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      02-19-2013, 10:12 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricEst1978 View Post
Use is daily driver for me that is a blast to drive and something that I can toss a carseat in occasionally.
well try to test drive a 1er too. there are some car seat options with em. there's a good reason I didn't pick a 3 it just wasn't the car for me. I almost went with an e46m3 but I see em around way too often here.

Best of luck!
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      02-20-2013, 08:01 AM   #46
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I really liked the 135i, but it felt a lot like my turbo E36M3 and I wanted a second car that was different. The 335i can be modded to be just as fast as the E90M3 in a straight line and around a track (Grassroots Motorsports did this a few years ago with James Clay driving both), but you have to spend some money on the 335i. Ultimately, that is what swayed me from the 335i -- the amount I would have wanted to spend on mods. The M Sport version might be decent right out of the box, but I have not driven one of those. The E46M3 was also on my list. They need some work as they get older. Valves have to be adjusted. Subframes tear. The suspension on a 7 year old example may need some work. Great car, but be prepared to spend some money to repair and maintain it. The E39M5 also tempted me, but it also requires some money for repairs and maintenance. I have a lift, compressor, press, welder, etc and do all my own work, but I already have a modded car -- my turbo E36M3 -- and the second car was to be mostly left alone and not require much work. The older cars on my list would just be getting older and needing more work so I was leaning towards the younger cars.

I bought an E90M3. To hedge my bet, I bought one with about 18 months of factory warranty and 2 years of CPO on top of that. It cost $45k a little over 2 years ago, which was $10k more than a 135i or 335i and $20k more than an E46M3 or E39M5. But I have not had any problems with it (though I was prepared with the warranty) and have not needed to mod it (although I did about $3k worth of mods). I wanted a modern, comfortable, fast, good handling car and I got one. It is my daily driver to the extent I drive daily -- sitting outside on snow tires right now.
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      02-20-2013, 08:10 AM   #47
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The 135i is certainly worth considering. I had one before I got my E46 M3. It isn't as raw as the M3 (the E46 anyhow) but is tossable and tunable and has all the newest creature comforts (with the E46 M3 is now showing it's age in regards to).

With the 135 make sure you get the sports package version with the sport seats. But it was a great little car and I remember it fondly and occasionally miss it. Maybe because it was my first BMW. It also got pretty decent gas mileage but did have somewhat of a small gas tank which was a pain in the butt, but not a deal breaker.
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      02-20-2013, 11:12 AM   #48
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I haven't read any of the other replies in this thread but in my opinion these are your real options.

1. E90 isn't realistic. 35k out the door can get you a 50-80k 2008 but I wouldn't consider this realistic because you will either need to purchase an extended warranty for $2000-$3500 or set aside $2500 - $8000 for emergency repairs. Yes I said NEED. The vehicles don't have many problems but protecting yourself would be the frugal thing to do. E90 is NOT an option in my opinion.

2. A later year 2004-2006 E46 M3 with relatively low mileage such as 20k - 50k can be had around $24000 - $30000 depending on the car. With this you will NEED a warranty. I bought one in great condition however when i DID have my two repairs they were both around $2500 which were covered by my warranty. You can get one in great condition from someone who took really good care of the vehicle. This will be your cheapest option and can be had less than $30000 with EVERYTHING and maybe even some mods. Remember E46 M3s are approaching 10 years old. No matter how well it has been maintained things can start to fail with that age. In this situation you would be stupid to not get a good extended warranty.

3. 335i should be your second option after E46 M3. Why? Because theres a possibility you wont get as good an example as you would get with the E46 unless you are willing to spend all the way up to your 35k for the vehicle. A BETTER example of an M3 can be had at 5k - 10k less... OUT THE DOOR... If you shop them in the same price range, the 335i will have the same amount of miles but they would have been accrued in a shorter amount of time. Additionally, when stock, the M3 is faster and definitely a more exhilarating drive. The 335i will offer more creature comforts than even a fully loaded E46 M3 including better nav, usb port, etc.
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      02-20-2013, 11:57 AM   #49
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* in a straight line
In a straight line, UNTIL it heat soaks and limps.
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      02-20-2013, 01:38 PM   #50
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I just went through all this while looking for a new daily driver. Choices: E90 M3, E46 M3 or 335i. I could make all work financially.

