STi vs E46 M3
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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; I am looking to buy a M3 or STi, which one do you think is a better car and why, ...

  1. #1
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    STi vs E46 M3

    I am looking to buy a M3 or STi, which one do you think is a better car and why, I don't need ppl to be bias (i expect that anyways).

    M3: 333hp @ 7900rpm and 262ft/lbs @ 4900rpm 1/4 mile: 13.2 secs.

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    How do you plan on using the car? My personal opinion would be the STI, but that's based what I'm looking for in a car. If the M3 came in a hatch, I'd probably swing my vote the other way.
    Stink eye mob #727
    2011 WRX DGM Hatch, Protuned Stage 1

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    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    I just sold an e46 M3 to pick up the 2011 WRX, actually.
    Loved the M3. Doubtful I'll own another car with driving dynamics that equal the e46 M3. But I got rid of it because there ended up being quite a few hidden costs that made it impractical for a daily driver. Very expensive to maintain and goes through tires like crazy.
    I've driven an STi and I'd say it is pretty close to the M3 in terms of capability, but the M3 is a lot easier to drive. It makes you look like a pro. When I bought it, I went straight to the Appalachian mountains here in NC to test it out and felt comfortable pushing its limits right away. Comparatively, I've had the WRX a month and still don't feel as confident.

    You gotta pay to play, I suppose. Performance doesn't come free.

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    I've also had an M3.... lol actually Ive had 4 other BMW's before that. And as said above it really does apply to how you drive/and what you want out of the car.
    The M3 is one of a kind and amazing to drive - But as an M owner who took great care of the car $$ was monthly.... I'm not sure how you drive or where you like to go... but I finally decided to get a car that would fit my location.. I need to awd for the snow plus the wagon for my dogs and camping...

    I guess the m3 in my opinion is made purely for solid roads and ahhhhh amazing in the twisties....it still is my favorite car I have ever owned but not practical....Im in my early 20's and love being adventurous and like to fill my car up with gear/friends/dogs and drive way up in the mountains... never could/would do this with an M... the rex is kinda made for that style of driving... i deff. see myself buying an M3 in my 40's but the rex is what i need right now especially since i get all four seasons =)

    + I can get it dirty and not care... (which is so different from the m3.... I would wax it after a fly hit it).. also not sure how you feel about mods but the wrx/sti in my opinion tune great and with proper mods and a good shop can easily surpass the M3's speed......probably not at smoothly or elegantly but still in the end ..... rape it hahah

    My last set of advice and i'm sure im probably going back an fourth quite a bit....

    ... if you've never owned an M3.... you should at least for a bit experience her peer brilliance ... then when your ready to have all 4 wheels driven at the same time and ready play anywhere!!! with a nice turbo forplay... move to the sti..and experience the fire that can be started anywhere.. hahaha

    hope this helps =)

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    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Where are you located? Near sea level or at altitude? I almost bought a new M3 a couple of years ago but the power out of that V8 was so underwhelming I decided against it.

    Is this a question of 4 door M3 versus STI? Or 2 door M3 versus STI?

    Have you driven either/both? The M3 is an outstanding car and anybody who knocks it is an idiot. But it's expensive to buy and expensive to maintain.
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
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    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    The power in the new M3 V8 was underwhelming?? You're mighty hard to please! I was quite thrilled with the linear delivery of the 333hp in the e46, and the new V8 is practically brutal in comparison! Definitely want to own one when they drop to a reasonable price for a used model!

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamXp View Post
    The power in the new M3 V8 was underwhelming?? You're mighty hard to please! I was quite thrilled with the linear delivery of the 333hp in the e46, and the new V8 is practically brutal in comparison! Definitely want to own one when they drop to a reasonable price for a used model!

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    Remember, he's at a much higher elevation than you. Makes a huge difference
    Stink eye mob #727
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    Registered User djclue8713's Avatar
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    He is actually at a very low elevation now. He's been sent to hell courtesy of the banstick.

