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      03-26-2008, 04:17 PM   #1
vbmw335
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new M3 Test drive compared to 335i

EDIT: Sorry its posted in the wrong section. Please move it to general discussion.

Guys I test drove the new M3 today. I drove it for about 30 mins in curvy roads and open highways. Took it up to 7k rpms. I am actually disappointed with its performance. Maybe because I had very high expectations. But in summary, I can say this

Pros-
It has a great sounding engine …tough to beat or replicate on any 335i

Cons:
Clutch is very light
Gear shifter throw is too long for a sports car at this price point
Handling and steering feel is much softer than E46 M3 …yes I used the stiffest settings on EDC with M button on.
Straight line power – I might be wrong but it feels slow, actually slower when compared to V2 335i. I am actually very surprised by 0-60 4.1sec numbers and 12.5 ,1/4 mile the magazines are able to pull. Maybe after break-in it will get better.

Verdict:
Although I have been the biggest fan of M cars esp E46 M3….I must say this one fails to impress. Why would they make it softer than a E46 M3 …it lacks the raw appeal of an M3. Maybe it will shine better in the track …but for most of us it will be hard to justify additional 20k when you can get a used 997s or a 996 turbo and call it a day.
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      03-26-2008, 04:34 PM   #2
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Just out of curiosity, where did you drive it around?
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      03-26-2008, 04:36 PM   #3
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around Westmont...Laurel BMW
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      03-26-2008, 04:44 PM   #4
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Each M3 gets softer with the next generation. Nothing new there.
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      03-26-2008, 04:44 PM   #5
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interesting. I think the "feeling" of fast is different than being fast. The power delivery is probably a lot smoother than in the 335 and you don't get that sudden burst w/o a turbo. also, from everything I've read, it seems you really have to get high in the rev range to take full advantage of the M3, so maybe it's not as fun in normal driving conditions.

I love the M3 and have wanted one since I started to drive. I've been seriously considering trading in the 335 for one, but based on what I've read so far, I'm not sure I will do it because I'm afraid I'll have a similar experience and regret spending all the extra cash (to be sure, the M3 is better, but this is purely a matter of cost benefit given the allegedly marginal gains in driving experience (wish I could test drive one, but no demos around me and dealers have all told me no)).

It seems like the car isn't really much more fun if you're driving to and from work, and really only shines compared to a modded 335 if you drive on twisty roads for plan to track the car. I don't plan to do either, and even though I appreciate the M3, I don't think the money is justified based solely on how I plan to use the car.

Interestingly enough, I thought this all through on my way to work this am and started thinking that the C63 might be better for me based on the aforementioned reasons. For just zipping around town, power and acceleration are more fun (to me at least), and it seems like power/acceleration fun factor would be better in the Merc.
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      03-26-2008, 04:48 PM   #6
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M3 is a great car .in no way i am saying a 335i is better...a stock 335i is << M3 .But unfortunately for the price of M3 there are some fantastic P cars out there.
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      03-26-2008, 05:12 PM   #7
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This brings up a good point, becuase the M3 has a lot less torque than the tuned 335, so maybe that's what you're missing.
I can just imagine the sound of that V8 though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herms View Post
interesting. I think the "feeling" of fast is different than being fast. The power delivery is probably a lot smoother than in the 335 and you don't get that sudden burst w/o a turbo. also, from everything I've read, it seems you really have to get high in the rev range to take full advantage of the M3, so maybe it's not as fun in normal driving conditions.

I love the M3 and have wanted one since I started to drive. I've been seriously considering trading in the 335 for one, but based on what I've read so far, I'm not sure I will do it because I'm afraid I'll have a similar experience and regret spending all the extra cash (to be sure, the M3 is better, but this is purely a matter of cost benefit given the allegedly marginal gains in driving experience (wish I could test drive one, but no demos around me and dealers have all told me no)).

It seems like the car isn't really much more fun if you're driving to and from work, and really only shines compared to a modded 335 if you drive on twisty roads for plan to track the car. I don't plan to do either, and even though I appreciate the M3, I don't think the money is justified based solely on how I plan to use the car.

Interestingly enough, I thought this all through on my way to work this am and started thinking that the C63 might be better for me based on the aforementioned reasons. For just zipping around town, power and acceleration are more fun (to me at least), and it seems like power/acceleration fun factor would be better in the Merc.
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      03-26-2008, 05:37 PM   #8
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yea your missing the feeling of boost. I have often heard people say once you drive a turbo car you will always drive a turbo car and I can say thats 100% true for me.
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      03-26-2008, 05:40 PM   #9
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EXACTLY my same thoughts
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      03-26-2008, 06:13 PM   #10
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Although the legend of the ///M car, the phenomenal handling, and that wonderful V8 sound may be intoxicating to most, one can certainly argue that ~ 450 lb.-ft. TQ on a PROcede v2 335i can be just as intoxicating.
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      03-26-2008, 06:20 PM   #11
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A turbo car feels too artificial. I’ll take a high revving ///M car over a turbo car anyday
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      03-26-2008, 06:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. 5 View Post
This brings up a good point, becuase the M3 has a lot less torque than the tuned 335, so maybe that's what you're missing.
I can just imagine the sound of that V8 though.
Well, add to the fact the the stock 335i is putting down 300 or so at the low rpms, while the M3 doesn't get its 295 HP until 3800 rpm.