I have a lot of seat time in our shop E92 M3 and shop 135i and I've borrowed a friends 335i for a week to really feel it out. As Obioban said, they are all very different cars. I generally agree with most of his comments too.

I chose the E46 M3. Why? I like the drama and the rawness. I love the styling and its really really good even stock. I want to do a lot of track days this year, so the E46 could be a lot of fun.

I picked up a super clean 50k mile '05 for 23k. Its my 2nd fav color, 6MT and hardtop. It has a Dinan can and some other little bits that I will keep. I've been stuck with numb people pushers for the last 5-6 years due to my old job, so I wanted to jump back to something more basic and raw ;-)

If I got a 335i I would immediately upgrade:
differential (3k+)
suspension components (m3 conversion)
IC (900+)
proper dampers
other bits

E46 needs a shifter, proper dampers and a few other little bits.

I will get the E90 M3 next.
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      02-20-2013, 02:09 PM   #51
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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.
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.
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      02-20-2013, 02:59 PM   #52
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Thanks so much for all the information guys--I'm reading every post and taking it all in.

With respect to the E46M3, do you all have any thoughts on the vehicles on enthusiastauto.com?

They seem to be above the recommended price rage but they ARE manuals which I would prefer--and in reading the description of each, it seems as though they do prep and service the vehicles which does hold some value.

Look forward to your replies--cheers.
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      02-20-2013, 03:01 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricEst1978 View Post
Thanks so much for all the information guys--I'm reading every post and taking it all in.

With respect to the E46M3, do you all have any thoughts on the vehicles on enthusiastauto.com?

They seem to be above the recommended price rage but they ARE manuals which I would prefer--and in reading the description of each, it seems as though they do prep and service the vehicles which does hold some value.

Look forward to your replies--cheers.
If you're willing to pay a premium, then sure, they have some clean cars. Still think you can find a gem out there in the private market, just depends how patient you are and how picky you are about colors.

I can't stress enough to skip SMG. Def look at MT cars only
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      02-20-2013, 03:19 PM   #54
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If you're willing to pay a premium, then sure, they have some clean cars. Still think you can find a gem out there in the private market, just depends how patient you are and how picky you are about colors.

I can't stress enough to skip SMG. Def look at MT cars only
I'll keep an eye out. I am not in a hurry. I have about 5 months before I have to replace my vehicle but am in a position to make a move any time between now and then.

I have been scouring ebay, autotrader, cars.com, and car gurus along with the classifieds here for about 2 weeks now trying to sort through my options...

The 135i is an interesting option, I've seem them up close and say in one, but never driven one--still I think the E46 will be my focus for now--I just need to find one locally that is an MT that I can test drive.
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      02-20-2013, 03:45 PM   #55
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I can't stress enough to skip SMG. Def look at MT cars only
I don't think this is legitimate advice. If he wants an SMG then by all means get an SMG. I have one and I've been very happy with it. If the OP wants a 6MT then he should get one, but if he's on the fence he should try the SMG. I think it really suits the car well.

As for the cars the OP specifically linked to, I'd skip them. I love the one with manual seats but both are early model years. Despite the low miles I think you'd be better off with an 05 or 06.
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      02-21-2013, 01:17 PM   #56
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I can't stress enough to skip SMG. Def look at MT cars only
Terrible advice. I would advise you to test drive both and not to skip SMG because people say not to get it. It shifts really, really, absurdly quick especially when you are driving at high speeds. It's also really easy to make it shift smooth ( Even in S5) when you are driving around town. Smooth to the point where to passengers its undetectable. It does have a very raw feel to it so you do feel like you have a lot of control of the vehicle. I would say about 75% of that of a manual transmission. Drive both, you might like it.

I ended up with SMG mainly because the specific example I was looking at was in better condition than the 6-speed example I was looking at. Now after 30k miles, I love it. I've only had ONE problem with it which was when I was driving in Houston on a day that was 107 degrees the transmission dropped out of gear 4 times. Otherwise I've never had an issue. If I do, my extended warranty covers it ( I made sure) and you shouldn't buy a pre-owned E46 M3 without an extended warranty anyway.
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