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      01-30-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Before I think about an M3, which car do I learn how to drive a MT on?

I was blessed with a 2006 e90 330i (zpp zsp i-drive), and it was shortly taken away (my fault), when I was eighteen-years-old. Half a decade later, I always thought about how I some-what enjoyed the automatic experience but it was boring... I felt un-attached to my vehicle, and I wanted to learn how to drive a stick (but I was too intimidated to try).

I'm sure you have heard this before: The M3 is my dream car, and I was hoping to get some advice...

I'm planning on getting one in two or three years, but in the meantime I want a car to learn how to drive a manual transmission on. I already have a commute car, so I suppose it doesn't have to be driven a lot, but I suppose once I get the hang of it.. I'd want to drive it more.

Which car do you recommend me learning how to drive a manual transmission on? The only people I know who own one drive sports cars, and I don't want to ask them.

I figured a budget of $4-6K (USD) would be appropriate.

I'm not super picky, but I was hoping to get some advice on what I should look for & what I need to plan out (money for maintenance, etc..).
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      01-30-2012, 05:24 PM   #2
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Honda Civic
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      01-30-2012, 05:29 PM   #3
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Any manual car. Unless you learn on some oddball finicky car from 40+ years ago, any manual will be fine. All cars are different when it comes to clutch, throttle and shifter engagement. But drive any manual for a month, and you'll be able to hop in a 6MT M3 and get the hang of it quickly.

Last edited by SamS; 01-30-2012 at 05:39 PM.
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      01-30-2012, 05:36 PM   #4
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I would suggest another BMW to get a real feel for the BMW gearbox/clutch..I have MTs in all diff makes..and Japanese makes have the smoothest action...
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      01-30-2012, 05:43 PM   #5
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Japanese manual cars feel great to shift besides some Nissan RWD cars. Only thing better I've driven was the Porsche Cayman S manual. The M3 is not so great - rubbery and clunky.

You can look in the phone book, some new driver's training courses will teach manual.
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      01-30-2012, 05:49 PM   #6
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Honda Civic or Acura RSX. The Si or Type S versions if possible.
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      01-30-2012, 05:53 PM   #7
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I learned on a 1980 toyota corrolla (in 1997) LOL!! It was a total piece of shit and my friend who owned the car just through the keys and said "have fun"

It did not take long, maybe 5 minutes, before I had the hang of it. Just drive something with as little horse power as possible for 30 minutes and you'll be good to go. No need to buy something and drive for two years. MT's are extremely easy and only bad habits are a challenge.
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      01-30-2012, 05:55 PM   #8
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I wonder if my old 510 is still out there...?


Otherwise my best suggestion would be someone else's?
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      01-30-2012, 05:56 PM   #9
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I learned driving manual in my M3, and I actually enjoyed it a lot. Had to deal with some embarrssing moments though lol
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      01-30-2012, 06:12 PM   #10
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just find someone at school/work/wherever that has a honda civic or corrolla or impreza or whatever with a manual. A 325i would probably be the best since it should have a similar shifter feel but a lot less power.
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      01-30-2012, 06:17 PM   #11
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My very first was a VW (when I was still wet behind the ears) many ... many moons ago ... I care not to remember ... that VW Beatle was red and great
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      01-30-2012, 06:19 PM   #12
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My friend lent me his Beetle to learn back in the days, I then picked up an e36 M3 to try in real life (sheesh, can't believe that was at least 13 years ago)...well, many many embarrassing moments with all the hills in the Bay Area...but all worth it.
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      01-30-2012, 06:47 PM   #13
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you can learn on any car.
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      01-30-2012, 07:00 PM   #14
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Most any late model (by which I mean built in the past 10 years or so) Honda will do. As a mass-produced car line, I think they have the best manuals and if you can get your hands on a S2000 that hasn't been thrashed to death go for it.
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      01-30-2012, 07:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SehrSchnell View Post
Miata... love that stick shift!
+1 on this amazing shifter. Perhaps only the shifter in the RX8 is better.
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      01-30-2012, 08:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdollie View Post
Most any late model (by which I mean built in the past 10 years or so) Honda will do. As a mass-produced car line, I think they have the best manuals and if you can get your hands on a S2000 that hasn't been thrashed to death go for it.
+ 1

