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      02-11-2013, 09:02 PM   #1
DrJay71
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Best M for me.

Sorry for the broad question across these forums. I am looking to purchase a practical but high performance BMW M or MB AMG car within a budget of $30K or less. I need to be able seat 4 people at least. From my basic searches, it looks like I can get an E55 (2004-2008), a CL55 (2002-2003), a CLS (2005), and a CLK (2004-2006). I don't mind either a sedan or a coupe but not a convertible. Just to see I found that I could also get an M5 (2006-2007), an M6 (2006-2007) or an Audi S6 (2006-2008) under budget.

So, my question is what is the bang for the buck? From a style standpoint I find the CL, CLS, and M6 the best looking both inside and out. I don't want a complete gas guzzler either. I know upkeep will be more than a non AMG or M version and accept that. I basically would like to see what you guys think in your option would be the best choice

Thanks!
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      02-11-2013, 09:42 PM   #2
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Your criteria contradict themselves. M5/M6 are total gas guzzlers... I know from experience that a M5 is 100% capable of single digit mpg for city driving pretty consistently.

Plus I doubt you will be able to find one in good condition for under $30k. If you do it's probably due to extreme high mileage and maintenance will not be cheap...a new SMG clutch is like $5k and its only a matter of time before it gives out!

I can't recommend any of the mercs for the same reason plus they did not age well IMO from a styling standpoint.

I know it's not what you want to hear but if spending more than $30k is an issue then the inevitable multi thousand dollar maintenance bills and two fill-ups a week will put these cars beyond your means.

I'd say your best bet for $30k would be a mid mileage 335i sedan with a tune
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      02-11-2013, 10:01 PM   #3
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Save your money and get an M3.
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      02-11-2013, 10:36 PM   #4
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If you have a tight budget of $30K, you should not buy any of these cars IMO.
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      02-11-2013, 10:38 PM   #5
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If you dont mind a coupe just get a E46 M3
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      02-11-2013, 10:51 PM   #6
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Get an STI, there I said it.
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      02-11-2013, 10:56 PM   #7
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A used but newer camaro SS or couple year old mustang 5.0, both with 400 plus hp and you can get much more car for your 30k. You could get a 2 year old stang 5.0 which is essentially as fast or faster than the m3. Obviously style and finesse etc will be different but performance it will be a great buy.

Honestly an out-of-warranty M or AMG is just too expensive for you. A 30k limit is not someone who can afford an M or AMG, used or not given used there is very high cost maintence and repairs
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      02-11-2013, 11:09 PM   #8
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With that kind of a budget, get a very clean E39 M5, save the rest for maintenance. End thread
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      02-11-2013, 11:10 PM   #9
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These cars are by nature NOT practical and there's a really good reason why they depreciate so much so quickly. Caveat emptor.
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      02-11-2013, 11:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e1000 View Post
These cars are by nature NOT practical and there's a really good reason why they depreciate so much so quickly. Caveat emptor.
M6 depreciates really fast and even with low mileage. I was looking at a used M6 before I found the M3. I read about how fast it depreciates on Wikipedia. Something is wrong with the M6 and I'm guessing it's upkeep.
If you can hold out a while the M3 will cost less with the new model coming out.

Also the new M6 is coming out and this one looks pretty nice, so the current M6 is gonna depreciate even more in the next year.

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      02-12-2013, 12:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e1000
These cars are by nature NOT practical and there's a really good reason why they depreciate so much so quickly. Caveat emptor.
^This

Any M car you are looking at for under $30k will be too expensive of a maintenance liability to qualify as "practical".
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      02-12-2013, 12:30 AM   #12
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JC you guys can be buzzkills. Not everyone in the world has $$$$ to spend on a fun, practical ride. There's plenty of scenarios with the above listed cars that could work out.

OP I have a CLS63 and an M3. While the e90/92 M3's are out of the question, theres CLS55's and CLS63's floating around in great shape for around that money. I personally find the e55/63's very nice as well. Any way you go, make sure you do your due diligence on the car. One heads up with the MB cars, get your airmatic suspension checked out.. they are known to go around 70k and can be about 8k to do all 4 corners if your going through the dealer.

