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Discussion Starter #1
Well after much debate, research and driving my wife crazy I’m down to two cars.
I have also figured out how to keep my Subaru for winter driving if necessary.

New M3 Interlagos Blue with the Competition Package no roof –I’m too big and of course a 6 speed manual.
Likes
While the M3 is no CSL it is a blast to drive. I feel like I’m in a kart!
It has fabulous brakes, great shifter and comfortable seats.
8K Redline!
Warranty for the life of the lease.
Something different for me.

Dislike
Definitely notice the torque difference over the M5. However a trip to 8K usually solves this feeling.
Interior is tight
Breaks grab a bit.
Ride is pretty tight-boarder line rough-for Chicago streets.

Used 03’ M5 Black/black 9,000 miles perfect no mods. Exactly like my 02’
Likes:
Car is like new-even smells new on the inside.
I fit better in this car.
Lot’s of torque!
Did I mention torque!
4 doors and a large trunk.

Dislikes:
Not nearly as tossable as the M3.
Warranty will expire near the end of the lease.
Essentially the same car I had for two years.

So my real question is can I upgrade the suspension and breaks on the M5 to get me closer to the handling experience of the M3 without having a bone jarring ride?
 

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Trans,
I can't answer the suspension question, but I will address a few things you mention here.

trans_lux said:
It has fabulous brakes, great shifter and comfortable seats.
I agree with you on the brakes. Even a standard E46 has great brakes. The shifter, in my opinion, is sloppy. Is the ZCP different than a standard M3?

trans_lux said:
Definitely notice the torque difference over the M5. However a trip to 8K usually solves this feeling.
I find that when I drive either M, especially with other people in the car, I don't tend to redline the engine, for fear of scaring the you-know-what :eek: out of them. It may be music to me, but to others it can be pretty scary! I much prefer the mid-range torque of the M5 for my daily commute. Gives a great punch without making the GF nervous.

trans_lux said:
Car is like new-even smells new on the inside.
I fit better in this car.
Lot’s of torque!
Did I mention torque!
4 doors and a large trunk.
I think you've said it all here, and given that you've got kids, four doors and a large trunk seem to fit the bill rather nicely if that's what you need.

Your sig said it all..."Stupid, stupid why did I trade this one! I miss it everyday :crying: "
 

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Well, given that this is an M5 board...

I doubt that you can replicate the handling and feeling of an M3 in an M5. The recirculating ball steering will never fell like rack and pinion, and the mass of the M5 is not able to be reduced much.

Having said that, I went through a similar thought process when I was searching for my M5. I perchased the M5 for some of the reasons you mention and never looked back. When I drive my friend's M3, I find it to be fun and tossible but for my needs/preferences, no match for my M5.

Good luck with the decision; at least you know you really can't go wrong either way.
 

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2 totally different cars.

I have been driving a track prepared E30 M3 for the last 4 years as my daily driver and I can say it gets old real quick. Yes, it handles much much better than the M5 ever could but that is it's purpose. The M5 suits my daily driving needs and then some. 4 doors, big trunk and POWER. Handling is good for such a large car but not even close the the M3. I would not want it that way. You may get tired of the M3 sooner than you think. If you have to take more than one passenger with you in the M3 you/they will regret it.

Get the M5 or better yet get both, it's only money. Thats what I told my wife.

Jordan
 

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I also went through the same decision making process as you before I bought my M5. I drove a couple of 05 E46 M3s although not Competition Package cars. What convinced me to go M5 were the lack of a useable back seat in the M3 and the torque of the M5. While you can rev an M3 to 8K to get it to perform that isn't really practical for most of the driving I do, the M5's torque is useable for most of the rev range. My test for a back seat is that I set the driver's seat so it is comfortable for me and then I try to sit behind it. There is no-way that I would subject anyone to that, I am 6', 230lbs FWIW. Another factor in my decision is that I have an E36 M3 that is heavily track prepped suspension wise with a lightweight flywheel and other engine mods so I have a car that provides go-cart like handling already. Just my $.02, but the M5 is the better choice if you are buying it as a street car.
 

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Seems like a loaded question seeing that everyone has their own tastes. However, by looking at your sig, it looks like you need something "sporty" to compliment the other cars in your gargage. The M5 is sporty for a mid-sized sedan, but it certainly will not match the handling of the M3 no matter what kind of upgrades you add.
 

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trans_lux said:
So my real question is can I upgrade the suspension and breaks on the M5 to get me closer to the handling experience of the M3 without having a bone jarring ride?
No personal experience on this, but there are a fair number of threads here about various suspension and brake mods, most of which indicate that both the handling and braking can be significantly improved. With the M3, on the other hand, you'll be stuck with the tight size and there's probably a limited amount, if anything, that you can do to improve the torque.
 

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my take... buy both! problem solved. :cheers:
 

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Just to play devil's advocate.. it seems that you already have the vehicles to tote your kids in. If you aren't looking for torque 24/7, then go with the M3. But I for one like the torque. Now THAT's a kick in the pants!! :hihi:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Both would be ideal-however I currently only have a single garage space.
I'm leaning toward the M5 as it is a better for me in that I’m a fairly large guy and feel like 10 lbs of –insert your favorite expletive -in 5 lbs bag in the M3. There is just no way around this unless I finally figure out how to shrink myself.
You are all right on track -it comes down to that torque! My Cayenne has loads of it. I think I’ll miss it in the M3. It is hard to keep a car wound-up in an area like Chicago.

If nothing else I will have this forum and all the fabulous people that devote so much time energy and thought to a passion for all things M.
I’ll post pictures either way.
Again thanks for all the input and direction.
 

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SANguru said:
my take... buy both! problem solved. :cheers:
That's what I did. My wife drives the M3, and I drive the M5, which is the daily commuter and "trip" car.

I have snows for the M3, which we drive in inclement weather.

My three boys fit into the back of both cars, and at 6' 4", I fit into the front of both. I'm more comfortable with the head and shoulder room of the M5, but the M3's seats are far superior, in my opinion.

We trade cars for a day when the mood strikes us.

-R
 

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Never driven an M3, but I love my M5 for the space and the smooth power curve :eek: . Understeer sucks, but c'mon - how many times do you track the car - I only track it a couple of times a year and I have fun no matter what!

I say M5, but that's just my biased opinion.
 

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randel said:
That's what I did. My wife drives the M3, and I drive the M5, which is the daily commuter and "trip" car.

I have snows for the M3, which we drive in inclement weather.

My three boys fit into the back of both cars, and at 6' 4", I fit into the front of both. I'm more comfortable with the head and shoulder room of the M5, but the M3's seats are far superior, in my opinion.

We trade cars for a day when the mood strikes us.

-R
Now that's what I call a power couple! :M5launch:
 

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randel said:
That's what I did. My wife drives the M3, and I drive the M5, which is the daily commuter and "trip" car.

I have snows for the M3, which we drive in inclement weather.

My three boys fit into the back of both cars, and at 6' 4", I fit into the front of both. I'm more comfortable with the head and shoulder room of the M5, but the M3's seats are far superior, in my opinion.

We trade cars for a day when the mood strikes us.

-R
randel,
I agree with you on the seats. I'd love to put my M3 seats in the M5...that would be nice...
:cheers:
 
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