96-99 M3 or new STi? - Page 3
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This is a discussion on 96-99 M3 or new STi? within the Comparison: WRX vs World forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Originally posted by ilivas An M3 is WAY more fun to drive than an STi. It handles better, accelerates faster, ...

  1. #31
    Moderator YBNormal07's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ilivas
    An M3 is WAY more fun to drive than an STi. It handles better, accelerates faster, it pulls harder, looks better, etc.
    Even my buddy who drives an 04 M3 and is a school instructor at Summit says my STi would hand his M3 it's *ss on that track. Our lap times even demonstrate this, with the STi usually clipping the M3 by around a half second a lap, regardless of who is driving which car. The only performance area an M3 outclasses an STi in is top end acceleration, as his manages to reach around 138 at the end of the front straight, and mine gets to about 134. I've driven both, on the road and at the tracks. An STi feels more nimble in the twisties, and the M3 power delivery at high speed is noticeably stronger.

    With equal drivers, it would depend on the track which would win. With longer straights, the M3. With more twisties, the STi.

    Now if you take looks into account, the M3 wins hands down. It is one sexy vehicle. Fun to drive? That depends on your perspective. If I were offered an even trade of my STi for the most recent version of the M3, I would do it, then sell the M3, buy an STi, and use the extra cash to make the STi even more dominant!!! After all, for practicality, which would you drive in the winter/snow?

    All kidding aside, they are both great cars, with the M3 winning the bling-bling and prestige categories, and the STi winning the "Rocky Balboa" category, in that it isn't expected to be able to hang in the lofty heights that it does. It comes down to personal taste, travel requirements, and bank balance size.
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  3. #32
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    Originally posted by YBNormal07
    Even my buddy who drives an 04 M3 and is a school instructor at Summit says my STi would hand his M3 it's *ss on that track. Our lap times even demonstrate this, with the STi usually clipping the M3 by around a half second a lap, regardless of who is driving which car. The only performance area an M3 outclasses an STi in is top end acceleration, as his manages to reach around 138 at the end of the front straight, and mine gets to about 134. I've driven both, on the road and at the tracks. An STi feels more nimble in the twisties, and the M3 power delivery at high speed is noticeably stronger.

    With equal drivers, it would depend on the track which would win. With longer straights, the M3. With more twisties, the STi.

    Now if you take looks into account, the M3 wins hands down. It is one sexy vehicle. Fun to drive? That depends on your perspective. If I were offered an even trade of my STi for the most recent version of the M3, I would do it, then sell the M3, buy an STi, and use the extra cash to make the STi even more dominant!!! After all, for practicality, which would you drive in the winter/snow?

    All kidding aside, they are both great cars, with the M3 winning the bling-bling and prestige categories, and the STi winning the "Rocky Balboa" category, in that it isn't expected to be able to hang in the lofty heights that it does. It comes down to personal taste, travel requirements, and bank balance size.
    The E46 M3 is no where near as fun to drive nor as nimble as the E36 M3 is anyway. E36 M3 is a great car, but so is the STI. Its not a decision that would be easy to make, but at the same time its one of those decisions that I would love to have the ability to actually entertain
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  4. #33
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    a E36 with 55k miles shouldnt be 25k. I think they're ready for haggling is all

    while looks may be subjective, the fact remains not as many peope appreciate the scoop and wing of the STI to the overall BMW appearance.
    Personally, id go with the BMW. But, hey its your money

  5. #34
    Registered User Claudius's Avatar
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    Hi there

    I used to have an M3 3.2l 321 bhp here in Europe. It was very slow, disappointing in every aspect and had NO BRAKES. I heard the E36 M3s in the US are only 240 bhp. Not sure if that's true, but the 321 bhp version is crap, I cant imagine one with 80 bhp less!

    The local BMW dealership got me to try the E46 M3. A little better top end, a more modern car, but still as lsow and still no brakes.

    An M3 is very expensive for the (lack of) performance it has, I will never buy one again. If you like performance, buy an STI or an Evo, forget M3s.

  6. #35
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    the e36 dynos over 200hp... very underrated
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  7. #36
    Registered User DTR rex's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Claudius
    Hi there

    I used to have an M3 3.2l 321 bhp here in Europe. It was very slow, disappointing in every aspect and had NO BRAKES. I heard the E36 M3s in the US are only 240 bhp. Not sure if that's true, but the 321 bhp version is crap, I cant imagine one with 80 bhp less!

    The local BMW dealership got me to try the E46 M3. A little better top end, a more modern car, but still as lsow and still no brakes.

    An M3 is very expensive for the (lack of) performance it has, I will never buy one again. If you like performance, buy an STI or an Evo, forget M3s.
    what in holy heaven are you talking about!!!! E36 M3 is one of the best handling cars out there, and is in no means slow at all....
    the E46 M3 will run with sti and evo in the handling department. it will also run right next to them in the 1/4 as well, and walk them on top end.
    and I am just baffled by your brakes thing, considering that the E36 AND E46 M3 were considered to have some of the best brakes ever tested in a car like that



    I think you are confusing the smooth N/A acceleration of the M3 for slow... the STI/EVO have MUCH more agressive powerbands and with a turbo spooling and kicking in, it makes it all the more noticable... Everything you just said is completely oppostite of EVERYTHING i have ever heard from an M3 owner or a mag for that matter....
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  8. #37
    Registered User Claudius's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DTR rex
    what in holy heaven are you talking about!!!! E36 M3 is one of the best handling cars out there, and is in no means slow at all....
    Let's put it this way: an M3 does the 1/4 mile in about the same time as an STI, but costs 20k more. Whether you find 13s slow or not, I dont know, but it's too expensive in any case if you're after performance. Handling is ok but nothing special. If you dont force the damn thing into the corner on the brakes, you'll understeer till xmas day


    Originally posted by DTR rex
    the E46 M3 will run with sti and evo in the handling department.
    This statement is simply laughable.


