STi vs E46 M3 - Page 3
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This is a discussion on STi vs E46 M3 within the Comparison: WRX vs World forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; M3/M5 was one of the cars I was thinking of getting instead of my STi. I figured I want to ...

  1. #31
    Registered User wo^tron's Avatar
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    M3/M5 was one of the cars I was thinking of getting instead of my STi.
    I figured I want to be "a kid/boy racer" and enjoy the fast life and the modability of the STi. After its paid off I'll turn it into some track monster and get a M5 to be "professional" with :P
    (dunno what kind of wet dreams I have but they are nice ones hahah)
    I agree its a tough decision. Both cars handle well in my opinion (at least the e46 m3) and they both look real nice
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  3. #32
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    I feel the need to chime in on the Boss 302, or any other new mustang suggestions. I cross shopped the 5.0 when I was getting my WRX, it's freaking awesome. However, it really loses it's appeal as soon as you venture onto uneven, rough roads. It may be a beast on the track and smooth asphalt, but on country roads, it's too much of a handful. The back end is too easily unsettled and feels very skittish with that much power and in the hands of a non-professional driver, I'd say borderline unsafe for aggressive driving on such roads.

    The WRX may roll a bit more and give up a lot of power, but the confidence it gives on rough/uneven roads made it a simple choice for me. I'd wager it could keep up with 5.0 better than one might think on those surfaces.

    I'm in no way comparing Mustang to the M3 though, since I know having a suspension design from this half century alleviates those issues.

  4. #33
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    I only pay 12.25/quart of the tws oil. I love my m3 the quality is better than my Subaru. As a daily driver the ride can be a bit harsh until you get used to it but it handles amazing in the canyon where I live. It also averages about 24 mpg for me with mixed driving. The balance of the car is remarkable even with the DSC off. Minuses are the mods are way more expensive and yield less gains unless you go forced induction. The turner motorsports intake on the car was just under 1k for a claimed 8whp gain and the pulleys were about 500. But I do get the joy that I very rarely ever see another m3 whereas in boulder at least there's subarus at every light.
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  5. #34
    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    Interesting, it's quite possible that I see more M3's on a given day than WRX's. But then I live in a non-snowbelt, somewhat affluent area. (Though I wouldn't characterize myself as being affluent)
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  6. #35
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Lots of M3s here, and it is good that they are not "loud" in appearance, I like that.

    What I'm not crazy about is the sinking feeling I have gotten over the years that any M3 past the homologation specials of yesteryear is more of a "M330CSi" than an "M3 Full Group A/8" car. That's a shame, but then again nobody in their right mind wants to live with a full GrA car so I can understand.

    I want less raw cars, but I want others to want more raw cars if that makes sense (it doesn't to me at least but that's that).

    From the 3 series, the best car is the 328i. It makes the most output with the least complexity and cost. From the Imprezas, the WRX 5dr is the best car, it makes the most output with the most rational body style. The WRX STi 5dr is close though, it seems they have corrected a number of faults from the older STi cars (easier to live with, a better road car than previous STi cars).
    Last edited by SD_GR; 05-15-2011 at 09:14 AM.
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  7. #36
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    The current M3 doesn't have the dramatic differences in body versus a regular 3 series like they used to in years past...think a couple models back - E30 & E36. A bit of disapointment to me with the new ones. The new 1 Series M seems to go back to these roots with its wider fenders versus the 1 series regular.

