96-99 M3 or new STi?
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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; Just wondering if there are any ///M fans here who can lend some helpful advice about the 96-99 M3. A ...

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    Registered User DinoGuan's Avatar
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    96-99 M3 or new STi?

    Just wondering if there are any ///M fans here who can lend some helpful advice about the 96-99 M3. A local dealer has a used one, 55k miles, 25k. Thats all the info he has so far, gona take a look at it this sunday.

    I really like the idea of driving a bmw every day, for refinement and quality etc, but really really like the idea of driving an STi everyday, for performance reasons. However, if the M3 can match or surpass the performance, and be far superior in quality, I might drive the M3 home.

    Again I really don't like the idea of not getting an STi, I'm just wondering what you guys can tell me bout the e36.

    Thanks, Dino.

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    Registered User kaizenfighter's Avatar
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    If you are ok with spending 25k on a car that has 55000 miles and is 6-9 years old, then more power to you. I couldn't do that. I love my sti more and more every day.
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    I love the M3 but like said above - could never bring myself to spending as much as i did on a new 04 wrx on a car that old with 50k+ miles for the most part

    The only way i would do it, is if i found one hell of a deal. Like one with very low miles for right around 20K. But i cant see that happening.

    The m3 is an amazing car and i would want one sooo bad, but thats why im just going to wait till im an older man, because thats usualy who i see driving them for some reason?

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    Registered User DTR rex's Avatar
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    although i see the M3 being superior in everyway, and being one of the better cars ever built in its price range, I like others could not spend $25k on a car that has 55k mile and is 7 years old.
    where do you live? if its a snowy area i would say sti for sure, because you cant expect the M3 to reliably run in the snow, where as an sti was pretty much made to run in any condtion.

    also, have you seen the prices on parts to fix an M3? ITS A LOT!! and with a car that has that many miles, you may have to put some money into it and you have the 60k mile tune up coming soon also.

    i love bmw's, they are my favorite cars, but my natural logic tells me the STI would be a better buy for sure in this case.

    you could probably find a newer body style M3 (2k1 2k2) for about mid to high 30's. that would def. be worth it if you can afford it.
    Last edited by DTR rex; 06-26-2004 at 09:20 AM.
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    Registered User DinoGuan's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Yea im in socal, so either car is same to me. Yea I see how 25k is quite a bit for an old used card. Ill go give it a test drive just for ****s and see if it REALLY impresses me. But im still 97.38% on an STi.

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    Registered User DTR rex's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DinoGuan
    Thanks guys. Yea im in socal, so either car is same to me. Yea I see how 25k is quite a bit for an old used card. Ill go give it a test drive just for ****s and see if it REALLY impresses me. But im still 97.38% on an STi.
    if you want refinement AND performance have you considered a slightly used bmw 330ci ?

    think about it, its just about as fast as an E36 M3 (one you are considering) and looks AWESOME in my opinion.
    in 6speed form they are easy mid 14sec cars and with little stuff like chip, exhaust, and intake many people solid 13's. now this isnt nearly as fast as an STI, but you get a nicer car, a nicer ride, nicer quality, etc.......

    i would STONGLY consider this as well, if you are still thinking about the M3. you can pick up a used one with under 20k miles for about the same as an STI.
    bmw quality and refinement, great looks, great trans, mid-low 14's stock and awesome top end pull.... and great handling
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    Registered User kaizenfighter's Avatar
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    I was trying to talk myself into buying a bmw before I bought my sti. I just couldn't stand to lose the turbo aspect. I'm a speed addict so I have to know that more power is always at my fingertips. Modding a N/A car just doesn't have the same effect as a FI car
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    Registered User ScstealthVR6's Avatar
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    I looked at M3's for awhile as well. A few things to worry about, electronics. Many of the E36 M3s have had problems with electronics and its costly to fix. Jump on an M3 forum and ask people what problems you should look for and what you're getting into. That's pretty low miles, and the E36 platform is better than the 330ci. The E30 was the best handling M3, the E46 is the most powerful they have ever built, think of the E36 as the best of both. It has power between the two, more than thee 330 i think, and the handling is awesome.

