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Discussion Starter #1
since everyone's on the topic of the new M3,

I am curious as to what everyone else would think.....since most of the dealers I've talked to are adding a 3-5k premium on the M3, that puts it up there with a 540 sport 6-speed v8. Both will be around 50-55K.

So, at that price, does it not make you wonder getting the 540 6spd instead? I know it's not an M-car and not as exclusive, but damn, outside the M5, the 540 sport has to be one of the best sedans out there (282hp 0-60 in 5.6 secs)? (AND it's available in almost any color you want)
 

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If I was in my late 20's early/mid 30's, I would go for the M3, but if I was in my late 30's on up, then I would go for the 540i 6-speed...
Eric...

[This message has been edited by EricK (edited November 13, 2000).]
 

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Well obviously I haven't driven the E46 BMW M3, but have driven the 540i 6 speed (on two separate occasions). The suspension would defintely be softer in the 540i. Also, it won't be nearly as quick or agile as the M3. The trade-off is that the 540i 6-speed has a larger cabin with luxurious appointments (features/amenties)... So that's why I suggested that the 540i 6-speed would probably appeal more to an older buyer...
Eric...
 

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I would get the M3. M3's performance is comparable to the M5. The 540 is one of the top sports sedans, but not as good as the M5. I assume your priority is performance since you are comparing the M3.
 

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It all depends on what you want, because they are two different cars (as I explained the differences in a nutshell above).... One more thing to add... Motorsport division cars traditionally have better resale value than regular non M-power BMW's... Look at what 91-93 M5's and 95-99 M3's are still going for...
Eric...

[This message has been edited by EricK (edited November 13, 2000).]
 

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It balances out because insurance rates are higher for the M cars too. My friend got his M3 stolen 3 times before he wised up and bought a junker pickup.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am 22. I ask becuase the 540 6spd, even if it is a sedan and luxurious, is a bad ass peformance car. The 528 sucks and is really for the old timers, but the 540 has influences from their M-group (suspension is tweaked by the M people) and hell, if you can combine space and luxury into a M3-esque car, why not?

Not to take anything away from the M3, infact, that is what I prefer. The premium added on by the dealers just makes you think about the other cars you can get at that 55k to 60k price range
 

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The 540i is a great car but in no way will be even close to the M3 in the twisties. 500lbs is a HUGE difference in weight and with equal drivers the M3 would run away and hide from a 540i. I was able to ride in my M5 and an M6 on the track back to back and you could really feel the 300+lb weight difference. I simply could not corner at the speeds the M6 could.

The only thing about the 540i is you could get one right now. The M3 will be very difficult to get a hold of.



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S38
91 M5
 

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Well, the M3 is way sexier than the 540i (although I do like the 540i a lot). And then it's got more power (thanks to the M-spec engine), probably still burns less fuel than the big V-8, and the car being lighter and more sport-oriented handles better too (I'm assuming this).
I know that the M3 comes loaded, besides a few options (Nav, etc)...so I'd still go for the M3.
Erick had a more logical suggestion having to do with age.

black/ivory
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Discussion Starter #12
no doubt that the M3 has better engine/handling. It's what it was built for......but, with much love to the M3, a fully loaded one will come to about 60k after options and markup (suprising to see that a M3 does not really come loaded, I know...i have the brochure...it's comes as loaded as a 330 - leather, premium and winter package will add another 5k)

I've always expected M3 to be thousands more than it's 3 series counterpart, and in fact, if you plan to modify a 3 series, the M3 is actually a bargain in terms of the modifications BMW has done and the price you pay for it. But, for some reason, the new M3 will be close to being $20,000 over a 330. Kinda high, but heck, we're all still willing to pay for it.
 

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Originally posted by vvtipwr:

But, for some reason, the new M3 will be close to being $20,000 over a 330.
Even if the difference in price is that great (between 330 & M3) BMW will have no problem whatsoever selling each and every one of them...
Eric...
 

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While this doesn't really help vvtipwr, BMW Peabody in Massachusetts is selling all M3s at sticker, no markup on any of the their cars, as policy. So you can probably find a similar dealer down South, all you need is a slot. At your age, I'd get a used M3.

Originally posted by vvtipwr:
I am 22. I ask becuase the 540 6spd, even if it is a sedan and luxurious, is a bad ass peformance car. The 528 sucks and is really for the old timers, but the 540 has influences from their M-group (suspension is tweaked by the M people) and hell, if you can combine space and luxury into a M3-esque car, why not?

Not to take anything away from the M3, infact, that is what I prefer. The premium added on by the dealers just makes you think about the other cars you can get at that 55k to 60k price range
 

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i had a choice between a 540 6speed or an m3 5speed. at my age, i'm not quite ready for dirving such a big boat(no matter how good the suspension is i still like smaller cars) so i went with the m3. it's a matter of personal preference and if you really want the two extra doors.
 

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I agree. If I had known I would do all this driving school stuff I would have gone for the M3. The M5 is fun but heavy.

In a year or two I should be able to get a very used 95 M3 for under $20k for a track car.
 

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My dream car had always been the M5...until I test drove the 540i. It understeers like a cow on skates. Now I'm leaning towards the M3 for my next car. Like S38, my priority is on having fun at the track (and on twisties and at autocrosses), and the lighter car wins hands down. Of course, if my priorities leaned towards transporting the family around in comfort, I'd go for the M5.
 

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Totally a personal decision. You have to drive both and you should know immediately.
 
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