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Discussion Starter #1
Yup - Porsche. Many may recall I was active here until 2 years ago when I sold my minty Imola E39 to a local car nut in the SF Bay Area who still has the car going strong at now over 140K miles. When I bought the car from AZ it looked showroom fresh and had a mere 48K miles. So nearly 100K miles have been logged over the past 8 years, 60K by me in 6 years. I defected and picked up a 2013 Panamera S with the 400hp V8. Wonderful car and glad I owned it - but at the time I wasn't so sure I would take it past the CPO period, and I decided in the end not to go there. It wasn't as much that I was worried about repair bills - I can fix most items myself and the car was relatively robust during the 2 years I owned it and 12K miles. But the depreciation was steep and wasn't done yet and ready to fall off another cliff once it was completely out of warranty and coming up on 8 years old. It was a great long distance road trip car for sure - smooth and quiet, great seats, great sound system, nice steering - easy to drive for 4-5 hours a day and 9-10 hours over a weekend which we did quite a bit visiting our daughter in Santa Barbara. But we didn't take enough road trips to really justify owning such an expensive car that was primarily good at that particular use case. It was rather large and harder to park around town - better than my truck I guess, but not as easy as the old E39 for running around town. Which turns out is still my main use case - so what did I do, I ended up just taking the truck around town most of the time and the Porsche sat for weeks until the next road trip. And sometimes I wanted to take the Camaro SS convertible for the road trip too - it's quite nice on the highway with the top up or down. Anyway - it was time so I listed it 4 months ago and didn't worry about it and finally got the right buyer this week and now that car is headed to AZ - Phoenix. Somewhat ironic I suppose.

So now I have $$ burning a hole in my bank account and while I don't absolutely need a car, I'd really like to get back into a BMW M car again.

Short list right now is:
E90 M3 sedan - 6MT
F80 M3 sedan - 6MT
E60 M5 - 6MT
Plus keeping my eye out for the right deal on a lower miles E34 M5 or 540M-sport too, or even a E36 M3 sedan - found one with 56K miles that peaked my interest.

If I found the right E39 M5 I might go back to that one - but right now leaning towards one of the two M3 sedan options.
Found two private owner cars both in Alpine White that look interesting - 48K mile 2015 and 57K mile 2008 M3 sedan 6MT. Cost difference is about $10K for the F80. I could also swing for a lower miles F80, but that gets me up into the mid $40K's which gets me back into a higher depreciation situation that I'd rather avoid. Not too worried about mileage as this is a car I will drive ~6K miles a year.

I drove a similar F80 yesterday - also a 2015, non comp package car with the 19" wheels. Really liked how it drives - very similar in size to the E39 which I liked. You give up some driving feel for size and low end tq when comparing to an E90 M3.
I have 3 E60 M5 6MT's in the running with miles in the 60s. Price point similar to the E90 M3. Most have had the TB actuators done - one had rod bearings. Not too worried about that - it's a $2K job and would do Blackstone analysis to get a read out on condition. Pretty much a required maint item to factor into the ownership of these cars. And with my expected miles / year I am comfortable with the risks and upkeep needed on that V10 or the little brother V8 in the E90.
The F80 seems to have a much more bulletproof regular production type engine. But I am a much bigger fan of a NA motor and those high reving motors are last of a breed so those models really interest me as the latest model BMW's that were really designed for hard core enthusiasts.

Kevin - got any thoughts for me pal??
 

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I'm not Kevin, but I did have the same shopping list before picking up my 2000 M5.

The thing that scared me away from E60 ownership was not the usual list of concerns, but the range. I love a road trip (sounds like we're in the same boat), but hate stopping for fuel, so getting 250 miles out of a tank wasn't appealing. The E39 and F80 do a much better job there.

Personal preference, but for around town the E39 and F80 both are more fun thanks to the low-end torque.

Then again... a V10 is a wonderful thing... However you choose, congrats on selling the Porsche and welcome back!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm. Hadn’t thought of the range aspect. Ya 250 is terrible range! Interesting.
 

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And I only mentioned Kevin because he knows my car way back from It’s AZ days and he has a F80 M3 now in addition to his M5. So has some perspective now on that platform from a few years worth of daily driving one.

