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      07-11-2012, 02:22 PM   #1
SupremePower3335
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Test Drove the M3 Competition..

Hi Guys,
I have a 335XI Sedan. That is our family car and more for the wife so I am looking for something for myself. I am cross-shopping 997.2 and the Competition M3.

Well I finally drove it on Sat. While the sound was "intoxicating" and look was amazing it wasnt a car that I was like WOW I need to have this..In a way the steering wheel felt loose not tight like my 335 but that could have been b/c we kept it at the lightest settings. B/C we drove it on the local highway we just not get it up to speed..Anyway it was nice and everything but when I looked at the price - it was almost exactly what the 911S was..now if I looked at the M3 MY 2008/2009, the 2006 997.1 are similarly priced so that's where I am kind of stuck..If I want to buy the newer 997.2 I am going to have to wait a while while I can get a MY '08/'09 and save myself $30K or get and older 911 and risk major repairs (eg IMS)...I have to say when a drove the 911S, it was amazing..the handling, the interior etc..One thing that really bugs me is that a 3 Series and M3 interior is almost the same (minus the Headrest)..I love the 911's interior..anyway back to the drive..

Anyway I know this is a M3 forum so I may get bashed but I am interested in your comments/opinions - FLAME SUIT ON
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      07-11-2012, 07:35 PM   #2
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I am not going to bash you but i will say this. I know how you feel. You know why? The first time i drove an E9X M3 was when I had my 335i and I thought exactly the same thing....whats the big deal with this car? the steering feels better o the 335i, i felt more connected to the ground with it..yadayada. It wasnt until I drove the second time around without any time limit and i got to know the car and knew what to look for when playing with the M settings. Now i drive any car, a Honda, the 335i or the C300 and the M is ahead of the game. While all the other cars feel quick and smooth and handle pretty well, there is something TOTALLY different with the M's driving characteristic. It seems endless and its when you really push it, is when you feel how solid the chassis is, how much more the engine wants to rev without feeling "slow" or "sluggish" from whomping on it. Then theres the handling, once you get the settings you like, it really gives you confidence that the 3 series just cant offer.
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      07-12-2012, 01:18 AM   #3
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The steering feels loose because of Servotronic. On the whole, the M3 has better steering accuracy and feel but when you first turn the wheel off center it does feel like there's a slight disconnect or delay that isn't there on cars that don't have Servotronic. We had an E90 M3 for 9 months and I drove it several thousand miles and I never stopped being annoyed by that.
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      07-12-2012, 01:42 AM   #4
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Hi,
Welcome to the M club (btw you are already there, you just don't know it yet).
When considering what to choose between the 911 and the M3 (especially the sedan), you are looking at two different animals. If you are are comparing the two, you are wrong. When it comes to performance (handling, agility, braking) 911 wins hands down. If you consider practical aplications in real world, M3 demolishes the 911. The interior room, lugage, engine flexibility, drivability, and maintainance price ... the M wins.

Again its what you are looking for. There is no right or wrong answer. I'll stick to my M any day of any month.

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      07-12-2012, 04:25 AM   #5
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      07-12-2012, 07:37 AM   #6
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Not that hard of a decision...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SupremePower3335 View Post
Hi Guys,
I have a 335XI Sedan. That is our family car and more for the wife so I am looking for something for myself. I am cross-shopping 997.2 and the Competition M3.

Well I finally drove it on Sat. While the sound was "intoxicating" and look was amazing it wasnt a car that I was like WOW I need to have this..In a way the steering wheel felt loose not tight like my 335 but that could have been b/c we kept it at the lightest settings. B/C we drove it on the local highway we just not get it up to speed..Anyway it was nice and everything but when I looked at the price - it was almost exactly what the 911S was..now if I looked at the M3 MY 2008/2009, the 2006 997.1 are similarly priced so that's where I am kind of stuck..If I want to buy the newer 997.2 I am going to have to wait a while while I can get a MY '08/'09 and save myself $30K or get and older 911 and risk major repairs (eg IMS)...I have to say when a drove the 911S, it was amazing..the handling, the interior etc..One thing that really bugs me is that a 3 Series and M3 interior is almost the same (minus the Headrest)..I love the 911's interior..anyway back to the drive..

Anyway I know this is a M3 forum so I may get bashed but I am interested in your comments/opinions - FLAME SUIT ON
It has taken me the better part of 4yrs now to understand what the M3 is all about. When they came out I too questioned who would pay the premium when you could have a modded 335-something that was likely faster/quicker on the street and has similar build/interior/features/etc. But if you read all the M3 supplemental manuals and go through the M3 study guides(there are links to both here) you can get a better understanding of all the differences between those two. I think the differences are not that advertised to the casual shopper(and it has been 20yrs now since I've owned a BMW). The 335s are nice but they are not special. If you ever get the chance to take a class at the BMW Performance Center in SC you'd likely get the chance to push both where the differences are amplified. They are very different cars.

