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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I’m new to this forum, and have been lurking the threads for sometime now. Up to now I’ve found the threads very interesting, and you all have covered some “gray” areas I had concerning my favorite car.
However, I’m facing a dilemma in choosing between a ’03 330Ci and a ’03 M3, and I’d like you to help me choose the right stuff for my parking lot:).

1) Why/when would someone choose the M3 over a 330Ci or vice versa? (I can clearly think of some reasons, but I’d like to have your personal feedback…) When would you “downsize” for a 330Ci?
2) What are the regular maintenance costs for a 330 and a M3? Is the M3’s considerably higher than the 330’s? Is there any specific service that would periodically skyrocket the bill?
3) What’s your regular tire change interval? How much do they cost you? (Note: If I’d choose an M3, I’d buy it with the optional 19” rims)
4) Will the ’03 M3 have the new facelift of the 2Q ’03 3xx Ci series or will it continue having the same ’02 style?
5) Do you think the SMG gearbox is worth its money? Do you share the same ecstasy with the rest of the people that have it on their M3s?
6) What are your thoughts about the Navigation System? Greece doesn’t support it yet:-(. However, due to the forthcoming ’04 Olympics they will deploy it in Greece, probably in 4Q ’03. With this in mind, do you think I’d add it in the order list? How useful did you find it in your daily experience with your car? After using it, did you regret choosing it over another available aftermarket solution?
7) What about the BMW Individual trims and colors? Do they make a great difference in your car’s look, justifying the extra “cents” :) ? Would you prefer an Individual color only or would you also order it with the Individual trims? Would it be too hard to take their money back when, if ever :), I’d sell the car?
8) Considering that Greece (compared to continental Europe, and Northern US) has a rather mild winter, and a hot’n’dry summer, do you think of anything I should not neglect adding in the order list? (No, I wouldn't buy a cabrio:) )

I’m looking forward to reading your valuable feedback,


Theo

P.S.
a) Money is not a real issue. I can afford buying either cars, even if the M3 will make me dig in the pocket a bit deeper :)
b) Insurance cost is not an issue as well.
 

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Wow, alot of questions.....that's a good thing! :thumbup: Coming from being a 330ci owner into an M3, here is my opinion:

1) One would choose the M3 over the 330ci because they are totally different beasts. The 330ci is a great car, but the M3 is altogether a performer and a world reknowned car. If money is not an issue, go M3. Now on the flipside, if money is an issue, then I'd go w/ the 330ci. It's comfortable, solid, and feels good on the road. It's the benchmark car!!

2) Maintenance is taken care of by BMW on both cars. Usually for 4yr/50k. The M3 has a 6yr/100k powertrain warranty.

3) This all depends on your driving style! My tires usually last me a long time, but I don't drag race too often.

4) It won't have the facelift until 05' I believe. The 04's only get an additional headrest in the back, and LED taillights.

5) SMG's worth is subjective. If I were you, I'd drive both and see which you like better. There are mixed opinions here, but I prefer my manual. The SMG wasn't worth the extra 2500.00 to me.

6) Navigation is one thing I truly love. I don't know how I ever lived without this tool (prior to the 330ci and the m3). It has saved my ass one time too many, and negates the need for "yahoo maps" or a Thomas guide. NavTech is the company that does the BMW Nav and Yahoo maps, so expect the same info. It's worth the $1800.00 investment IMHO.

7) If you have the extra cash to spend, IND colors is the way to go. It almost guarantees a "one off" car!

8) I wouldn't get a sunroof, but that's just my opinion. I'm not fond of them. I'd leave out the headlight washers and rear bumper parking assistance. You don't need it.

And finally, you stated that money isn't an issue.....get the M3!
 

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M3gr said:
Hi everyone,

I’m new to this forum, and have been lurking the threads for sometime now. Up to now I’ve found the threads very interesting, and you all have covered some “gray” areas I had concerning my favorite car.
However, I’m facing a dilemma in choosing between a ’03 330Ci and a ’03 M3, and I’d like you to help me choose the right stuff for my parking lot:).
Welcome!! I have owned both cars so I hope I can add some additional information.

1) Why/when would someone choose the M3 over a 330Ci or vice versa? (I can clearly think of some reasons, but I’d like to have your personal feedback…) When would you “downsize” for a 330Ci?

For me, I wanted better looks, prestige, and better overall performance. It's an incredible car and I catch myself taking the long way home more often now. I like the bigger look and more aggressive styling, there aren't too many out there, and you get a nice 333/343HP to boot.

2) What are the regular maintenance costs for a 330 and a M3? Is the M3’s considerably higher than the 330’s? Is there any specific service that would periodically skyrocket the bill?

I haven't spent any more money in maintenance for the M3 yet. you get routine mantenance included and there is nothing yet that required me to pay out of the pocket. However, I plan on getting my engine oil changed again.

