BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 127 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,406 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So after some looking into some various options, decided not to upgrade our SUV from Mazda to X5M or E70 X5 or E53 4.8is.
See thread entitled X5M recently for reference if ya care to read all about those opinions and discussions.

Decided through all of that that what I'd really rather do is keep the E39 M5 and pick up a half time driver M3 to replace my almost never driven C6 Corvette.

But I'm torn on what generation of M3 to get.

My first thought was to get something cheap, sub $15K, which practically limits me to an E36. Coupe only, I think the sedan looks more dated than the coupe. I had a E36 M3 sedan before, my first BMW. And I've considered going back to one many times. It's one of the most pure drivers cars out there other than something from Porsche.

I actually found a pretty good example that might work - need to look at it, but price would be below $10K which would be perfect!

I've seen some E36's creeping up into the mid teens area, which to me seems if I spent that much might as well look for a E46.
Sure, wouldn't be a low miles car, but something in the 70-90K range if maintained well should be fine for my needs.

And I've found a few of the latest model E46 M3's with lower miles that tend to be up north of $25K.

Then again seems if you are going to go there then a E90/92 is within reach.

See how this can creep on you? HA! :2:

So sure enough, I found a very nice 2008 coupe, manual, in a color similar to CB with cinnamon interior - really nice condition that I could grab right now for about $28K. The miles are 84K, so it's not a low miles car, but I really don't have a $30K+ budget for this right now, so I could do this as a pretty even swap from the Corvette.

So then I look around to see what from the P-car camp can be had for similar money, and sure enough found a 54K mile Cayman S for $26K in a really nice color. So that has to be on the table, considering a ZCP E46 M3 with similar miles is about the same $$.

But taking a step back, what do those of you that have owned some of these cars think about which one compliments the E39 M5 best?

In many ways the E92 is the most similar in feel. It's fairly heavy (for an M3), has a V8, and feels more modern - it is a little bit sharper than the E39 but not by any huge margins. And it's faster, but doesn't really feel faster in normal street usage.

E36 is the most raw drivers car of the bunch - sure you could argue E30 even more-so, but not a fan of that motor and the prices are getting too high for what they are, IMHO.

And then the E46 seems to be the inbetweener - more feel and tossable than the E92, power level right in the middle of E36 and E92, and such a sweet example of the last NA I6 classic BMW M motor, so I like that legacy. Pricing - higher miles ~100K cars can be mid teens, maybe $20K for a 2003-2004 with 75K miles and lower miles 50-60K later model 05-06 ZCP cars going for upper $20Ks to mid $20Ks in some cases.

And then for that same price point a 2006 Cayman S might be the dark side contender too.

Not really looking for a sports car, just a car that can soak up some of my daily driving duties which is a lot of around town and short freeway stints around Silicon Valley. Something with a manual trans, decent power, and crisp handling and good driver engagement is what I'm after. Maybe something I can do a nice stereo install in as well. Not really into the Z4M's either - doesn't fit me well, feels too cramped. And no roadster - just not my thing. That's where the M3 is a good fit as a daily driver sedan yet sorta a sports car sort too. Small size which is nice for parking lots and such too.

Thoughts from you double M owners?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
993 Posts
Hi,

Everyone who responds will have a different opinion so, it comes down to YOU. What do YOU think best complements your E39 M5?!

If I had to choose, and in a similar position to you, it'd be the E46 M3. Just the 'styling' alone is in the same 'soft' and 'smooth, classic lines' as the E39, so 'visually' at least it's the closest. I'd then also suggest a nice E39 540i Touring would be an excellent candidate - a fast and practical vehicle and complements nicely as it's also an E39! you could go the other way and get the E53 X5 seeing as that's essentially an E39 build into an SUV chassis. If you want super luxury, you could hunt out a nice E38, essentially a larger and more luxurious E39 ! .. as you can see, there's plenty of potential choices, so as per above what's YOUR criteria on what 'complements' the M5 in YOUR opinion ?!!

Go drive the other potential cars, see what you think to help make up your mind !

Cheers, Dennis!
 
  • Like
Reactions: threepedals

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,169 Posts
as you can see, there's plenty of potential choices, so as per above what's YOUR criteria on what 'complements' the M5 in YOUR opinion ?!!
Ooooh....the M5Board's English department sneaks in a left hook!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,406 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So I am leaning towards a e46 as well. My criteria is more drivers involvement than the e39 m3 but still something friendly enough for daily use. That is where the c6 falls short on both counts actually. It's low and stiff and rough on bad pavement, and it's cumbersome to park and maneuver in small parking lots. Plus it has rather numb and light steering for my tastes as well.

