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Discussion Starter #1
I was so ready to take the plunge and get a used E46, until I found that I could have an E36 M3 for the same money or less.

What do you guys think, I have not driven the E36 M3 yet, but have driven many non M E46's.

I know a lot has to do with how the car was taken care of, but how reliable are E36 M3's? I assume they are expensive to maintain.

Now I am so undecided, I could :puke:

I am sure this has been discussed many times before.

Any suggestions????

:banghead:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
dbtheo said:
What are you planning on doing with your car? Comfort/ utility and day to day goes to the e46. But peformance cleary goes to the m3.
Well have a 2002 4Runner and a Honda accord, so I have the comfort utililty part coverd. If I got an e46 I would probably sell the Honda, but If I get an M3, I think I would keep Honda for snowy days, and days M3 in the shop.

I want a new toy, but don't want to spend a ton of money on repairs, I would rather spend my money on mods or driving school.
 

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the e36 M3 is defenetly a much more enjoyable car to have. Alot of performance parts for the e36 and it will probably hold the value more then the e46 non M
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I really need to drive one to be sure, because I also like E46 refinement, looks, ect.....

Because of the stiff suspension, and most of them have higher miliage, are they known to rattle alot?

How well does the M engine hold up past 100k?
 

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Quite frankly, this doesn't even seem like a legit comparison. It's apples vs oranges. I had to make a similar desiscion recently. With slightly less cash on hand albeit. But it was M3/4 vs E46 328i. Handling, Looks and Uniqueness the M3/4 trumps the E46, but when you factor in reliability, selection, build quality, and cheap insurance the E46 looks better. I mean the reality is that an E46 3 series is a pretty impractical car for my needs, but the M3/4 just seemed that much more impractical. If I ever feel the needs to have an M3/4 I can get one later or slap a supercharger, sways and a PSS9 on my 328i and be 9/10th there and have a sleeper :)

A big part of the choice is going to depend on practicility vs pure driving pleasure. IMO.

Thanks,
Adam

PS - Where are you in NH?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm in manch-vegas too. I know it is apples to oranges, but I guess in my opinion, the looks of the E46 play a lot into my decision, as well as wanting an M3. If I could only find a good deal on an e46 M3.
 

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One is for the track the other is not.

E30 M3 over either.
 

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i was looking at the same type of situation
decided that it would be better if i didnt buy a used m3

i'd rather break in my own m3 engine :D
 

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I was in your situation too at one time. For me, it was like this:

2000 323i manual (new)
2000 328i auto (new)
1997 M3 manual (used)

Because of my age at the time, parents had the ultimate say in what I bought, even though I was contributing most of the money.

We called the insurance agency on each car...the premiums on the M3 quickly eliminated it from contention. Plus there were risks involved in buying a used performance car. How has it been treated by the previous owner? Would it Break My Wallet in repairs and maintenance over the years? Too many questions...which left the other two cars and, well, the rest is history. I took the manual 323 over the auto 328 and pocketed the extra cash for a time of need, should I ever have to make an expensive repair in the future (a future which is quickly approaching as my warranty is due to expire in May of 2004).

The E36 M3 was by far the best performer, but I personally preferred the looks of the E46. I also wanted four doors for college, because there are many situations where I move and need the larger backseat and doors to transport stuff in my car (plus I can fit three girls in the car with easy loading :pimpin:). As far as practicality, well, the non-///M car is more comfortable as a daily driver, has much better air conditioning (the air conditioning in all the E36's I've been in has been relatively poor, while the E46 does a great job in that department), and the four doors are again a bonus.

These things are/were ultimately irrelevant: I would still have taken the M3 if insurance weren't so high, and if I wasn't concerned about the cost of maintaining it.
 

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my 3rd e46, 1st ///M
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e36 M3 coupe
 
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