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Car Rec: $20k, 4 real seats, 3 pedals

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Car Rec: $20k, 4 real seats, 3 pedals

 
Old 03-12-2019, 01:52 AM
  #21  
 
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skip the STI and have a serious look at any models of the WRX. The WRX is plenty good, I actually prefer that engine over the STI's, it builds boost so much sooner / faster and it makes a great daily driver foul weather car. I just bought mine in a month filled with freezing rain and snow storms and it works damn good for relatively low dough. Rear seat room is great, 4 doors and you can get any tranny you like.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ChiHonda View Post
E90 M3 Sedan. I tested a DCT model because a dealer had one close by. Great great car. A full size four door, it feels it’s weight approx 3700 lbs. The engine is objectively fantastic and very much my taste—high revving naturally aspirated—but an 8400 redline on a V8 is not something I won’t be able to access much. Unlike a bigger displacement V8 it does have as much low end grunt so it doesn’t have the thrill of throwing you back in your seat at low rpm. I think I’ll run out room before I can access all 414 horses at 8000 rpm. I do suburban Chicago driving. My car has to be fun at low speed. I’m not sure this M3 is and in fairness it wasn’t designed to be. Overall this may be the best car on the list for sport, practicality and luxury. The problem is I don’t really need four doors, my back seat gets used twice per month. The engine may not suit my driving. Amazingly prices have not plateaued yet. Still, I want to the 6 speed.
I daily mine and agree, you probably need the right environment to really enjoy the car and take advantage of what you're paying for. I have enough onramps and corners on my usual routes to make it satisfying, but if I had a more stop & go type of commute I would probably just be frustrated - there are definitely days where I don't really get to exercise 4k+ rpm, which feels like a waste. Totally fantastic car and a wonderful daily, but likes open road. For certain environments a 335i might be more satisfying.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by white98ls View Post
I daily mine and agree, you probably need the right environment to really enjoy the car and take advantage of what you're paying for. I have enough onramps and corners on my usual routes to make it satisfying, but if I had a more stop & go type of commute I would probably just be frustrated - there are definitely days where I don't really get to exercise 4k+ rpm, which feels like a waste. Totally fantastic car and a wonderful daily, but likes open road. For certain environments a 335i might be more satisfying.
I don’t want to rule much out at the beginning of the thread but I’ve been there, done that with twin turbo BMWs. I had a 135i N54 that I chipped and added intake and intercooler. In real life situations it felt quicker than a 5 liter V8. Again I felt like I couldn’t use all that power and the torque curve was so flat there was reward in winding it out. Even gear changes felt pointless since it could pull in any gear. You can be two or three gears away from optimal but it doesn’t matter there’s just so much torque everywhere. To some people that might be cool and I get it. They’re great engines and they absolutely belong in a list of good cheap four seaters. I’d rather the E46 M3 over the non-M twin turbo BMWs. I think the steering feel and handling is much better in the M cars.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ChiHonda View Post
I don’t want to rule much out at the beginning of the thread but I’ve been there, done that with twin turbo BMWs. I had a 135i N54 that I chipped and added intake and intercooler. In real life situations it felt quicker than a 5 liter V8. Again I felt like I couldn’t use all that power and the torque curve was so flat there was reward in winding it out. Even gear changes felt pointless since it could pull in any gear. You can be two or three gears away from optimal but it doesn’t matter there’s just so much torque everywhere. To some people that might be cool and I get it. They’re great engines and they absolutely belong in a list of good cheap four seaters. I’d rather the E46 M3 over the non-M twin turbo BMWs. I think the steering feel and handling is much better in the M cars.
Agree on too much power all over the tach being a bit boring.

The difference from non-Sport Pkg BMWs >> Sport Pkg BMWs >> BMW M cars is staggering.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:20 AM
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You guys found too much torque to be a bad thing?
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:25 AM
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I think it comes down to the difference in acceleration profiles between the two cars. With lots of torque, the rate of acceleration is roughly constant from low revs to high revs (but the rev limiter is usually low compared to the normally aspirated engine). With a normally aspirated engine, the rate of acceleration tends to increase with revs, so there is a real feeling that the car is "doing more" and is progressively more exciting as the revs climb, even if it's not actually as quick as the torquey car.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JonBoy View Post
I think it comes down to the difference in acceleration profiles between the two cars. With lots of torque, the rate of acceleration is roughly constant from low revs to high revs (but the rev limiter is usually low compared to the normally aspirated engine). With a normally aspirated engine, the rate of acceleration tends to increase with revs, so there is a real feeling that the car is "doing more" and is progressively more exciting as the revs climb, even if it's not actually as quick as the torquey car.
What JonBoy said. This is what I mean when I say there’s no joy winding out the bmw turbo 6. It’s big rush of torque when the boost comes on then nothing after that.

I’ve driven two more 6 speed M3s and actually leaning a little more towards the V8. In the 6 speed things kind of slow down and it’s actually better because there’s time to wind it out. I love how that V8 progressively builds power and it sounds fantastic. The E90 is the more luxurious, more refined car. On the other hand I like the relative lightness and rawness of the I6 car though. To my surprise—holding milage and condition the same, the E90/2s seem to be in better condition and the price is about the same. The E46s maybe have less durable materials or worse owners or maybe it’s the age. The E90s had a 100k mikes and were in great shape. The E46 had about the same mileage but felt ratty which trim pieces in bad shape and rattles everywhere. Maybe it’s the small sample size. Seems like an E46 is on owner number 5 and owner 3 may have got in for $15k. The E90 owner may have had it since new or is the 2nd owner who paid, maybe $35k. Anyway it’s hard to believe the E90 M3 is under $20k for good examples.

Also, I’m finding that the E46s are kind of neat up
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:03 PM
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The E46 lately has been on the come up with all the hype from the automotive world. It really perplexes me. I mean, yes, as a leased car, it's pretty good. Handles well, has decent power, very practical package, looks good. And, not that this has ever crossed the mind for prospective BMW buyers, it's a BMW and therefore the world will instantly know how successful and interesting your are. But, VANOS and subframe issues, ridiculous amount of sensor failures, forget the SMG, and that interior does fall apart if the car is exposed to real world situations. The interior will creak and rattle, and the paint on the plastics will crack and peel in due time. But hey, 13k BMW M car that people will think I spent a ton of money on so it's totally worth it. Granted though, its most endearing feature is that it's actually practical, something you can't say about say a C5 or S2000, but at this point, given their age, is this something you're going to pile up pointless miles on?
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:42 PM
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i do not own one and have never but a used gti, as new as you can afford is a great car. add to that if you would be able to squeeze some sort of golf r on that list it would be perhaps even better given the winter months. ford fiesta st or ford focus st, live with the cheap interior enjoy the ride.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:26 PM
  #30  
 
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I am curious what nice E90 M3s you are finding for sub-$20k. If I were to buy one my budget would be $30k period. I would either buy a less expensive one and spend the $ to have all the right things done, buy a less expensive one and save the $ to cover a big repair ($10k+), or buy one that has already had everything done (rod bearings and actuators being the big two).

I just think budget shopping a car like this to use as a daily is a mistake, a new engine can cost as much as you are looking to spend on the whole car. If you can’t afford $30k you shouldn’t buy one for $20k.

All that said it is a totally amazing car and would be my choice if I could just have one car. I have a 997 C2S and my E90 328i M-Sport, to me that makes a great combination, but I think the E90 M3 would be dang close to the two combined. Driving the 328 I am always impressed how great of a car it is. We were just at at an auto show and I couldn’t find a car under $40k that I would trade the 328 for.
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