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      12-07-2008, 04:25 PM   #1
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07 997 carrera s vs M3

I have been offered an old spec 997 s in black with black interior with about 5000 miles. I am considering changing over since I dont need the space but as an overall experience is the Porsche Carrera a downgrade compared to the M3? Its slower (not by much?) but has better handling and build quality than the M3.. it just does not pull at the heart strings. Advice please.
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      12-07-2008, 04:31 PM   #2
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The questions are the kind where you could answer them best by driving it.

Some people love it, some people don't. Is it a downgrade? Well, not prestige wise but the motor is inferior. It is significantly lighter but I'm not a huge fan of rear engine handling. The traction advantage is nice.

If it was a facelift 997, I would say the decision would be difficult, but as is, stick with the M3.
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      12-07-2008, 04:54 PM   #3
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The Bimmer's engine delivers a faster revs and more hp per liter than the pre-facelifted 911, although less torque (per liter and in relation to vehicle weight) and much worse fuel economy.

Imo, the Porsche 's build quality is better in most areas than the M, and at least equal to it in others.

Either choice is a win in my book. My final choice would depend on price and condition. 997.1 911 values are suffering from the facelifted (997.2) car. However, M3's are not holding their residuals too well either.

Imo, the 911 is always a sports car, where as the M3 can be one when driven that way. It depends on what you want. I want a sports car for every drive, even to the grocery store.
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      12-07-2008, 04:55 PM   #4
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Build quality? Can't say.

Speed and handling? M3 takes the 997S in a straight line by quite a bit, around a track it depends on the length and design of the track. Sometimes the M wins, sometimes the Porsche wins. But the Porsche's brakes will last longer before fading.

Looks? Gotta go with the Porsche on this, the 997 is a lovely car.

Sound? M3 V8 FTW.
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      12-07-2008, 06:26 PM   #5
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In one you will stand out from the crowd, in the other you will not. Is that not the most important things when buying a Porsche.
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      12-07-2008, 06:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by footie View Post
In one you will stand out from the crowd, in the other you will not. Is that not the most important things when buying a Porsche.
I don't know, the base 997 can look very pedestrian. Your buying at the bottom of the 911 line, the M3 is at the top of it's lineage. If it were an S it would be a toss up.
You'll likely give up quite a few luxury features, but then there's nothing quite like a 911, and for good reason because putting the motor past the rear axles is just silly.
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      12-07-2008, 08:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by consolidated View Post
I don't know, the base 997 can look very pedestrian. Your buying at the bottom of the 911 line, the M3 is at the top of it's lineage. If it were an S it would be a toss up.
You'll likely give up quite a few luxury features, but then there's nothing quite like a 911, and for good reason because putting the motor past the rear axles is just silly.
Hence the "s" in the OP's original thread.
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      12-07-2008, 08:25 PM   #8
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Traded my 996 c4 cab for a e90 sedan
911 definetly has the curb appeal but...
Ride is much better with the M3
Much better throttle response with m3
Better dd m3
Maintenance is included with the m3, 911 = 1.5 k per year
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      12-07-2008, 09:09 PM   #9
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Why on earth would you give up on such a great car as the E92 M3 so soon?

Spent half a day in my M3, the other half in a 997S. I thought the M3 was not only faster in a straight line, it felt more planted, better equipped and had a better quality interior. The idea that the 911 handles better - can someone describe what that feels like?

On the other hand, and surprisingly, the 911 had the better ride on bumpy uk roads, the 911 has a marvellous throttle, clutch and gearchange, and because it looks like a sports car has more sense of occasion.

They both sound great; the M3 manages this while also being quieter when you want it to be. The M3 would be more relaxing for long journeys.

Is this a daily driver? Personally, I find the 911 inconvenient for that role; it can carry quite a lot, but it is much less convenient to access either the front or the rear seat storage areas.

I would choose the M3 if starting from scratch - well, I did, of course. Changing now seems crazy; in the UK you would lose about half of what you paid for the M3. If you need a change, find a friend with a Carrera and swap cars from time to time.
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      12-07-2008, 09:37 PM   #10
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      12-07-2008, 10:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc View Post
I have been offered an old spec 997 s in black with black interior with about 5000 miles. I am considering changing over since I dont need the space but as an overall experience is the Porsche Carrera a downgrade compared to the M3? Its slower (not by much?) but has better handling and build quality than the M3.. it just does not pull at the heart strings. Advice please.
I say stick with the M3.
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      12-07-2008, 10:34 PM   #12
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An 07 model, in 3 weeks it will be 2 years old!
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      12-08-2008, 01:55 AM   #13
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Thanks guys for all the replies. Drove the 997 today and my Gawd - the M3 is an epic car! I am keeping it.
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      12-08-2008, 10:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waremark View Post
Spent half a day in my M3, the other half in a 997S. I thought the M3 was not only faster in a straight line, it felt more planted, better equipped and had a better quality interior. The idea that the 911 handles better - can someone describe what that feels like?

