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      09-07-2011, 04:21 PM   #1
Turd Ferguson
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'08/'09 M3 or '12 GT500 for a Daily Driver?

Let me start by saying that I'm a noob here, but not new to forums in general, and I have searched with limited success...

My situation is such that I can only have a single car (need to keep the wife happy given that we have limited garage space lol) that will be used in all seasons, including winter. The car will not see any track duty. Iíve narrowed my search down to a new GT500 or a Ď08/Ď09 M3 (cost is roughly equal). I know the GT500 and M3 arenít exactly in the same class, but I canít be the first person to cross shop these cars. I think there are a lot of people out there like me who have grown up on domestic performance but as theyíve became a bit older are looking to add a little refinement in with the performance.

The M3 is the obvious choice for that refinement, but what concerns me about the M3ís I can afford is that theyíll shortly be out of warranty. How expensive is scheduled maintenance on the M3? How expensive is it to maintain the M3 in general? How reliable is the M3? Iíve also read stories about lackluster build quality on this iteration of the M3. Any truth to this?

Has anyone made the switch from GT500 to M3 or vice versa? Has anyone else faced this same dilemma? Any input you guys could provide would be much appreciated!
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      09-07-2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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      09-07-2011, 07:05 PM   #3
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That was a dumb response.

Depends on your priorities. People complain about build quality because they expect perfection from a car of this caliber. The Mustang will be lower quality everything all around. M3 will be expensive to repair if something major breaks down the road. If you can't afford a few grand for a repair then you should not buy an out of warranty BMW. Heck, the windshield on my 545i was a thousand to replace.

Buy what you love so long as you can afford to own it.
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      09-07-2011, 07:09 PM   #4
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A little harsh Joe.....


Back to your question. I think you would find the M3 is a great all around car, good space for cargo, plush and comfortable, and great handling.

The new ford is also very good. I think you will find the M3 a little better for handling and definitely a little tighter fit and finish. The ford will have more torque.

No wrong answer here. I think the reliability of the E9x M3 has been quite good. I would have no problem keeping mine for 6 years or more.
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      09-07-2011, 07:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X_fuera View Post
Let me start by saying that I'm a noob here, but not new to forums in general, and I have searched with limited success...

My situation is such that I can only have a single car (need to keep the wife happy given that we have limited garage space lol) that will be used in all seasons, including winter. The car will not see any track duty. Iíve narrowed my search down to a new GT500 or a Ď08/Ď09 M3 (cost is roughly equal). I know the GT500 and M3 arenít exactly in the same class, but I canít be the first person to cross shop these cars. I think there are a lot of people out there like me who have grown up on domestic performance but as theyíve became a bit older are looking to add a little refinement in with the performance.

The M3 is the obvious choice for that refinement, but what concerns me about the M3ís I can afford is that theyíll shortly be out of warranty. How expensive is scheduled maintenance on the M3? How expensive is it to maintain the M3 in general? How reliable is the M3? Iíve also read stories about lackluster build quality on this iteration of the M3. Any truth to this?

Has anyone made the switch from GT500 to M3 or vice versa? Has anyone else faced this same dilemma? Any input you guys could provide would be much appreciated!
In your situation, I would get neither car. I noticed that you live in Chicago. As such, I know winters can be fairly brutal. If you can only get one car for all seasons, I would choose either an Audi S4 if you need a sedan or an S5 if you want a coupe. Both cars can be had for between 50-60k new. The S4, being supercharged from the factory can be modded for big power with just an ECU tune also. Both cars come standard with all wheel drive which is a huge benefit in bad weather as you probably know.