On to the 911s - good cars as well. We have kids so that restricts a 911/997 to "toy" status here, not as flexible for me. Also, having had a 996 for a short time, I've lost interest in the Porsche cars for now. I'm sure the 997.2s are better but the 996 was just not special in any way, especially with an interior that was probably designed by an intern at Ford. Short of a GT3-something I guess I'm stuck in the older 964/993 cars. To each his own here.

Also look at where BMW went with the new M5 and you can sense the direction the next M3 will take. Granted I don't want a 100% snarling track toy as my daily driver car but having one that I can track and have fun with is important to me today, wasn't in the past. It wouldn't hurt my feelings if the M3 were a little more subtle in the styling department but then again I'm about the driving experience and not the visual presence. I think this generation M3 is pretty special, does just about anything you can think of and seems to have a great service record as well, no matter how its used. I've(finally) ordered one and can't wait for it to get here. Good luck with your decision.
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      07-12-2012, 07:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupremePower3335 View Post
While the sound was "intoxicating" and look was amazing it wasnt a car that I was like WOW I need to have this.
Did you ever get the rpms to 7000+?

That's where the magic is, and if you haven't revved it up there, you'll likely never get what the M3 is all about.
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      07-12-2012, 08:12 AM   #8
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Thx everyone for your opinions and insight..it has definitely given me more to think about..
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      07-12-2012, 08:43 AM   #9
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If you test drove an M3 the same way you test drive any other car (including a 335i), you definitely won't see what it's all about. You need to drive it on some twisty back roads and never let the revs drop below 4000 (and also hopefully be a decently good driver who knows how to get something out of the car but won't overdo it on public roads).

If only dealerships had mini tracks for test driving M cars....
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      07-12-2012, 09:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupremePower3335 View Post
Thx everyone for your opinions and insight..it has definitely given me more to think about..
I test drove an M3 in 2008 when they first arrived, and I drove a 335xi to that test drive. At the time I owned an E39 M5.

So first impression of the M3 on my way to some back roads was that it was rather sluggish.. free revving, but felt like it lacked the oomph down low of the 2 aforementioned cars.

Got myself out of the city, built the revs up, and fell in love.

So unless you ran the M3 from 5k(ish) all the way up to redline, and felt it through some twisties, then there's no way you experienced what the car is about. You can't make an informed decision until this occurs.

The 335xi I previously mentioned now has over 80k miles. It's a tank. I've driven it probably 15-20k of those miles. It's an enjoyable car, but no comparison to the M3.

It all depends on what you want -- if you want zippy around town, a la 335, then the M3 isn't your car.

If you live for the weekend back road jaunt or track day, and you enjoy working an engine to access the performance, then you've got to give the M3 further consideration.

Steering weight in the 335 is indeed much heavier than the M3 in the lightest settings. Sport plus (M Mode setting) is probably about equal weight to the 335, but feels so much better. Far more communicative.

I purchased my M3 last fall, and I went with an '08. $20k+ less expensive than a Competition Package.

I have no experience with 911's, so can't speak on those. Good luck with the decision..
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      07-12-2012, 09:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan
If you test drove an M3 the same way you test drive any other car (including a 335i), you definitely won't see what it's all about. You need to drive it on some twisty back roads and never let the revs drop below 4000 (and also hopefully be a decently good driver who knows how to get something out of the car but won't overdo it on public roads).

If only dealerships had mini tracks for test driving M cars....
Mini back tracks...

When I got my M, the sale Guy took me on a "mini back track" it obviously wasn't a track, but it was a canyon with some serious turns and corners. The sales guy told me he only test drives the Ms back there... And three hours after the test drive I found myself driving the car home.. Lol
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      07-12-2012, 09:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superfly_M3 View Post
Hi,
Welcome to the M club (btw you are already there, you just don't know it yet).
When considering what to choose between the 911 and the M3 (especially the sedan), you are looking at two different animals. If you are are comparing the two, you are wrong. When it comes to performance (handling, agility, braking) 911 wins hands down. If you consider practical aplications in real world, M3 demolishes the 911. The interior room, lugage, engine flexibility, drivability, and maintainance price ... the M wins.

Again its what you are looking for. There is no right or wrong answer. I'll stick to my M any day of any month.

GL
Why do people say that? "Especially the sedan"?

You mean the lighter, stiffer sedan? That one?

I gotta post up my recent canyon video in my somehow completely "different animal".
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      07-12-2012, 10:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Why do people say that? "Especially the sedan"?

