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      02-04-2012, 05:07 PM   #23
KIS
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I understand you have to take a car to the limit to understand where that limit is and how it reacts, but you can get a very good idea about the M well below its' limits. I also drove a 535 and the differences were obvious. Combine that with the published reviews of the M3, along with detailed commentary on this board and I ordered one. For me, it was easy.
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      02-04-2012, 06:32 PM   #24
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Anyways, I called up the manager, and I told him I need a salesperson who knows about M cars and would like a nicer test drive. He said he totally understood and will fix me up with a person like that. So maybe I'll go on one of the weekdays to TD again ...
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      02-04-2012, 06:39 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foodle View Post
1) All the times that I'd gone for a test drive before buying my M3 (at two different dealerships), the salesperson photocopied my license and handed me the keys with instructions to be back in 20min or so.

2) I'm glad you weren't allowed to push the car, since it was not broken in yet and shouldn't be driven that way. You've got a buddy with an M3, ask him if you can flog his car. At my local dealership, they've had at least one car totaled when a customer turned off DSC during a test drive.

3) If you can't tell the difference between a 535 and M3 within 10 seconds of driving the car, even in sedate city driving, then I'm really not sure what to say to you. I test drove a 535 and knew immediately that anything short of an M5 was out of the question if I went for a 5-series.

4) So what if you know more about the car than the salesperson. With all the info online, if you've read up on a product, this is often the case.
+1 i think he cant feel the difference between 328i and M3
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      02-04-2012, 06:42 PM   #26
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I know a salesman who used to work at BMW of MV who would let you drive the M3 hard. And if you didn't drive it hard, he'd switch seats and show you what the car can do. Sadly, he went on to a different dealership. He's a die-hard M guy with tons of passion for the cars. If it wasn't for him, I'd still be driving japanese cars.
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      02-04-2012, 06:45 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by radiantm3 View Post
I know a salesman who used to work at BMW of MV who would let you drive the M3 hard. And if you didn't drive it hard, he'd switch seats and show you what the car can do. Sadly, he went on to a different dealership. He's a die-hard M guy with tons of passion for the cars. If it wasn't for him, I'd still be driving japanese cars.
Thats exactly what I mean. I need a guy like that What ever happened to sales folks? I thought these guys were sharks ...
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      02-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #28
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When I was doing the car shopping thing, I was not pleased with the CA I was dealing with and was very polite but honest with the manager about it. So the manager paired me up with another CA, whom I liked much better. I could have just purchased the car elsewhere, but it was important to me to buy locally. At the end of the day, everything worked out, but this was only because I spoke up. M models are not exactly ordinary cars, so you deserve to work with someone who is fully informed about the product. Explain to the manager that the CA seems very pleasant and that you are not trying to take the sale away from said person, but that you would feel much more comfortable working with someone who is more knowledgeable about the M3. If this place wants your business, they will do what it takes to make you happy.
What she said.

Also, I know a CA at Peter Pan as well who will let drive a Used M3 a little more spirited but only a used M3 as the new ones you can't take it over 5000 RPMs unless it has over 1200 miles. PM me if you need the name of the CA.
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      02-04-2012, 08:01 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cacofonix View Post
Hi All,

All in all, I came away with the feeling that the 535i and the M3 are pretty much the same (which is BS of course) - but that's the way my test drive went. Of course, I tried shifting and revving on the M3 and the engine sounds great.

...

After the test drive I am like, meh, they both feel more or less the same, with the 535i obviously much bigger and more roomier.

Kind of sad ...
Wow! I have a 535 and an M3 and they are completely different animals, not even close. You need to find yourself another dealership and do a real test drive. And you've got to push that little M button, the default settings are very tame otherwise.

Also I never ever depend on the SA to know anything, I always do my own research.
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      02-04-2012, 09:21 PM   #30
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I don;t know any dealership that would let you break the speed limit so you can see what the car will do. You wreck over the limit and it could be a nightmare insurance claim. Do your research first.

Also, cross shopping an M3 and a 535i makes no sense. Not the same at all.
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      02-04-2012, 09:48 PM   #31
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OP, I can't blame you. I had a very similar test drive (even more sedate than yours, to be honest) before I placed an order for my M3. I came away feeling ambivalent, as the E9x M3 is rather sedated and quiet at low speeds. However, I did enough research and reading that I knew it was the car for me, and I went ahead with the order. It was the best decision I ever made!

If you are genuinely concerned, see if you can find someone on the forum to take you for a little spirited drive in their M3. I think that will convince you fairly quickly!
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      02-04-2012, 10:10 PM   #32
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There is an issue here....
OP your to damn nice. However thats not the issue lmao...

THE ISSUE is she does not know SHIT about vehicles, WHY IS SHE WORKING at a place that sells cars. You need to drive that vehicle in its proper way...so forget about how she feels about it. Ask for another person who knows more about the vehicle.

Ciao.
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      02-04-2012, 10:14 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donovan View Post
There is an issue here....
OP your to damn nice. However thats not the issue lmao...

THE ISSUE is she does not know SHIT about vehicles, WHY IS SHE WORKING at a place that sells cars. You need to drive that vehicle in its proper way...so forget about how she feels about it. Ask for another person who knows more about the vehicle.

