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  #1  
Old 01-05-2002, 06:44 PM
ChetG ChetG is offline
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Question for TD, re. e36 M3

Hey TD,

I was just wondering how youre finding the M3, as a long term prospect, i.e. are you missing the 'softness' of the e46. I know your emphasis is very much on the handling side of ride and handling, but are there aspects of the e46 you miss. The reason I am asking is because my gf is looking for a car, and we're pretty much decided on the e36 M3. As im gonna b driving it quite alot, would you say that the harder edge of the M3 could become tiring to someone who perhaps isnt as sporting a driver as you are. I too agree that the E46 is a bit soft and overweight, but I must admit that I do appreciate its soothing qualities at times.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2002, 06:47 PM
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Re: Question for TD, re. e36 M3

I bet he misses nothing about his old E46.

-Al
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2002, 06:50 PM
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better interior, you gotta admit,
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  #4  
Old 01-05-2002, 06:52 PM
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I've driven Tom's E36 M3/4, and while it's a helluva' car,

I wouldn't trade my E46 for one.

While Tom will undoubtedly take exception to this, I found it to be a little too "rough around the edges." Purists (like Tom) will prolly say "that's the way BMW's are supposed to be." And maybe he's right.

But for a first time BMW owner, I find my E46 to be pretty much perfect in terms of its road manners, acceleration, suspension, refinement, etc. I don't miss the additional insulation the E46 provides the driver vis-a-vis the E36 one bit.

Ok, let the flames begin.

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  #5  
Old 01-05-2002, 07:01 PM
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Re: Question for TD, re. e36 M3

Let me give you a different perspective. First of all, TD is a Hardcore 'drivers' type of guy. In other words, all those things that we (the Majority) like in a car, TD will not find interesting or needed. He is into a car that fits like a nice worn leather glove.

I also love a nice worn leather glove but not everyday. If I could have the best of both words, I would get an E36 M3 5 spd and a 330i Automatic.

But life can't always give us that (at least not yet).

I have driven my partners 97 M3 many times before he got rid of it. While it is an incredible performance car, the ride is harsh and it is not as comfortable as a E46. This is not knocking an E36 M3 as it is an ultimate car but the awesome handling comes at a price and in this case it is ride comfort.

Also, it does not have the amentities which I think is imperative in a car like a tilt & telescopic steering wheel (although tilt alone would've been just fine if it even had that) Some M3's don't come with an armrest though you could always add one and some M3's don't come with Power seats unless it has the Luxury package. Some might argue who needs those thing and my answer is . . . ME !!!

I think a 330 is the best of all worlds, to me it is 8/10's to 9/10s of the M3 performance plus Luxury thrown on top of that.

I know Tom(TD) would disagree and his numbers would most likely be 6/10's an M3 but he is a true Hardcore 'Drivers guy' like I said before.
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2002, 07:08 PM
ChetG ChetG is offline
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yes very well said. I would say i am half way between a 'normal' driver, and a hardcore, TD like driver
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Old 01-05-2002, 07:14 PM
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Re: Re: Question for TD, re. e36 M3

Quote:
Originally posted by Alan F
If I could have the best of both words...
Alan & ChetG,

You guys can get the best of both worlds... E46 M3...

J/K... Well, compared to my E46 325i, my E46 M3 is a little "harsh"... But not that harsher... I drove my friend's 95 M3 and found it harsher than the E46 M3...
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Old 01-05-2002, 07:20 PM
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Unhappy bit out of my budget im afraid Alex

btw, I HATE YOU

Sorry just jealous of your gorgeous M3
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2002, 07:21 PM
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Re: bit out of my budget im afraid Alex

Quote:
Originally posted by ChetG
btw, I HATE YOU

Sorry just jealous of your gorgeous M3
Don't be jealous of it, it's defective! They put his wheel on the left side of the car... real confusing if you ask me.
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2002, 07:22 PM
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Re: bit out of my budget im afraid Alex

Quote:
Originally posted by ChetG
btw, I HATE YOU

Sorry just jealous of your gorgeous M3
Oh, count me in. I hate him too. I told him to stop posting pics of his car, but he hasn't picked up on my subtle hints.

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  #11  
Old 01-05-2002, 07:26 PM
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2002, 07:28 PM
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Re: Re: bit out of my budget im afraid Alex

Quote:
Originally posted by LilEccentricJ


Don't be jealous of it, it's defective! They put his wheel on the left side of the car... real confusing if you ask me.
LOL! That reminds me of when I spent 15 days in the UK in 99 and drove around in a Toyota. I couldn't turn left without hitting the curb... It took me three days to get it right... I almost crashed on the first day going the wrong way around a roundabout...
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  #13  
Old 01-05-2002, 07:28 PM
ChetG ChetG is offline
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LOL!!

