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      08-03-2009, 01:50 PM   #1
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Question Technical Options buying advice or Sedan Vs. Cab.

The last thing keeping from my M3 purchase is deciding between the Sedan and the Convertible and which options I can and can't live without? Looking for advice from anybody with opinions based on experience.

DCT - After all the negative stuff I read here, can anyone actually convince me to buy this option?

M-drive - No idea! Thoughts?

ECD - I'm assuming this is worth getting. Anyone think differently?

Thoughts on Sedan Vs. Convertible? I know the Convertible is heavier/looser, but the reviewers seem visibly excited to be driving around in an M3 with no top - and as a guy, I like topless.
Thanks
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      08-03-2009, 02:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfclown View Post
DCT - After all the negative stuff I read here, can anyone actually convince me to buy this option?
Most of those issues have been solved. Mine had a build date of Jun '09, and has been working perfectly - lightning fast, silky smooth shifts and no lag.

If I had to order again, I would still get the DCT.

I haven't tracked my car yet, but I bet that's where the DCT really shines. However, you should test drive the DCT. That's the only way you'll know if you like it.
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Originally Posted by Surfclown View Post
M-drive - No idea! Thoughts?
ECD - I'm assuming this is worth getting. Anyone think differently?
Are you going to track your car? If so, then I'd say these are a must. For normal street driving, you may not use these options much.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfclown View Post
Thoughts on Sedan Vs. Convertible? I know the Convertible is heavier/looser, but the reviewers seem visibly excited to be driving around in an M3 with no top - and as a guy, I like topless.
Thanks
Sounds like you already know what you want. Get the convertible.
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      08-03-2009, 02:38 PM   #3
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I had the E46 convertible M3 and now I have the E90 Sedan M3. Here are my observations.

1. Despite living in Wisconsin with a small summer season, I really miss dropping the top. I love the feel of the open air.

2. Obviously the E93 is faster than the E46 convertible, but it is not as fast as the E90 Sedan. Still, the convertible is plenty fast for just about anyone.

3. The sedan is a lot tighter and you do not have to put up with any rattles. While BMWs are really tight and strong, you still get an occasional rattle with a vert. Perhaps the hardtop did away with a lot of these, but I'm sure some will still be present in the colder weather.

4. While I liked the lines of the E46 convertible, I think the E93 looks awkward with it's top up. With it's top down, it is every bit as pretty as the E46. This is just opinion though.

5. The Sedan is more fun to drive on twisty roads, but the convertible is more of an eye catcher. It certainly attracts women more, but I don't know if you care about this.

6. The Sedan is great for the times when I have to go to the store or pack some luggage. Then again, I have a truck for that and you might too.

While I miss my convertible, the sedan is nice too. If I had to choose between the E90 and the E93, I would choose the E90 and put the extra ten grand into a vacation. Good luck.
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      08-03-2009, 02:43 PM   #4
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BTW, I have the 6 speed and would never get a DCT unless I had no choice. I drove the DCT extensively at the M-School and did not like it at all. Fast shifts, but no fun. Unless you plan to drive in a F-1 event, I don't see the need for the lightening quick shifts.

I have the M drive with the EDC option. It is cool, but to be honest I do not use it much. I like the Dynamic Stability Plus, but rarely use the steering or suspension settings. If you plan to track the car, I would get them. Otherwise I may save the cash.
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      08-03-2009, 03:28 PM   #5
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The vert vs. sedan is completely personal. On the MDrive, I use it constantly but only for the dynamic traction control. Although I have EDC, I never use it. My car is always on normal.

Good luck, you will love the car either way.
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      08-03-2009, 03:59 PM   #6
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Get the convertible with DCT and, of course, the Tech package.
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      08-03-2009, 05:05 PM   #7
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DCT is no fun.

Unless you can't drive stick / Live in LA (lots of traffic) / Or want to track your car... there is no point in getting DCT.... Unless you are lazy or something.
DCT is just a bore.
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      08-03-2009, 05:35 PM   #8
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I live in Montréal, Québec and the nice season is very short indeed. Even though I like the feeling of open air it did not seem like a good idea to buy the E93 so I bought the E90 with the sunroof.

Personally, the difference in performance would not have made a difference in buying an E93, I chose the practicality of it.

Cheers.
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      08-03-2009, 05:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TooManySilverBMWS! View Post
DCT is no fun.

Unless you can't drive stick / Live in LA (lots of traffic) / Or want to track your car... there is no point in getting DCT.... Unless you are lazy or something.
DCT is just a bore.
Isn't the point that it is faster (when it works) and that unless you really know how to heel-and-toe, it does stuff better (again, when it works)?

