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Tuesday 9th April 2002

BMW M3

Flash car for the shiny suit brigade or the best compromise in the performance world?


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kevinday

Original Poster:

6,084 posts

164 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
It may well be a great car, but it just does not 'do it' for me.

campbell

2,329 posts

167 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
Good review Ted, but it isnt a TVR b ut is sounds like a good car for a Eurobox

MEMSDesign

1,100 posts

154 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
Liked the review a lot. Seemed to cover all the bases, and without too much hyperbole. More like this please!

bennno

5,449 posts

153 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all

if anybody wants one without the 2 year wait then i have one fr june build / july delivery.

it is carbon black metallic with black nappa hide, cd player, SMG gearbox and 19" alloys. List price is 41,000ish if anybody wants it.

Bennno

daver

1,062 posts

168 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
SHOCK!! TVR more reliable than BMW.

My 323 went home ont he back of a truck last night with a collapsed water pump. So today the Cerbera has been pressed into commute-action to cover for it. (With nice *warm* aluminium gear stick, Adam!)
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james

1,362 posts

168 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
I was always quite anti BMW (mostly because of the tossers who drive them as opposed to any dislike ofr the cars), but I must say, the latest crop M3 and M5 are mighty impressive cars.

I might even consider one myself some day (if they can do an estate version of course).

Good write up Ted. Nice to see that you've got another experienced journalist on the payroll to do some of the road tests for you. Didn't he uset to write for EVO? I'm sure I saw a couple of reviews he's done in there.

superflid

2,254 posts

149 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
Great car no doubt, but you just know what its going to look like before you see it. Its a BMW so its going to look like all the other BMW's! With all the money they must save on body design, they should be able to give them away.

Alex

7,264 posts

168 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
Nice to get a mention in the review. Although it should say 'EX-Griff owning passenger'! It's an excellent car. I can't think of another car on sale that satisfies so many objectives.

Cotty

27,457 posts

168 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
I was given a short ride in the new M3 a while ago and can confirm that when he dropped the hammer the thing moved like its tail was on fire, just solid acceleration.

Paul
I feel the need the need for speed

Cotty

27,457 posts

168 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
quote:

I was always quite anti BMW (mostly because of the tossers who drive them as opposed to any dislike ofr the cars), but I must say, the latest crop M3 and M5 are mighty impressive cars.

I might even consider one myself some day (if they can do an estate version of course).

Good write up Ted. Nice to see that you've got another experienced journalist on the payroll to do some of the road tests for you. Didn't he uset to write for EVO? I'm sure I saw a couple of reviews he's done in there.



I dont know why they dont make an estate to compete with Audi. If they had done so with the original E30 Touring they would have beaten Audi to the sports estate niche.
Paul

alisonh

135 posts

167 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
Great review - forwarded it to our MD who can t wait until July for his (with SMG - Sequential M Gearbox I had to ask!) and thinks he ll stick with the Kiwi leather now from looking at the interior shot.

paul

343 posts

168 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
It's an annoying epiphany isn't it? I too have been very anti-BMW for many years - mostly because of the wannabes that drive them and their ubiquity in London (and now Manhattan).
Recently I've borrowed an '02 M5 off a mate in Connecticut and I have to say its a devistatingly accomplished car that makes me realise that by saying "I just don't like BMWs because of the image", I'm missing out on some chuffing good cars.
It pains me to say it, but anyone who accuses these cars (certainly M5 and probably M3) of having no "soul" or being "bland euroboxes" clearly hasn't driven one.

As they say - you should try everything once, except incest and Morris Dancing....

Tuff Noodell

68 posts

159 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
Great car?? I'm not so sure...

Having got one of these 3 months ago, I have now done 10000 miles and have a fair idea how they tick.

The car initially seduced me, engine, power, noise, grip etc etc.

However, I have now got the following beefs.
Ride - on 19" wheels is very firm - makes the wheels stay in maximum contact with tarmac leaving maximum grip but my back is feeling it after a long journey

Handling - now this is meant to be one of the M3 strong points - it is true that grip is fantastic but several times I have found it understeering noticeably.
Oversteer is always controlled by the computer (unless you turn it off)

Engine - the 2 mappings available are both not ideal. Standard mode is soggy and suitable for traffic jam dawdling but thats all. Sport is electric but it delivers all the throttle movement in the first bit of the pedal travel leaving no power in reserve as you call for more throttle. I would far prefer a mid rating suitable for all conditions.

