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      11-30-2011, 04:21 PM   #23
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I'll jump in here since we currently have both M3 and Cayman S.
I got my Cayman S in July to replace an '08 335i I turned in. When looking for a new DD, it came down to M3 vs Cayman S. I decided to go with the Cayman since I don't need rear seats and wanted something much different than the 335. I was very tempted by the awesome engine in the M3, but the Porsche just handles at a different level. It's a very good DD for me, PDK is very smooth in traffic, the Bose stereo is adequate enough for me, I have ventilated seats which are great here in S. Texas. There is a surprising amount of room between the two trunks. I get decent gas mileage, averaging about 20 including fairly heavy traffic most days.
The Cayman S is really in it's element on the track. I took it to a small private track near here and had such a blast. Then engine is very responsive at the high RPM's you run on the track and the brakes are great.
When my wife was looking for a new car a few weeks ago, we test drove and looked at a number of cars including MB CLS550, Audi S4 and A7, Panamera, IS-F and finally found a used E92 M3. She was really unsure what she wanted until she drove the M3, which she loved.
For her, she mostly needs a car to drive around town, doesn't work, needed a 4 door for the rare times our kids are with us. I quickly found one of the last E90s in TX and picked it up a few weeks ago.
The M3 has awesome power compared to the Cayman, handling is much better than the 335 but still just short of the Porsche. I plan on swapping with her a day or two a week to keep the miles within my lease limits on the Cayman. It's great having both to choose from every day!
The big downside with the M3 is the limited range. I don't care that much about the poor gas mileage, but it would be nice if it had a bigger tank.
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      11-30-2011, 11:49 PM   #24
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Saeyedoc, since you have both and there seems to be some disagreement in the thread - which car garners more attention when out and about?

Just curious.
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      12-01-2011, 12:20 AM   #25
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Well at least you'll be familiar with the aesthetically pleasing but useless cup-holder design and an undersized fuel-tank.
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      12-01-2011, 08:07 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by mkiv808 View Post
Saeyedoc, since you have both and there seems to be some disagreement in the thread - which car garners more attention when out and about?

Just curious.
I get some compliments on the color of my Cayman (peridot), but not much attention. Haven't had the M3 long enough to tell, but to most I think it just looks like a 3 series.
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      12-01-2011, 10:53 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by a burrito View Post
2. Past Cayman S and a 911S owner here. If you want better clutch shifter feel do these three things and you'll be satisfied; Clutch delete mod, zhp shift knob, a ssk.
If you mean CDV delete, the M3 doesn't have a CDV.
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      12-01-2011, 11:03 AM   #28
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I went from a 997.2 S to the M3, so I figure that I made a choice that you are trying to make right now!

I liked the 911S, but it wore on me after a while. Sure the steering was wonderful, and the shifter was a revelation compared to the M3, but the P-car had so many weaknesses for a $100K car. It was nice on track and at autoX, but it failed on the daily commute. Noisy, rattly and harsh....cramped, no trunk.....

I can't say that I see where you liked the interior of the Porsche. Unless you have full leather, your interior doors are rubber. There are huge gaps all over the dash. (next to the nav, I could see wiring back there) The seats look like Vinyl and the center console has the cheapest plastic I had even seen in a car. Add all the rattles, and it just did not cut it. My wife (who knows nothing about cars) actually laughed when she first got into the 911. She said that as bad as my 2002 M3 was, this was far, far worse. (her fav was the 2001 S4 of all my recent cars)

I also never liked the handling balance of the 911, which can't compete with your cayman! The cayman has a truly sweet chassis, and I don't know how you could find a better one at this price point. In the 911 you spend all of your time trying to figure out how to manage weight front to rear. Fun for a while, but slow.

The technology package on the porsche was also bad beyond belief. I added every tech option, but the stereo was awful, the ipod integration a disaster, and the nav was so-so.

It also goes without saying that the 911 should have power seats standard!

With the M3, I also dislike the shifter. It is the classic BMW feel. Love it or hate it. It also makes the little clunks and rattles that Pcars don't.

The flat 6 in the porsche (at least the one with the DFI) was boring. I could not find the 385 HP. Not sure where it was. Felt very ordinary. The M3's V8 is special........very special. I did not want to miss out on owning one.

What pushed me to the M3, was the fact that in 90% of the driving situations that I am in, it is a better car that the porsche. The only thing I will miss is the delicate and tactile steering. For the fact that it is $30K less than the 911, I think I can cope with the loss!

