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      01-12-2014, 09:13 AM   #1
DavS1
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Living with an M3

Just been looking at a few, and while they are stil quite expensive what are they like to live with with regards to fuel/insuring/general running costs?

I've currently got a 3.0 325i which is fairly thirsty but not too bad, It's going to be an expensive car to run but is it worth it?? would a 335i be a better car for the money?
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      01-12-2014, 10:06 AM   #2
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I'm on my second M3, first was an E46 now onto an E92 which I've had for 2 1/2 years.

In terms of costs you'll see 20mpg with a fill up costing £85 a go.

Tax is now £470 I believe and insurance is about £700 for a 31 year old, no points and full ncb including full business use in Leeds.

As a car, they have a fantastic split personality in that they are very sedate when needed but stamping on the loud pedal turns them into something altogether different.

I'm sadly having to move to a diesel due to quadrupling my miles but I'd have no issue keeping and recommending an M3.
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      01-12-2014, 10:59 AM   #3
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Thanks for that, doesnt sound too bad other than the 470 a year tax !! mental considering the state of the roads but that's another subject.

20mpg I reckon I could live with as I have a second car that I use for commuting, which would also lower insurance on the m3 slightly.

I'd probably be looking at a 2010> with something like 15-25K miles, prefferably in white with red leather but those cars seem to be hard to come by, black leather seems most common.

Seems to be good savings to be had from private sales, is it worth paying the extra buying an AUC car from the dealer with that sort of mileage?

What sort of costs are involved when servicing? 8 spark plugs as aposed to 4 or 6, but other than that, does it need diff/gear oil changing regularly?
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      01-12-2014, 11:23 AM   #4
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I have no experience of M3 ownership apart from driving one last year on a BMW event weekend. Whilst the noise was very nice it didn't strike me as that fast but I think its because I'm use to 330d torque and so it would take a while to adjust to the rev happy driving style.

I for one wouldn't by one without a AUC warranty purely because they cost if they go wrong.
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      01-12-2014, 11:43 AM   #5
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I looked for the right M3 E9x for over 6 months. In the end I went for a 335i. It was the best car related decision I ever made.
The running costs for the M3 are eye watering. The service costs will make you wish you had a diesel corsa.
Get a nicely specked 335i N54 LCI for way less cash. JB4, Downpipes, and an intercooler will see you wasting M3's in a straight line. 35+mpg if you can behave yourself on a long run. And 140 services.
I had a E46 325i before mine and my insurance went down with the 335i.

@ Len_Beach
Did we have a little play along the M62 going from Manc to Leeds? Mon 9th Dec?

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      01-12-2014, 01:31 PM   #6
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ukbeemerboy - Yea, I can see why you would have been disappointed with the feeling of torque/power, NA cars need revved whereas diesel has torque from the word go.
The noise is good, and they look great...but sound expensive to own!

windymissile - I did really want a 335i for a while, I love the looks of the M3 though, but thinking about it you're probably right the 335i is the sensinble option, and it's easily tuneable unlike the M3 without spending big bucks.

I just can't make my mind up!
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      01-12-2014, 03:25 PM   #7
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Get an M3! you'll love it! if your worried about running costs then don't! I sold mine after 8 months of ownership because I was doing alot more miles.

Make sure you buy it from BMW to get the AUC and make sure it has had the first running in service!!. Also other things to consider if purchasing from BMW is the Tyre cover.

Personally I dont see the point in having nice cars garaged and only letting them loose on the weekends.
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      01-12-2014, 06:15 PM   #8
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Mate, i also have a 325i which i was looking to change over to a 335i. I was at Sytner saturday morning and went out to Stratstone this morning and drove the 335i and the M3. 335i is a stunning car, but the M3 blew me away. The difference in the way the car feels is something i can't describe, it was just amazing how the car handles its like nothing i have ever driven before. Their is a very noticeable difference in how the cars deliver power, the 335i has low end torque which is very useable in everyday city driving and i noticed the power go right through the rev range with ease. With tuning it may well be an M3 beater in a straight line but it is not an M car. When i got into the M3 it was just pure addicting power at any point no matter what rpm or gear it was incredible and the sound made me go mental. I enjoyed it that much that i have actually bought the M3, and will be picking it up on tuesday morning. I suggest you go and drive them both properly, in the end it will probably boil down to what is cheaper to own for yourself. I was definitely thinking of fuel economy also, but when you have a chance to own an M car i think thats the compromise you make. If 20mpg is achievable then thats a pretty good figure as that what i get in my 325i now. Whichever car you choose to go with you will definitely be happy, i found out today how brilliant both cars are.

