Originally Posted by DefBringer
For those of you lucky enough to have owned/driven any of the cars that people typically cross-shop M3's with, which of those cars have been the most fun to drive?
I don't mean "best lap times" or "best in a quarter mile", I simply mean which car, driven on public roads at legal speeds, offers the best driving experience?
For me, the best driving experience comes from lots of steering feel, lazer-like reflexes, and toss-ability. If this is my goal, what cars should I be looking at?
Given your criteria, a 911 S, Cayman S or R or even Elise/Exige will fit the bill perfectly.
The Elise put my butt/legs to sleep in less than 20 min, if not for that it would be my choice. 911 is a step up in build quality and amenities, but also a lot heavier and maybe even a tad rougher riding. Can also be absolutely scary at times (I mean OMG I'm going to die in the next 5 seconds scary). Cayman not scary at all.
M3 the best compromise as others have noted. Biggest letdown for me is steering feel, everything else is up to snuff. If you go this way, try Euro Delivery - an absolutely incredible experience.