That said, if you really have your heart set on the Mustang or M3, I say go for the M3 as the Mustang has simply too much torque for winter duty with RWD only. The M3 with proper winter tires can manage.
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      09-07-2011, 07:19 PM   #6
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"lackluster build quality" and you're cross shopping with a mustang?
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      09-07-2011, 07:26 PM   #7
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I looked at a pretty similar choice as you. Picked up a 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 a few months ago because I liked the value and wanted a newer car with good performance. I'm now in the process of selling the mustang and buying a 2011 M3. The mustang was not right for me. I thought I wouldn't care but I don't like the image a mustang projects for a corporate executive, the materials and build quality is marginal and the handling/steering are not up to German precision standards. So it wasnt right for me but that is incredibly subjective. These mustangs are huge performance bargains and there is really nothing wrong with them if they are right for you. The GT500 is a beast in a straight line.
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      09-07-2011, 07:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X_fuera View Post
Let me start by saying that I'm a noob here, but not new to forums in general, and I have searched with limited success...

My situation is such that I can only have a single car (need to keep the wife happy given that we have limited garage space lol) that will be used in all seasons, including winter. The car will not see any track duty. I’ve narrowed my search down to a new GT500 or a ‘08/‘09 M3 (cost is roughly equal). I know the GT500 and M3 aren’t exactly in the same class, but I can’t be the first person to cross shop these cars. I think there are a lot of people out there like me who have grown up on domestic performance but as they’ve became a bit older are looking to add a little refinement in with the performance.

The M3 is the obvious choice for that refinement, but what concerns me about the M3’s I can afford is that they’ll shortly be out of warranty. How expensive is scheduled maintenance on the M3? How expensive is it to maintain the M3 in general? How reliable is the M3? I’ve also read stories about lackluster build quality on this iteration of the M3. Any truth to this?

Has anyone made the switch from GT500 to M3 or vice versa? Has anyone else faced this same dilemma? Any input you guys could provide would be much appreciated!
Well,

I've had my share of mustangs! 93 5.0 GT, 92 5.0 Lx notch back, 93 5.0 Lx notch back and a 98 cobra with a 10 lb. Procharger with intercooler etc. etc. as far as bmw's 93 318is sold to a friend still running with over 250,000 miles on it A 98 E36 M3 and currently a E90 M3.

Do you need 2 doors or four doors? BMW you have your pick with the M and the mustang your stuck with two.

Listen I've had a long love affair with Mustangs, but GT500 or not its still a mustang. Everyone has them bottom line! In a GT500 people that like mustangs will drool when you drive past but it ends there. I don't care what anyone says EVERYONE wants or has WANTED an M3 at some point in time. true the M3 lacks some HP vs. the GT500 but you'll make it up else where.

I have friends that are Chevy/Ford guys through and through. Drag some fast cars that go low 9's but they all lust after my M's even the E36 when I had it. The M is the total package. May not be the fastest in a straight line but thats not what its all about (to me anyway).

Drive both and decide for your self. If you're worried about maintenance don't buy any car keep your old one.

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      09-07-2011, 08:24 PM   #9
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In your situation, I would get neither car. I noticed that you live in Chicago. As such, I know winters can be fairly brutal. If you can only get one car for all seasons, I would choose either an Audi S4 if you need a sedan or an S5 if you want a coupe. Both cars can be had for between 50-60k new. The S4, being supercharged from the factory can be modded for big power with just an ECU tune also. Both cars come standard with all wheel drive which is a huge benefit in bad weather as you probably know.

That said, if you really have your heart set on the Mustang or M3, I say go for the M3 as the Mustang has simply too much torque for winter duty with RWD only. The M3 with proper winter tires can manage.
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      09-08-2011, 03:27 AM   #10
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I looked at a pretty similar choice as you. Picked up a 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 a few months ago because I liked the value and wanted a newer car with good performance. I'm now in the process of selling the mustang and buying a 2011 M3. The mustang was not right for me. I thought I wouldn't care but I don't like the image a mustang projects for a corporate executive, the materials and build quality is marginal and the handling/steering are not up to German precision standards. So it wasnt right for me but that is incredibly subjective. These mustangs are huge performance bargains and there is really nothing wrong with them if they are right for you. The GT500 is a beast in a straight line.
How true it is. It is a simple fact of our society that there is an "image" associated with every car on the road, and our society has come to associate certain cars with certain types of people.