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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djclue8713 View Post
    He is actually at a very low elevation now. He's been sent to hell courtesy of the banstick.
    I was talking about Teflon. But yes, gasstationboi will be there for a very long time I believe
    Stink eye mob #727
    2011 WRX DGM Hatch, Protuned Stage 1

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    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamXp View Post
    The power in the new M3 V8 was underwhelming?? You're mighty hard to please! I was quite thrilled with the linear delivery of the 333hp in the e46, and the new V8 is practically brutal in comparison! Definitely want to own one when they drop to a reasonable price for a used model!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jd92677 View Post
    Remember, he's at a much higher elevation than you. Makes a huge difference
    Yes, it makes a HUGE difference. I drove an M3 and 335Ci back to back and the 335 felt as fast or even faster, though the faster was probably due to the turbo kicking in versus the linear pull of the M3. After doing the back to back, at altitude here, I'll take a 335 over an M3 any day and just put some Dinan mods on it. You can get a 335 with Dinan mods that are factory supported and it'll be faster than an M3. It's like the old argument of buying an STI versus buying a WRX and modding it, but with one key difference: The M3 doesn't have a turbo too like the 335.
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
    '13 Wrangler Rubicon - custom front bumper w/12k lb winch & off-road lights, skid plates, diff guards, etc.
    '04 Porsche 911 Turbo GT2 clone 600 HP/TQ
    '77 F-150 heavily modded for off-roading

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    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    One thing is for sure - I would definitely take a Dinan 335i (actually 135 as I prefer its smaller/nimbler size and aesthetics over the 335) over an e46 M3. Unless you plan on doing track days (even a few), and then the e46 M3 gets the nod. But if you're like me and just want an enjoyable driving experience and will never track the car, you won't take advantage of the few areas the e46 M3 will outdo the 335i/135i.

  13. #12
    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Would you really want the 135 versus 335? I'm assuming you're a short guy then since I can't even fit in a 135 at 6'4, and if I was anything close to 6', I wouldn't want one.

    The 3 series platform is the best BMW offers and I'd rather have that than a 1 series. They look so similar I wonder why you'd go with the 1 based on looks?
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
    '13 Wrangler Rubicon - custom front bumper w/12k lb winch & off-road lights, skid plates, diff guards, etc.
    '04 Porsche 911 Turbo GT2 clone 600 HP/TQ
    '77 F-150 heavily modded for off-roading

  14. #13
    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    I'm actually 6' and the 135i is a perfect fit.
    Obviously, this is purely subjective, but I just like the lines of the 135i better. The 335i's lines are "smoother" and blend from one design element to the next, making it a little more subtle (didn't want to say bland, and offend anyone!) than I prefer. I was actually shocked at the styling change from the e46 to the e90, as I absolutely love the e46. Its almost as if the 135i is a much more evolutionary design rather than revolutionary. Definitely seems more like a next step from the e46, with the harsh changes from front bumper to headlights (more e46-like) and then steeper windscreen rake, to the raucous curves between the doors that seem so polarizing.
    I worked in Industrial Design for several years and can highly appreciate how many design elements from the concept made it to production in the 135i, as opposed to how much they smoothed the concept over on the 335i, pushing for more mass appeal. It was the right business decision for BMW, no question.
    On top of that, I like the way short-wheelbase cars feel. Loving that the WRX is 4 inches shorter and a half inch wider than the e46 M3. Love even more that the 135 has a longer wheelbase and is still 2" shorter in length!

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    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    When the 1 series came to North America, I thought that I would be in love with it. The pricing and the look of it on the road were a disappointment for me when it finally got here. Not that the 135 isn't potent, of course.
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    Registered User SamXp's Avatar
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    Pricing is a disappointment, but not nearly as much so as BMW's promise to bring it in under 2900lbs.

    Still, I would buy the 5 door in a heartbeat if they brought this to the US!


    Especially the UKŁ27,175 ($44,893) 120d M sport diesel with 204hp and 55mpg!

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