On the other hand, and surprisingly, the 911 had the better ride on bumpy uk roads, the 911 has a marvellous throttle, clutch and gearchange, and because it looks like a sports car has more sense of occasion.
I too have spent my fair share of time behind the wheel of all forms of 911s, right up to the pre-face lift 997, both on the track and off it and I can't see how so many people are frilled at it's handling balance. The experience I have had is of the thing being all over the show, you get understeer and oversteer all in the one corner, it's steering is way to light to give real confidence and under extreme braking you really do feel that odd weight balance at work. Maybe some people take pleasure in trying to tame the beast on the track, good luck to them. I might add that most of these concerns on the track were more pronounced with the rear version, in the C4S it was more predictable but still not as good as a Cayman would have been.

I can't say I found any difference in the ride between 997 and M3, at least mine with the 18" and EDC on comfort. The one thing I preferred with the M3 was that the steering wasn't as busy as it was with the Porsche, I like a bit of info on what the road is like but not the constant bucking the 997 does when the road is bumpy as is so often the case in the UK.

Another thing, Porsche switch gear is awfully cheap in feel. Their leather work is first rate, right up there with Audi but their switch gear and ergonomics is plain awful.
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      12-08-2008, 12:29 PM   #15
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I must say I agree with you footie. The model I test drove had the full leather option(extra piece on the dash) and considering the ridiculous cost compared to BMW the quality was the same. The seats(euro style) in the M3 are far superior in terms of adjustability and lateral grip. The steering was too thin (think I am spoilt by the chunky one in the M3) and really chatted away. The brakes were superior on the Porsche but the car understeered way more than the M3. The traction out of bends was superior but far more difficult to adjust the car on the throttle if that makes any sense? The PASM system feels outdated compared to the M3 edc with front end of the 997 hopping about on bumps mid corner on the stiffest setting... very unsettling behind the wheel. The M3 on stiffest setting has no mid corner upsets and cossets you despite the firmer control. Engine sounded raspy and boomy when above 5000 rpm and it does not have that top end wallop into the redline that the M3 has. 997 throttle response felt like pistons were running in treacle compared to our V8.. M3 is like a freaking F1 car by comparison. The BOSE option on this 997 is crap compared to even Logic 7 in the M3 - My car has aftermarket sound so wont comment any further. I am proud to say BMW really have done a supreme job on their lowest M car -Its a keeper!
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      12-08-2008, 03:37 PM   #16
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I Think m3 build quality is better than that 997
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      12-09-2008, 06:13 PM   #17
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Stick with the M3
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      12-09-2008, 06:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGNTASTIE View Post
I Think m3 build quality is better than that 997
My experience is BMW build quality is better than Porsche.
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      12-09-2008, 08:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc View Post
I have been offered an old spec 997 s in black with black interior with about 5000 miles. I am considering changing over since I dont need the space but as an overall experience is the Porsche Carrera a downgrade compared to the M3? Its slower (not by much?) but has better handling and build quality than the M3.. it just does not pull at the heart strings. Advice please.
Some might think the 997 is a step up in prestige, but not me, for me build quality is equal. I don't think it's any faster than the M on a track. The fact that your asking proves your better off with the M, if the car really did it for you, you would be posting pics of your new Carrera S right now.
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      12-10-2008, 11:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spearfisher View Post
Some might think the 997 is a step up in prestige, but not me, for me build quality is equal. I don't think it's any faster than the M on a track. The fact that your asking proves your better off with the M, if the car really did it for you, you would be posting pics of your new Carrera S right now.
I actually felt like a cock driving the Porsche.. hard to explain why but true. It was so much nicer sitting back in my "working class" M3

Getting thumbs up from other drivers actually does count for something
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      12-10-2008, 11:29 PM   #21
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I just moved from a Cayman S to the new M3 and I'm so glad I did this move. The M3 is a much better DD in all aspects. Inside I don't think the P stands a chance. I find the M much more aggressive in style when lowered. Sound I would go with M's V8. Only plus for the Porsche is the handling and status. The rest I take the M all over it.
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      12-11-2008, 02:28 AM   #22
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get the 911, porsche - there is no substitute
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