Just my opinion of course. (I will be buying the 991 chassis in 2 years. Now THAT is a 911!)
I couldn't agree more. I, too, made the switch from a 997 C2S to an e9x M3, and for all the same reasons.
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      12-01-2011, 11:07 AM   #29
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I got way more attention in my Cayman S.
Definitely.

I came from a Cayman S before the M3 and to be honest, I miss my Cayman S. It was a real sports car with the great engine sound on your back and aggressive stock exhaust. I enjoyed driving it. The M3 is obviously more practical and is much more comfortable.
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      12-01-2011, 12:44 PM   #30
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Definitely.

I came from a Cayman S before the M3 and to be honest, I miss my Cayman S. It was a real sports car with the great engine sound on your back and aggressive stock exhaust. I enjoyed driving it. The M3 is obviously more practical and is much more comfortable.
Would you say the M3 is at least 9/10th's the fun? I don't expect to love driving it as much, but would be OK if it were close.
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      12-01-2011, 01:13 PM   #31
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Thanks OP for posting thread and Porsche owners both current and former for the input. It has been on my mind to make the switch to a Cayman or 911S , thinking either would be an upgrade from the m3.
I love the m3 and its very true...the v8 is special. It's not the AMG, where you stomp the pedal and end up facing oncoming traffic. So some will love it, others will hate it...its controversial and we know.

However, I am convinced I will be keeping the m3 and eventually look into a GT3.


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      12-02-2011, 09:18 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by mkiv808 View Post
Would you say the M3 is at least 9/10th's the fun? I don't expect to love driving it as much, but would be OK if it were close.
Hard to quantify this kind of thing, which is so subjective anyway. The Porsche 987 and the E9x M3 are just different cars that are fun in a different way. Just drive them back to back and see for yourself what you think. My guess is that you'll be fine with the switch since you seem to be willing to trade some of the dedicated sports car feeling of the Porsche in order to gain some day-to-day practicality.

I currently have an E90 M3 as well as Lexus IS300 station wagon and was thinking of getting rid of the M3 for a Boxster Spyder. But I'm having second thoughts as I'm not sure I will end up using the Spyder enough to justify the costs.
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      12-03-2011, 11:35 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
If you mean CDV delete, the M3 doesn't have a CDV.
Sorry. I meant clutch spring delete**
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      12-03-2011, 12:35 PM   #34
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I really have to agree with this. I don't think they're anything special when I see them. Cayman is just a boxster with a hard top imo.
I also agree with you.
I have always looked at Boxters/Caymans as poor man's 911, IMHO.
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      12-03-2011, 12:42 PM   #35
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I also agree with you.
I have always looked at Boxters/Caymans as poor man's 911, IMHO.
I hate to admit this but most people think this way including myself. Anytime I have seen a coxster I think its someone who couldn't afford a 911 and had to settle for the bottom end porsche (whether its true or not and I know not always trued)

Something about my personal preference that I like to buy a product that is absolutely fully tuned and at the top of a manufactureres game such as the m3. Engine is tuned almost to the max, its the BEST engine M could actually produce at that time dedicated for this car. Its the best M had to offer in suspension, aero etc. Its basically their best efforts in a car.

The cox is porsches dialed back car. The engine is not allowed to make what it could, its dialed back due to not wanting to approach the 911's. Its in the bottom rung of porsches offerings. Its the "poor mans" porsche. Whereas the m3 is the top rung of the M division in the small sport coupe's.

Just my .02 but the engine in the m3 is just so much more potent and IMO better.
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      12-03-2011, 01:27 PM   #36
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A case of logic vs. emotion.
Those few words so eloquently sum up the BMW M/// vs Porsche argument. Extremely well put.
Congrats and enjoy in good health.
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      12-04-2011, 03:17 AM   #37
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I also agree with you.
I have always looked at Boxters/Caymans as poor man's 911, IMHO.
I have driven several 911's (including a highly modified 997.1S) and could afford them as well. I chose the Cayman because, frankly, I find it more fun to drive. Nothing short of a newer Turbo or GT3 would sway me.
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      12-05-2011, 07:18 PM   #38
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I hate to admit this but most people think this way including myself. Anytime I have seen a coxster I think its someone who couldn't afford a 911 and had to settle for the bottom end porsche (whether its true or not and I know not always trued)

Something about my personal preference that I like to buy a product that is absolutely fully tuned and at the top of a manufactureres game such as the m3. Engine is tuned almost to the max, its the BEST engine M could actually produce at that time dedicated for this car. Its the best M had to offer in suspension, aero etc. Its basically their best efforts in a car.