The M3 is more of a track/racing car than an around town torque monster. It is higher-revving and designed for cutting canyons. Similar to the Honda S2000 and other classic roadsters (although I am not saying the M3 is a roadster, only that it achieves its power by staying in a high rpm range). And, yes, it has mainstreamed over the years.

One thing I wonder is if the same argument was made with the prior M3 releases? For example, comparing the E46 M3 to a stock/tuned 330Ci sport? Or even the E36? I think that the M3 does not explode with all of it goodies the first time you drive it....
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      03-26-2008, 06:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvwirelessguy View Post
A turbo car feels too artificial. Iíll take a high revving ///M car over a turbo car anyday
psssht! psssht!
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      03-26-2008, 06:44 PM   #14
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good and honest write-up. also very understandable. although the M3 might have raw power, it is a different kind of power. for a lot of us, the power of the tt is enough to make us happy. i feel as if only the M3 engine was built for more horsepower it would be a lot more thrilling and a lot more people would want to buy it over it's competitors.
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      03-26-2008, 07:22 PM   #15
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I was disappointed with the new M3 as well. I mean it's a good car. It just didnt have that wow-factor for me.
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      03-26-2008, 08:00 PM   #16
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I test drove an M3 coupe the other day.Long story short,i really liked the car and everything about it.But it didnt knock me for a loop the way i thought it would.It wasnt one of those,I have to get this car no matter what feeling.I think i,ll keep my 335i coupe and enjoy the crap out of it like i do every time i drive it.
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      03-26-2008, 08:20 PM   #17
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I test drove one last weekend and agree with your comments on the manual tranny. I hated the long gear shift throws and light clutch. Also, it seemed like there was no room for error in first gear--either you shifted perfectly or the car would buck like a bronco. It put me off a bit, have to admit.

On the other hand, the handling/suspension, sound of the engine, steering wheel, seats and exterior were all amazing.

In sum, I think it comes down to simple economics. I actually have an opportunity to trade in my 335i lease and purchase an IB M3 coupe at MSRP. Thing is, MSRP on an M3 with similar options that I have on my 335i is 69k.

Besides the fact that I also love my 335i, I'm finding it hard to justify paying $20k more for the M3. Of course there's a difference between a 335i and an M3, but is that difference worth $20k? That's the real question.

I really wish BMW would have kept the price of a loaded M3 near $60k. That was the sweet spot, in my opinion, and they missed it big time.
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      03-26-2008, 08:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaaz View Post
I test drove one last weekend and agree with your comments on the manual tranny. I hated the long gear shift throws and light clutch. Also, it seemed like there was no room for error in first gear--either you shifted perfectly or the car would buck like a bronco. It put me off a bit, have to admit.

On the other hand, the handling/suspension, sound of the engine, steering wheel, seats and exterior were all amazing.

In sum, I think it comes down to simple economics. I actually have an opportunity to trade in my 335i lease and purchase an IB M3 coupe at MSRP. Thing is, MSRP on an M3 with similar options that I have on my 335i is 69k.

Besides the fact that I also love my 335i, I'm finding it hard to justify paying $20k more for the M3. Of course there's a difference between a 335i and an M3, but is that difference worth $20k? That's the real question.

I really wish BMW would have kept the price of a loaded M3 near $60k. That was the sweet spot, in my opinion, and they missed it big time.

Are you serious???
e46 M3 was $60k when it came out which was almost 60k Euro...
WHy would Germans give us huge discounts ($38k Euro) on this version when EVERYTHING in this world went up???
Realize that the Dollar is worthless today and if it continues this way our lives will get tougher and tougher...
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      03-26-2008, 08:52 PM   #19
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I agree with the OP.

The car felt "soft". I have respect for the M3 but I'll take a 335 with LSD
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      03-26-2008, 09:17 PM   #20
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I test drove the new M3 as well, and I wouldn't say that it feels as raw as the e46 M3, but it definitely feels much more composed. Refined is the word that comes to mind. It just feels so solid and fluid. I took it up to about 7k as well repeated times. I realized that you need to rev it, and to be quite honest if you're going 40-45, and you blip the throttle, pop it in 2nd, and the thing goes like hell! I dunno what the OP's talking about. I guess he has a V2 or something. I drive a stock 335i and this definitely felt faster. The leather, the carbon weave, the VERY visible power dome when you drive, it all felt like it was definitely a league higher than the 335i. Trust me. The versatility is amazing too. I messed around with the M Drive settings like crazy.

This car pretty much justifies its price in my opinion. Well, as long as you don't currently own a 335i. I think a piggyback is a more efficient solution for 335i owners, but if you have a 330i, or something else in this class and are looking to move forward, I wouldn't hesitate in the least!

I'm also willing to answer questions regarding it.
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      03-26-2008, 09:18 PM   #21
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Oh yeah, the throws were pretty long and rubbery, but I didn't really mind. I don't usually drive stick though, so that could also be something to think about.
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      03-26-2008, 09:20 PM   #22
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Oh, and that engine sound! Sounds soooo amazing inside. Better sounding than the V10 M5/M5's I drove down at Spartanburg three days ago even!
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