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Hello, I am in the early stages of sourcing my next car. It's either going to be a 2008-2010 M5 (6sp only) or 2009-2011 M3 (E90 DCT or 6sp). Whichever one I go with will have less than 65K miles on it (or close to it). I have done a ton of searching on the net for reliability of these cars and haven't seen too many recent posts...at least Google doesn't bring any up.

Some quick background...I have owned 3 GTI's and now drive a boring Acura MDX which will continue to be my daily driver, and the M3/M5 will be driven here and there. Idea is to put about 8K miles on each of the cars per year. I plan on keeping this car for roughly 3 years and then get myself into a used (and probably outgoing) F80 after it's taken most of it's depreciation hits.

Money-wise M3 and M5 are essentially the same in my eyes. M5 costs less than a comparable mileage M3, even with the warranty (I assumed $5K). Savings on monthly payments are offset by higher gas expense. Insurance for both cars is oddly identical...within $1 between the two.


I drove a 2008 SMG M5 last week and know for sure that I don't want SMG. So with that out of the equation, how reliable are these cars? Specifically I am talking about the engine, electrical, and the 6-speed.

Thank you for your time! :thumbup:
 

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They are far from the same lol

m3 reliability is worlds better than the M5, even when factoring in the rod bearings and 6mt

DCT on the m3 when in the right settings is also worlds better than the SMG
 

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They are far from the same lol

m3 reliability is worlds better than the M5, even when factoring in the rod bearings and 6mt

DCT on the m3 when in the right settings is also worlds better than the SMG
Thanks for the reply. What I meant is that price-wise these two cars are in the same category. However M5 does have more power and more torque for city driving. M3 seems to lack in this area.

I also wonder if part of the reason why M5's have worse reliability is because most people wait until parts break and are covered under warranty instead of doing preventative maintenance? I.E. doing vanos adjustment on annual basis instead of waiting for it to break and replaced under warranty. At least on the forums I see either people with lots of problems or 200K mile examples that needed routine maintenance and regular tune-ups.
 

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Thanks for the reply. What I meant is that price-wise these two cars are in the same category. However M5 does have more power and more torque for city driving. M3 seems to lack in this area.

I also wonder if part of the reason why M5's have worse reliability is because most people wait until parts break and are covered under warranty instead of doing preventative maintenance? I.E. doing vanos adjustment on annual basis instead of waiting for it to break and replaced under warranty. At least on the forums I see either people with lots of problems or 200K mile examples that needed routine maintenance and regular tune-ups.
These are high reving v8s/v10s honestly neither make power well even if you buy the best supercharger options on the market. They both severely lack in-terms of modding compared to their m4 s55 and m5/m6 s63tu counterparts which are both making 50%+ more hp than stock with easy and very little in mod costs [I believe getting to 800whp/900wtrq on an m5 is less than 12k now, and very safe] compared to what it costs to add even 100 or so whp to a V8 or V10 M.

What you are getting though buying either is a last of its kind engine from BMW, they will never make a high revving V8 or v10 in a car ever again. These are last of their breeds and the sound is irreplaceable. Its just you're trading real power that current gen bmws can make gobs of safely, and reliability, for a little excitement and sound.

Having owned both I'd much rather have a E92 M3 with fresh rod bearings and a DCT than even the most refreshed E60 M5. The V10s just wear faster if you beat on them in every aspect.
 

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Thanks for your input on both.

I definitely love the newer M3's...but they are still too pricey. Perhaps come next summer market will be flooded by fresh lease returns and prices will begin to drop. For now there's very little difference between a used and new F8x M car.
 

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Thanks for your input on both.

I definitely love the newer M3's...but they are still too pricey. Perhaps come next summer market will be flooded by fresh lease returns and prices will begin to drop. For now there's very little difference between a used and new F8x M car.
I'd wait for a 2016+ car when they offered competition package on the M3/M4 if thats your ultimate goal because they changed something in the tuning and car that caused it to drastically change the tone of the exhaust note, so they don't sound nearly as terrible as my 2015 where none of them sound good to be honest lol
 

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M cars are meant to be driven hard and maintained well. I may be a little biased but I LOVE my 6 speed M5, but I also loved my previous M3's (still prefer my M5 though). They are completely different cars and so you just have to ask yourself what would make you happier for the next several years. The maintenance history is very key as well as a PPI so definitely find one with history and get a PPI.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wanted to circle back on this thread...finally was able to pull the trigger on a 2008 M5 with 6-speed manual!


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