The cox is porsches dialed back car. The engine is not allowed to make what it could, its dialed back due to not wanting to approach the 911's. Its in the bottom rung of porsches offerings. Its the "poor mans" porsche. Whereas the m3 is the top rung of the M division in the small sport coupe's.

Just my .02 but the engine in the m3 is just so much more potent and IMO better.
With all due respect, you know little of which you speak.

This attitude is held by snobs, Porsche owners included, who have never driven a 987 and never will. The 987 chassis is bar none the best chassis in the Porsche line up. Some foolish marketing decisions/hang-ups, most originating in Germany and afraid of the aforementioned snobs, long held back development of the product line. That has (started to) change with the Boxster Spyder/Cayman R.

My wife's daily is a 0 option non-s 987 Boxster. I wanted every possible performance/tech upgrade before we bought it. After a few days of driving it, it became (and remains) my favorite sports car I've ever driven. The suspension, steering, clutch..just everything about it is, to me, distilled perfection that rivals the near telepathic connection you usually find in the sportsbike world.

I just bought my second E90 m3 yesterday, but it's the practical car, I'll still take the Boxster when I want to head out for a sporty drive.

Like MKIV I've driven many modern Porsches, pretty much everything save the CGT, and could afford many of them. Money no object I'd still pick the 987, even at 911 Turbo prices. (To be fair, the 991 might change that as the packaging/wheelbase changes have made it much closer to MR vs RR then it's ever been before).
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      12-05-2011, 07:39 PM   #39
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I really have to agree with this. I don't think they're anything special when I see them. Cayman is just a boxster with a hard top imo.
+1, Cayman seems like a parts bin queen. (seems, no factual evidence
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      12-05-2011, 08:34 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by odiesback View Post
I also agree with you.
I have always looked at Boxters/Caymans as poor man's 911, IMHO.
Whoa, I'm guessing you've owned and/or tracked both a 911 and a 987?

Otherwise, just like sqweak said, "With all due respect, you know little of which you speak."

I own both an '11 E92 and an '06 CS. Besides sheer power and comfort, my CS is definitely the driver's car. Although I have to admit, I've never owned a 911 and the CS is my first Porsche.

mkiv808, are you on Planet-9?
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      12-05-2011, 11:50 PM   #41
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Just on the basis of mid-engine design (optimal) vs. sticking the engine on the back (not so optimal) it's hard to consider the 987/c7 as inferior, and as Sqweak states, even many 911-philes would concede that the 987/c7 is the superior chassis. It's more amazing still, when you consider it was made as a convertible first.

Unfortunately, the early 986's established that 'poor man's 911' rep because it was built to a price and it became an un-expected hit. But the truth for 911 owners is that without the Boxster and the Cayenne, Porsche would likely have gone bankrupt, and that with engines of the same displacement the c7 would spank a 911.

I'm also not sure any m3 owners should be calling the Cayman S the poor man's 911. The engine in the e9x is basically the same engine as the e60 m5/m6 but with two less cylinders. That sounds compromised to me.

Funnier still was Ateam's comment: "Whereas the m3 is the top rung of the M division in the small sport coupe's". Well up till a year ago that was a 1-car division. So now we're claiming bragging rights over BMW's entry-level car?

So if you're going to reference two dissimilar cars like the 987 and 911, I'm curious how it is that we're not driving the poor man's m5/m6/m6 vert? And where does the m3 rank in relationship to the Porsches? The Cayman S has a higher MSRP than the e92 (not to mention Porsche's ridiculous option pricing). And the Cayman S does almost an identical 'ring time with 100hp less.

I can't disagree with Tech's comments though; a Cayman is pretty much a Boxster with a roof.

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      12-06-2011, 04:20 PM   #42
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Whoa, I'm guessing you've owned and/or tracked both a 911 and a 987?

Otherwise, just like sqweak said, "With all due respect, you know little of which you speak."

I own both an '11 E92 and an '06 CS. Besides sheer power and comfort, my CS is definitely the driver's car. Although I have to admit, I've never owned a 911 and the CS is my first Porsche.

mkiv808, are you on Planet-9?
Man, here's the deal:

I could care less if a cayman is more fun, better than a 911 or whether you
have tracked your cars or not.
I am an unapologetic BMW fan. Love BMW's history, motor sports legacy,
design, and the list goes on.
I am not interested in car comparisons, for that, there are inumerous
sources that I could consult without having to go out and "track" every car
for myself.
even if you hand me a 911, I would sell it in a heartbeat to buy something
else, problably another BMW. For me, performance is only a piece of what
makes a car great, not the whole thing.

