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      02-22-2008, 08:51 AM   #1
dash
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My first week with my M3

I took delivery of my new Jerez Black M3 (with black leather and aluminum dash inserts) one week ago. It’s been fantastic thus far.

I picked it up on last Friday afternoon and was shown through the car. I drove it outside the showroom so we could let it run for a while. The salesman was in front of the car and as I drove out he suddenly looked concerned and asked me to get out and take a look at the front of the car in the sunlight. Looking at the bonnet (hood for the Yankies!) there were marked swirl marks in the paint. They had apparently used the wrong head on their buffer. It was really only the bonnet, but I was disappointed. They assured me they would polish out and they let me take the car for the weekend. I returned it on Monday for the day and they re-polished the car. They lent me a 325i which was nice (but not as nice as an M3!) and I collected my M3 Monday after work. It looked fantastic with a beautiful shine and I was at last 100% happy. The Jerez Black is a great colour, the way it changes from black to dark blue (with an occasional hint of purple) with the light. It’s definitely more dark blue than purple under artificial light. There is quite a lot of orange peel in the paint, but I don’t mind this as I feel it gives the paint a bit of depth and texture.

When I got the car it had only done 16 km. My initial thoughts were that the gearbox was very stiff and notchy, especially going into 2nd. The throttle pedal was surprisingly stiff and this initally made smooth gear changes a bit awkward. There is a small amount of drive line shunt, so if you don’t get the gearchange perfect you will feel it as a slight clunk. It’s improved and lessened as I’ve gotten used to the car.

The engine is great and I’ve been good and not revved it beyond 5000 rpm. I can only imagine how good it’s going to be when it’s fully run in. The car cruises very quietly in the country and the airconditioning is excellent in the hot Australian summer. I’ve just left it on auto the whole time set at 22 degrees Celsius. One thing I miss, that my Alfa GT had, is the ability to push a button so that when you are in the car alone, you can adjust both side temperatures with only the drivers side temperature knob.
For fuel consumption I’ve averaged 20 litres per 100km in the city and 12 litres per 100 km in the country cruising at about 110-120 km/h. Hopefully this will improve as the engine loosens up.

I’ve now done 550 km and the gearbox is much freer, but the shift into 2nd still seems a bit notchy. I’m getting nearly 100% smooth gear changes now that I’m used to the car. I initially had the Power button on my key settings set to Comfort, but the accelerator travel seemed too long. I now use the Power setting (middle setting on the M drive) which gives the throttle much more sensitivity. I find the steering weight to be fine on the normal setting, and in sport it seems artificially heavy with no more feel. The dampers I leave in Comfort and they are fine like this; not much body roll and a nice firm ride.

Here’s a list of a few nice things I discovered living with the car:

1. My O2 mobile phone works perfectly with the car and all my names and phone numbers come up on the i-Drive perfectly. The BMW list of phones that work with the car didn’t include the O2 phones. This was a nice surprise that my phone works.
2. The 8 short-cut buttons between the two cd/dvd drives are incredibly useful. I have one set to call my wife’s mobile phone, 5 for my favourite radio stations, one for my i-pod and the last for the TV.
3. My i-pod works perfectly with the i-drive. I got the stereo upgrade and the sound quality is superb. Well worth the spend. As you can see in one of the photos, my car has an ipod holder on the bottom of the centre console arm rest. I had not seen or heard of this before. I wonder if it is standard in all M3’s? It’s great as it keeps the ipod out of the way.
4. I discovered a shopping bag holder on the right side of the boot (trunk!). It folds away when not in use. Useful to stop shopping bags of milk rolling around on the way home.
5. Despite the interior of the M3 being so similar to other 3 series cars, it still feels special, incredibly well laid out and really well made. The steering wheel feels great (not too thick) and the drivers seat goes low enough for me (and I usually like a low seat).
6. There is a lot of room in the rear seats and my kid’s 2 car seats fit well (its even fairly easy getting them in the seats, as you can climb in and stand on the floor and buckle them in, with the seat tilted and moved forward).

