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Do you like raw power all the time... if so get the M3. ZHP is a better daily driver though.

I really like my ZHP 98% of the time. The ride a little less harsh than the M3, the clutch is a little softer, and you can drive it like a normal car. For the 2% of the time that I want to play with a 911 or RS4, I do crave an M. Change the diff in the ZHP and it adds A LOT of usable torque down low. I can pull in 6th gear up a hill at 50 mph with my 3.46 diff and the car just zips through the tach. I would have still gottent the M3 but I really wanted 4 doors and I also found the "perfect ZHP" (rare color combo that took me a year to find) at a very nice price. I have driven my zhp for 10,ooo miles without any issues at all and I love it more and more each day. Either way, you probaly won't be disappointed. Best of luck!
 

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everyone that says get a zhp has a zhp and NOT a M so thats why their telling you to get the zhp. get the M and dont even think twice
 

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Well since my budget is under 20k, looking at the market I'd say I'm looking at M3 with 60-100k miles and a ZHP with 30-50k miles. But my numbers are just estimates, please educate me if Im wrong.
I love M3 but go ZHP. Unless you really want all that power, which is nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Having 4 doors does seem to be more on the practical side. M3 is just a classic no matter how you look at it. I just don't want to kick myself a couple of months after.
 

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I've driven just about every US E46 made from 99-06 and I can tell you there is nothing like the M3. Everything in an M is built just a little neater/faster/more enthusiast-oriented than the non-M cars (ZHP included). You can fit larger rims on an M3 which is a nice plus. The S54 engine in the M was voted international engine of the year in 2001. ya, the M54 was on the 10 best list too, but nothing got as much attention as the M3's engine when it was released. The SMG is just an incredible transmission, but hey.. if its not your thing, just get the manual. As for the coupe dilemma, I used to only buy sedan's. I had a 2001 740i and 4 doors were great for the 5 times I think someone rode in the back seat. Now I have two coupes and really haven't found myself annoyed by the lack of doors.

and... i'm neutral. I own neither an M3 nor a ZHP. I definitely want an M3, but simply cannot afford it right now.. or the maintenance needed.. or the tires. The ZHP's are great cars, but keep in mind, that option code in no way received the same amount of R&D, time, and design detail as M cars did and still do by the Motorsport division.

As for your choice, I have found it is always better to buy BMW's with as low of miles as possible. Maintenance history is usually a mystery when buying used, unless its a true enthusiast with records on hand. I would wait a little longer for a lower mileage M3 to come around. With the state of the economy, I am certain the right M3 coupe or cab. will pop up for you in no time.
 

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It all comes down to the point of being able to pay for maintenance, the M has more miles and more expensive maintenance, but its an amazing car.

I love my ZHP but when it comes down to it, its still a 330Ci.

just get your priorities straight and figure out what you can "really" pay for.
 

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I would take the ZHP.

After buying my ZHP, I had M3 envy. I really thought I'd made a mistake. So I went and test drove a 6-speed M3 and an SMG M-3. I really didn't like either one. The SMG transmission is a nightmare. So jerky... it has a mind of it's own. The 6-speed felt like home. But neither car had what I love most about my ZHP... smoothness. The e46 M3 is a basically a loud go-cart. The engine is not smooth. The ZHP on the other hand is butter. And you'd think the M3 would be a lot faster... maybe it is, but you really have to rev it to get the extra power... so it's not really usable power... at least on day-in and day-out.

I say pass on the M3. The ZHP is plenty fast and it's soooooooo smooth.

dude................. GTFO










anways, a more logical post after this moron temporarily infected us :eeps:

OP

M3 is better all around, however having high mileage on a high performance vehicle is not the smartest of choices. am i discrediting the build quality of the m3?.......no, however you are taking a higher risk of something going wrong with that car... mind you, it might cost $20k, but when it comes down to it, you still have to fix a $65k car

the zhp........ newer, less miles, and possibly still under warranty. less expensive on insurance as well.



i had the option of getting an m3, or 330ci.... i chose the 330Ci... it had 40k on it, compared to m3s that had 70k and were 2 years older.... i haven't had a problem with it yet (after warranty was up, knock on wood) and she's at 85k

if you want the m, try to spend a little more and get one with lower miles. its a buyers market out there, i'm sure you could score a deal

call your insurance company to find out the $$$ difference

compare maintenance costs like clutch, brakes, oil, usual wear and tear, etc

if you can afford an m3's insurance and maintence, well then there is no reason not to get one

:)

and check, and then re-check every vehicle's service report......... 3 times
 

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I would take the ZHP.

After buying my ZHP, I had M3 envy. I really thought I'd made a mistake. So I went and test drove a 6-speed M3 and an SMG M-3. I really didn't like either one. The SMG transmission is a nightmare. So jerky... it has a mind of it's own. The 6-speed felt like home. But neither car had what I love most about my ZHP... smoothness. The e46 M3 is a basically a loud go-cart. The engine is not smooth. The ZHP on the other hand is butter. And you'd think the M3 would be a lot faster... maybe it is, but you really have to rev it to get the extra power... so it's not really usable power... at least on day-in and day-out.