You mean the lighter, stiffer sedan? That one?

I gotta post up my recent canyon video in my somehow completely "different animal".
Given the content of the post, pretty sure that was a POSITIVE comment since he goes on to talk about interior room, practicality, etc, in which areas the M3 (yes, ESPECIALLY the sedan) compares very favorably to the 911....
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      07-12-2012, 10:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
If you test drove an M3 the same way you test drive any other car (including a 335i), you definitely won't see what it's all about. You need to drive it on some twisty back roads and never let the revs drop below 4000 (and also hopefully be a decently good driver who knows how to get something out of the car but won't overdo it on public roads).
If only dealerships had mini tracks for test driving M cars....

Quote:
Originally Posted by LM3 View Post
I test drove an M3 in 2008 when they first arrived, and I drove a 335xi to that test drive. At the time I owned an E39 M5.
So first impression of the M3 on my way to some back roads was that it was rather sluggish.. free revving, but felt like it lacked the oomph down low of the 2 aforementioned cars.
Got myself out of the city, built the revs up, and fell in love.
So unless you ran the M3 from 5k(ish) all the way up to redline, and felt it through some twisties, then there's no way you experienced what the car is about. You can't make an informed decision until this occurs.
The 335xi I previously mentioned now has over 80k miles. It's a tank. I've driven it probably 15-20k of those miles. It's an enjoyable car, but no comparison to the M3.
It all depends on what you want -- if you want zippy around town, a la 335, then the M3 isn't your car.
If you live for the weekend back road jaunt or track day, and you enjoy working an engine to access the performance, then you've got to give the M3 further consideration.
Steering weight in the 335 is indeed much heavier than the M3 in the lightest settings. Sport plus (M Mode setting) is probably about equal weight to the 335, but feels so much better. Far more communicative.
I purchased my M3 last fall, and I went with an '08. $20k+ less expensive than a Competition Package.
I have no experience with 911's, so can't speak on those. Good luck with the decision..
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Are you reading me!!!!
Attachment 720053


Yes I think that's what the issue was..on city roads I could not take it too it's full potential..I am going to talk to SA and see what I can arrange.

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Originally Posted by Nine View Post
You start off with some ficticious M3 model "M3 Competition" - What the hell is the M3 Competition? Better yet..
Clearly you are a$$..you are part of this forum, own an M3 and don't know what the M3 Competition Package is?? I'm glad you have no opinion b/c other than being a jerk you have no valuable input..

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      07-12-2012, 10:39 AM   #15
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Honestly the M3 has a Jekyll and Hyde personality. When I first drove one I thought it was rather pedestrian, simple, almost boring. M-DCT was in S1 and D and it just bumped along like a teenager going "Yeah, sure, whatever..." In a weird way it almost felt like I was annoying it!

...I originally was underwhelmed. Then I started playing with the suspension, "power" button, and "M mode." It IMMEDIATELY changed the car, it yearned to go forward, strained even and it honestly seemed the more I pushed it the more rewarding the car became. Now it felt like that underwhelmed teenager took a couple too many adderall and was ready to go! You push the car then and it is almost like "oh, so that is how you want to play it?! Fine let's go!" It pushes you more and more. Whether it is in a corner or anticipating the shift lights, it and you just want more. I can't tell you how many times I've approached decreasing radius offramps, hit the M button, blipped down to 2nd or 3rd and powered through the corner kicking the ass out slightly on power, smiling the whole way...when through, hit the M button again and just cruise like nothing happened.

IMO it is the best split personality car out there. That is why it is loved as THE "all around" sports car.
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      07-12-2012, 10:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Honestly the M3 has a Jekyll and Hyde personality. When I first drove one I thought it was rather pedestrian, simple, almost boring. M-DCT was in S1 and D and it just bumped along like a teenager going "Yeah, sure, whatever..." In a weird way it almost felt like I was annoying it!...I originally was underwhelmed. Then I started playing with the suspension, "power" button, and "M mode." It IMMEDIATELY changed the car, it urged to go forward and it honestly seemed the more I pushed it the more rewarding the car became. Now it felt like that underwhelmed teenager took a couple too many adderall and was ready to go! You push the car then and it is almost like "oh, so that is how you want to play it?! Fine lets go!" It pushes you more and more. Whether it is in a corner or anticipating the shift lights, it just wants more. I can't tell you how many times I've approached decreasing radius offramps, hit the M button, blipped down to 2nd or 3rd and powered through the corner smiling the whole way...when I'm through, hit the M button again and just cruise like nothing happened.
IMO it is the best split personality car out there. That is why it is loved as the "all around" sports car.
thx PutterMcGavin, that is EXACTLY the feedback I was looking for ....perhaps I just did not give it a fair shake..my lack of understanding of the settings did not help..I was just too excited..I am probably going to go back and take my time..
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      07-12-2012, 10:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
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thx PutterMcGavin, that is EXACTLY the feedback I was looking for ....perhaps I just did not give it a fair shake..my lack of understanding of the settings did not help..I was just too excited..I am probably going to go back and take my time..
Glad I could help!