So in summary I am very please with my new toy. Everything works (compared to my previous Alfa) and there have been no initial faults (besides the bonnet swirl marks, but that was caused by the dealer and then corrected by the dealer to an excellent standard). It’s the perfect all-round car. To all the Americans reading this, it’s well worth the wait !
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      02-22-2008, 09:31 AM   #2
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Enjoy your new ride!
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      02-22-2008, 09:41 AM   #3
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Sweet!!!
Thanks for the review, now I really can't wait till my baby arrives.
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      02-22-2008, 09:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinan540 View Post
Sweet!!!
Thanks for the review, now I really can't wait till my baby arrives.
I saw the car seat in back. How well does that work in a coupe? Congrats on the car!
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      02-22-2008, 09:55 AM   #5
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Nice writeup

btw rip that dealer sticker off the back window, will look nicer
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      02-22-2008, 09:59 AM   #6
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sweet ride enjoy!
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      02-22-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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Do you have the individual sound system? I went for the middle one, Logic 7, and I dont think mine has the same door speakers as yours.
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      02-22-2008, 10:18 AM   #8
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beautiful car you have there.... and i like your e-type jag too... wished i had your garage.
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      02-22-2008, 10:19 AM   #9
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Nice write up mate. Also, nice "E" next to the "M"!!!!
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      02-22-2008, 10:48 AM   #10
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Great write-up Thanks!
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      02-22-2008, 11:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dash View Post
The throttle pedal was surprisingly stiff and this initally made smooth gear changes a bit awkward.
Interesting observation. How does it compare with other cars you've driven (Alfas don't count )?
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      02-22-2008, 11:21 AM   #12
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Thanks for the review. Enjoy your new ride. It looks fabulous.
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      02-22-2008, 11:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leg View Post
Do you have the individual sound system? I went for the middle one, Logic 7, and I dont think mine has the same door speakers as yours.
That is the Individual sound system.
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      02-22-2008, 12:01 PM   #14
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Nice review, great pics
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      02-22-2008, 12:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW3R View Post
I saw the car seat in back. How well does that work in a coupe? Congrats on the car!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dash
6. There is a lot of room in the rear seats and my kidís 2 car seats fit well (its even fairly easy getting them in the seats, as you can climb in and stand on the floor and buckle them in, with the seat tilted and moved forward).
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      02-22-2008, 01:32 PM   #16
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Thanks for the comprehesible review. I am a bit concerened about the light steering of the car, you could please comment on it?

Cheers,
Rob
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      02-22-2008, 02:47 PM   #17
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You have the iPod in backwards. Make the cable come out from the bottom.

Nice ride!
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      02-22-2008, 03:15 PM   #18
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Great writeup, congrats Dash!

Yeh your iPod cable annoyed me, change it to out the bottom!!!!!!
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      02-22-2008, 03:21 PM   #19
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congrats on the car. looks good. Dark hides some details of the car, i thought i was looking at an m-tech at first

can you on a scale from 1-10 tell how notchy the clutch is compared to a 335, or a Z4M for instance?

i find 335 perfect clutch, Z4M acceptable, but more stiff/notchy than that will make me very disappointed
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      02-22-2008, 03:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantis View Post
congrats on the car. looks good. Dark hides some details of the car, i thought i was looking at an m-tech at first

can you on a scale from 1-10 tell how notchy the clutch is compared to a 335, or a Z4M for instance?

i find 335 perfect clutch, Z4M acceptable, but more stiff/notchy than that will make me very disappointed
"Notchiness" is usually related to the transmission internals (synchros, linkage) rather than the clutch. The exception is if the clutch is not releasing all the way at shifts.
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      02-22-2008, 03:29 PM   #21
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The Ipod cable looks rather stiff. Does it interfere with closing the armrest the other way?
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      02-22-2008, 03:36 PM   #22
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Awesome! Great review~
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