    Now, comparing either of these new M cars or the E46 to an STI...I've driven all of them (currently own an E60 M5) except the 1M. They're all very different beasts. The STI is a rally car partially retuned suspension wise for the street, whereas the Bimmers were never intended for anything but paved roads. I think the handling of any M car is very precise and offers great feedback and weighting of steering with very neutral handling. It won't bite you with gobs of oversteer or disappoint with understeer plowing through a turn. With an AWD car, using the front wheels for turning and power can cause them to break loose and understeer more often than not, so coming out of a turn is difficult to put lots of torque down without robbing of a good line. The additional weight and drivetrain losses are also a bit of a drawback at times, particularly drivetrain losses at higher speeds (120/150+). Now, I think for variable surfaces an AWD vehicle is top. For street it can be very forgiving too, although I think the steering can be a little more vague with front wheel powertrains. This is just my take on it and from my limited experience in several of these vehicles. I'm currently in the market and leaning towards an STI to compliment my other beast. For all around fun, good utility, cheaper maintenance, and bad weather / bad surface superiority, an AWD vehicle like the WRX can't be beat in my opinion. Plus, they just look so cool to me with the scoop, fenders, hatch or trunk, and rally stance.
    Last edited by boarder1995; 05-20-2011 at 11:50 AM.

  8. #37
    Registered User Purp's Avatar
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    I'll chime in here. I own a 2011 WRX and a 2003 E46 M3. Both are stock for now. There is honestly no comparison in quality compared to the M3. The WRX is a fun quick car but it runs out of steam fast and its very soft. I know you can fix that with some suspension mods, but you can also make the M3 better. Its a slippery slope. When my family and I go out, we take the M3. The wife and I were both on the highway the other day, we started racing and she put about 6 car lengths on my WRX in no time. I was honestly shocked it was that fast.

    When you drive the WRX around town it feels faster than the M3 because it delivers a lot of torque esp when the turbo spools up. The M3 needs some coaxing and revs to see what it can do, and by the time your get that engine singing you have hit warp drive. If I had to choose a car to drive every day its the M3 hands down. There is no better feeling than seeing those revs hit 7500 and listening to the sound of that solid lifter motor sing . The reason I own the WRX is that its a good car for New England. Its fast, reliable and you can beat the **** out of it and not feel too bad. Every time i hit a pot hole in my M3 I cry a little inside.

    Of course, the day I get to mod my WRX my feelings my change. Damn Subi warranty.

  9. #38
    Registered User ElVerde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfieldsWRX View Post
    Interesting, it's quite possible that I see more M3's on a given day than WRX's. But then I live in a non-snowbelt, somewhat affluent area. (Though I wouldn't characterize myself as being affluent)
    I see more M3's than Toyota Camrys on a given day

    I genuinely love M3's and always have...my roommate drives a 99 M3 convertible and it's pretty cool to see a car that old still stack up well against what's on the road today. I looked into the E46's when I was car shopping as well...but I couldn't bring myself to spend the same $$ on a car that had 50k miles and cost a crapload to maintain.
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  10. #39
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    The maintenance and repairs is what will get you, BIG TIME! I just had the alternator/battery replaced in our M5 and total was about $1200 at the stealership. Not for the faint of heart or tight on budget, particularly if it's a required daily driver you'll need repaired immediately to stay employed.

  11. #40
    Registered User Purp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boarder1995 View Post
    The maintenance and repairs is what will get you, BIG TIME! I just had the alternator/battery replaced in our M5 and total was about $1200 at the stealership. Not for the faint of heart or tight on budget, particularly if it's a required daily driver you'll need repaired immediately to stay employed.
    I have owned 5 M cars so far. The thing about these cars is that they dont often break. If you cant work on them yourself id suggest not owning one. I had an E34 M5 that I daily drove for over two years. Its now another BMW guys daily driver. It had 178K miles on it and would still beat up on most cars on the street. The cars are built very well but should only be owned by serious people. If you dont care for them the right way they end up like the piles of E36s out there driven by the flat brim hat crowed revving the **** out of their 220K mile rusted ticking time bomb that they bought from a buy here pay here lot.

    For instance, these cars require a valve adjustment every 15K or so or like i do once a year at a cost of $1K. Luckily i do this myself. Tires are a huge wear item at 1200 a year. You got to pay to play.
    Last edited by Purp; 06-06-2011 at 10:11 AM.

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