I’m honestly leaning towards the E90 at this point. Just because it’s going to drop in value less over time starting already $10K down that curve. And it’s a bit more driver focused with really good steering. Where the F80 is pretty good for the current crop of cars on the market - it’s not good from a historical BMW perspective. And generally the F80 chassis feels rather similar to my 6th gen Camaro SS alpha platform too which is shared with the latest CTS and the ATS. So I kinda think the E90 will be a more special car and bring something more to the table in the way of feel and balance and emotion that I won’t get from the F80.
 

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Oops...wrong thread! But I might as well chime in with my 6MT e60 m5 ownership experience. Overall it has been positive.

With that said, after having my s62 for years, and now my 6MT s85 for the past 150,000+ miles...the s85 used market is a minefield of abused examples. The ones available to test drive are rarely factory-fresh.The best e60 examples rarely trade hands.

For me, I’m “all-in” with the e60 platform. I loved the e39, but needed just-a-little-more room found in the e60.

And yes, the s85/s65 sucks gas, but you can get 300+ miles out of the s85 on a tank, at 80+. I can get to Harris Ranch from Huntington Beach on a tank :ROFLMAO:

Now, with all that said, I’ve been thinking of adding a clean 6MT e90 m3 or e46 m3. Interested in what others have to say too.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
E46 M3 in good shape with low miles keep going up. Much like the e39 M5.
for the most part the e90s are still following normal depreciation curves. They haven’t hit the tipping point quite yet. Maybe they will soon or maybe people will keep buying newer models. Hard to say.
 

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Yup - Porsche. Many may recall I was active here until 2 years ago when I sold my minty Imola E39 to a local car nut in the SF Bay Area who still has the car going strong at now over 140K miles. When I bought the car from AZ it looked showroom fresh and had a mere 48K miles. So nearly 100K miles have been logged over the past 8 years, 60K by me in 6 years. I defected and picked up a 2013 Panamera S with the 400hp V8. Wonderful car and glad I owned it - but at the time I wasn't so sure I would take it past the CPO period, and I decided in the end not to go there. It wasn't as much that I was worried about repair bills - I can fix most items myself and the car was relatively robust during the 2 years I owned it and 12K miles. But the depreciation was steep and wasn't done yet and ready to fall off another cliff once it was completely out of warranty and coming up on 8 years old. It was a great long distance road trip car for sure - smooth and quiet, great seats, great sound system, nice steering - easy to drive for 4-5 hours a day and 9-10 hours over a weekend which we did quite a bit visiting our daughter in Santa Barbara. But we didn't take enough road trips to really justify owning such an expensive car that was primarily good at that particular use case. It was rather large and harder to park around town - better than my truck I guess, but not as easy as the old E39 for running around town. Which turns out is still my main use case - so what did I do, I ended up just taking the truck around town most of the time and the Porsche sat for weeks until the next road trip. And sometimes I wanted to take the Camaro SS convertible for the road trip too - it's quite nice on the highway with the top up or down. Anyway - it was time so I listed it 4 months ago and didn't worry about it and finally got the right buyer this week and now that car is headed to AZ - Phoenix. Somewhat ironic I suppose.

So now I have $$ burning a hole in my bank account and while I don't absolutely need a car, I'd really like to get back into a BMW M car again.

Short list right now is:
E90 M3 sedan - 6MT
F80 M3 sedan - 6MT
E60 M5 - 6MT
Plus keeping my eye out for the right deal on a lower miles E34 M5 or 540M-sport too, or even a E36 M3 sedan - found one with 56K miles that peaked my interest.

If I found the right E39 M5 I might go back to that one - but right now leaning towards one of the two M3 sedan options.
Found two private owner cars both in Alpine White that look interesting - 48K mile 2015 and 57K mile 2008 M3 sedan 6MT. Cost difference is about $10K for the F80. I could also swing for a lower miles F80, but that gets me up into the mid $40K's which gets me back into a higher depreciation situation that I'd rather avoid. Not too worried about mileage as this is a car I will drive ~6K miles a year.

I drove a similar F80 yesterday - also a 2015, non comp package car with the 19" wheels. Really liked how it drives - very similar in size to the E39 which I liked. You give up some driving feel for size and low end tq when comparing to an E90 M3.
I have 3 E60 M5 6MT's in the running with miles in the 60s. Price point similar to the E90 M3. Most have had the TB actuators done - one had rod bearings. Not too worried about that - it's a $2K job and would do Blackstone analysis to get a read out on condition. Pretty much a required maint item to factor into the ownership of these cars. And with my expected miles / year I am comfortable with the risks and upkeep needed on that V10 or the little brother V8 in the E90.
The F80 seems to have a much more bulletproof regular production type engine. But I am a much bigger fan of a NA motor and those high reving motors are last of a breed so those models really interest me as the latest model BMW's that were really designed for hard core enthusiasts.