GL!
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      02-12-2013, 04:54 AM   #13
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A $70k car will always have a $70k maintenance cost even if it's now $30k. You need to consider more than just the price of the car itself.
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      02-12-2013, 05:10 AM   #14
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I would recommend an EVO.
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      02-12-2013, 10:42 AM   #15
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Start with a nice low milage e46 you can find one for around $25K to $30K get it checked out at a BMW dealership ... the inspection reports will help you in negotiating the final selling price.

Good luck.
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      02-12-2013, 11:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
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A $70k car will always have a $70k maintenance cost even if it's now $30k. You need to consider more than just the price of the car itself.
Agreed!
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      02-12-2013, 11:24 AM   #17
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With that kind of a budget, get a very clean E39 M5, save the rest for maintenance. End thread
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      02-12-2013, 11:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshyLarryMP View Post
M6 depreciates really fast and even with low mileage. I was looking at a used M6 before I found the M3. I read about how fast it depreciates on Wikipedia. Something is wrong with the M6 and I'm guessing it's upkeep.
If you can hold out a while the M3 will cost less with the new model coming out.

Also the new M6 is coming out and this one looks pretty nice, so the current M6 is gonna depreciate even more in the next year.
Nothing really wrong with them per se apart from the SMG trans. IMHO, with an MT, the upkeep shouldn't be that much worse than an M3 to be honest.

Not to mention there's not exactly a huge market for a car that gets 12-15 MPG.

I was also cross shopping an E60 M5 with the E92 M3, just because that V10 is incredible and they were both around the same price. At the end of the day, I just can't live with that kind of fuel consumption.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M3THOD View Post
JC you guys can be buzzkills. Not everyone in the world has $$$$ to spend on a fun, practical ride. There's plenty of scenarios with the above listed cars that could work out.

OP I have a CLS63 and an M3. While the e90/92 M3's are out of the question, theres CLS55's and CLS63's floating around in great shape for around that money. I personally find the e55/63's very nice as well. Any way you go, make sure you do your due diligence on the car. One heads up with the MB cars, get your airmatic suspension checked out.. they are known to go around 70k and can be about 8k to do all 4 corners if your going through the dealer.

GL!
Not trying to be a buzz kill at all, just being realistic. Like I said, in another thread, if you are worried about spending money on gas, then M cars should not be on your list, period. I had to drop $700 off the bat to DIY a faulty throttle actuator.

The AMG examples are perfect. You buy a CLS63 (which I've come to like a lot actually) for 30k, then all of a sudden you have an 8k repair? That's a quarter of the value of the car right there.
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      02-17-2013, 08:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt2000 View Post
Your criteria contradict themselves. M5/M6 are total gas guzzlers... I know from experience that a M5 is 100% capable of single digit mpg for city driving pretty consistently.

Plus I doubt you will be able to find one in good condition for under $30k. If you do it's probably due to extreme high mileage and maintenance will not be cheap...a new SMG clutch is like $5k and its only a matter of time before it gives out!

I can't recommend any of the mercs for the same reason plus they did not age well IMO from a styling standpoint.

I know it's not what you want to hear but if spending more than $30k is an issue then the inevitable multi thousand dollar maintenance bills and two fill-ups a week will put these cars beyond your means.

I'd say your best bet for $30k would be a mid mileage 335i sedan with a tune
he is right
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      02-17-2013, 10:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
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If you have a tight budget of $30K, you should not buy any of these cars IMO.
THIS.

Get a Subaru STI. I got mine used, only 600 miles (engine not even broken in) for $30k. AWD, seats 4 comfortably, hatch for storage. I was getting 19mpg with very spirited driving. The stock stereo sucks, so just get the Subaru subwoofer installed at the dealership.

Edit: My STI was faster than my 335i and sounded more badass. Stock.

I would not get a used M3 or C63 for $30k. That car is gonna be beat to sh*t.

I've never even seen a M5/M6 for $30k.

Just my 2 cents. I have no experience with a used a M3, but I do spend a lot of downtime perusing this forum and "window shopping" on cars.com.
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      02-17-2013, 01:45 PM   #21
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All of your "under budget" cars are V10s that will be horrible to maintain and feed.
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      02-17-2013, 01:47 PM   #22
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sounds like e46 m3 is the winner here. overall it doesn't sound like you really know what you are looking for though
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