I can drive stick, and I thought I was pretty good at it. I learned on steep mountains, and until now, I have driven automatic only when renting a car. I don't know how to heel-and-toe, and I realize this means maybe I wasn't so good at it after all. I would love to learn, but the reason I can afford this car is the reason I will never have time to be really good at it. I assume that this would matter only if I do stuff I shouldn't be doing on the street. But if I have time for that, I would prefer to drive the car fast without worrying about losing stability because I can't shift correctly.

[Edit: Yes, I know that DCT is not an automatic.]
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      08-03-2009, 06:30 PM   #10
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I test drove both manual and DCT M3s. I am very adept at heel and toe and found that the DCT was fine for a road car.

Most tracks will not allow a convertible without a fixed roll bar so tracking an E93 is not generally an issue.

The Sedan is lighter and will definetely be faster but if you are drivng either on public roads at anything close to the limit you have a serious death wish.

Most drivers of paddle shifted race cars (F1, ALMS) left foot brake. I have been trying to learn how to do that but after years of right foot braking it feels totally unatural and I stink at it.

CA

Last edited by captainaudio; 08-05-2009 at 12:18 AM.
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      08-03-2009, 07:21 PM   #11
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Good Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpblue View Post
I had the E46 convertible M3 and now I have the

While I miss my convertible, the sedan is nice too. If I had to choose between the E90 and the E93, I would choose the E90 and put the extra ten grand into a vacation. Good luck.
Thanks, it's really the extra 10 grand that's holding me back. And something about the convertible says too much "bling".
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      08-03-2009, 07:25 PM   #12
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Dynamic Stability Plus

Quote:
Originally Posted by fpblue View Post
I have the M drive with the EDC option. It is cool, but to be honest I do not use it much. I like the Dynamic Stability Plus, but rarely use the steering or suspension settings. If you plan to track the car, I would get them. Otherwise I may save the cash.
Probably don't see myself at the track more than once or twice - just for the experience.

What sensation does Dynamic Stability Plus give you?
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      08-03-2009, 07:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
On the MDrive, I use it constantly but only for the dynamic traction control. Although I have EDC, I never use it. My car is always on normal.
Dynamic Traction Control? Is that the same as Dynamic Stability Plus previously referenced? What do the adjustments give you?
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      08-04-2009, 06:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TooManySilverBMWS! View Post
DCT is no fun.

Unless you can't drive stick / Live in LA (lots of traffic) / Or want to track your car... there is no point in getting DCT.... Unless you are lazy or something.
DCT is just a bore.
But you don't even own an M3, right? And you've never even driven an M3 with M-DCT either, correct?

The reality is that the M-DCT transmission is a perfect match for the high revving V8. It lets you shift often so you can keep the car in the power band, but does not have the drawback of losing time on the shift itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfclown View Post
Thanks, it's really the extra 10 grand that's holding me back. And something about the convertible says too much "bling".
I know how you feel about the money. That was what originally had me settling on an E90 instead of an E93. But, then the car market tanked and the deals out there brought the price of the E93 down to what I was originally going to pay for the E90. That sold me. You can probably get an even better deal than I did late last year, especially if you do ED (which wasn't available with discounted pricing back when I purchased).

As for the bling, I assume you mean the window trim? You can have it covered in black if you want, although it does not even bother me anymore. In fact, I have grown to like the silver trim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfclown View Post
What sensation does Dynamic Stability Plus give you?

...

Dynamic Traction Control? Is that the same as Dynamic Stability Plus previously referenced? What do the adjustments give you?
I can't be certain, but I think they were trying to speak about the MDM DSC mode that is only available if you equip the car with MDrive. MDM = M Dynamic Mode. It allows you to put the stability control into a more sporty state (allows more wheel spin and more sideways action) without disabling it entirely. I don't have MDrive, so I can't comment about it from personal experience. People seem to be mixed in their opinions of it. But it certainly can't hurt to have the option. You do have to pay for the ZTP package to get it though.
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      08-04-2009, 06:51 AM   #15
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      08-04-2009, 09:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfclown View Post
Probably don't see myself at the track more than once or twice - just for the experience.

What sensation does Dynamic Stability Plus give you?
Yes, the Dynamic Stability Plus is the same as the Dynamic Stability Control. It is basically a setting between having the DSC on and the DSC off. It will allow for sporty driving allowing for some wheel spin, but not enough wheel spin to lose control. The back end will kick out if you want it to, but you should not lose control. It is fun because the DSC doesn't kick in enough to be overly restrictive.
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      08-04-2009, 09:28 AM   #17
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As for the DCT vs 6 spd., I still think the 6 spd is the route to go. Unless you are competitvely racing, too lazy to shift, or drive through bumper to bumper traffic every day, I think the 6 spd is king. It is too much fun. The DCT is just like the paddle shifters on every pseudo sports car today. I know mechanically the DCT is different, as it has 2 REAL clutches, but it feels the same way. It is just another way that the world continues to move towards machines doing everything for our lazy selves. Besides, the DCT is an extra 2-3 grand.

