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      10-26-2009, 01:39 AM   #1
IS350
IS350 to IS-F to M3 and M4
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Calling any M3 owners who seriously considered the IS-F

I owned an F, until someone pulled out in front of me totaling the car. Seriously considering a DCT E92, but am worried about the lag issues and am still trying to justify the added expense of the M3. Would love to hear any thoughts for those of you who looked at the F, what made you change your mind?
Thx!

Last edited by IS350; 10-26-2009 at 02:50 AM.
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      10-26-2009, 01:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IS350 View Post
what made you change your mind? Thx!
For me it was
1) the absence of a real diff (not the case anymore)
2) the transmission
3) the absence of the 20+ years of M engineering experience
4) high revving engine concept

The F has somewhat better brakes though but not good enough to offset the above.
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      10-26-2009, 01:57 AM   #3
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I drove both cars and I can say M feels much more "special" in many ways.

Some of the aspects that make M the leader:

- Much lighter than all cars (220 lbs lighter than IS-F).
- High revving engine and exotic like 8400 rpm redline.
- Much more agile and superior handling.
- Better weight distribution.
- Fully adjustable suspension with EDC.
- Less harsh suspension even in race track settings of EDC.
- Locking differential (although, I think IS-F will get LSD in 2009).
- For automatic drivers, optional M-DCT with faster shifts is available with launch control (reliability is debatable).
- Better looks (subjective).

Go for the M if you want a race car like feel for every day driving.
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      10-26-2009, 02:16 AM   #4
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Thanks for the comments! Yup, the 2010 IS-f does have the LSD.
For me it comes mostly down to price. I do like the look of the coupe better than the saloon, but still trying to justify the price difference.
Wonder how Jeremy would have liked the 2010 F with LSD?

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      10-26-2009, 04:04 AM   #5
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      10-26-2009, 04:52 AM   #6
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I Have To Say I Like All Those Choices In This Group, M3 Saloon, Is-f, C63, Rs4. I Am Still Thinking If The Salesman Didn't Say "people Buy Is-f Do Not To Test Drive, They Simply Pay And Drive Away That's It!" I Could Be In An Is-f Now As I Really Enjoy Owning A Lexus From Past Experience. Too Bad That Guy Gave My Bimmer Salesman The Chance To Hit His Bonus For The Month. Lol!
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      10-26-2009, 05:05 AM   #7
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The only thing i can't live with the IS-F is the steering feedback, I already have a camry, dont need another one that just goes faster and louder. That's pretty much what turns me to getting a E92 M3 besides the fact I prefer 2dr over 4dr
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      10-26-2009, 05:48 AM   #8
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Looks, uniqueness of the powertrain, interior quality, free maintenance, LSD, handling balance, ride quality... so many reasons...

The IS-F is probably going to be more reliable and it has an easier to use nav but for a performance car I think the M3 is far superior...
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      10-26-2009, 07:53 AM   #9
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I have to say that ///M is distinctive... IS-F is really just an IS with a bigger engine... M3... well that speaks for itself!
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      10-26-2009, 08:31 AM   #10
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I made the jump from a 2008 IS-F to a 2010 E90 M3 with M-DCT.

The biggest difference I have noticed so far is the M car has a more direct and responsive feel. The steering feedback is better, and the chassis does a better job communicating what is going on. I feel more comfortable pushing the M because of the better feedback. Also, with all the adjustable perimeters like the suspension and throttle sensitivity the M can be better tailored to the driver.

I've had no issues so far with the M-DCT. In auto mode the DCT can be a bit jerky at slower speeds especially compared to the auto in the F. However, in D5 the auto responds faster to throttle movements than the F does even is sport mode. In manual mode the DCT is faster. Upshifts might be close between the two cars, but the M is much quicker on downshifts. Also, the rev matching is faster in the M3.

I still prefer the IS-F interior to the M3. I will concede the M3 has better seats and a better steering wheel, but the F interior looks and feels more upscale to me. If you happen to go with an E90 you will find that the back seat is roomier in the BMW.

I'm still in the break in period so I can't really comment on power. I will say that the IS-F feels more responsive off the line. From all I have read I would expect the straight line performance to be very similar, with the M needing a little more effort from the driver to extract its full potential. Around a track I think most everyone agrees the M has a clear advantage.

So far I am happy that I bought the M3. There are things I miss about the F like the way the gauges look and the big Brembo brakes, but the M is proving to be a more rewarding driver's car so I don't have any regrets.

Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.

Good luck!

Last edited by Cabinetman; 10-26-2009 at 01:13 PM.
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      10-26-2009, 09:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenderm3 View Post
I have to say that ///M is distinctive... IS-F is really just an IS with a bigger engine... M3... well that speaks for itself!
Lol, M3 is just a 3er with a bigger engine too.
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why dont you leave him a love note on the car -- with hearts and shit