I'm not sure how all those sedan choices got thrown into the mix. I've owned one of each of the cars you suggest - e38, 540it, e53 4.6is and while all have their place, not what I'm looking for currently. We already have a pretty decent mazda SUV that covers the utility needs. And we have a e34 525i too that the kids drive.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
993 Posts
Ooooh....the M5Board's English department sneaks in a left hook!


As a 'retort' - it's $100 OFF the price of you know what ! ;)

C4racer - Glad I could help! seems that in the next few weeks, you'll be posting up about the E46 M3 you've just purchased ;)

Cheers, Dennis!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I've got an e92 m3 and an e36 m3 to compliment my e39 m5. I use the e39 for longer trips, can't beat the combination of ride and power. I use the e36 as my daily driver. I really like it on shorter trips. It's been a project cat that I bought for $2, 900. The e92 is my wife's car. Much larger than the e36. If you're looking for a daily driver, the e36 gets 19 mpg in town vs. 14 mpg for the e92. All three cars are really different in how they go about their business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,918 Posts
How about forget about all the analysis and just buy on impulse? Over analyzing takes all the fun away, personally I'd go for a Porsche Cayman for fun factor!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,014 Posts
How about forget about all the analysis and just buy on impulse? Over analyzing takes all the fun away, personally I'd go for a Porsche Cayman for fun factor!
Are you lost? :rofl:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,918 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,014 Posts
last I checked, this is M5 board, maybe somebody else got *lost*?hiha hiha hiha
:dunno: I'm here for inspiration and aspiration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
I always try and push you towards the cayman but have a better plan this time around. Get the e46, a good one but not one that's so good that you obsess over keeping it mint and cringe if you hit a large pebble in the road. One in the $17k ballpark.

These two bmws should hold value with low mileage over the next couple years, after which you will sell them both and get one of the Porsches you've always wanted. Maybe even a used turbo or something.

Done and done.




Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,407 Posts
M Coupe

S54, S52, Z3, Z4.... doesn't matter, just... M Coupe

You can get an S52 M Coupe for under $15k (may not be very pretty, but you can get one) and its a much more unique car than an E36 M3 (dime a dozen and most are being "stanced" nowadays). Plus the Z3 community is a very friendly and welcoming one, Z3 guys and M5board guys are my favorite in the BMW community.

As far as why an M coupe compliments best, for me its very easy. To me this is how I see it:

An M5 is mostly an autobahn cruiser. Thundering highway acceleration, comfortable and stable at speed. Tossable on a track when asked but more at home cruising at 100+ on a highway vs. turning lap after lap on a track. Perfect for getting to your roadtrip destination quickly in comfort and style.

An M Coupe is more of a hardcore, track-oriented car. In any variation they are pretty raw and hard edged cars, maybe not the kind of car you'd want to take across country but exactly the car you want to take to carve some canyons. More about nimbless and good handling instead of raw power (thats not to dismiss the power of the S54s though)

An M3 is for someone looking at these cars new who cant choose between the two because they need a little of both. An M3 is a great daily driver and ideal if you have one car. Great M-F grocery getter and just as happy on a track as it is being used for your commute. Its 8/10ths in both areas where the M5 is 10/10 on the highway but less on the track and vice versa in the M Coupe. The M3 is essentially the perfect compromise. It can do everything well. But if you have the room for a few cars dedicated to different purposes, why not get cars that can do things perfectly (well, you know... nothings perfect) instead of just well? Want a bit more refinement while being even more capable? Z4M Coupe.

Thats how I see it, and thats why I own a Z3 M Coupe, Z3 M roadster and am on the hunt for my perfect M5 right now (Chiaretto over Caramel god damn you, show up for sale already!!!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
733 Posts
E46 M3 is the perfect M3 stable mate to the E39. No question. Similar lines/style to the E39, great compromise between the dated/oldtech E36 M3 and the too heavy, too space age, already own a V8, E92. The E36 makes you wish you could drive the E39 instead, and the E92 makes the E39 look like an old man's jalopy. You could look at the E46 and E39 in the garage every day and be thrilled to hop in either of them... they both posses just the right amount of tech to feel modern enough but not too much gimmick & geegaws. they're the perfect compliment to each other. I dare say his/hers BMWs. (all this assuming you don't need a 4 wheel drive vehicle, or a kid hauler, or other more practical machine...we're talking ONLY M3's as partners).

