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Discussion Starter #1
Ive been lurking around here for about a month or so. Nice site you got here. Ive done a search but didnt get any hits on this topic.

I need a car that is a bit more "practical" for the job I will be taking soon. The MR2 is not the way to go. Im not looking to mod anything or put out 300hp. Just a well balanced car for the money.

So, I can basicly get a 2002 IS for the same price as a 1996 M3 both nice cars but what made you guys pick the IS? I was going to take a test drive of both of these cars but 3 inches of snow has killed that idea for the weekend.

Thanks - dB
 

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Discussion Starter #3
?

Why slam on the gas? Ive never been to a Lexus dealer to test drive any of there cars. Is it worse then the BMW dealer?
 

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MR2pilot said:
I need a car that is a bit more "practical" for the job I will be taking soon.
Thanks - dB
what is your job?
if your not looking to mod your car, i would go with the IS, i think it looks better and it's newer, it's a very reliable car that will last you a long time with very few problems
if you want a faster car, get the m3
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Job

Right now I am a Medical Technologist. I am looking to get a Technical Service Position that will allow me to travel and make lots more money. I should be interviewing for a position down south. My headhunter told me they liked my resume.
 

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if your goin be driving around a lot, the IS eats up a lot of gas, so u might want to go for something that saves u money on a tank. i pour in $26 a week for gas from empty to full, average a month $104.
 

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If cost of ownership is an issue, then go with a used 02 5MT IS300.

That will be more reliable than an E36 M3. Cheaper to fix if broken as well.

...and getting a used IS300 will allow you to save money as well as retaining the factory warranty.
 

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My friend has a GS400... it has great power, 300hp, and he has winter tires so it handles decent in the snow. I love my IS but RWD has its ups and downs.... i don't think it drives as well as my frinds GS
 

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LX4U2NV said:
My friend has a GS400... it has great power, 300hp, and he has winter tires so it handles decent in the snow. I love my IS but RWD has its ups and downs.... i don't think it drives as well as my frinds GS
:lol:

GS400s are RWD as well.

...and 300bhp? the GS weighs 3750... that's 400 lbs more than the IS... 40 hp difference.

...and the slushbox will eat up more still.

If you want a boat get a GS. If you want a sport sedan get the IS.
 

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I have a 2002 IS300 (auto) and my dad has a 95 M3 (manual)... I have put about 20,000 miles on my dad's car over its life and both cars are in my opinion equally fun to drive.

The IS300 is a bit slower but you can mod it up to e36 speed for not too much $$$... both cars handle similarly and the driving experience is phenominally similar between the two cars. The BMW has a bit more road feel... the Lexus has a bit less but it's almost like the same car with different "shoes" on.

Either car is a total joy to drive... with a 96 BMW you're going to be in the maintainence zone with a car that probably needs new brakes and shocks. Also the M3's rotors are so thin they often need to be replaced at the same time as the pads, ... if you tear the front groud effects off it's close to $750-$1,000 with labor to get another one.

My dad constantly laughs at BMW service when he goes in, "is it possible for me to bring this fucking car in get out of here under a grand!".

My dad used to work in the car business too for a while so he is not some blind sucker goin in and getting raped...

Just something to think about...!
 

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the front lip on a e36 m3 is $100 dollars and can be installed by yourself. if you take the whole bumper off, it is $450 and $150 to paint and can also be installed easily buy yourself.

what are you looking to spend? if your buying a new or used IS300, that is like 23-24K for a used and 30K for new? why settle for a 96 m3, they switched to OBD II that year and since your not looking to mod it that does not matter. You can get a 98/99 m3 for the price of a IS300 or maybe a 97. with the m3 do you want a 2 door or 4 door Version of? blah i would choose the m3 just because it's more fun to drive.
 

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I am not talking about a lip. This piece goes under the car and is part of the underbody / engine cover.

n2o said:
the front lip on a e36 m3 is $100 dollars and can be installed by yourself. if you take the whole bumper off, it is $450 and $150 to paint and can also be installed easily buy yourself.

what are you looking to spend? if your buying a new or used IS300, that is like 23-24K for a used and 30K for new? why settle for a 96 m3, they switched to OBD II that year and since your not looking to mod it that does not matter. You can get a 98/99 m3 for the price of a IS300 or maybe a 97. with the m3 do you want a 2 door or 4 door Version of? blah i would choose the m3 just because it's more fun to drive.
 

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Go with the IS300 (not that I am biased :wink: ). You will have a factory warranty and have many trouble free years of driving. If you get the HP itch, it can be easily upgraded later on down the road. 8)
 

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Depends on what you want. I had a 98 M3 and it was by far my favorite car over anything I've owned. With the M3, be prepared for some maintenence. If you have the time and are mechanically inclined, you can save yourself some cash doing the maintenence yourself. If you do buy an M3, definitely get a warranty for however long you plan to own it.

I drive the IS now because it handles well, has decent acceleration and is very reliable.
 

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I'm thinking of an M3 sedan, they are going for around $19k for one with 75k miles. M3s are dirt cheap right now, and they drive great right into 150k miles, but you have to really love it to make it worth owning. If you're not gonna track or autoX the M3, I would get the IS - you gotta be a die hard BMW fan to own a used M3. It'll cost you about $2000/year to own at a reasonable shop, or double that at a stealer, and that's not including brakes and tires, which will be another $1000/year. And if the motor goes, that's $7000. Not likely, but it could happen to any car.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks!

Thanks for all the comments! I did get a chance to go out and drive the IS300 on Saturday but my wife and I were running short on time and had to skip the M3. I do have to go back and drive the IS300 again due to the fact that there was wet roads. As I drove out of the dealership I swung out the rear end - I can see why you guys need winter tires in snow!

But, the experience was nice. Very different then my MR2 as one would guess but very nice. It had a very nice feel to it and good low end torque when the LSD wasnt kicking in. The shifting/clutch was very nice too.

My only gripes are the seats and the instrument cluster. The seats to me dont grab hold of my thighs. Then again Im a very skinny guy but I would like to improvment to this in future models. Also the cluster looked cheap. Not the guages them selves - the cluster is was housed in. Not to big of a deal though.

Back to the seats. The car I drove had the leather/suade combo. Was there a cloth option? Is the full leather treatment better for us slender folk?

One more thing. An M3 is really that expensive to own - damn! I know they are good drivers but I dont think the cheese is worth it. Humm...
 
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