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      03-22-2008, 05:01 PM   #1
TH3DAN
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My Test Drive Today (Good, Bad, & Ugly)

I ordered my E9x M3 Sedan (AW/FR-EX) a few weeks back and it has yet to enter production. As a way of keeping me interested my dealer let me drive the showroom model Sedan around town today. I haven't owned or driven the E46 M3, so I can't compare, but I can compare to a few other sports cars, including a couple of posches.

Exterior:
I love it. Simply put. I drove the Black on Black model and I have absolutely sworn to never buy another black car and yet, the black had me seriously considering it. I do think that that something needs to be done regarding the exhaust showing so prominently in the back (plain ugly), but in my opinion, the ///M has always been about looking refined, yet matching sporty subtle accents to hint at what ies beneath. Well done, IMHO. One small complaint about the black is that the carbon fiber on the back of the mirrors is completely indistinguishable against the black paint. Might as well not be there.

Interior:
This was a Black interior with Extended leather and IMHO, the Extended is a waste of money if you are getting the black interior. Once again, I had to look at the sticker config to even figure out if the car had it or not. If you are getting an interior w/ some contrast, then consider it. Another side note: I went and sat in an S5 almost immediately after that had the bright red lether and carbon fiber interior. I hated it. Don't get me wrong, it looks very sporty, but IMHO, very cheesy. Whereas the BMW looked refined and high quality, the S5 gave me this "japenese suped up aftermarket car" feeling that I don't want in a$60K+ car (again, just my preference, but I admire a little elegance, too).

BTW, from a road noise perspective, the thing was DEAD quiet. I had a good discussion with the rep about why the sedan should be distinctly quieter (in terms of cabin noise) than the Coupe. I have yet to drive a coupe up into the 120Mph range, but the cabin of the sedan was pristine...accept for that howling engine :-)

Transmission/Clutch:
Keep in mind a couple of things here. I'm gonna knock the feel of the transmission/shifter here, but I should mention that it has been a while since I drove a manual transmission. I didn't rev the M3 hard, stayed below 5500...I think :-), but I did shift hard, and it didn't shift as smoothly/quickly as I wanted. Granted, I felt a little lost trying to cope with the artificial 5500 rev limit that I was attempting to respect, but I had difficulty "feeling" the clutch grab points and shift points. With that said, it might also be my extreme "rusti-ness" and/or my hesitancy to "hammer" a showroom model that isn't mine.

Handling:
Wow.Just.......WOW! This thing is planted on the road. No body roll, no sway, just pure "goes-where-you-point-it." I've driven a mid-mount engine, Porsche Boxster S on back mountain roads that didn't turn into corners like this does. On one particular on-ramp that does a 270 degree turn, I'm doing 60 mph+ with one hand on the wheel feeling frustrated that I can't REALLY punch in b/c of traffic. Felt like I could have pushed 90 Mph+ through the turn w/o sweating.

Brakes:
I never had a chance to heat them up. I've seen posters complain about whether these stock brakes will work well as track brakes, and I can't give any feedback on that. I will say that the reviews commenting on the shortest stopping distance ever recorded seem to be accurate. Absolutely dynamite brakes.

Engine:
Ahhhh. I've driven some fast cars, but this thing is a beast. Even keeping the engine revs down under 5500, the car blasts forward. I had it up to 120Mph in no time and realized that I needed to come off of the throttle. The engine just oozes power, though it certainly prefers the higher edge of the power band. As the RPMs passed 4000 the car begin to hit another level.....a very good level :-)

Overall:
This car doesn't feel heavy. It feels nimble, stops on a dime, and has power to break the tires loose at your command. The cabin is so quiet, you could mod the engine to output more sound and not really have much to complain about on the inside. This car is exactly what I hoped for when I placed an order; like the perfect wife. I want a women who is refined, elegant, and sophisticated in public, and a demon in the bedroom :-) That is this car. The only 4-door that I know of that can be both things and can be as at home on the track as it is toting around my business clients.

Two thumbs up.
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      03-22-2008, 05:07 PM   #2
DonM3
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No carbon fiber on the back of the mirrors. Thanks for the review
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      03-22-2008, 05:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for the great write up! I like your final comments....

Jason
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      03-22-2008, 05:16 PM   #4
TH3DAN
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Well, whatever dark material that BMW is using

on the back and interior of the mirrors that is so distinguishable in the lighter colors is of course blended with the black. I enjoy that slight contrast on the other colors for the car and missed it a little with the JB exterior. Of course, some might actually prefer it that way.
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      03-22-2008, 05:24 PM   #5
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Nice review thanks.
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      03-22-2008, 06:18 PM   #6
e92OMG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TH3DAN View Post
on the back and interior of the mirrors that is so distinguishable in the lighter colors is of course blended with the black. I enjoy that slight contrast on the other colors for the car and missed it a little with the JB exterior. Of course, some might actually prefer it that way.

Do you mean the black peice holding the side mirrors? If so i dont see how that is an issue lol looks good on white and red! On black it just matches the black paint shouldnt bother most peaple unless they like the contrast.

Either way good review

edit: Its not carbon fiber i dont know what it is but its not carbon fiber lol
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      03-22-2008, 07:00 PM   #7
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great review, thanks
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      03-22-2008, 07:12 PM   #8
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Great review, thanks for sharing your experience.
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      03-23-2008, 12:03 AM   #9
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Cool review... sat in a JB E90 sedan today and it sure was a nice one.... almost made me think twice about my incoming E92 M3 coupe....
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      03-23-2008, 01:00 AM   #10
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great review.
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      03-23-2008, 01:57 AM   #11
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Nice review mate!
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      03-23-2008, 08:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonM3 View Post
No carbon fiber on the back of the mirrors. Thanks for the review
its shadowline
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      03-23-2008, 08:49 AM   #13
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Great review. I had the same experience as you did with the manual tranny during my driving test. Definitely not very smooth but I also can attribute much of that to 1) my rustiness at driving stick and 2) the car brand new and the gears should get smoother after some driving. I did not care at all for the long gear shift stick however.

The car is amazing in every other respect. The sound the engine makes even at less than 5k rpm (I was also limited to this) was absolutely intoxicating. And the seats... wow.

It is very, VERY tempting make a deal for this car...
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      03-23-2008, 08:53 AM   #14
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Good write up thanks for sharing.
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      03-23-2008, 09:32 AM   #15
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I'm surprised the OP thought the sedan was quieter than the coupe. I drove both, and couldn't tell a difference.

Also, I noticed some road noise, but not as much as I would have liked. I'm probably in the minority here, but I feel that road noise adds to the connected feel of the car.

My e46 lets in all kinds of road noise and I love it!
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      03-23-2008, 09:39 AM   #16
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great review, thnx
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      03-23-2008, 05:16 PM   #17
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Thanks for the positive review!!
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