Of course this is just my opinion... and I thoroughly admit a strong bias... Ever since I've owned my E39, I've been trying to convince my wife to trade in our E46 330Ci for the M3. No luck yet, but I'm not giving up hope!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,922 Posts
:dunno: I'm here for insinuation and constipation.
Fixed for you!!:typing::biggrinbounce:

As to complementing the M5 for the purposes stated, the E36 would be fun. Telepathic, yet decent ride. Adding parts is easy and relatively cheap, including turbo. Get the coupe just for the Darth Vader seats. Not as refined as the M5 (like the E46), but a fun involving drive. The E46 styling is similar to the M5 and I think the driving experience close also. A little more nimble, power similar although it comes in much higher.

BUT, given your consideration of a Cayman, I would get the Boxster S. There are other great driving cars besides BMW. A Boxster adds a convertible for nice days, is stiff enough to take to the track if you want to, has front and rear trunk, and gives a nice difference to the feel of the M5. Sporty without beating you up. Budget not big enough for '09 forward, which is what I believe is the current sweet spot, but 06 or 07 is OK. Look for one with PSM. And you want the S.

Just IMHO. It really is all about what pleases you.

Regards,
Jerry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
733 Posts
PS - Sorry Blackxs, I gotta bag on the Z3 for just a second though. It's the BMW Miata. Mad props to the Miata for all that it has accomplished, but I'll never own the right sunglasses, wear the right loafers, or apply the appropriate hair gel to fit in a Z3/Miata properly! It's just not for me I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,083 Posts
I'm looking forward to the resolution of your car search! It's certainly fun to consider the options.

I love my Z4M coupe...the looks (still attracts attention this many years later), the rawness, the incredibly non-complient ride, the overall impracticality of the the whole package. For your needs, I'm with the E46 M3 camp. The S54 is a jewel and the E46 chassis is very suitable for daily driving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,406 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
ya I don't want a m coupe as I stated. Or a ragtop. I had a Miata and liked it for six months. Lasted less than a year and I logged like 5k miles. At this point I have realized small little track oriented cars that are nimble and light are just not for me.

I used to race with nasa btw. Culmination of a decade starting with autox then hpde and then a few dedicated race cars. Been there done that probably won't do much but eventually I may hit track days again as an instructor so would be nice to have car capable of track time. And not the M5. I know it can be made decent on the track but it's too heavy for me and I prefer to keep mine stock for best highway manners, since that is the sweet spot for them.

As to buying on emotion. Done that too many times. Rarely works out well for me. Kinda over that. More now into trying to pin down what I want in my two main drivers.

And to be clear don't need to be friendly for wife to drive or awd, we have cars to cover those needs already.

My two drivers now are the m5 and the c6. Problem I've found is they are both good at similar use cases which are longer road trips.

What I realize I want more in a second car is a smaller car with great balance and good tactile feel without all the gimmicks. When I drove the e92 today I did not like all the tech settings for drive modes. That seems like too much crap to set up. Not looking for a car I have to program and then when something goes wrong how would I be able to fix it? I am smelling dollars burning there!

So really it comes down to an M3 in my mind or maybe a 06-07 cayman S. But I'm really torn on e36 vs e46. I think both would work well. But still leaning towards e46 as I think the e36 may just be a bit dated where the e46 is more from the same vintage as our M5s. But then again, I even enjoy driving the e34 a bit for its more raw feel and really nice heavy and tactile steering feel. Which is even better in the e36. Finding one is tough but there are a few totally stock ones that look decent on the market. For sure coupe for the looks and the manual vader seats. But the e46 has nice seats too.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
I would choose the E46 M3....

Same age as your E39 M5, same beautifull lines ad the E39 M5, but put an airbox on it and I think your E39m5 stays more at home since you will drive the E46 M3 the whole time with a very big smile.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,870 Posts
Someone asked a similar question in Roundel last month and the response was E46 M3 over E36 M3. Mostly due to better quality build and better engine. I am not knocking E36 M3, I would own one in a heartbeat but If I was searching for a stablemate for the beast, I would search for an E46 M3 first.
 
1 - 20 of 127 Posts
Top