BMW will make no pretenses about the fact that their cars are meant not only to perform but to represent a certain social status and/or sophisticated buyer.

Like it or not, good or bad, snooty, snobby, or whatever, it is just the way it is.

Seriously, if I showed up to work in a Mustang, I would probably be laughed at.

I actually thnk the GT500 is a very hot looking car with obvious performance capabilities and a tremendous value, but it is also still a Mustang, and a Mustang says "high school".
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      09-08-2011, 04:07 AM   #11
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I have been driving a 2012 Mustang 5.0 (basically the same car as a GT500 where ergonomics/interior space/trunk space is concerned) rental while on my vacation for just over 2 weeks now. Although I have to admit it is a pretty good car, it definitely can't touch the M3 as a DD when you have to put stuff in the trunk and people in the back seat.

I do like the GT500 and it has a lot of performance for the money however it has little room inside and a small trunk. Put image, build quality, and all of that crap aside........ If you can only have "ONE CAR" the M3 is hands down better than the GT500.

IMO the M3 is superior to most cars on the road if you can only have one car....... now if you can afford to/have space for more than one vehicle then it is no longer superior to as many of those cars any more.
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      09-08-2011, 06:01 AM   #12
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If you can only have one car I really don't see how this is even a question. I could see narrowing it down to the M3 or the S4 as a daily, but the M3 or the GT500 seems like a lock for the M3.

I think the M3 will be more comfortable for daily use. Also, WITH SNOW TIRES it will likely be more tractable in bad weather.

I also agree with another poster that suggested the S4 may be worth a look depending on your budget.
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      09-08-2011, 06:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X_fuera View Post
Let me start by saying that I'm a noob here, but not new to forums in general, and I have searched with limited success...

My situation is such that I can only have a single car (need to keep the wife happy given that we have limited garage space lol) that will be used in all seasons, including winter. The car will not see any track duty. Iíve narrowed my search down to a new GT500 or a Ď08/Ď09 M3 (cost is roughly equal). I know the GT500 and M3 arenít exactly in the same class, but I canít be the first person to cross shop these cars. I think there are a lot of people out there like me who have grown up on domestic performance but as theyíve became a bit older are looking to add a little refinement in with the performance.

The M3 is the obvious choice for that refinement, but what concerns me about the M3ís I can afford is that theyíll shortly be out of warranty. How expensive is scheduled maintenance on the M3? How expensive is it to maintain the M3 in general? How reliable is the M3? Iíve also read stories about lackluster build quality on this iteration of the M3. Any truth to this?

Has anyone made the switch from GT500 to M3 or vice versa? Has anyone else faced this same dilemma? Any input you guys could provide would be much appreciated!
Well, Joe went off the top rope here. LOL. A little harsh indeed.

My opinion: if you find a good looking '09 M3 with relatively low miles, I would say go for it. I agree with what most people mentioned above; M3 is in a totally different class, so you can't really compare the two... also, it is a hell of a DD. I'm married and have 2 kids, and will tell you that my entire family just LOVES my E90; even my kids get excited when they get to ride in the "very loud M3".
That being said, if warranty is a MUST HAVE for you in the near future, then go for the GT500. But even then, I think I would reconsider any other possible choices.
Good luck in your decision!
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      09-08-2011, 07:43 AM   #14
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Thanks for the feedback - all very good and valid points.

I'm not too concerned with the winter capabilities of either car. I drive less than 5 miles a day (take the train to work), and have grown up with big HP RWD cars in Chicago winters. That being said, snow tires on either are a must, and I will continue to look into S4s (although I am concerned w/audi reliability, much more so than BMW based on the stories I hear, and I'm not too sure how I feel about upping the boost on an engine w/o forged internals).

