over exagerated like the M3 oil pump problem which resulted in a slightly higher failure rate than expected, but none-the-less, something to consider.

Second, when I drove my M3 home from the dealer, we had to put 2 car seats in the back, and let me tell you, the BMW engineers had us dads in mind when they designed those front seat mounts. They are actually hinged and fold much further forward than you would expect, giving you plenty of room to get in and secure jr.

I opted for the SMG, and I really appreciate it. I have always been a die-hard manual transmission advocate, but also being a motorsports fan, I was eager to experience an F1-style sequential transmission. After my test drive, I was still hesitant, but I bought with SMG anyway, knowing it might take some getting used to. I don't regret my decision today, but then again, I still have 2 other cars (both Porsches) with manual to feed my left foot.

The only things I regret, or should I say, resent about my purchase are the poor OEM tires (Contisport), the cost of the integrated garage-door opener, and the horrendous understeer of the stock car, and I think I can deal with these issues given the end result .

Happy ///Motoring!
 

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > M Series
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms