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      02-06-2012, 01:57 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Nine View Post
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?
Actually at low speeds and low rpms, the 335is can "feel" faster than the M3. IMO.
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      02-06-2012, 02:02 PM   #46
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Actually at low speeds and low rpms, the 335is can "feel" faster than the M3. IMO.
It's not about feeling faster, it's about feeling a difference. My point was that an M3 should drive nothing like a 535i, if anything a vehicle with a similar style engine would net the same feeling, hence the reference to the 335i.

Last edited by Nine; 02-06-2012 at 02:09 PM. Reason: net sales LOL, pretty good word swap.
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      02-06-2012, 02:06 PM   #47
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I would just buy the M3.

Now...
Salesperson was very nice, letting you drive the car at 80mph. She should know about the car, but what are you going do... Most sale advisors don't know about the cars they sell. I actually feel bad for her!!!! and at least was honest. Would rather have that than a cocky asshole trying to push a sale.

I would do my research (starting in this forum), which is going to be more reliable than the advise from any salesperson and just buy the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cacofonix View Post
Hi All,

I went to the Mountain View, CA (Bay Area) BMW dealership today and I test drove two cars: 535i and the M3.

Each car I was allowed to test drive around 7 - 10 minutes. The salesperson did not know squat about either car. I expected her to show me the different settings (Drivelogic, EDC, the power button, "M mode" etc. etc.) and she said people usually drive with everything set to default and I could tell for sure she did not know anything about those settings. She did not know what DSC was and said "I always keep *DCS* on". I also wanted to take turns at high speed, which I did not.

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.

I then met her manager and requested for a longer test drive (around 20 mins - 1/2 hour) and I told him I wanted to push the car. But since she was standing next to me, I could not say I wanted a different salesperson who was more knowledgeable. So, it is going to be a test drive with the same person, just a little longer a few days down the line - I don't know how much it can help. Also, when I was trying to push the car, I could tell she was kind of scared, and she was holding on to the sides of the car (max. speed I did was 80 mph on the freeway). She's clearly not a car person.

How do I sort this situation out? Do I contact another dealership so I get a different salesperson?

To be fair to her, I want to add that she was very nice and treated me well and tried to answer all my questions. Just that she did not know much about either car very well.

Considering what an awesome car the M3 is, I think dealerships should have one dedicated "M guy" around to take people on test drives ...

The effect of the test drive on me was this:
Before test drive I think to myself, the M3 is such an awesome car, I am going to get it for sure and the test drive will be like driving on crack.

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 ...
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      02-06-2012, 02:16 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cacofonix View Post

Considering what an awesome car the M3 is, I think dealerships should have one dedicated "M guy" around to take people on test drives
That would be a lonely guy. It's not everyday dealerships are selling M's.

By the way, how hard do you really want to push an M3 you're seriously considering that's still in the break-in period?
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      02-06-2012, 02:38 PM   #49
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Big fail on the first try...hopefully the 2nd puts you over the edge and you figure out what you were missing. Good luck.
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      02-06-2012, 04:27 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cacofonix View Post
Hi All,

I went to the Mountain View, CA (Bay Area) BMW dealership today and I test drove two cars: 535i and the M3.

Each car I was allowed to test drive around 7 - 10 minutes. The salesperson did not know squat about either car. I expected her to show me the different settings (Drivelogic, EDC, the power button, "M mode" etc. etc.) and she said people usually drive with everything set to default and I could tell for sure she did not know anything about those settings. She did not know what DSC was and said "I always keep *DCS* on". I also wanted to take turns at high speed, which I did not.

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.

I then met her manager and requested for a longer test drive (around 20 mins - 1/2 hour) and I told him I wanted to push the car. But since she was standing next to me, I could not say I wanted a different salesperson who was more knowledgeable. So, it is going to be a test drive with the same person, just a little longer a few days down the line - I don't know how much it can help. Also, when I was trying to push the car, I could tell she was kind of scared, and she was holding on to the sides of the car (max. speed I did was 80 mph on the freeway). She's clearly not a car person.

How do I sort this situation out? Do I contact another dealership so I get a different salesperson?

To be fair to her, I want to add that she was very nice and treated me well and tried to answer all my questions. Just that she did not know much about either car very well.

Considering what an awesome car the M3 is, I think dealerships should have one dedicated "M guy" around to take people on test drives ...

The effect of the test drive on me was this:
Before test drive I think to myself, the M3 is such an awesome car, I am going to get it for sure and the test drive will be like driving on crack.

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 ...
I drive both the 535i x-drive and M3 on a weekly basis. Even though my 5-series has AWD, they are nothing alike. Completely different driving experience. I think you know why as well. You have to push the M3 to really experience it. Try it and you'll get a much bigger grin on your face in the M3. Happens to me every time. Even when my 535i has a JB4.
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      02-06-2012, 04:33 PM   #51
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1. Don't bother taking a test drive car on the highway. Waste of time
2. Ask for someone more knowledgeable about M cars
3. Ask for someone that knows some curvy roads that are fun without being dangerous.
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      02-06-2012, 05:30 PM   #52
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Waste of time! Especially sales people. A good sales person would know exactly what the car has to offer. unfortunatley most BMW sales people dont know squat about the cars there selling. To them in their eyes its just another sale.
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      02-06-2012, 05:59 PM   #53
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OP...if you came away thinking they feel the same then that is entirely on you and had NOTHING to do with the sales woman. In default settings, both cars are still light years apart. Shame on you if you were looking for an invitation to beat on the car.

I usually map out where I want to go on a test drive. Obviously I don't warn them that I'm about to flog their car and I usually get some tire smoke. As long as there aren't any other cars around and you pick your spots you should be ok. I've never met a dealer who didn't encourage "some" enthusiastic driving.

Find another dealer and push the car as far as you are comfortable, in a remote area, and don't worry about what the salesperson says or thinks. Don't be bashful. They'll get over it.
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      02-06-2012, 06:39 PM   #54
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OP...if you came away thinking they feel the same then that is entirely on you and had NOTHING to do with the sales woman. In default settings, both cars are still light years apart.
+1 I did test drives of the M3 and 535(x)i at BMWCCA Ofest 2010. I had been toying with the idea of getting an M3, but this was my ever first test drive of one. The 535 was added just because that's all that was still available in cars for signup. Anyway, even without pushing very hard, is was easy to tell the difference, and I probably "knew" within a few minutes of test driving the M3, that I was getting this car. That was a test drive with just me and my wife without anyone showing me all the settings, so I imagine everything was still default.

If you would have had this reaction comparing a M3 and a 335is, I could maybe understand, but if a M3 and a 535 really felt that similar to you, I too would question if the M3 is a good fit. They are very different, and any test drive, outside of backing down a driveway, should show it.
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      02-06-2012, 07:03 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cacofonix View Post
Hi All,

I went to the Mountain View, CA (Bay Area) BMW dealership today and I test drove two cars: 535i and the M3.

Each car I was allowed to test drive around 7 - 10 minutes. The salesperson did not know squat about either car. I expected her to show me the different settings (Drivelogic, EDC, the power button, "M mode" etc. etc.) and she said people usually drive with everything set to default and I could tell for sure she did not know anything about those settings. She did not know what DSC was and said "I always keep *DCS* on". I also wanted to take turns at high speed, which I did not.

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.

I then met her manager and requested for a longer test drive (around 20 mins - 1/2 hour) and I told him I wanted to push the car. But since she was standing next to me, I could not say I wanted a different salesperson who was more knowledgeable. So, it is going to be a test drive with the same person, just a little longer a few days down the line - I don't know how much it can help. Also, when I was trying to push the car, I could tell she was kind of scared, and she was holding on to the sides of the car (max. speed I did was 80 mph on the freeway). She's clearly not a car person.

How do I sort this situation out? Do I contact another dealership so I get a different salesperson?

To be fair to her, I want to add that she was very nice and treated me well and tried to answer all my questions. Just that she did not know much about either car very well.

Considering what an awesome car the M3 is, I think dealerships should have one dedicated "M guy" around to take people on test drives ...

The effect of the test drive on me was this:
Before test drive I think to myself, the M3 is such an awesome car, I am going to get it for sure and the test drive will be like driving on crack.

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 ...
Ask for Vlaho at BMW of Mountain View. He owns and drives an M3. He MAY not be able to answer every question posted on these forums, but he'll be able to answer more than the average poster.

He'll usually do you well, too. Does MW still have the 2008 M3 with only 6k miles on it?
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      02-06-2012, 07:16 PM   #56
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Forget that salesperson. Email Raj at PoojaryR@autonation.com (internet sales rep for Mt. View BMW). He was the guy that responded to my internet request (I had the deal done without ever actually speaking to him). When I went on the test drive with him he informed me the car was still in the break in period and asked me to maintain certain RPM levels. After I drove the car he then took me for another drive with him at the wheel and let me tell you he is a car guy! You'll have a much better experience with him.
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      02-06-2012, 08:25 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by TVMA Doc View Post
Ask for Vlaho at BMW of Mountain View. He owns and drives an M3. He MAY not be able to answer every question posted on these forums, but he'll be able to answer more than the average poster.

He'll usually do you well, too. Does MW still have the 2008 M3 with only 6k miles on it?
Are you talking about the red one parked in the corner? No, I did not see it when I went there ...