I learned on a crappy car. At least that made me appreciate better manuals.
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      01-30-2012, 08:47 PM   #17
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Drive any manual. Get the idea of it. The M3 will be easier to drive than any $5K car you practice on.
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      01-30-2012, 08:51 PM   #18
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      01-30-2012, 10:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Honda Civic
I remember, when I was a teenager, I wanted a 99-00 Civic Si!
That sounds like a great choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamS View Post
Any manual car. Unless you learn on some oddball finicky car from 40+ years ago, any manual will be fine. All cars are different when it comes to clutch, throttle and shifter engagement. But drive any manual for a month, and you'll be able to hop in a 6MT M3 and get the hang of it quickly.
I would definitely stay away from anything produced forty years ago, but I would be honored to drive a piece of history!

I guess, I'll take baby steps at a time:
Get the beater, and then research about what people think about the e9X M3's clutch, throttle, and shifter engagement!
^ That only came to mind, because I saw a thread in this section about it.

Thanks for throwing those out there, I'm not too shabby with how cars work. So I'll definitely be doing way more research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by username11 View Post
Older WRX wagon, learn manual and have a great utility/winter car as a bonus

I have seen decent '04s go for 5-6K.
Much appreciated, now I have another car to research. Thanks to you! I meant that in a good way
*kind've read it over, and said hope that didn't sound mean*

Quote:
Originally Posted by tibra1 View Post
I would suggest another BMW to get a real feel for the BMW gearbox/clutch..I have MTs in all diff makes..and Japanese makes have the smoothest action...
This didn't come to mind, and I'm starting to think this is what I should do!
I'm just scared about the learning experience, not the driving aspect, but really the maintenance aspect. I know I have a budget, but I don't know how much to stretch it for side issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
Japanese manual cars feel great to shift besides some Nissan RWD cars. Only thing better I've driven was the Porsche Cayman S manual. The M3 is not so great - rubbery and clunky.

You can look in the phone book, some new driver's training courses will teach manual.
My little brother didn't want to buy out his 08 HR 350Z 6MT, and his best friend found it and picked it up! I drove it, and it was so fun to drive! He always welcomes me to drive it, but I don't know how I feel about driving a car that's more expensive than I can afford at the time... In addition, I really don't like driving other people's cars (weird, and I might be subject to change in the future:thump

Quote:
Originally Posted by USC2000 View Post
Honda Civic or Acura RSX. The Si or Type S versions if possible.
When I was a teenager, I always wanted an RSX! I was a member since 06 on the dc5 forums, but the whole "gear grinding" issue scared me off. As I grow older, I'm starting to understanding that there is no perfect car (at least, not for me).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdemetry View Post
I learned on a 1980 toyota corrolla (in 1997) LOL!! It was a total piece of shit and my friend who owned the car just through the keys and said "have fun"

It did not take long, maybe 5 minutes, before I had the hang of it. Just drive something with as little horse power as possible for 30 minutes and you'll be good to go. No need to buy something and drive for two years. MT's are extremely easy and only bad habits are a challenge.
Nice, now I would totally be down with that scenario & having fun with that car!

Bad habbits, huh? Like what kind of bad habits are more seen than others? Thanks for your time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TVMA Doc View Post
I wonder if my old 510 is still out there...?


Otherwise my best suggestion would be someone else's?
I'd be down to search. I'm assuming it's a BMW!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince_of_Persia View Post
I learned driving manual in my M3, and I actually enjoyed it a lot. Had to deal with some embarrssing moments though lol
Chetori?

