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      09-01-2013, 10:17 PM   #1
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Bad idea to daily drive an M3 in my case?

OK, So I drive a lot for work - residential construction and doing estimates.

I want to focus on the effect of driving an M3 for such a case, and not the cost of it. (I know the gas is more, etc)

I used to have an older S55 AMG that I daily drove - and while most people did not react, I did get some reactions I did not really like. (Such as, this is an expensive car, etc - even though it had 150,000 miles and was worth probably $12k)

Then - I changed and drove a Prius. Great gas mileage and no one mentioned anything, it was neutral - but I hated driving it. Uncomfortable and not fun.

Also, a 335i I used as well. Seems to have gone OK, and the M3 should be fairly close - but I'm not sure.

Now, I found a sort of compromise - a Mk6 GTI, manual. It's comfortable, gets decent gas mileage, is fun to drive - and doesn't really have a badge people may get curious about like BMW. They may think the car is a little bit boy racer, but I think it is on the edge of what is acceptable so it is fine and not too expensive.

This leads me to the M3. Generally, I don't care what people think - the business speaks for itself, but when these people are giving me business, I do not want to give off the wrong impression. I know a car like this can be a little bit flashy.

So what do you guys think? I want that great driving experience so I drive so much and spend my life in the car - but I also want to balance it with something that I still come off as professional in, and not showy - and that people don't take offense to.

Obviously a red M3 coupe is probably a bit too much, but how about a E90 M3 Sedan, maybe a more understated color like silverstone or a dark grey.

What do you guys think?
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      09-01-2013, 11:29 PM   #2
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I'm a bit lost on the question here, so let me try a few:
  • Is the M3 a good daily driver? Yes
  • Will people think differently of me if I drive an M3? Some will and some wont. Should that stop you? No
  • Should I dd the GTI instead? If you want better gas mileage and probably less total ($) depreciation? Yes, if those things are most important to you

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      09-01-2013, 11:34 PM   #3
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To make my question more focused, I am not discussing the fun or costs of the car, but how a potential client will view me on a first impression when I pull up.

For example, will they subconsciously associate the m3 with prices being more? Etc
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      09-01-2013, 11:36 PM   #4
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I think an E92 M3 can look a little flashy, depending on the tolerance for flashy. The E90 M3 is definitely more understated in some ways with its four doors, but to be completely honest--if the E92 M3 seems to flashy to you--the E90 will probably seem the same way as well. The wide stance, flared fenders, hood vents, and big hood bulge all set it apart as a little "flashy."

In my opinion, though, you need to see these cars in person to really get the feel for how they look. Be careful about taking a test drive, though, because you'll end up buying it regardless of how flashy it might look.

Good luck with the purchase decision.
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      09-01-2013, 11:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rondocap View Post
Obviously a red M3 coupe is probably a bit too much, but how about a E90 M3 Sedan, maybe a more understated color like silverstone or a dark grey.

What do you guys think?
I get zero attention in my E90. A 2nd look from car guys every once in a while, but that's about it. I doubt it would work against you in your line of work (whatever that is).
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      09-01-2013, 11:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rondocap View Post
To make my question more focused, I am not discussing the fun or costs of the car, but how a potential client will view me on a first impression when I pull up.

For example, will they subconsciously associate the m3 with prices being more? Etc
I'll chime in on this as well. From my experience, only car enthusiasts actually understand/recognize what an M3 is--and they usually all love it. For "most" people, the M3 is just another "expensive" BMW. If the clients you have will find a BMW to be too flashy, they will view the M3 the same way. If your clients don't seem to mind BMWs in general, I doubt they'll find the M3 to be much more flashy than any other BMW.
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      09-01-2013, 11:41 PM   #7
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Yeah - I guess generally most construction guys will probably pull up in a Pick up truck or some type of work truck for estimates. Obviously when the work is done, work trucks are used and not cars.