Kevin - got any thoughts for me pal??
Ha, I always have thoughts....

As you know, I owned an F80 for 3 years and have driven the E9X M3 and E60 M5 extensively. So, in order of age (overlapping of course):

E60: I only have experience with SMG III in this car. The S85 is an epic motor, and while that is an overused term, I don't think anyone who has experienced this motor at 8000+ RPM would argue. So why didn't I buy an E60? Simply put, as a DD, the torque curve was disappointing (but not unexpected). Consequently, I always wanted the thrill...which was at 8K RPM...which is really not safe in city driving in this car. Now, of course, maintenance neglect and abuse has plagued many/most of the used examples on the market. Clearly, an appropriate model can be found at your price range with an appropriate search, the bearings changed, and compulsive maintenance given. Just test drive one extensively first.

E9X: Great car in general. My main issue was again the lack of low-end torque as a DD, at least with the E39 M5 as the comparison. Bearings aside, you can't go wrong with this car otherwise and as the last BMW NA V8 engine, there is always some heritage to be had. If you don't drive the damn thing, will likely appreciate in value (as will a MT E60).

F80: For a DD, likely your best bet. The pre-ZCP cars had a reputation for lack of traction and poor steering feel. Mine was a ZCP, and I only briefly drove a pre-ZCP version, so I can't comment too much. I will say that unlike previous BMWs, which didn't evolve that significantly other than cosmetics, the F8X evolved significantly over the entire production cycle of the car. That said, if you like way the 2015 car drove, I can't think of a better value currently as everyone wants a ZCP model. The MT is very good in all years. The S55 has proven very reliable over the years, with only a few crank hub failures, mostly in boosted cars.

So, all are great cars IMO, and of course the particular car you acquire will influence your satisfaction. Happy to weigh in if you have specific questions.
 

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I have a colleague that owns an E60 M5 and he told me to stay away. The V10 is glorious, but it causes far more headaches than enjoyment.

I would go with the E90. Each new generation is "better" on paper and in technical terms, but there is something missing from the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Flawed understanding by your friend. It’s the same motor. Has all the exact same issues.
which is TB actuator, Vanos, and bearings wear quicker than they should. Or they can depending on how it’s driven. Also the Vanos feed line can leak but that can be replaced and the oil pump checked when bearings are done. Which is recommended every 75K miles.

so other than that...
Anyway M3 buys you no relief from any of those issues. The only area the E90 is less complicated in features on the car itself so less things to go wrong. But both seem reasonably robust platforms. All bmws have their quirks.

the bearing replacement is the big one. TB fix or Vanos rebuild I can easily handle. The bearing replacement is daunting and I think the best way to do it at home May be to pull the motor. It’s a $3-4K job so I am factoring that into my cost estimates.

looking at a very nice 08 M5 with 65K miles so either bite to bullet and do rod bearings now or do Blackstone analysis and maybe push that off two years. But realistically I would do it within the first year if not immediately with that car.

you could have the same reaction to e39 M5 if not used to BMW level of maint. Honestly. CPS. Vanos. Chain guides. Suspension shot at 80-90k for the most part. Driveshaft. Lots of electrical problems especially with the stereo system. I mean they are reliable for a M car But ain’t no Lexus.

for me it’s not hugely different from the Porsche in this respect. And the cars are so cheap for what you are getting because all that is factored in.

so to me there is no significant difference M3 vs M5 with the S65/85 motors as long as they are 6MT cars. There is a 45K mi M6 up on BAT I will be watching tomorrow too.

pretty much decided I don’t want a F80. Because I don’t need a daily driver. It’s a weekend day trip car, date night car, and will be used for customer meetings locally maybe once a week.
 

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I had my original TA on my 6MT s85 last for 169,000 miles. I am pretty sure, since I used my entire rev range, wear in the teeth were spread out. My experience below:


Well, mine finally kicked the bucket at 169,000 miles.

I think that’s a pretty good run for throttle actuators. While testing my new AD08Rs for grip, car hit limp mode, for my very first time, at 7000 rpm.

More later, as I’ve been out of town since Monday. Depending on my schedule, I should get the car back today or tomorrow.

Can’t wait to drive again. It’s been a crazy three weeks, due to backordered tires, my flight/travel schedule, and TAs!!

