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      05-13-2009, 10:28 PM   #1
j0k3r
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Looking at an E90 ///M

Been really into the E90 as of late... I'm looking at a CPO with 4K miles. 19" rims, technology package, cold weather package. 6 Spd. Manual. Asking $54,995. I'm sure that can go down by 4-6K.

However, I am a bit hesitant about the manual. I've always wanted a manual. SMG is a bit boring, and riding in my friend's e46 m3 ZCP manual has really given me the bug to get one of my own. The thing is, I have never personally driven stick, and I'm going into the dealer on saturday for a test drive. I understand the concept, having been walked through by my friend and doing a bit of research, but I have 0 behind the wheel hours. Should I just allow the salesperson to drive and get an impression from that? I don't want to damage to a 54K M3 that I don't even own yet...

I'd appreciate any personal experience / advice. I really am not interested in a DCT... but I don't want to let this deal slip away if I can get the price right.
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      05-13-2009, 10:39 PM   #2
jopa489
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You've got to drive the car yourself before dropping $50k on it.

Take it easy and slow, and start in the parking lot. Smoothness and accuracy is key.

Alternatively, you can drive a non-MT to get a feel for the car itself (they must have one there), and drive the one you're considering just to be sure it rides well. Though with 4k miles you probably don't have much to worry about.
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      05-13-2009, 10:47 PM   #3
j0k3r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jopa489 View Post
You've got to drive the car yourself before dropping $50k on it.

Take it easy and slow, and start in the parking lot. Smoothness and accuracy is key.

Alternatively, you can drive a non-MT to get a feel for the car itself (they must have one there), and drive the one you're considering just to be sure it rides well. Though with 4k miles you probably don't have much to worry about.
Haha, you're right. Thanks for the reply. I actually realized this is in the wrong section. Working on getting that remedied right now... but I'm trying to get a feeler for what to expect, since I am positive there are people out there who have gone through what I am about to do. And test driving a DCT doesn't seem like a bad idea. Thanks for the suggestion.
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      05-13-2009, 11:33 PM   #4
Kobaiyashi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jopa489 View Post
Alternatively, you can drive a non-MT to get a feel for the car itself (they must have one there), and drive the one you're considering just to be sure it rides well.
I was in the same boat as you. I test drove the DCT and had a friend drive the stick to make sure it was kosher. The 6MT isn't perfect, but it is really fun. (I did drive the car off the lot though, its quite easy.)

Others will give you different advice, but I think if you're careful, you've got nothing to worry about re: harming the car. Have fun!
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      05-14-2009, 12:11 AM   #5
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I'd feel like an ass test driving an M3 if I didn't know how to drive stick. jmho
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      05-14-2009, 12:31 AM   #6
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I'd feel like an ass test driving an M3 if I didn't know how to drive stick. jmho
True that. 5 years ago before I learned to drive a MT my fam was looking at a WRX stick shift for my first car. I test drove it and made an ass out of myself. Definitely save yourself the embarrassment and learn to drive a stick before attempting it on a dealer's car.
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      05-14-2009, 02:35 AM   #7
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Well, the second you actually drive the car, 6MT or not, you'll be writing a check for the car when you return to the dealer. You must drive the car.

+1. The 6MT is a honest somewhat bonky/heavy transmission (compared to non M BMWs) but gives you instant driving pleasure without first pushing some buttons
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      05-14-2009, 02:45 AM   #8
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I didn't know how to drive a stick until I picked up my manual. At that point the dealer spent 20 mins with me and I learned how to shift from N to 1st and the rest is history. You sound apprehensive about buying a stick. Let me tell you you will probably be second guessing yourself for awhile but once you get the hang of it you probably won't go back. It increases your confidence and driving experience everyday.

I just saw transporter 3 for the kick of it and the scene showing jason pushing the stick on the audi automatic makes me shake my head every time.
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      05-14-2009, 07:06 AM   #9
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Two remarks.

First, it takes a while even for experienced stick drivers to adapt to a new car and achieve smooth gear changes. I would be surprised if there was no hiccup during your test drive. If there isn't any, it means you're a natural . But I don't think that learning to drive stick during a test drive is fair to the car.

Second, I've driven stick all my life, and never considered anything else until I drove an M3 with DCT (in manual mode). IMO, it's really the best of both worlds. Personally, I really don't think that activating the clutch or going through gearbox gates is an essential part of the driving experience. I've never had as much fun on four wheels as I've had in a shifter kart. Believe me, when you drive a shifter kart on a track you never tell yourself "I wish I had a clutch pedal and a non-sequential gearbox". DCT is even better than a shifter kart's gearbox because it doesn't require you to lift before shifting. Again, all this applies to DCT in manual mode--auto mode is not that much fun.

If you've never driven stick, my advice would be to get a car with DCT. The adaptation period will be much shorter. You will have fun right away. And let's face it, DCT is the future of manual transmissions. Resistance is futile .

Last edited by drivendriver; 05-14-2009 at 07:45 AM.
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      05-14-2009, 11:30 AM   #10
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Do you have any friends that would let you learn on their manual? The clutch on the M3 is pretty forgiving in my opinion. I think you will be fine, but it wouldn't hurt to spend a few minutes in another manual before the test drive.

Either way, I would be upfront with the salesman about being new to a manual.
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      05-15-2009, 11:56 PM   #11
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Well, tonight I let a guy who had never driven a stick test-drive my 135. It was really bad. After half an hour he managed to start without stalling about 50% of the time. But he didn't really test-drive the car. He only went into 3rd and 4th by mistake. He was a nice guy so I basically gave him a driving lesson, but I wouldn't do it again.
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