Again, if you plan to track (which you said you don't) the DCT is faster than most drivers.
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      08-04-2009, 11:44 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fpblue View Post
I had the E46 convertible M3 and now I have the E90 Sedan M3. Here are my observations.

1. Despite living in Wisconsin with a small summer season, I really miss dropping the top. I love the feel of the open air.

2. Obviously the E93 is faster than the E46 convertible, but it is not as fast as the E90 Sedan. Still, the convertible is plenty fast for just about anyone.

3. The sedan is a lot tighter and you do not have to put up with any rattles. While BMWs are really tight and strong, you still get an occasional rattle with a vert. Perhaps the hardtop did away with a lot of these, but I'm sure some will still be present in the colder weather.

4. While I liked the lines of the E46 convertible, I think the E93 looks awkward with it's top up. With it's top down, it is every bit as pretty as the E46. This is just opinion though.

5. The Sedan is more fun to drive on twisty roads, but the convertible is more of an eye catcher. It certainly attracts women more, but I don't know if you care about this.

6. The Sedan is great for the times when I have to go to the store or pack some luggage. Then again, I have a truck for that and you might too.

While I miss my convertible, the sedan is nice too. If I had to choose between the E90 and the E93, I would choose the E90 and put the extra ten grand into a vacation. Good luck.
Same background here - for E46 vert owner now in an E90 and agree with pretty much all of the above.) I miss the ability to put down the top and I really like the lines of the E93 with the top down (and I actually like it top up as well.) OTOH, I needed a little more room to accommodate a growing family and I want to be able to track the car. If you are serious about that, don't get a vert - suicide to track one unless you plan on putting in a cage.
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      08-04-2009, 11:58 AM   #19
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      08-04-2009, 10:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fpblue View Post
BTW, I have the 6 speed and would never get a DCT unless I had no choice. I drove the DCT extensively at the M-School and did not like it at all. Fast shifts, but no fun. Unless you plan to drive in a F-1 event, I don't see the need for the lightening quick shifts.

I have the M drive with the EDC option. It is cool, but to be honest I do not use it much. I like the Dynamic Stability Plus, but rarely use the steering or suspension settings. If you plan to track the car, I would get them. Otherwise I may save the cash.
I have a stick shift Sedan and after my time at the 2 day M School wish I had went with the DCT. I do like driving a manual but felt the car was better and faster with the DCT. Nothing like a 4th to 2nd down shift with rev matched bark at the touch of a button.

I would go Sedan again.

Reasons
1. no track days with a vert with BMWCCA.
2. More of a sleeper
3. Cheaper (more money for options)
4. Easy to get friends/family in the car

Also I would say go with the Tech package, even for street purposes. Comfort is great on rough city streets.
Being able to fine tune suspension, power and steering settings is great.
Nav is good to have.
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      08-05-2009, 12:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
DCT - After all the negative stuff I read here, can anyone actually convince me to buy this option?
Sorry, but you have a bias against it, you will never be happy with it. Please don't get it.

This is probably the third such question worded by potential buyers in the last month.

With all due respect, as an owner the question to me is insulting. It's like saying "I hate the way you look in those clothes, but if you tell me I will look good in them enough times I might buy them."

There has been very positive owner experiences posted, if you choose to ignore them and only see the negative I can't help you.

Edit: Sorry, not a very nice response, but it's how I feel. Maybe you didn't phrase the question to mean it that way, but that's the way it comes across. As I say, do a search, you will find many positive reviews. Some issues that have been resolved, few real regrets from actual owners (not those that don't have one).
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      08-05-2009, 02:23 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Sorry, but you have a bias against it, you will never be happy with it. Please don't get it.

This is probably the third such question worded by potential buyers in the last month.

With all due respect, as an owner the question to me is insulting. It's like saying "I hate the way you look in those clothes, but if you tell me I will look good in them enough times I might buy them."

There has been very positive owner experiences posted, if you choose to ignore them and only see the negative I can't help you.
Montoya,

Sounds like you are having the same type of day I'm having

For about an hour, before I posted my questions, I was going through all the threads that complained about DCT lag problems. As I didn't see any threads titled "Man I love my DCT" I was left with the obviously mistaken impression that everyone had problems with it. Since then, I have seen lots of good opinions about DCT.

So, in summary, sorry for my poorly framed question. I had no intentions of insulting anyone, and have loved all the feedback I've gotten. I may not be able to test drive with DCT, so just trying to make as bestly informed decision as possible (maybe a coin toss). But, as many have pointed out, I'm sure I'll love the car either way - So I'm not too worried about it.
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