It is a really beautiful car. Having it next to a basic e46 really makes the M3 look muscular.

btw. Great sig Alee, very classy, gotta sort mine out.
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  #14  
Old 01-05-2002, 07:30 PM
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Re: Re: bit out of my budget im afraid Alex

Quote:
Originally posted by alee


Oh, count me in. I hate him too. I told him to stop posting pics of his car, but he hasn't picked up on my subtle hints.

-Al
Al, that's the payback for drooling over one of the cleanest cars I've ever seen (Rip's the other) every time you post...
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  #15  
Old 01-05-2002, 07:32 PM
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Re: Re: Re: bit out of my budget im afraid Alex

Quote:
Originally posted by ALEX325i

Al, that's the payback for drooling over one of the cleanest cars I've ever seen (Rip's the other) every time you post...
Rip's car makes my car look like a pile of dirt on wheels. The only excuse I have for myself is not having a garage and a Porter Cable.

-Al
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  #16  
Old 01-05-2002, 07:33 PM
ChetG ChetG is offline
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It really scares me driving on the left, its one of the hardest things to do, change driving sides. I was in NY and had an acura TL or summin as rental, every time i turned i clipped a curb also, thanfully there arent too many turns in NY, the roads are so damn strait,
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Old 01-05-2002, 07:40 PM
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LOL Alex, wrong way round a roundabout, honestly, I suppose the acceleration of that M3 can cause dis-orientaion.
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Old 01-05-2002, 07:46 PM
ALEX325i ALEX325i is offline
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Red face Just went round it the way I would in the US...

Quote:
Originally posted by ChetG
LOL Alex, wrong way round a roundabout, honestly, I suppose the acceleration of that M3 can cause dis-orientaion.
But I have a good excuse... That happened after ~25 minutes after driving off of Hertz' lot (and hitting 3/4 curbs making left turns)...
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Old 01-05-2002, 07:49 PM
ALEX325i ALEX325i is offline
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Re: Re: Re: Re: bit out of my budget im afraid Alex

Quote:
Originally posted by alee


Rip's car makes my car look like a pile of dirt on wheels. The only excuse I have for myself is not having a garage and a Porter Cable.

-Al
Oh, c'mon now... Don't be modest... From the pix I've seen, your cars are equally clean... Ok, maybe Rip's shines a little bit more in person, but he's got a PC...
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Old 01-05-2002, 07:51 PM
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LOL, still havent removed that sig
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  #21  
Old 01-05-2002, 09:28 PM
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Thumbs down Re: Question for TD, re. e36 M3

Quote:
Originally posted by ChetG
Hey TD,

I was just wondering how youre finding the M3, as a long term prospect, i.e. are you missing the 'softness' of the e46. I know your emphasis is very much on the handling side of ride and handling, but are there aspects of the e46 you miss. The reason I am asking is because my gf is looking for a car, and we're pretty much decided on the e36 M3. As im gonna b driving it quite alot, would you say that the harder edge of the M3 could become tiring to someone who perhaps isnt as sporting a driver as you are. I too agree that the E46 is a bit soft and overweight, but I must admit that I do appreciate its soothing qualities at times.

Thanks in advance.
the US-spec e36 M3 on the highway is a joke. imagine cruising at 65mph in 3rd gear on an E46, and that's pretty much what the e36 M3 feels like in 5th gear... it so desperately needs a 6th gear that you can't imagine what those damn fools could have possibly been thinking.

it's amusing on the twisties where you can work the powerband in 3rd and 4th gears, but so is a miata. iow, not the sole reason to buy a car.

the e36 M3 is an antique compared to the new E46 3-series in terms of safety, chassis rigidity/integrity, refinement, and comfort. there's a decade's worth of safety engineering in the e46, and the head-impact air bags alone would easily sway my decision to the new body.

truth-be-told, the e36 M3 is vastly overrated, imo. 240hp is unremarkable these days, and even the 330i will probably make that much by 2003. and it was never all that much to be considered such an awesome car. times have changed, expectations are higher, so is demand for standard features, etc. the old m3 is sorely lacking....except for one damn thing: the e36 had a truly awesome on-board computer.

the e46 is a bit soft, but a used 2000 328i is (even by TD's standards) a close substitute. i wouldn't get a new E46 anymore, since they've gone so far away from the original mold, but i wouldn't touch an e36 M3 if it was going to be my only car...no way. like i said, in an era where every 3rd car on the road is a 5000lb SUV, i'll take the extra-strong e46 body any day of the week.

