Originally Posted by EricEst1978
The vehicle will be my daily driver, and my first BMW. I want a vehicle that will provide a modest amount of luxury and creature comforts yet be enjoyable to drive... I'm sure 999/1000 people would spout something similar if asked what they want in a car...
so, help me understand what you mean--and I'm not trying to be a wise ass.
I want something I will have a blast driving. I won't be going to the track or anything and don't intend to do any substantial modding--maybe programming/exhaust if necessary.
hope this helps.
1) Cross the E9x M3 out of your list. Whoever said up your budget by 5k is just silly IMHO. If you have set a budget, keep it there. On top of that, going to from a Jetta to that V8 kind of mileage will also cost $. And the car will most certainly out of warranty. If you aren't comfortable working on your own car, forget it.
2) E46 M3: I think it's certainly a good choice. Plenty of clean E46 M3's can be had for mid twenties (easily). Put the rest of the "budget" in maintenance and repairs. If you buy a clean one, this might not even be needed. So I like this choice.
3) 335i: Not same level as M cars, IMHO.
4) Let me throw in another car in there: E39 M5. Arguably the best 4 door sedan ever made, well within your budget and has the performance to entertain you. I noticed that you only chose SMG for your E46s (I don't recommend doing that at all), so hopefully you are ok with manual trans.
If I didn't have an E92 M3, I'd hands down get the M5. Why? Sure, not as nimble as E46 M3, but IMHO more reliable (I know Obioban will prob call me out on this one) and has an awesome engine. The reason I got the E92 M3 instead is because it kind of has both traits from the E46 M3 and E39 M5.