No doubt that the "image" thing is concerning, though I like to think that the real question for me is will I care when I'm behind the wheel. If I love driving the car than I think I'll be happy, but the BMW image is much more fitting.

I definately agree that the the M3 would be a better overall DD - more space, more creature comforts, etc - but I need to consider the maintenance cost associated with the car as well as its fun factor as it will also serve as my "toy". Is the M3's practicality as a DD outweighed by its maintenance expense and its lack of torque and cost to modify? Again, maintenance on these cars scares me, especially considering that I plan to keep this car for 10 or so years. Could I afford it? Yes. However, I'd be pissed if I need to sink a few grand into an already expensive car to keep in working order. Any feedback on actual charges for regularly scheduled maintenance M3? In terms of fun, the car will only see street duty in the burbs of Chicago. These streets are flat and straight. How much of a hindrance is the lack of torque to having fun on these types of roads? The other part of the "fun factor" to me is tinkering in the garage. The cost of modding the M3 is insane compared to the GT500. Lots to ponder here...
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      09-08-2011, 08:50 AM   #15
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IMO
M3 sedan would have more room. Good all around car.Coupe, just about the same room as a Mustang. But it will be older. (in your case) Just remember, even though your paying $40grand for it. Your still maintaining a $70,000 car. Oil change even if DIY oil and filter will cost you atleast $100. Parts and labor will be more expensive. It will be out of warranty soon. It will need repair that you need t pay for soon. If you plan on modding the car, It will cost you more.

Mustang, would probably be more fun on the street since your not tracking it. Would cost less to own. Brand new, that means its under warranty longer. Big downside is that everyone in their civic and camaro will probably rev and and want to race you. (might be a good thing depending on your preference.)

If your asking me, I prefer the M3, I bought the M3 because we needed a car for the family and I refuse to buy a boring car. Mine is a 08 sedan. So far no major issue I have 37,000 miles on it. I did not mod the car. Im keeping mine stock. It is the family vehicle. The wife drives it, I drive the suburban. I have 2 fun car on the side.

In the end I recommend you drive both. Buy the car for yourself and not because you care what the other driver or what the people walking on the sidewalk thinks.

BTW most test, shows both car being equal in performance. 1/4 mile times. Track times. But the good ol ass test will say mustang is faster on straight, m3 on the turns.
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      09-08-2011, 08:54 AM   #16
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I definately agree that the the M3 would be a better overall DD - more space, more creature comforts, etc - but I need to consider the maintenance cost associated with the car as well as its fun factor as it will also serve as my "toy". Is the M3's practicality as a DD outweighed by its maintenance expense and its lack of torque and cost to modify? Again, maintenance on these cars scares me, especially considering that I plan to keep this car for 10 or so years. Could I afford it? Yes. However, I'd be pissed if I need to sink a few grand into an already expensive car to keep in working order. Any feedback on actual charges for regularly scheduled maintenance M3? In terms of fun, the car will only see street duty in the burbs of Chicago. These streets are flat and straight. How much of a hindrance is the lack of torque to having fun on these types of roads? The other part of the "fun factor" to me is tinkering in the garage. The cost of modding the M3 is insane compared to the GT500. Lots to ponder here...
The long term maintenance cost question is an interesting one. The first 3yr/50k is covered by BMW (or rather built into the price) where the Ford you are paying out of pocket from day one. However I'd be willing to bet the Ford is cheaper to maintain. I'm sure you could do the math if you really wanted to and there is probably a point where higher cost to maintain the M3 (long term) passes the 'savings' you got in the first 3 years.

My other concern with keeping the car 10 years is styling and durability. My (limited) experience with American cars is that while their drivelines are pretty bullet proof, their interior bits don't age well. I also think if you line up all the M3's up to this point they all still look good even after 25 years. On the other hand I think the Mustang stylings don't keep their appeal nearly as well.

