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      02-19-2013, 10:31 AM   #1
EricEst1978
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E46 M3 vs. E90 M3 vs. E90 335i

I have been toiling over a new car for a few weeks now and am facing a bit of a dilemma.

Given that I have never owned a BMW, I thought I'd consult the experts here in the hopes of gaining some new perspective/information.

Here goes.

My ceiling for this purchase is $35,000 out the door, and not a penny more. Ideally, I'd find something in the $25-30k range.

It seems as though I could probably find an 08' M3 with about 40-50k miles for around $35k. Presumably this type of vehicle would be out of warranty.

It seems like there is a decent number of e46 M3's to be had in the 50-60K mileage range for around 25k.

Lastly, there's an abundance of 335i's, many with some time remaining on the warranty for $25-30k.

I have been waffling like a politician on these 3 choices and an hoping some of you might be able to give me some food for though which will help me make this decision.

Thanks Millions!
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      02-19-2013, 10:39 AM   #2
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You already answered your own question in regards to the E9X M3 as it's out of your price range. So it's down to the other two. If I had to choose, I would take the E46 over a non-M car. 335 just looks plain and boring. It also depends on what you want out of the cars.
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      02-19-2013, 10:39 AM   #3
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      02-19-2013, 10:40 AM   #4
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What are you looking to get out of your car? 335 will be quick and have decent torque, but will be lacking in the handling dept.

e46 M3 handles great, but driving side by side it's not in the same league as the e9x M3.

I've owned my e90 M3 for 7 months now, and I'm still in the honeymoon phase. I completely love how perfectly well rounded it is, and the V8 is a work of art. I've owned a lot of sports cars and I've never felt the same way.

e9x M3's are also a lot more reliable and require less maintenance than the e46, so there is a bonus there.
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      02-19-2013, 10:44 AM   #5
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I think the place to start is decide if you want a 335 or an M3 (E9X or E46). I say that because they are different cars. The high revving race-bred engine vs the more 'normal car' engine with plenty of usable low end torque and so on.

I will continue assuming you've chosen the M3. Between the E46 and the E92 I think it comes down to a question of what you want to spend. You are going to pretty much max your budget to get into an E9X car where as if you go with an E46 you can find a nice car for $10-12k under your max budget.

If you go with the E46 figure on spending a few thousand seeing to some refreshing and maintenance things unless you are sure the big stuff has been done (fluids, valve adjustment, etc).

With the E92 you probably don't have much to worry about as long as the services are up to date.

Looks wise both cars are stunning. Personally I think the E46 is the best looking M3 ever made but then again I'm a little bias

Performance wise the E92 is undoubtedly faster but the E46 is no slouch either.

Really I don't think you can go wrong.
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      02-19-2013, 11:01 AM   #6
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Get a 2006 E46 ZCP....... I still miss mine.
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      02-19-2013, 11:05 AM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback so far guys...

given that there would be no warranty on either of the M3's in question, what are your thoughts on either of the following?

would the low mileage of either be of concern in that the vehicles may not have been run enough to prevent some of the problems that can arise with an engine that is static.

http://www.paulsevagmotors.com/used/...a38adbf0ad.htm

http://www.beachautosalesinc.com/use...17ef42bc6a.htm

Again, thanks for taking the time to respond guys, I appreciate it.
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      02-19-2013, 11:07 AM   #8
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I would go for e46 M3. But becareful as they will be out of warranty and any future problem will be pretty costly to fix.
If you have a tight budget (like you mentioned you don't want to spend a penny more than your budget) I would get a car under warranty.
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      02-19-2013, 11:08 AM   #9
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Almost 4 years in my M e90 and I'm still in the honeymoon phase!!
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      02-19-2013, 11:09 AM   #10
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$32k is insane for an M3 that old.

I thought the older model E46's were the ones with the SMG problems mainly.

Mainly look for a vehicle that has had at least Inspection I or II recently done.
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      02-19-2013, 11:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAM3S View Post
$32k is insane for an M3 that old.

I thought the older model E46's were the ones with the SMG problems mainly.

Mainly look for a vehicle that has had at least Inspection I or II recently done.
Good to know, thanks.
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      02-19-2013, 11:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricEst1978 View Post
Thanks for the feedback so far guys...

given that there would be no warranty on either of the M3's in question, what are your thoughts on either of the following?

would the low mileage of either be of concern in that the vehicles may not have been run enough to prevent some of the problems that can arise with an engine that is static.

http://<b>http://www.paulsevagmotors...dbf0ad.htm</b>

http://www.beachautosalesinc.com/use...17ef42bc6a.htm

Again, thanks for taking the time to respond guys, I appreciate it.
Neither has mileage low enough that I'd worry. With that said unless you have all the records I'd change all the fluids (engine, diff, and trans).

The one I highlighted I'm in love with! The sunroof delete and the manual cloth seats! That is just awesome.

And don't let people give you crap about the SMG. I love manual cars, but my M3 has the SMG and I really love it. It fits the car very well IMO.
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      02-19-2013, 11:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAM3S View Post
$32k is insane for an M3 that old.

I thought the older model E46's were the ones with the SMG problems mainly.

Mainly look for a vehicle that has had at least Inspection I or II recently done.
This is a fair point. I hadn't really thought about it, but yeah, I'd lean towards a later model 2005 or 2006 if you can. I picked up my 2005 ZCP car for $27k over a year ago. You should be able to do same or better.
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      02-19-2013, 12:11 PM   #14
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Three completely different cars with completely different characters. You need to decide what you actually want out of a car, then decide which to get.
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      02-19-2013, 12:49 PM   #15
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with the money you are looking to spend - I'd do the e46 and add the warranty on. That will give you the piece of mind and leave you with some left over cash to save for maintenance / upgrades. You should be able to get a good lower mileage E46 and warranty around 30k.
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      02-19-2013, 12:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
Three completely different cars with completely different characters. You need to decide what you actually want out of a car, then decide which to get.
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.
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      02-19-2013, 12:53 PM   #17
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Up your budget and get an M3
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      02-19-2013, 01:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricEst1978 View Post
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.
You should really start by test driving all 3 cars. It will really start to clear up which one you prefer. Although they share a lot of similar characteristics, all three are quite different, and in the case of the 335i, even the model itself can range from pretty soft and sloppy to sporty.
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      02-19-2013, 01:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricEst1978 View Post
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.
Just to let you know, M3 is not so comfortable compared to other BMWs (like 335, 535, etc.)

Did you test drive these cars?
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      02-19-2013, 01:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricEst1978 View Post
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.
Up your budget 5k and you can easily find an 08 E90 and add another 4 years/50k miles to the warranty. That's what I did.
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      02-19-2013, 01:17 PM   #21
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Thus far, I have test driven an 08 335i. It was stock, and in pristine condition.

I have not test driven either M3 at this point, specifically because the 08' models which were in my price range weren't local and I only started the E46 as an alternative a day or so ago.

I may be way off since I've only driven 1 of the 3, but I envisioned the E46 M3 is a middle ground between the 335i and 08M3 in terms of performance, etc.

Really appreciate your thoughts guys. As a point of reference, I am upgrading from a 2010 VW Jetta, so either of the options are going to blow that away in terms of performance and amenities I'd imagine.
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      02-19-2013, 01:29 PM   #22
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+1 for the e46 m3

I had an e92 335i in 2007, and went to a 2006 ZCP 6 speed m3 three years later. The e46 was hands down a better car, so much more engaging to drive!!!

Try to look for an 05-06 ZCP model, I personally am a 6MT fan but to each their own.
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