Next time you drive one put EDC in the second mode (firmest), M-DCT in S5 (if equipped), DCT in MDM mode and grab it by the scruff and DRIVE it. The car won't reward you if you don't reward it with what it wants!
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      07-12-2012, 10:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Glad I could help!

Next time you drive one put EDC in the second mode (firmest), M-DCT in S5 (if equipped), DCT in MDM mode and grab it by the scruff and DRIVE it. The car won't reward you if you don't reward it with what it wants!
Fyi, if you test drive a non-ZCP M3, I'd use EDC Normal since Sport isn't adaptive without ZCP and the firm end of Normal's operating range is actually firmer than the fixed Sport setting. DCT in S5 is pretty sweet, but you might find it a bit much, in fact some people run S4 even on the track because S5's shifts can be harsh enough to upset the car. And yes, MDM is a wonderful thing, just make sure you've got a feel for the car and ideally don't have any obstructions nearby.
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      07-12-2012, 12:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupremePower3335 View Post
Hi Guys,
I have a 335XI Sedan. That is our family car and more for the wife so I am looking for something for myself. I am cross-shopping 997.2 and the Competition M3.

Well I finally drove it on Sat. While the sound was "intoxicating" and look was amazing it wasnt a car that I was like WOW I need to have this..In a way the steering wheel felt loose not tight like my 335 but that could have been b/c we kept it at the lightest settings. B/C we drove it on the local highway we just not get it up to speed..Anyway it was nice and everything but when I looked at the price - it was almost exactly what the 911S was..now if I looked at the M3 MY 2008/2009, the 2006 997.1 are similarly priced so that's where I am kind of stuck..If I want to buy the newer 997.2 I am going to have to wait a while while I can get a MY '08/'09 and save myself $30K or get and older 911 and risk major repairs (eg IMS)...I have to say when a drove the 911S, it was amazing..the handling, the interior etc..One thing that really bugs me is that a 3 Series and M3 interior is almost the same (minus the Headrest)..I love the 911's interior..anyway back to the drive..

Anyway I know this is a M3 forum so I may get bashed but I am interested in your comments/opinions - FLAME SUIT ON
You have not test driven the M3 unless you revved it past 6k rpm in M mode. Otherwise no test drive matters.

Assuming its a brand new M3..dealers will not let you rev the car past 4k rpm. So yea-test drive a used M3 and report back.
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      07-12-2012, 12:28 PM   #20
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Also it is really hard if you are used to a 335 to realize you need to take it to 6k to START the powerband. 6k is when you shift in a 335 and is hard to take that step-especially if you are with a dealer etc.
This. 6K rpm is where the M3 comes alive. It can be rather boring below that.
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      07-12-2012, 12:29 PM   #21
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Interestingly enough I test drove the M3 just over a year ago at a Miami dealership. I came away extremely UNIMPRESSED. It had a definite lag when I stepped on the gas and worse yet after the engine RPMs finally started moving there was a definite pause before the DCT changed gears. Further, I drove it on city streets so I really didn't find the steering feel to be anything special.

Fast forward a couple of months after I had been trying various cars (CTS-V, M5, Cayman S, etc.) and I decided to try another M3 at a different dealership. It was night and day difference! Turns out the first salesman didn't have a clue about the M-related suspension, steering, tranny settings and I had almost certainly driven the car in granny mode despite telling the salesman I wanted a car for occasional track use.

If you get a chance to set the car up properly and find a deserted area to test I suspect you'll have a different impression (I'll never forget the NoCal salesman who took me to a farming area with an open dead-end road and challenged me to run the M5 up into triple digit speeds, take my hands off the wheel, and stand on the brakes - almost bought the thing on the spot!)
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      07-12-2012, 01:06 PM   #22
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M3 Alabama is dead on with the servo....get it up to speed in the right settings and you might back down to normal on the EDC instead of sport.. that being said the sport setting on the EDC is wicked with a square set-up at the track....much stiffer than a 335 not sure about the new 911 but all I can tell you my pretty stock M3 got many a point by from the old pre 2012 911's and the 335's at my last sebring hpde. Also at certain rpm and gearing selections you need to feed the throttle a bit before mashing it to turn it into a 8400rpm chainsaw. long live the s65...too bad it won't be much longer!
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