Ciao.
Thanks Donovan. Yes, that was pretty much the case! I called up the manager after the test drive and asked for another test drive with someone who knows about M cars. He told me he completely understands and will do so. I need to call them again to fix up my next appointment. I think all in all, at least the manager + the people have been nice to me.
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      02-04-2012, 10:28 PM   #34
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I've been to that Mtn View BMW dealersip. The associate i dealt with, was more than happy, excited really, to let me push the M3. He gushed over all the details, and had a blast being out in it. Gotta find the right person, I suppose. I can send you his name if you like.
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      02-04-2012, 10:54 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cacofonix View Post
Thanks Donovan. Yes, that was pretty much the case! I called up the manager after the test drive and asked for another test drive with someone who knows about M cars. He told me he completely understands and will do so. I need to call them again to fix up my next appointment. I think all in all, at least the manager + the people have been nice to me.

Good good, you cannot go easy on these people. You have to take charge of the situation or you will get WORKED and end up walking about with something that... A. You don't want months down the road or B. will break because you didn't forcefully evaluate it enough in a maintenance aspect. I have messed up enough to know how to walk into a dealership now to gain respect and be understood that I am not a "new guy."
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      02-04-2012, 11:19 PM   #36
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Coming from a guy that has owned both cars; it's a completely different animal. You should be able to tell the difference even after a short ride. I owned my 535 for less than 6 months before I traded for the M3 both times my dealer let me take each car out for as long as I needed by myself.

I modded the 535 and it was fast a had tons of low end grunt, but the car felt too big for me. It felt like I was missing something so instead of modding the 535 even further I dumped it for the best sedan out in the market period.

Sounds like you need to find another dealership - or really drive each car for a lengthy period of time. I needed four doors so I went with the E90. My wife loved the 535 and hates the M3 with a passion.
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      02-04-2012, 11:22 PM   #37
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These two cars are SO different that you should have got it even after driving them for a minute.
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      02-05-2012, 01:10 AM   #38
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I actually bought my two M3s (E46 and E92) without having test driven them. (I must by a fan boy .)

I have to say that my appreciation of the cars grew with time. The first time I drove them was fun, but I did not get the full appreciation the cars deserved. I my opinion, you need to live with an ///M for a little while to fully appreciate it.

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      02-05-2012, 01:23 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foodle View Post
3) If you can't tell the difference between a 535 and M3 within 10 seconds of driving the car, even in sedate city driving, then I'm really not sure what to say to you. I test drove a 535 and knew immediately that anything short of an M5 was out of the question if I went for a 5-series.
Exactly. I remember my first test drive in an E92M3.

Got the key from the dealer, he mentioned "Notice, the gas tank is empty, if you want to drive for a longer time, please fill it up!". Second step, go into that car, my wife on the passengers seat. Start the engine: Sold!

It is really that easy. If you do not feeling it, get the 535i. Its ok, I have one by myself also and it's a great car.
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      02-05-2012, 01:41 AM   #40
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Here's my suggestion - rent one for a day or 2

Otherwise it's pretty difficult to appreciate the car in a short test drive; unless the test drive is done in laguna seca.
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      02-05-2012, 02:11 AM   #41
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Without getting anyone in trouble, I had a test drive for the ages last summer at a Northern California BMW dealer. I was still on the fence looking at CPO M3s and M5s and went to take another try of a M5 this dealer had. Not too far from the dealership is a road that parallels the highway but is separated by a sound barrier that is probably the better part of 10 feet tall and the other side of the road is just a large plot of farmland.

My salesman took me to it and told me to really open it. He implored me to drive well into the triple digits on this otherwise completely empty piece of road (it was straight and had no side roads/entrances to worry about.) After I was up into the arrest me speeds and getting near the end of the road he told me to take my hands off the wheel and stand on the brakes which I did with a bit of trepidation. As he knew, the car didn't waver an inch off center during the manuever. I was sold on the idea of the M5 right there! Fortunately for me they didn't have a color combo I liked and I decided to forego the HUD toy for a car that would be better for my occasional track jaunts.

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I don't think any dealer would like the idea of you going over 80mph in one of their cars on a public road.
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      02-06-2012, 12:01 PM   #42
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You are buying the car. Man up and say you want to talk to someone who knows what they're talking about. They are a SALES business. If nobody knows, do elsewhere.
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      02-06-2012, 01:29 PM   #43
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I have been doing some shopping lately and have been to 6 different dealerships and I have yet to speak to a salesman that knows half of what I know about these cars. It is simply amazing!

Even if I wasn't a "car guy" and I was just trying to make my living selling cars (or anything else for that matter) I would educate myself and know every possible thing about the product I'm selling. Right?
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      02-06-2012, 01:47 PM   #44
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Of what I can remember of Mountain View, there aren't really many roads that you can enjoy the M3 in. I can fully understand you not feeling the difference, especially if you are driving in the local area under 45-55mph. I think it is rather easy to drive around under 3000rpm and feel like the M3 is really boring.

Still odd that the M3 didn't strike you as very different, or unique. Are you sure it wasn't a 335is with an M badge?
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