I say pass on the M3. The ZHP is plenty fast and it's soooooooo smooth.
I think this guy has a point- just didn't necessarily phrase it properly. :rofl:.

Let me enlighten you all as to my review of back to back testing of a Z4 3.0si and a Z4MC- which I feel really relates to this subject in a clear way- yet the effects may be exaggerated between these two whips :rofl:.

When I have driven the Z4 3.0si's, the power delivery is smooth, strong, and continuous. The engine was very predictable. Rev-matches were simply orgasmic to put you in the rpm zone, etc. Transmission felt exceptionally smooth. I took the Z4si on a very spirited and performance-measuring number of test laps- and had a wide smile on my face the entire time. Driving through the city was very pleasure too, for I had more power than needed to skirt my way through gaps, catch lights, and pass whatever guy I thought was eye'n me :str8pimpi :)lmao:). The brakes felt fantastic, the grabbed as tight as I asked them too, and I felt very little fade through the extent of testing I gave them. Suspension felt tight, ready to dance whenever I was in the mood, but not so rough as to beat me up over a speed-hump or pot hole. The shifter movement felt buttery AND precise, as to be more reassuring than jiggling grandma's caddy, and less HAMMERTIME than a gated Ferrari; a perfect mix if you ask me.

I chased that experimental spin in the Z4si with the true beast from the East. The 2008 Z4MC. This coupe had badass written in bold, all over it. Pulling out of the parking lot in the Interlagos Blue Z4MC seriously felt like slowly drawing a blade from a sheath. Now when I said that I took the Z4si on some performance-measuring test laps, I meant it. However what I did in this Z4M Coupe really pushed the envelope of physics and logic. This god damn car was the definition of super-go-kart. I took some sweeping turns at speeds that would make most nervous on straight-aways, and the Z4M just grinned and wanted more. With grip for days- the handling was surgically precise, and while modulating the throttle was not only something fun to do through a turn... that sh;t was a necessity. If you were to stomp it, that car would stomp you back. The difference between breaking the rear's loose and keeping full traction was approximately the variance of 1/10th an inch of throttle. The brakes would drop you from triple digit speed to stand still in about as much time as it takes to pick between sex or taking a c*ck punch. I probably did 3 trials of threshold braking, each time with increasing top speeds to test brake fade and pedal resistance/feel, and it just got better and better. This car is a badass trackstar.

So enough suckling on the Z4M's d;ck. Every positive the car had, was incidentally a negative in turn. As I spoke about the handling, while it was just insanely track-ready weighted and providing ample feedback... that isn't exactly something I want in my DD. Don't get me wrong, weighted steering helps you feel connected to the road... although slow speed driving (parking lot speeds (some parking lots ;))) were not too enjoyable in this monster. The car felt uneasy driving at lower RPMs, which just increased the temptation to toss the pedal to the floor and slam through the next gear (or two :yikes:), which is exactly what this car was made for. The simple truth is that this car was not meant to be driven casually. The clutch, while very firm and connected- was too damn aggressive for daily driving. The springback load of this pedal wanted to push you through the seat! The engine just begged to be flogged all the way up to a yelping 8250rpm- no matter how gently you tried to let the clutch out. This is a purpose built track car, or maybe a weekend super-driver. The shifter in this car was not only precise, but also noticeably forceful and rough. If you wanted that mofo in gear, you had to enforce it. I wouldn't want to deal with this at every stoplight. The brakes on this car not only intended to stop the car on a dime and give you more than 2 pieces of silver- but they also were able to pull the fillings out of your damn teeth. Slow speed stopping felt grabby and urgent, even when I purposefully tried to come to a halt slowly, smoothly, and carefully. Personally, I certainly would NEVER buy this car for a DD. I would have to include the countless number of government deposits and attorney fees in with the price of the car, as I simply can't trust my self-control behind the wheel of a track-ready beast everyday without leaving rubber and brake dust through every turn, along with pounds of CO2 emissions after every straight :rofl:!

Long story short, DD would be Z4 3.0si all-fvcking-day. Tons of fun n' excitement, yet still smooth, reliable, and calm when you want to be. The Z4MC is just too much. If you are getting behind the wheel of that car, YOU WILL VIOLATE ALL KINDS OF TRAFFIC LAWS. It is that simple. Granted, the M3 isn't that kind of animal- but it is more towards that end of the scale when comparing it to the late model E46 ZHP.

Choose wisely grasshopper :thumbup:,
-Chris
 

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If you have budget constraints you wont have fun with the ///M. Your going to have too much headache worrying about repairs and stuff to truly enjoy the car.

My suggestion would be get the ZHP or wait and buy a newer M. Good luck.
 

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These quotes from Car and Driver's long term 2001 M3 test pretty much summarize how I feel about the E46 M3:

Whatever compliance the base 3-series has that makes it such a delight as a daily driver has been completely dialed out of this machine.

I much prefer the other 3-series cars to the M3. It's just too "in your face" for my tastes.

I think the E36 and E92 M3's are/were much better all around cars. I would really suggest people take an E46 M3 for a long test drive before buying one. I agree with the go cart comment, I would have a very hard time living with it on an daily basis. Only hard core sports car fanatics need apply.
 
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