Thread: E90 or E46 M3?
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      10-29-2012, 12:24 AM   #29
rg87's Avatar

Drives: E90
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA

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Originally Posted by dmw16 View Post

The E46 M3 will be cheaper to buy and despite slightly higher maintenance cost I can't see that offsetting the savings over the E9x.

But, if money isn't much of an object in this debate then I suppose it really depends and is a matter of 1) what you want the car for 2) what you like and 3) how you find them to be after driving both.

I drove both and decided on an E46 after considering how I'd use it, what they cost, etc. I don't daily drive my M3 and it's mostly a weekend car that I drive spring/summer/fall. If I had been buying it as a daily I'd have bought a 4Dr E90 M3 and been done with it.

Driving them both I found the E46 to be more raw and the E9x to be a bit more refined. Despite the added weight, the E9x feels nimble considering it's size and practicality, but that wasn't really what I wanted/needed from the car.

Both engines are also awesome in their own right. But something about the S54 really does it for me. I joke that it's because it's a little finicky and a bit needy, but maybe that's the truth. It feels race-bred, although so does the S65 (if maybe to a slightly lesser extent).

My real piece of advice is take a long test drive, especially in the E46. When the car is cold is cantankerous. About the same as most people are when they've first woken up. The engine, transmission, driveline, and suspension seem to need a little time to soften up. I didn't find that to be as much the case with the E9x, but again, they are both performance cars and need time to wake up.

Either way, you really can't go wrong. Both chassis are awesome, both engines are awesome, and both cars really strike a great balance and set the standard for the sports coupe.

Good luck!
Great input! Thanks! I definitely agree about the E46 M3 being more "raw" and the E90 M3 being more refined. The E90 M3 to be just seems like the beefier big bro to the 3 series body, but with more speed, performance & maintains comfort.

Originally Posted by W/// View Post
That's a huge $$$ difference between the two cars ....
True....but if I were to go the E46 M3 route, more $$$ for mods! Hehe

Originally Posted by carbon//m3 View Post
personal choice, i had an e46 m3 for ten years, and i just got an e92... e46 is raw, u feel the road, the e92 is much more refine.
Yeah, I like the fact that you can get feedback from the car and get a feel for things when driving.

Originally Posted by gatorfast View Post
For a daily driver I would get the E90 and not think twice. Assuming money is not an issue... it is more comfortable, more modern, more tech, faster, etc. Really, the only thing the E46 has on the E90 is the "raw" feeling which I could understand wanting if you wanted a weekend/track car but not for a DD.
My one reason for the E90 M3, my daily commute for work is about 1 hour. There's no such thing as a short commute in the Bay Area!

Originally Posted by Nang Vann View Post
Get em both!
Definitely wouldn't rule it out.... Lol

Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
Depends on the reviewer.

Chris Harris, who owned an e92 M3 for a while, recently said that the e46 M3 is the greatest car of all time

I would have to agree with this guy! I think the E46 M3 is the last car BMW made that captured the essence of the whole "M" line for the 3 series. The E46 M3 body still has that raw race car feel to it. You get feel for the road and the car itself (which is what I believe makes it a great M car). The E9x M3 line is great, but it just seems like it doesn't have that raw feel that the other previous M3 lines had.