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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had a 2002 330ci for 4 years now for my commuter and love the car. My round trip to work each day is 70 miles (69 miles of freeway) and the only reason I don't go insane is because of my 330ci and how nice it is to drive. In 4 years I have put 60K miles on the car with only oil changes and fuel. The only issue I have had is the power steering went out a year or so ago and other than that the car has been flawless. I still touch 30MPG every once in a while, average 28 MPG.

Thinking about upgrading and looking at M3's. I know I am going to give up a few MPG's which I can live with but what about reliability. I have been told that M3's are not as reliable. Any thoughts? Anyone who have graduated from a 330 to a M3 as a DD?

Thanks.
 

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Don't forget standard maintenance & parts on just about every part of the car will be more expensive.

I know you do a lot of highway miles, but do a comparison on the prices of brake pads + rotors to give an example of what you're looking at.

Also, I think BMW recommends oil changes on M3 more often then a 330 (something like 15k vs 3k?). So if you've been doing the standard 15k (which isn't recommended by anybody not officially employed by BMW), you'll have to do oil a lot more often.
 

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From what I know, they are not really less reliable, just more expensive to maintain. They also have some additional maintenance items like the valves that need to be adjusted, etc.
 

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My M is the first BMW I've ever owned and the cost of parts is nothing to take lately...water pump was close to $375.00, but after its all said and done...nothing puts a smile on my face when I take it out on the road.
 

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Get an M3 vert. I was in the exact same position as you. I had a 2002 330ci and always dreamed of the M3 but I dreamt of a convertible with 4 seats first. So my search narrowed to either E46 M3 or 911. The 911 had smaller back seats. So E46 M3 it was.

I would not go from a 330ci to an M3 coupe. Just not worth enough of a bump. But throw in the vert, and you have a totally different feel/experience and worth a jump that you can fool yourself into justifying. LOL.

M3 Pros - more power and performance, nicer exterior looks, you've reach the top of the 3 series line
M3 Cons - cost to maintain, MPG (I'm only getting 20 mpg)
 

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Vert thing is totally subjective. I personally don't like them. Each to his own. Reliability of a car this old is pretty much completely relative to its history. Like Katu said, service history being the same, the M3 isn't necessarily going to be less reliable, but it will be comparatively more expensive to maintain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm not to worried about the extra cost of normal wear and tear stuff, just the reliability and how often things items need to be replaced.

Cost aside, So a M is just as reliable as a 330? That really is my question I guess.

Funny you mentioned a vert. That is what I was going to do. I think a vert with a hard top for the winter driving would be pretty sweet.
 

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I'm not to worried about the extra cost of normal wear and tear stuff, just the reliability and how often things items need to be replaced.

Cost aside, So a M is just as reliable as a 330? That really is my question I guess.

Funny you mentioned a vert. That is what I was going to do. I think a vert with a hard top for the winter driving would be pretty sweet.
I am in the same boat as u with deciding on upgrading to an M3 from my 330ci. The guys have done a great job of answering ur question already. Reliability of an M3 vs. 330ci goes south if u don't take heed to a more rigorous or recurring (for lack of better words) maintenance schedule. It's all about preventative maintenance not reactive.

Sent from my Samsung Galaxy using Bimmer App
 

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Also, I think BMW recommends oil changes on M3 more often then a 330 (something like 15k vs 3k?). So if you've been doing the standard 15k (which isn't recommended by anybody not officially employed by BMW), you'll have to do oil a lot more often.

Are you insane? The only time you do 3k oil changes is when you are using sh1tty oil to flush the system or something similar. There is no earthly reason to regularly run 3k oil changes if you are using the correct oil with average non-constant track use.
 
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