EDIT: video attached
 

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Flawed understanding by your friend. It’s the same motor. Has all the exact same issues.
which is TB actuator, Vanos, and bearings wear quicker than they should. Or they can depending on how it’s driven. Also the Vanos feed line can leak but that can be replaced and the oil pump checked when bearings are done. Which is recommended every 75K miles.

so other than that...
Anyway M3 buys you no relief from any of those issues. The only area the E90 is less complicated in features on the car itself so less things to go wrong. But both seem reasonably robust platforms. All bmws have their quirks.

the bearing replacement is the big one. TB fix or Vanos rebuild I can easily handle. The bearing replacement is daunting and I think the best way to do it at home May be to pull the motor. It’s a $3-4K job so I am factoring that into my cost estimates.

looking at a very nice 08 M5 with 65K miles so either bite to bullet and do rod bearings now or do Blackstone analysis and maybe push that off two years. But realistically I would do it within the first year if not immediately with that car.

you could have the same reaction to e39 M5 if not used to BMW level of maint. Honestly. CPS. Vanos. Chain guides. Suspension shot at 80-90k for the most part. Driveshaft. Lots of electrical problems especially with the stereo system. I mean they are reliable for a M car But ain’t no Lexus.

for me it’s not hugely different from the Porsche in this respect. And the cars are so cheap for what you are getting because all that is factored in.

so to me there is no significant difference M3 vs M5 with the S65/85 motors as long as they are 6MT cars. There is a 45K mi M6 up on BAT I will be watching tomorrow too.

pretty much decided I don’t want a F80. Because I don’t need a daily driver. It’s a weekend day trip car, date night car, and will be used for customer meetings locally maybe once a week.
All BMW's have their quirks... but, on average, the e60 M5 is in another league. I prefer it from a driving perspective to the e39, and do all my own work... but I still find the e60 to be unownable. The e39, by contrast, my be one of the most reliable? No chassis failure weak points, no trans failure weak points, no engine catestrophic failure modes if you stay on top of doing a chain tensioner every ~100,000 miles, isoloted electronics so one failure doesn't take out the entire car, etc.

e90 is not as bad as the e60-- doesn't have the vanos issues, doesn't have the SMG issues, can be had without idrive/idrive issue, doesn't suffer the e60's... lack of waterproofness issues.

F80 isn't a great drive IMO (steering, lag, uninspiring top end, feels too big), and if you ever have to work on it... good luck. This hasn't really started being an issue yet, as every modern car is pretty reliable till ~100,000 miles, but once they start getting up there... I suspect a lot of people are going to be very SOL. Look in the engine bay and contemplate what would be involved in a belt change :p

Of the cars you listed, I'd get the e90 M3 or e36 M3. That said, do you need 4 doors? If depreciation if a negative for you, the rising values of e46 M3s should be a positive. I know I sound like a broken record, but I prefer it to any of the above...
(and one of mine is a 5 door, if you really wanted to narrow your search)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Most of the e90 M3 have I drive anyway.
I am only looking at 6MT cars. No chance of a SMG for me.
I like the e46 but really prefer a 4 door this for around. It slides in under the radar as a useful car. Otherwise I have 3 2 door coupes and the impression is I have 3 toys. That can create friction at home since I am already up one car from where the wife wants me to be. Don’t want to push my luck too far. And it really is more useful for me to have a sedan. And it’s a better weekend road trip car that way too. We travel with two but then often connect up with our daughter once we are there. So 2 door is a real hassle.
 

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I say go the E90 route now and F80 down the line if desired. There'll still be plenty of F80s to choose from with lower miles in the future.

I personally just wish the E90 rear end looked better. They nailed it on the E92.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm going full dark side people. E60 M5. Getting one with all the maintenance items like rod bearings and TBA done.
A buddy of mine has been driving one for 9+ years as a daily driver - over 120K miles on his. Very reliable for him - it's all about the proper car and feeding and doing the required maintenance just like with any other car of this level.
V10 baby.

And for me this is a 3rd car that will see 5-6K miles a year. I am fully capable of 95% of repairs and maint. Eyes are wide open on what these cars are. And I'm not planning to take this one to 120K miles either. It will be a 3-5 year stint and then sell it with 90K ish miles a few years down the line.
 

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I would not own a E60/63 with a manual. SMG is soo much better matched to S85. Though, you likely not going to push the car to the limit, so doesn't matter I guess.
 
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