Build quality - no brilliant - roof moulding coming off, rattles from door, seats and seat belts. Top notch - I think not.

The M3 is great but it is now a racer for short journeys rather than a long distance blaster as per the previous M3 Evo's.

p.s. Has BMW sacked all its designers?!?!

stevenrt

141 posts

154 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
I just got the M3 brochure from the dealer yesterday, and i look on pistonheads and there is an M3 review! This is the best automotive website around.

Here is what will seem a dumb question: is the lower anchor for the seatbelt on the seat (so that as you slide the seat forward and back it moves with the seat) or on the floor? The latter is one of my pet hates, you can wind up with the lap part of the belt over your abdomen which is uncomfortable and unsafe. Unlike the Elise for example which mounts the belt anchor on the seat, so it is always perfectly positioned ... maybe i'm being finnicky, but hey, you've got to be comfortable

Tuff Noodell

68 posts

159 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
Seat belt fastening is fixed to the seat.
You should have no problem getting comfortable, the seats swing more ways than George Michael at a Julian Clary fanclub.

Oh I've made myself feel uncomfortable now with that thought!!!

PiB

1,154 posts

154 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
First, let me say the M3 is a fantastic car. I drive the older E36 version. But BMW seems to have forgotten what M stands for or what it should be about. (different interpretation than me anyway!) The first M3 was viscious little machine only motorsport fans would like. Today the M cars are docile enough for grandpa and grandma. What's this malarky about rechargeing key flops that memorize seat positions. It's nuts! Great for a top of the line 5 series or 3 series but not appriate for an M car. I wish the M cars would have everything geared towards performance. Less weight and more performance. Think about what bmw could do with this given their skill and precision, look what can come from Subaru and Mitsu when they concentrate on performance. The E36 M3 at least had a light weight version!

I look forward to reading about the street legal GTR M3 but it is clearly not availble to normal income folks. To me the new M3, as with mine, is an overweight occupant pillow.

neil_cardiff

17,109 posts

148 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
The convertible is an even nicer machine - although a bit wobbly (not that you would notice). My friends father has just got one (Reg No. M5 AWL - he'd got the number plate when he was going buy an M5 - then he saw the M3) and I honestly have not ever been in a car which accelerates AND brakes at such a mental pace. 140 to 70 in very little time - who says German efficiency is boring.

Absolutely devastatingly efficient at everything it does.

And then some.

mondeoman

7,738 posts

150 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
Not having driven an M3 (not even an older one) I'm not totally able to comment, but I've found that the 3 series does a commendable job, with few things that I'd change. The steering is too light - it doesn't inspire massive confidence (just dont read the tailgaiting thread with that in mind!! ) but the grip is astonishing (255/35 dunlops). But it can be broken loose, even with the traction on... isn't that the point? As the M3 accelerates better than mine does, then it must be a very potent machine. I just LOVE roundabouts and 2nd gear corners!

I regularly do over 1000 miles a week and have yet to get out of mine with any back pain - I'm over 6' and the seat sits me low enuff to be "in" the car rather than "on" it. Its a very stress-free way to cover long distances.

Mines got over 75000 on it now and I've got no complaints about the build quality at all - the only rattle is from the after-market stereo I fitted. Oh and the over sensitive air bags that went off when I nerfed a kerb (but thats another story). I'd buy another - and I'll admit I lust after an M5. (Cant have a Tiv - I need the four seats and I can't afford the fuel costs). Time to start saving

Cotty

27,457 posts

168 months

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Tuesday 9th April 2002 quote quote all
quote:


The M3 is great but it is now a racer for short journeys rather than a long distance blaster as per the previous M3 Evo's.

p.s. Has BMW sacked all its designers?!?!



The original M3 E30 was always a racer for the road and BMW were critised for toning it down for the E36 peRhaps they wanted to get back to real drivers cars and get away from the grand tourers that the E36 became.
Paul

Tuff Noodell

68 posts

159 months

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Wednesday 10th April 2002 quote quote all
All very true cotty but I think BMW has failed there as well.

A true drivers car would have minimal electrical gadgets (M3 E46 has loads) and would be a nicely balanced rounded car.

M3 tries to be a luxurious racing machine and the 2 dont stack. A decent car needs to be rounded and not try to appeal to all the standard points that road testers look for. Unfortunately, I have not determined the magic formula that makes the rounded vehicle but when I do I'll retire somewhere with my own racetrack.
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