I remember a customer telling me his fence guy pulled up in a Bentley once, and I am not sure he liked that very much, haha. An M3 is much cheaper, obviously - and probably even cheaper than most big pick up trucks used.
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      09-01-2013, 11:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rondocap View Post
Yeah - I guess generally most construction guys will probably pull up in a Pick up truck or some type of work truck for estimates. Obviously when the work is done, work trucks are used and not cars.

I remember a customer telling me his fence guy pulled up in a Bentley once, and I am not sure he liked that very much, haha. An M3 is much cheaper, obviously - and probably even cheaper than most big pick up trucks used.
Well...on that note, a guy I know that owns a construction company and is relatively young. When he goes to bid a job, he makes sure he wears the dustiest, old work clothes he owns, and arrives in a work truck. So far it's worked like a charm... YMMV, he's in a rural environment.

My experience in the tech industry is neutral to slightly positive. Bimmers are a dime a dozen here, but every once and a while you get props for driving an M3. In the construction industry, no idea - but if you're a bulldozer driver, it's probably too flashy. If you're an architect, it might be great.

Good luck with your decision!
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      09-01-2013, 11:54 PM   #9
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You need a pickup truck.
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      09-02-2013, 12:08 AM   #10
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Naw, I tried the pick up truck thing and it's a killer. Uncomfortable, no fun to drive, and worst gas mileage than the M3.

I don't need the space either, as I don't carry anything heavy. The GTI so far is great - but I figured why not push the envelope a little bit as the M3 is a bit more fun and comfortable to drive on a daily basis.
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      09-02-2013, 12:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rondocap View Post
Yeah - I guess generally most construction guys will probably pull up in a Pick up truck or some type of work truck for estimates. Obviously when the work is done, work trucks are used and not cars.

I remember a customer telling me his fence guy pulled up in a Bentley once, and I am not sure he liked that very much, haha. An M3 is much cheaper, obviously - and probably even cheaper than most big pick up trucks used.
That's a good point, pulling up with an "expensive car" might look off, but it really depends on the clients. Then again you might not have to meet the clients and just employees... Either way, I'd love to daily an E92 M3 =D, especially in my line of work
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      09-02-2013, 12:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapper_M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by rondocap View Post
To make my question more focused, I am not discussing the fun or costs of the car, but how a potential client will view me on a first impression when I pull up.

For example, will they subconsciously associate the m3 with prices being more? Etc
I'll chime in on this as well. From my experience, only car enthusiasts actually understand/recognize what an M3 is--and they usually all love it. For "most" people, the M3 is just another "expensive" BMW. If the clients you have will find a BMW to be too flashy, they will view the M3 the same way. If your clients don't seem to mind BMWs in general, I doubt they'll find the M3 to be much more flashy than any other BMW.
In sedan form, it can be a "sleeper" as in most wont notice. Keep it stock and clean. Its a gentleman's car. Perfect.
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      09-02-2013, 12:24 AM   #13
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I don't think I've ever had a contractor that didn't show up in a pickup or van. If I called someone for an estimate, and he showed up in an M3, I'd wonder if A) this job is something "on the side" for him or B) he is expensive. Unfair? Yes, it is.
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      09-02-2013, 12:26 AM   #14
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Ironically, you drive a Stringray 'Vette, Z06, Camaro or Mustang onto a construction site, and people will think of you as cool and successful (I have some family that is in construction). Think it's the same reaction for Merc/Audis/BMWs on up.. euro cars just have this somewhat snobby/snooty image in certain circles (even though a Z06 is more expensive). Unfortunately, perception is reality in some professions and best to go with the car that won't offend clients/co workers/send the wrong message especially if will cost you business etc. Another example, if you're a defense attorney and want to give image of success, you better be driving a European car or else no one would hire you. Based on what you said, it sounds like the GTI is a good fit.