lol - seriously tho -- I find notes on my car sometimes -- but it's NEVER from girls -- -- damm M3 is a ghey magnet
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      10-26-2009, 10:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eVitO View Post
Lol, M3 is just a 3er with a bigger engine too.
FYI, unlike the IS-F, M3 is 80% different from a regular 3 series. It only shares two body panels. Just about everything else is different.
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      10-26-2009, 10:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 330CIZHP View Post
FYI, unlike the IS-F, M3 is 80% different from a regular 3 series. It only shares two body panels. Just about everything else is different.
I was just about to say that.
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      10-26-2009, 10:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 330CIZHP View Post
FYI, unlike the IS-F, M3 is 80% different from a regular 3 series. It only shares two body panels. Just about everything else is different.
While the F probably doesn't have as many unique parts as the M3, there are a lot of differences between the F and a regular IS. Here are a few items exclusive to the F: engine, tranny, LSD (for 2010), most body panels, brakes, wheels, some suspension bits, seats, gauges and interior trim. I'm sure there are other differences, but my memory fails me.
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      10-26-2009, 11:40 AM   #15
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To me the IS-F should be considered if you were seriously going for a C63 instead of the M3. It's probably much close in principal to the Merc than the M3.
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      10-26-2009, 11:59 AM   #16
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The new LSD is a plus, but the IS-F's limited suspension travel is a concern, especially for winter driving and given the state of the roads and the amount of construction going on in Michigan and Ontario where I do most of my driving.
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      10-26-2009, 12:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IS350 View Post
Thanks for the comments! Yup, the 2010 IS-f does have the LSD.
For me it comes mostly down to price. I do like the look of the coupe better than the saloon, but still trying to justify the price difference.
Wonder how Jeremy would have liked the 2010 F with LSD?

"in the past you had to be a cock to be to buy a BMW, but now you're a cock if you dont"

DON'T BE A COCK!
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      10-26-2009, 12:28 PM   #18
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M3 advantages
  • Lighter weight, feels more nimble
  • More athletic chassis
  • Engine feels like it gives out much MORE throughout the entire rev range
  • Sedan seats 5, compared to 4 in the IS F
  • Steering wheel much richer in feel, and it also communicates with the driver better
  • Exhaust note sounds much better, especially with an aftermarket exhaust system.
  • 6 speed manual (or DCT if you prefer)

IS F advantages
  • More low end torque, which feels more promising during city driving
  • Japanese reliability & build quality
  • More options standard, better value
  • Nav system blends in with the dash board much better than the M3's. It's also much easier to use.
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      10-26-2009, 12:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabinetman View Post
I made the jump from a 2008 IS-F to a 2010 E90 M3 with M-DCT.

The biggest difference I have noticed so far is the M car has a more direct and responsive feel. The steering feedback is better, and the chassis does a better job communicating what is going on. I feel more comfortable pushing the M because of the better feedback. Also, with all the adjustable perimeters like the suspension and throttle sensitivity the M can be better tailored to the driver.

I've had no issues so far with the M-DCT. In auto mode the DCT can be a bit jerky at slower speeds especially compared to the auto in the F. However, in D5 the auto responds faster to throttle movements than the F does even is sport mode. In manual mode the DCT is faster. Upshifts might be close between the two cars, but the M is much quicker on downshifts. Also, the rev matching is faster in the M3.

I still prefer the IS-F interior to the M3. I will concede the M3 has better seats and a better steering wheel, but the F interior looks and feels more upscale to me. If you happen to go with an E90 you will also find that the back seat is roomier in the BMW.

I'm still in the break in period so I can't really comment on power. I will say that the IS-F feels more responsive off the line. From all I have read I would expect the straight line performance to be very similar with the M needing a little more effort from the driver to extract its full potential.

So far I am happy that I bought the M3. There are things I miss about the F like the way the gauges look and the big Brembo brakes, but the M is proving to be a more rewarding driver's car so I don't have any regrets.

Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.

Good luck!
I highly advise listening to this man.
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      10-26-2009, 05:19 PM   #20
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hey,

first of all, sorry about your accident.

second, if you are still wondering if you want the M after having the F, then go for the M! besides, how many people can say that! life is too short for indecisiveness for something that almost no one even gets for options in their lives...

i know for me value, reliability, DD, and exclusivity ranked higher then few seconds higher track speeds and racing heritage that can get blow away with these kids with their crazy turbo'ed and nitro'ed civics/evo's on the streets, which is where i am 99%

i would also listen to cabinetman, since he would know better than most - if not all.
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      10-26-2009, 06:22 PM   #21
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Looks - Subjective
Reliability - ISF
Driving feel - M3
Performance - M3 on the track, pretty even in real world
Interior - ISF
Dealership service - ISF but not a big deal

Both great but really think about which you want, regardless of others biases.
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      10-26-2009, 09:00 PM   #22
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I never "seriously" considered the IS-F but I test drove both the IS-F and an M3 DCT the same day. What it all comes down to is the way they feel from the driver seat. I felt much better in the M3. I felt that it accelerated smoother and faster, was more responsive on the throttle and steering wheel, felt lighter, and to me the interior was more "upscale" and even seemed noticeably larger than the IS-F (even though the IS-F is a sedan and the M3 DCT I drove that day was a coupe). Notice that all of this is subjective, but to me that's what matters. There may be faster cars than the M3 but the M3 has an edge the others don't. You can get turbo Supra as fast as a Ferrari but driving one is nothing like driving the other.

When you're considering expense note that the M3 has free factory maintenance for 4 years/50,000 miles.

Caveat: I'll admit that I'm a fanboy. I've owned a 2002 M3 and fell in love with the M3 since the E30 version. So take this FWIW and go test drive an M3 for yourself.
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