A lot of threads have been hijacked in this forum by discussion about other cars.
If I really wanted to know or discuss about other brands I am pretty sure
there are plenty of appropriate forums out there.
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      12-06-2011, 04:53 PM   #43
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Quote:
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Man, here's the deal:

A lot of threads have been hijacked in this forum by discussion about other cars.
If I really wanted to know or discuss about other brands I am pretty sure
there are plenty of appropriate forums out there.
MKIV is the OP. MKIV led the discussion to other cars, specifically to the Porsche he currently drives vs the M3 he is considering. It's cool that you don't care about people's experience with anything outside of the BMW bubble, but it's not your thread, the OP requested it and people with experience with them weighed in.

What he didn't request was a bunch of tired cliches from people with no first hand experience with those cars. If anyone threadjacked, it was you/ateam/etc. If it's not your thing, stop posting in the thread.
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      12-06-2011, 05:23 PM   #44
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I am considering consolidating down to one car. Mostly due to a lack of free time and boring commute, and less so to save more money. I currently have an E90 325i and a Cayman S.

Overall driving impressions were good. It's not to the level of the Cayman S in overall driving experience, obviously, but it is more practical and still fun. It's also more nondescript, which is both good and bad. Unwanted attention is bad, but most people just see it as a 3-series. Call me shallow, but I do like the raves and looks the CS gets.

This car was pretty stripped down. It only had premium and EDC. I kept it on the stiffest setting to get the most of the handling. Felt pretty good. I actually thought the ride quality was a bit better than my 325i, or at least less harsh. I'm sure with non-runflats it would be pretty comfortable for daily driving. At least by my standards.

My questions are as follows:

1. I understand that the tech option allows you to adjust steering feel? Can you tell me a little more about this? I like some weight in my steering, and felt that the steering was a little light for my tastes on this car. Would the adjustable steering give me more weight than in the car I drove?

2. The only thing I hated was the clutch and shifter feel. Especially the shifter, it was IMO abysmal. I've owned a lot of sports cars and that's, by far, the worst I've ever used. Long shifts, loose and felt like rubber. The clutch engagement was a little strange, but I feel like I could get used to it. And besides, I believe the spring mod helps with clutch feel? But I've seen mixed reviews on short shifters. I'm not sure if it's the shifter's fault or the user's? I know some people don't like the feel that a short shifter is all about and prefer a "smoother" shift. I like a really tight, short throw with the feeling of gated metal. The best shifters I've ever used were a Callaway shifter on my C6 Corvette, and the OEM short shifter for the Cayman. Will I be able to find something like that? I would do the ZCP knob too.

3. I posted this question in the deals thread in the buying section, but no one bit. Am I unrealistic to think I can get a CPO 2009 E92 with at least the tech package and EDC and low miles for under 50k? My only other requirements are white exterior and carbon fiber roof (I'd go for the stormtrooper look with black wheels and black spoiler), so it might take some time to find the right car - and I'm fine with that. But I want to keep it in the high 40's or I'll just keep the cars I have for the time being.
Cayman S has the advantage in the following areas:

1. Steering responsiveness (but not by much)
2. Chassis responsiveness
3. Shifter
4. Interior fit and finish when properly optioned (which we know can cost a bundle with Porsche)

M3 has the advantage in the follwoing areas:

1. Engine. Simply one of the finest subjective motors on the planet
2. Ride-handling balance. Not as precise as the Cayman, but you gain a lot in comfort for the small sacrifice in handling
3. Practicality
4. More bang for the buck

The shifter in the M3 sucks. I actually like the clutch a lot. I find it very light and easy to fire off fast shifts. You do get used to the shifter and after a while it doesn't feel rubbery. Again, the lightness helps you fire off fast shifts, but it is definitely the weak point of the car, especially in comaprison to the Cayman.

I was really torn between a cayman S and the M3. In the end I bought the M3 because I would be severely limited without back seats and because a similarly equipped Cayman was over $90k. The M3 proved to be the better value, and the engine is simply marvelous. It is more of a GT cruiser than the Cayman S, which is arguably one of the most balanced sports cars on the planet, so in that sense, it has a bit of a different purpose. I have driven a Cayman S for over 300 miles, and a similar trip in an M3 is much more pleasurable.

Get the competition package. It adds an adjustible suspension which is slightly lowered, a remapped stability program that allows for more slip and spin before intervening, and really hot looking (IMO) wheels.

My previous car was an Audi RS4, and I feel like the M3 is what one would get as the offspring if the RS4 and a Cayman S had sex.

I don't think you will be disappointed overall.

Hope this helps.
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