    If you can swing repair costs, or have friends who are knowlegeable on these cars it might be worth it. If not, German cars are not cheap to fix. As far as perfomance comparing to an Sti, I think it's expensive to upgrade power. Turbo M3s are incredible, but the block doesn't like turboo's as much as superchargers. Putting either system on is not as cheap as tuning up an Sti.

    So look at repair costs, upgrade costs, common problems, etc. Research, research, research is all i can say.

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    Registered User DinoGuan's Avatar
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    Yea thanks guys, ive been reading a bit over on m3forum and looks like modding consists of staying stock or duping 8-15k for t/c or s/c. Hp is nice and all but I would absolutly die for increadable handling, which is what im looking for in the e36. Quality and refinement are just sugar coating. Again after all that is said, Still hate the idea of no STi

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    Registered User amukaoen's Avatar
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    ///M3 is a pretty amazing car. 4 of my friends have them (2 e36's and 1 e46 and 1 M technic :O ). M3's are amazing and well worth the money. it all depends on what you want.

    if you want a beautiful car thats classy with speed and incredible handling get the M.

    if you want something that is just flat out fast and brand new, get the STI.


    style vs speed, i suppose


    me personally... its close, but id probably go with the STi.
    they call STi's STDs because everyone is getting them.

  12. #11
    Registered User DinoGuan's Avatar
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    Well just tesdrove a beautiful 1997 e36 with 55k. And surprisingly was a bit unimpressed. Steering was nice heavy and solid, but nothing stood really stood out about it. It had the heaviest gas pedal ive ever felt, just took alittle getting use too. Brakes were amzing, however the clutch was very very dissapointing. Increadibly light and for the life of me I had no idea when it was engaging, and when it did, it was increadibly soft. I hope something was worn out on it because it was starting to annoy me towards the end of the drive. Ride was ok driving around town, but whe we got on highway it went to ****. Quiet, solid, but damn thing would follow every little crack in the road. And took the humps like a pogo stick. Mebe shes a bit tired, but I dont feel like replacing **** on a car Ive just bought. Handling was very very solid, I'm sure with a little more experience in it I could get it to fly, but I just took some highway onramps spirited and felt great.
    There was a really high pitch whine that matched the engine speed, and THAT got really annoying towards the end of the testdrive. And it seemed like every single piece of leather was working togher like one big cow skin orchestra over every bump. My friends accord with 200k+ miles had a calmer ride.

    I dunno, maybe I just had too high of expectations. But I think im gona go STi shopping soon

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    Registered User jonik's Avatar
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    if you want refinement AND performance have you considered a slightly used bmw 330ci ?
    Those really arn't too fast. At least in my books.

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    Registered User DTR rex's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jonik
    Those really arn't too fast. At least in my books.

    a 6speed 330ci is will have very similar performance numbers as an M3 E36. it may not handle as well, but they def. see stock times of 14.3-14.5 with good drivers.

    that may not be fast, but nonetheless its still on par with an E36 M3.
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    Registered User FrankW's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DTR maxima
    a 6speed 330ci is will have very similar performance numbers as an M3 E36. it may not handle as well, but they def. see stock times of 14.3-14.5 with good drivers.

    that may not be fast, but nonetheless its still on par with an E36 M3.
    close, but not really. the e36 M3 has the advantage of torque over the 330Ci while it weight less as well.

    i've drove my friend's 98 M3 4-door, the ride is definitely not as harsh as another friend's WRX.

    personally i'd take the e36 M3 for the overall pkg because you get all the performace while having lots of luxury, with the STi, you can't get that. look at it this way, the M3 more like your still hot but aging wife that you can live w/ for a long time. the STi is like a young chick w/ hot body but not someone you can live w/ for a long time.
    Nothing but good ol' replicas...on my good ol' poser c240

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    Registered User 2004JadeSTi's Avatar
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    If you're even considering a BMW M3, hold out and drop the extra coin for a E46 M3. Believe me, if you spend that much on a E36 as the price you've stated, you'll regret it SO much. Aside from the nearly 100hp bump in power, you'll get more goodies and a newer platform.

    Not to say you shouldn't get the STi, I love mine more and more everyday, but if you go the bratwurst route, get the E46.
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