As far as E90 M3s not being as flashy, not the case in my experience. Even living in the bay area, I'm surprised how much attention my car gets, conversations at the gas station, thumbs-ups, GT-Rs and Ferraris trying to race me, etc I get and I have a pretty sedate color. Even teenage kids in the 'hood are giving me thumbs ups for a 4-door family sedan! Obviously not like a Ferrari, Lambo, etc, but more than one would think given that the car looks like a souped up 3 series. Could only imagine if had flashier color or a coupe, which makes me glad I went the more tempered route.
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      09-02-2013, 12:30 AM   #15
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Wah, that's what I am trying to avoid.

Most contractors here who drive a lot also will drive a smaller car like a Prius, and to a certain extent the VW GTI is sort of a compact car that most people view as economic, regardless of the character of go fast it has. Anyway that's my view on it.


I am starting to think the m3 would be a bit over the top. I never felt comfortable in the 335 either.
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      09-02-2013, 12:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rondocap View Post
OK, So I drive a lot for work - residential construction and doing estimates.

I want to focus on the effect of driving an M3 for such a case, and not the cost of it. (I know the gas is more, etc)

I used to have an older S55 AMG that I daily drove - and while most people did not react, I did get some reactions I did not really like. (Such as, this is an expensive car, etc - even though it had 150,000 miles and was worth probably $12k)

Then - I changed and drove a Prius. Great gas mileage and no one mentioned anything, it was neutral - but I hated driving it. Uncomfortable and not fun.

Also, a 335i I used as well. Seems to have gone OK, and the M3 should be fairly close - but I'm not sure.

Now, I found a sort of compromise - a Mk6 GTI, manual. It's comfortable, gets decent gas mileage, is fun to drive - and doesn't really have a badge people may get curious about like BMW. They may think the car is a little bit boy racer, but I think it is on the edge of what is acceptable so it is fine and not too expensive.

This leads me to the M3. Generally, I don't care what people think - the business speaks for itself, but when these people are giving me business, I do not want to give off the wrong impression. I know a car like this can be a little bit flashy.

So what do you guys think? I want that great driving experience so I drive so much and spend my life in the car - but I also want to balance it with something that I still come off as professional in, and not showy - and that people don't take offense to.

Obviously a red M3 coupe is probably a bit too much, but how about a E90 M3 Sedan, maybe a more understated color like silverstone or a dark grey.

What do you guys think?
u wot m8?
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      09-02-2013, 12:37 AM   #17
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That's just how it is. Use the M3 as a daily driver, you understand the risk. The car may be beat up but at least your rolling to work in an M3 over a Scion, or worse.
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      09-02-2013, 12:46 AM   #18
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Contractor that is doing well


Not so well

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      09-02-2013, 12:54 AM   #19
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      09-02-2013, 01:29 AM   #20
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i'll chime in as I work in the same industry. I manage a construction staffing firm and I drive my m3 3x a week BUT i also have a beater suv. In those 3 days i visit my jobsites 3-4x a day. NO ONE gives a damn about what I drive but then again, i park where there's paved roads. If i see all rocks/dirt on the entrance, i park across the street. For the most part, workers have their pick up trucks/beaters. Now when it comes to my clients, Most don't know its an m3. I say 1 out of 15 will know what it is. Ofcourse, i have an e90 which can be understated to someone who is not into bmw's. Before I bought my m3, I drove an F150 Raptor in molten orange...now that truck gets alot of attention (35" toyo mts w/method wheels, tuned, loud exhaust with led light bar). In the construction world, it was noticed almost everyday. In the end, it depends on your work settings. Daily drive the m3 is not a problem, if you can spare some fund. I say get a small suv/truck, like an xterra, tacoma, etc. you get the drift.
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      09-02-2013, 01:52 AM   #21
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I got zero attention in my E90... so I added a GTS Spoiler

Back to topic. Yeah no one notices a 4 Door Beamer in Jerez Black.
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      09-02-2013, 07:29 AM   #22
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I think you already know the answer. While it might give the image that you own a healthy business it also gives the impression (unfairly or not) that your prices are going to be on the expensive side and people will extrapolate from such ostentatious display. Completely illogical but you bet that is what the average customer will think. Not the car for that job.
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