3) What’s your regular tire change interval? How much do they cost you? (Note: If I’d choose an M3, I’d buy it with the optional 19” rims)

I would say every 12K you should change your tires.. It's all based on how you drive. I plan on changing them alittle earlier cause I can tell i'm getting some wear on my Pilots..it'll cost 500bucks for a set of S03s.

4) Will the ’03 M3 have the new facelift of the 2Q ’03 3xx Ci series or will it continue having the same ’02 style?

SEARCH: The M3 will only have a slightly different rear lights.

5) Do you think the SMG gearbox is worth its money? Do you share the same ecstasy with the rest of the people that have it on their M3s?

This is an "up to you" question. I own the SMG M3 version and have no real complaints. However, I would like at times to shift manually. There are times where I DON'T want to and SMG makes it alot nicer. Do you feel that Manual is a major pain during traffic? If not, I would get a Manual.

6) What are your thoughts about the Navigation System? Greece doesn’t support it yet:-(. However, due to the forthcoming ’04 Olympics they will deploy it in Greece, probably in 4Q ’03. With this in mind, do you think I’d add it in the order list? How useful did you find it in your daily experience with your car? After using it, did you regret choosing it over another available aftermarket solution?

Can't answer this cause I don't have the option.. however I would have gotten it in retrospect.. I think it looks cool but don't think it's all that useful for local travel.

7) What about the BMW Individual trims and colors? Do they make a great difference in your car’s look, justifying the extra “cents” :) ? Would you prefer an Individual color only or would you also order it with the Individual trims? Would it be too hard to take their money back when, if ever :), I’d sell the car?

Color is up to you.. do what you want here.. if money is not an issue, get exactly the setup you want.. :thumbup:

8) Considering that Greece (compared to continental Europe, and Northern US) has a rather mild winter, and a hot’n’dry summer, do you think of anything I should not neglect adding in the order list? (No, I wouldn't buy a cabrio:) )
The cold weather package is not that useful if you don't have a real winter + most people don't drive their M3 during the winters.
I would get Bi-Xenon, Premium, Nav, 19"s, and SMG(see above).

Good luck and I hope you see the added benefits of getting an M!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
It's good you both had a 330 before, hence you can better evaluate your upgraded M3 car:)

Up to now, you only help me dig my pocket deeper :D :thumbup:

I'm looking forward to reading more encouraging-to-buy-an-M3 stuff...
However, all of you who have valid reasons to suggest me buying a 330 are welcome.

Thank you both mattman and M3Inline6 for your immediate reply!

What I thought is what I'm getting:)


Theo.


P.S.
Further comments will follow as feedback flows in the thread.... :)
 

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I have owned an 02' 330ci 5sp and now have an 02' M3 SMGII and my opinion is the 330 with 18" wheels and sport pkg is a more than capable vehicle compared to anything in it's class. The M3 is in a different class entirely when it comes to performance driving. I love the SMGII, it's the best of both worlds. From the 330 expect a great handling and very sporty car. From the M3 expect a world class sports car built to be driven as such. My 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Soooo,

1) Those of you who read and replied to the thread recommended buying the M3.
2) I'd like to buy the M3.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Verdict: BUY AN M3 SMG!!! :D :thumbup:

I'd inform you about the car status during the coming months!
(and YES, I will send you images:) )
 

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In the long run the operating cost of the m3 will be higher than the 330 and more often, after the maint warranty expires. Bottom line if money ain't a thang, my friend go with the motorsport 3, you'll never ever regret!
 

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M3gr said:
Soooo,

1) Those of you who read and replied to the thread recommended buying the M3.
2) I'd like to buy the M3.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Verdict: BUY AN M3 SMG!!! :D :thumbup:

I'd inform you about the car status during the coming months!
(and YES, I will send you images:) )
You have chosen wisely!!! :thumbup:
 

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let me just say that smg is worth it ... cuz u won't misshift... think it won't happen to you? thats what i thought
 

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M3gr said:
Hi everyone,

I’m new to this forum, and have been lurking the threads for sometime now. Up to now I’ve found the threads very interesting, and you all have covered some “gray” areas I had concerning my favorite car.
However, I’m facing a dilemma in choosing between a ’03 330Ci and a ’03 M3, and I’d like you to help me choose the right stuff for my parking lot:).