    Originally posted by DTR rex
    I am just baffled by your brakes thing, considering that the E36 AND E46 M3 were considered to have some of the best brakes ever tested in a car like that
    A 2 piston caliper with small pads to stop a 3400 lbs car is supposed to be good brakes!? All the magazines here in Europe point out that the brakes are a joke for the price of the car.


    Originally posted by DTR rex
    I think you are confusing the smooth N/A acceleration of the M3 for slow... the STI/EVO have MUCH more agressive powerbands and with a turbo spooling and kicking in, it makes it all the more noticable... Everything you just said is completely oppostite of EVERYTHING i have ever heard from an M3 owner or a mag for that matter....
    Trust me, unless you are going for top speed, the M3 is not going to compare to an STI. And even then, it's not like you're going to hit the limiter quickly in 6th. Not sure what your magazines say, just try the damn thing if you dont believe me.

  9. #38
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    For what its worth, a friend of mine recently took a brace of E46 M3s around a racetrack.
    He is a regular guy, who due to his job as an account manager at the advertising firm looking after BMW Australia, got a job warming up these M3s for the pro drivers, who then made them go bananas for the cameras. He hammered them, left them crackling - which is apparently the way the pros like them.

    He then drove my car - a modded GF8 with handling and power about 10% above stock STi standard - and his response was: "This is the fastest car I have ever driven"

    The point of this is:
    Subarus get very fast. If you get an STi, mod it, love it etc - you will have the ultimate driving machine - and you can leave the guy in the M3 behind to pick up the chicks.
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  10. #39
    Registered User DTR rex's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Claudius
    Let's put it this way: an M3 does the 1/4 mile in about the same time as an STI, but costs 20k more. Whether you find 13s slow or not, I dont know, but it's too expensive in any case if you're after performance. Handling is ok but nothing special. If you dont force the damn thing into the corner on the brakes, you'll understeer till xmas day

    they may run similar times in the 1/4, but what do you think you are paying for with that extra $20,000????? The STI is one hell of a car, and BY FAR the best "performance" car for the money...... but the M3 has SO SO SO SO SO much more to offer for that extra money. Speed isnt everything, especially when the car you are buying is going to be your DAILY DRIVER!
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  11. #40
    Registered User Sector9's Avatar
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    Concerning performance issues, i believe i remember a best motoring video, which had in the race a M3, STi, Porche something, maybe another car or two, and a skyline camera car. In this race, the M3 had the fastest lap time. The race was on their classic track which is somewhat small and has many twisties. The race had all cars stock, except for some cooling mods on some cars.

    (However it's possible i'm mixing races in head, anyone watch these that can back me up?)
    Last edited by Sector9; 09-05-2004 at 04:57 PM.

  12. #41
    Registered User FrankW's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Sector9
    Concerning performance issues, i believe i remember a best motoring video, which had in the race a M3, STi, Porche something, maybe another car or two, and a skyline camera car. In this race, the M3 had the fastest lap time. The race was on their classic track which is somewhat small and has many twisties. The race had all cars stock, except for some cooling mods on some cars.

    (However it's possible i'm mixing races in head, anyone watch these that can back me up?)
    Tsukubu is a tight track w/ some cool turns. You ca'n't go really fast, but it's fun.

    I've seen them run the M3, but don't remember the detail. The one I saw was the M3 running w/ the Fairlady 350Z and the V35 Skyline. The M3 had the fastest lap time with tons of power to pass the other two on the straight.
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  13. #42
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    Originally posted by Claudius
    Hi there

    I used to have an M3 3.2l 321 bhp here in Europe. It was very slow, disappointing in every aspect and had NO BRAKES. I heard the E36 M3s in the US are only 240 bhp. Not sure if that's true, but the 321 bhp version is crap, I cant imagine one with 80 bhp less!

    The local BMW dealership got me to try the E46 M3. A little better top end, a more modern car, but still as lsow and still no brakes.

    An M3 is very expensive for the (lack of) performance it has, I will never buy one again. If you like performance, buy an STI or an Evo, forget M3s.
    I think maybe your standards are just much higher than all ours. I hope you don't take that as a criticism because it most certainly is NOT one.

    I drive my buddies modded E36 M3 all the time and I must say, I find it to be one of the best all-around cars I have ever driven, which I must say is not really saying that much

    Sure it is a little low on the power department, but it is a torquey car and it'll run mid to high 13s with his mods. It handles like a gem IMO and its brakes very well. I've never heard anyone else say otherwise but that's just me.

    We all have our opinions and I think they're all relative to our experiences with cars. Maybe your background is much 'better' and you've driven some awsome cars and you just feel the M3 is weak. BTW, I think the E36 is 10x better than the E46, but that just might be me.
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  14. #43
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    my firend has a 96 328i that thing has 120k and the engine runs like new handling so so nice on it however when i am in it its all nice and fun but i never get the adreneline rush as i get in my wrx, he got it with 70 k on it and so far he had to replace the water pump, clutch, central heating unit which brand new costs 500 but he was able to get the european model for 300 i say get the STI or a newer 330I but not that old m3
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