From a tinkering standpoint that's a consideration if modding is fun for you. Modding an M3 is a pricey undertaking where modding the Ford will be much more realistic.

As for fun - I think both will be fun in their own right. On this front I don't think you can lose.
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      09-08-2011, 08:59 AM   #17
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Honestly, my suggestion would be a NEW 335I or XI. That is about the same price as GT500, quality is better, great tuning capabilities, great warranty, and its still a BMW.

Have you thought about that OP?
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      09-08-2011, 09:02 AM   #18
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Well,

I've had my share of mustangs! 93 5.0 GT, 92 5.0 Lx notch back, 93 5.0 Lx notch back and a 98 cobra with a 10 lb. Procharger with intercooler etc. etc. as far as bmw's 93 318is sold to a friend still running with over 250,000 miles on it A 98 E36 M3 and currently a E90 M3.

Do you need 2 doors or four doors? BMW you have your pick with the M and the mustang your stuck with two.

Listen I've had a long love affair with Mustangs, but GT500 or not its still a mustang. Everyone has them bottom line! In a GT500 people that like mustangs will drool when you drive past but it ends there. I don't care what anyone says EVERYONE wants or has WANTED an M3 at some point in time. true the M3 lacks some HP vs. the GT500 but you'll make it up else where.

I have friends that are Chevy/Ford guys through and through. Drag some fast cars that go low 9's but they all lust after my M's even the E36 when I had it. The M is the total package. May not be the fastest in a straight line but thats not what its all about (to me anyway).

Drive both and decide for your self. If you're worried about maintenance don't buy any car keep your old one.
Nice response.
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      09-08-2011, 10:04 AM   #19
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I can write paragraphs on how my experience was with my '03 Cobra and although I loved it, go for the M3, you'll be a lot happier. Especially if you can only have a single car.
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      09-08-2011, 10:10 AM   #20
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OP what about a 335d? You won't have the risk of the reliability issues that some 335i's have been having (not to suggest they're common or widespread, but they're definitely there) and you get monster torque. If you don't intend to EVER take the M3 to the track or at least go out frequently for long drives on twisty roads I think it would be a bit of a waste. The 335i and especially 335d make better commuters because they have more low-end torque. Is the M3 faster? Yes, absolutely, but to achieve that you need to be roaring around in lower gears at high RPMs, which not only kills your already bad gas mileage but is pretty obnoxious in the city -- though it's definitely a lot of fun on the track and in back country roads. But meanwhile the 335i and 335d can deliver instant bursts of acceleration with less drama and possibly no gear change, will cost less in gas and insurance, and both will likely be cheaper to maintain because they're not M cars. That last will be especially true of the 335d which as far as I know hasn't had any major issues.

That said, the M3 has thus far proven to be one of the most reliable cars in BMW's current lineup, but again if anything does go wrong you'll be looking at expensive repairs even by BMW standards. It'd be hard to estimate maintenance costs at this point though because the very first 2008 M3s that rolled off the line would be just now coming out of their 4-year warranty and free maintenance periods, except for the relatively few that might have run those out earlier based on 50K miles rather than time.
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      09-08-2011, 10:44 AM   #21
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I haven't seen GT500's going for even close to MSRP around here, so they may be considerably more expensive than the OP thinks
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2011 E90 M3 6mt AW/Speed Cloth - ZCP, Moonroof, non-iDrive - PCD 12/9/10
Painted reflectors, matte black grills/gills, RemoteKey+, Homelink retrofit, V1 Hardwire, GP Thunder 8500K, modmy3 LED interior, VRS Replica CF Front Lip, Dinan Mufflers, HRE P40
quiksi is offline   Taiwan
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      09-08-2011, 11:15 AM   #22
kyleb350
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Drives: F30 335i M-Sport
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: LoMbard, IL

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I'd vote the GT500. Flooring that car is intoxicating. Plus I think it actually gets better mileage than the M3.
kyleb350 is offline   United_States
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