Last edited by ___lk___; 01-05-2002 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 01-06-2002, 04:04 AM
ALEX325i ALEX325i is offline
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Re: Re: Question for TD, re. e36 M3

Quote:
Originally posted by ___lk___


the US-spec e36 M3 on the highway is a joke. imagine cruising at 65mph in 3rd gear on an E46, and that's pretty much what the e36 M3 feels like in 5th gear... it so desperately needs a 6th gear that you can't imagine what those damn fools could have possibly been thinking.

it's amusing on the twisties where you can work the powerband in 3rd and 4th gears, but so is a miata. iow, not the sole reason to buy a car.

the e36 M3 is an antique compared to the new E46 3-series in terms of safety, chassis rigidity/integrity, refinement, and comfort. there's a decade's worth of safety engineering in the e46, and the head-impact air bags alone would easily sway my decision to the new body.

truth-be-told, the e36 M3 is vastly overrated, imo. 240hp is unremarkable these days, and even the 330i will probably make that much by 2003. and it was never all that much to be considered such an awesome car. times have changed, expectations are higher, so is demand for standard features, etc. the old m3 is sorely lacking....except for one damn thing: the e36 had a truly awesome on-board computer.

the e46 is a bit soft, but a used 2000 328i is (even by TD's standards) a close substitute. i wouldn't get a new E46 anymore, since they've gone so far away from the original mold, but i wouldn't touch an e36 M3 if it was going to be my only car...no way. like i said, in an era where every 3rd car on the road is a 5000lb SUV, i'll take the extra-strong e46 body any day of the week.
Hmmm... Something tells me this thread will now become a mile long...
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2002, 07:20 AM
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Okay. I finally got up. Here's my thoughts...

The relative ride harshness of my ex-330i SP (w/UUC sways) vs the harshness of the E36 M3 had NOTHING to do with my decision to trade cars. The feel of the steering (even post retrofit), throttle, clutch and shifter had the most to do with it. And I agree with lk that, had I had a 2000 328i SP (w/UUC sways) instead of the 330i, I'd probably still have that car.

A couple of things... I'm not a horsepower nut. The extra power is impressive and fun, but I also truly enjoy driving our E36 323iC (even with the top up). Now, the E36 323iC (even with the sport package) did NOT receive the E36's sport suspension in the US. So my wife's 323iC is both much lower-powered AND softer riding. It rolled much more in the turns than my old 330i did and it was obviously much slower. But it was a lot more fun to drive than the 330i.

And that's truly what made me realize that I would never be happy with the 330i. The steering, clutch and throttle take away so much of the feel that makes driving a BMW special. The feel of the steering, clutch and throttle on the M3 is simply perfect.

Now, IMO, the E36 M3 is not harsh riding but I can see how some might think so. I've been commuting into downtown DC every day for the past few weeks (DC has notoriously bad roads, Chet), and I do not find the ride to be harsh. I find the car to be perfectly comfortable and, as Alan said, think it fits like a glove.

So, my suggestion to Chet is to drive one a bit before deciding. An alternative might be a similar age/mileage 328is. It'll be less expensive AND will be, say, 8/10ths as harsh as the M3. And, if you (or she) do a lot of highway driving, again, the 328 might be a better idea as (as lk pointed out) the RPMs at highway speed are a bit high. But that might not be as evident in the Euro-M3 with it's higher HP.

But I LOVE MY CAR.
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Old 01-06-2002, 08:28 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Question for TD, re. e36 M3

Quote:
Originally posted by ALEX325i

Alan & ChetG,
You guys can get the best of both worlds... E46 M3...
J/K... Well, compared to my E46 325i, my E46 M3 is a little "harsh"... But not that harsher... I drove my friend's 95 M3 and found it harsher than the E46 M3...
Well Alex . . . it's not a bad idea though I don't know if I want to spend that type of money for a car when I replace the 330.
Most likely I will stay in the $40k range and this time it's gonna be a 4 door.

Plus the year 2003 will be a crazy one for me car wise because I want to trade in our Odyssey and most likely trade in the 330 as well. Man . . . it's gonna be an expensive year

There is no way I will ever test drive an M3 because then I know I will be hooked so for now all I can do is admire yours
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Old 01-06-2002, 08:29 AM
hts hts is offline
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Tom, why are you driving to work these days?

Don't you realize what a waste of precious natural resources that is, you squanderer, you?

Can't you be a little more enlightened and take public transportation like the metro, you ol' stodger?

Pls, try to do your part to save our world for the little ones, like Meaghan, JC, and Ben, ok?

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