Thanks for the name, I will ask Yong (the manager) to get me one of these people. Nothing like talking about the car to someone who actually owns one.
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      02-06-2012, 08:31 PM   #58
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Yeah, many dealerships are loathe to let you flog a new car and I laud those with that policy. On the other hand they will often let you put a used car through its paces. This is what I did with the M3 because I wanted to redline it. Another thought is that sales people can normally sniff out someone who is legitimately shopping with blood in their eye versus someone who is just kicking tires and will usually see to it that the former gets all the test drive they need to seal the deal.

There is little comparison between the 535 and the M3 in terms of fun. The roomier 535 is probably in most ways a better family car but when you get ornery it doesn't deliver anything close to the M. My thought is that you have not been on a test drive. Yet.
Vlaho was actually egging me on to flog the car a bit more. He was a bit dissappointed that I didn't just nail it when returning from 237 and making the left to return to the dealer.

I just don't feel right "flogging" someone else's car-I did that at Weatherford where they weren't that nice to me.
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      02-06-2012, 08:32 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by cacofonix View Post
Are you talking about the red one parked in the corner? No, I did not see it when I went there ...

Thanks for the name, I will ask Yong (the manager) to get me one of these people. Nothing like talking about the car to someone who actually owns one.
No, they had a white with the CF roof that had just over 6k miles on it. I was shocked that someone would return a 3 year old M3 with that few miles. They took the hit for the depreciation, why not keep the car? It's almost brand new.

They had three when I was there, the red 'vert, I think a silver coupe with a moon roof and the white coupe.
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      02-06-2012, 08:35 PM   #60
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No, they had a white with the CF roof that had just over 6k miles on it. I was shocked that someone would return a 3 year old M3 with that few miles. They took the hit for the depreciation, why not keep the car? It's almost brand new.

They had three when I was there, the red 'vert, I think a silver coupe with a moon roof and the white coupe.
When I went there, they got me a deep blue (not sure what the official color is called) 2012 DCT M3 from some other dealership. Apparently they did not have any on their lot ...
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      02-06-2012, 08:56 PM   #61
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The thing you probably won't experience on any test drive is spinning the engine above 5k RPM. The M3 just feels like a regular sports coupe...quick. But take it above 5k RPM its just exciting and adrenaline pumping.

Actually, I wasn't sold on the M3 until I got to test drive one in Korea. It had 10k miles on it and the sales guy couldn't really speak english. So I thrashed it and I knew I had to get one at that point.
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      02-06-2012, 09:07 PM   #62
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The thing you probably won't experience on any test drive is spinning the engine above 5k RPM. The M3 just feels like a regular sports coupe...quick. But take it above 5k RPM its just exciting and adrenaline pumping.

Actually, I wasn't sold on the M3 until I got to test drive one in Korea. It had 10k miles on it and the sales guy couldn't really speak english. So I thrashed it and I knew I had to get one at that point.
Once you started trashing it, you learned the only 3 english words he knew..."Holy Shit Batman"
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      02-06-2012, 09:23 PM   #63
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Once you started trashing it, you learned the only 3 english words he knew..."Holy Shit Batman"
He definitely looked scared and had a death grip on the door pull...
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      02-06-2012, 09:36 PM   #64
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+1 I did test drives of the M3 and 535(x)i at BMWCCA Ofest 2010. I had been toying with the idea of getting an M3, but this was my ever first test drive of one. The 535 was added just because that's all that was still available in cars for signup. Anyway, even without pushing very hard, is was easy to tell the difference, and I probably "knew" within a few minutes of test driving the M3, that I was getting this car. That was a test drive with just me and my wife without anyone showing me all the settings, so I imagine everything was still default.

If you would have had this reaction comparing a M3 and a 335is, I could maybe understand, but if a M3 and a 535 really felt that similar to you, I too would question if the M3 is a good fit. They are very different, and any test drive, outside of backing down a driveway, should show it.
I disagree. You can feel the difference backing down a driveway......
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      02-06-2012, 10:00 PM   #65
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I was underwhelmed when I test drove the M3. I was hesitant to push a vehicle that I was unfamiliar with on city streets. I was determined to purchase the m3 based partly on research and mostly on emotion- the test drive was a formality. I find myself appreciating the vehicle's capabilities more with each mile I drive.

I suggest the OP better defines his vehicle requirements. It would be a mistake to purchase the M3 if one required a conservative sedan with nice appointments and more room.
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      02-07-2012, 04:21 AM   #66
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Same story here bro. My car was an 07 Dodge Charger SRT8. I went to Nick Alexander BMW and test drove an M3 expecting to tp blow my SRT8 away, the test drive sucked, couldnt use M button, settings were not done right, and couldnt really even open her up... I was so disappointed I decided to stay with my SRT8. A few months later, I test drove another one at Long Beach BMW and this guy was awesome. Had everything set up right, and found some good places where I can hammer it. Then I definitly felt the difference from my SRT8. 2 hrs later my SRT8 is parked in a lot and I'm driving home in my M3....
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