1) Why/when would someone choose the M3 over a 330Ci or vice versa? (I can clearly think of some reasons, but I’d like to have your personal feedback…) When would you “downsize” for a 330Ci?
2) What are the regular maintenance costs for a 330 and a M3? Is the M3’s considerably higher than the 330’s? Is there any specific service that would periodically skyrocket the bill?
3) What’s your regular tire change interval? How much do they cost you? (Note: If I’d choose an M3, I’d buy it with the optional 19” rims)
4) Will the ’03 M3 have the new facelift of the 2Q ’03 3xx Ci series or will it continue having the same ’02 style?
5) Do you think the SMG gearbox is worth its money? Do you share the same ecstasy with the rest of the people that have it on their M3s?
6) What are your thoughts about the Navigation System? Greece doesn’t support it yet:-(. However, due to the forthcoming ’04 Olympics they will deploy it in Greece, probably in 4Q ’03. With this in mind, do you think I’d add it in the order list? How useful did you find it in your daily experience with your car? After using it, did you regret choosing it over another available aftermarket solution?
7) What about the BMW Individual trims and colors? Do they make a great difference in your car’s look, justifying the extra “cents” :) ? Would you prefer an Individual color only or would you also order it with the Individual trims? Would it be too hard to take their money back when, if ever :), I’d sell the car?
8) Considering that Greece (compared to continental Europe, and Northern US) has a rather mild winter, and a hot’n’dry summer, do you think of anything I should not neglect adding in the order list? (No, I wouldn't buy a cabrio:) )

I’m looking forward to reading your valuable feedback,


Theo

P.S.
a) Money is not a real issue. I can afford buying either cars, even if the M3 will make me dig in the pocket a bit deeper :)
b) Insurance cost is not an issue as well.
1. Reason for M3? Performance performance and performance. They are totally different cars, made from different parts and share almost nothing in common. They might "look" the same to the casual observer, but so does generic off-the-shelf olive oil vis-a-vis premium select liquid gold olive oil.

2. Should be identical for the first 4 years (b/c of maintenance warranty). After that, who knows. Each car will have its own problems.

3. Depends on the tire and you're driving style. No strict answer. And because BMW recommends against rotating tires (e.g. front to back, vice versa), the fact that the M3 has different size tires in the front and back should make no difference because in either the 330 or M3 when you change tires you will be buying most likely a set of all 4.

4. No facelift (at least no confirmed) -- maybe minor stuff to the headlights a la the new MY04 Coupe. LED tailights.

5. Driven stick all my life and I love the SMG. For an extra 2k or so, I think it is definitely worth the money.

6. I've never like Navs in general. I have it on my 7er only b/c it is a family car. For a performance car like the M3, forget about it. Buy a map.

7. Individual colors/trims are nice. This is a personal choice, you have to decide for yourself. And, yes, it does affect resale. I know a guy who custom ordered PY/IR -- and the only person who would want that car after him would be Ronald McDonald.

8. Don't get cold weather package. Add the lumbar support option (although it may be included).

And, yes, I think you should get an M3. Forget saving money, you only live once.

Good luck.
 

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Well, I bought my car through Military Car Sales in Germany. And the price of a striped down M3 was not too much more than what I payed for for my 330ci. I went the route of a 330ci because I didn't want 333hp and no damn sunroof or any of the other $hit that I wouldn't have been able to afford on an M3. Now I don't have to eat Ramen noodles trying to save for a bigger down payment (which is nice, 'cause I'm now married), I've had my car for a little while now, and I've got mod money!! :D That's my story, I'm sure others would have done it differently, but it was my money, and my choice. :)
 

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Re: Re: M3 vs. 330Ci questions

gluebottle said:



7. Individual colors/trims are nice. This is a personal choice, you have to decide for yourself. And, yes, it does affect resale. I know a guy who custom ordered PY/IR -- and the only person who would want that car after him would be Ronald McDonald.

Good luck.
You'd be surprised about how many people are actually fond of the PY/IR...Now! I've gotten many a P/M, or compliment on the street. Most never really liked PY until seeing the combo I currently have (Now, don't all of you run to the dealer and order this combo! ;) ...I want to stay somewhat exclusive in my color choice.). Some conservatives that I'm around (mainly the Orange County/Irvine/Laguna Niguel/Lake Forest crowd....aka..uppity beach crowd) didn't even know the M3 came in that color and are quite fond of it...Now! Of course they all drive Silver/black/white BMW's or Mercedes because that's the "safe zone" colors.
 

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I would say every 12K you should change your tires.. It's all based on how you drive. I plan on changing them alittle earlier cause I can tell i'm getting some wear on my Pilots..it'll cost 500bucks for a set of S03s.
um, unless you drive like a total psycho tires should last closer to 20k. And if you have a source for S03s, esp in 19s, for only 500, I want to know. Even in 17s they'll run at least 650...
 

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HONEStly if i had a choice i would go for 330ci because you really dont need that much power. Btw i drove an m3 and its one of those cars that you sit in and it makes you tired in my opinion. VEry bumpy ride. Yes it fasts it handels better but it doesnt look better. I love cars to look both luxurious and sporty in my opinion the 330ci is both the m3 is only sport.
 
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