I think you told me this before, and I don't mind doing the same (I do have some concerns, but I think spending the 5K on a beater will be worth it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdemetry View Post
just find someone at school/work/wherever that has a honda civic or corrolla or impreza or whatever with a manual. A 325i would probably be the best since it should have a similar shifter feel but a lot less power.
I'm not worried about power at this point, even though I want to know if you guys think the e9X M3 will someday get a turbo tune!

I just recently saw the HPF single turbo 335i on the net, and sorry for going off track...

I'll probably go for a BMW, and I am a sucker for looks so it might happen.

My little brother had an e30 for a short while, and a 3000GT prior... hmmm, is that a good choice as well(the Mitsubishi)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolf-Dieter View Post
My very first was a VW (when I was still wet behind the ears) many ... many moons ago ... I care not to remember ... that VW Beatle was red and great
I'm sure I can get a Beatle for cheap Maybe, I can consider an old school Golf?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beckham23 View Post
My friend lent me his Beetle to learn back in the days, I then picked up an e36 M3 to try in real life (sheesh, can't believe that was at least 13 years ago)...well, many many embarrassing moments with all the hills in the Bay Area...but all worth it.
My friend picked one up working for $300, back in 2004, and it ran like a champ!

I wish I could get an e36 M3, but I'd probably want a clean one..and they run for like 15K (just a guess).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SehrSchnell View Post
Miata... love that stick shift!
This was my first thought, before I posted the thread, and I will definitely report back if I find any nice ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gkap View Post
you can learn on any car.
I know, but was hoping to get some people's stories/advice/guidance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdollie View Post
Most any late model (by which I mean built in the past 10 years or so) Honda will do. As a mass-produced car line, I think they have the best manuals and if you can get your hands on a S2000 that hasn't been thrashed to death go for it.
Wow, if I can get an S2K... I heard they are awesome cars!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajvee View Post
+1 on this amazing shifter. Perhaps only the shifter in the RX8 is better.
Nice, I definitely like the RX7s (not so much the 8s)! Would like to see how much the 7/8s run for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieDriving View Post
+ 1

I learned on a crappy car. At least that made me appreciate better manuals.
It's all about appreciation! I didn't work for my first car, and I cringe every time I think about how ungrateful I was.. well, my eyes are open now and I'm thankful for what my parents do for me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wooderson View Post
Drive any manual. Get the idea of it. The M3 will be easier to drive than any $5K car you practice on.
Now, this is interesting! Haven't really thought about that, but it does make sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zaqm3 View Post
civic
Yeah, they are definitely reliable vehicles.
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      01-31-2012, 12:15 AM   #20
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I learned on my now brother-in-law's old Jeep TJ. I also learned in the snow which helped me get down the basic. I don't think it really matters what you learn on because every at is different (friction point, etc). Learning in the snow made it a lot easier actually because if you drop the clutch too early you won't stall, or stall as much I should say, you'll just spin the tires.

But, what Bout learning on one of those old jeeps? Sure they're not the most fun cars to drive, but you could pick them up for super cheap, and they're fairly reliable as well, iirc.
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      01-31-2012, 12:28 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xquisit View Post




Chetori?

I think you told me this before, and I don't mind doing the same (I do have some concerns, but I think spending the 5K on a beater will be worth it).

fadat aziz,

Let us know if you have any more question before you pull the trigger to buy your M3.

And if you want to spend few grands on a car, get a civic, it is pretty reliable.

Ghorboonet,
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      01-31-2012, 06:42 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prince_of_Persia View Post
fadat aziz,

Let us know if you have any more question before you pull the trigger to buy your M3.

And if you want to spend few grands on a car, get a civic, it is pretty reliable.

Ghorboonet,
Mo
Merci baradar
I'm thinking about doubling my budget, and trying to lower the price on this Miata:
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...e&rdpage=thumb
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