Good luck with it mate, keep us posted
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      01-12-2014, 06:15 PM   #9
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I think I need to test drive both, just worried I go from a car I can comfortably afford that's still 'good' and sensible to something I can't...I'm guessing I should buy something like this now before I get tied down with a wife and kids !!

I basically got the corsa free and it's not worth selling for all it costs to keep and run so I use that to keep the bm good. but yea im with you on that one.
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      01-12-2014, 06:18 PM   #10
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Thanks for that Johnny, just saw your reply as I posted mine. I think that's the difference, the 335i whilst being a great car still isn't an M3...when you see an M3 you know what it is straight away, when you see a 335i...you need to look for the exhausts.

Like you say I think i'll need to test drive them and do my sums and work out what's what. I really like my 325i but i've just got that itch!

P.s. Congrats on the purchase, get some pics up when you get it!
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      01-12-2014, 06:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavS1 View Post
Thanks for that Johnny, just saw your reply as I posted mine. I think that's the difference, the 335i whilst being a great car still isn't an M3...when you see an M3 you know what it is straight away, when you see a 335i...you need to look for the exhausts.

Like you say I think i'll need to test drive them and do my sums and work out what's what. I really like my 325i but i've just got that itch!

P.s. Congrats on the purchase, get some pics up when you get it!
Im in the same position as you mate, i have no dependants right now so it was the only chance i will have to properly own an M car. That played a big role in the decision to get the M3. Its a tough one really until you drive them, i haven't had the chance to drive a tuned up 335i so I'm not in a position to say it wouldn't be the same as or better than the M3. Keep me posted mate, same scenario as myself so its an interesting one!

Cheers mate, will definitely get the pictures up soon as i have the car here. Heres a quick one of the dealers page -
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      01-13-2014, 03:53 AM   #12
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M3 is an awesome car, I went from 330d to M3 and I woudlnt go back, the fuel figures quoted are on a good day, rather than MPG I prefer to use range. I usually get 230-280 miles out of a tank depending on how I drive, if there are lots of motorways then this will rise (max ive ever had sticking at 70 for over 300miles was 380 miles out of the tank. These figures are: 230 - 17mpg, 280, 20mpg, 380 27mpg.

But the sound, how the car feels even pottering makes it all not matter.

if you test drive an M3, let it warm up first (80 degrees, middle betten middle and quart on guage) then make sure you have it in M mode (if DCT ensure your in either D5 or S5 depending on your mood) and get it passed 5.5k and up to 8k. If you just put your foot down from 2k and have come from a petrol turbo 335i etc) then you will miss the torque and feel underwhelmed, but do as above and you will see the difference, you need to stay above 5.5k to feel the M3 (e92)
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      01-13-2014, 04:35 AM   #13
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The M3 may be better 10% of the time and they are special when you are pushing on. But in real world driving, 90%+ of the time, the 335i will be a better place to be. Who drives round at above 5.5k?
Do you go to the track often? Plenty of B road blasting? Or just want the looks and the M badge?

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      01-13-2014, 04:53 AM   #14
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I didnt say you have to drive around at 5.5k, its got plenty below that, but thats when it all comes on song and sounds amazing, id never part with the M3 now, and I was considering a 335 at one point, even just sitting in traffic it feels better than my 330d did (e92 as well)./

Most people who come from e92s 3xx to M3s say the same, Ive never seen a forum post where someone has gone M3 >335 and thought it was better, just saying...
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      01-13-2014, 04:53 AM   #15
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Some very sound advice form WM in this thread.
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      01-13-2014, 05:17 AM   #16
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I know what you're saying. I know the M3 is a great car. But even by your own admission you say you need to stay above 5.5k to see the major benefits. I drove loads (6+) during my 6 month search. If I had found one I wanted for the right price I would be sitting in one now.
I'm just glad I drove the 335i and was able to look at it from both sides. I just couldn't justify the huge price premium in the purchase cost and the fuel/service/tax. Not for the few minutes per drive when the M would be the better car.

I have done over 10k in the 335i since April. Sat at 70 to go and see Makkan all the way down the A1, I got 40+MPG. Last week on a trip to Germany to get my son I hit 172 on the Autobahn, before my better half bottled it. Many a mix-up with "more obvious" "fast" cars, all have been surprised when I leave them behind.
After a chance encounter with a lovely E92 M3 who happened to be a friend of my detailer. He contacted me a couple of days later saying he was looking at changing the gearing, as he was amazed how well the 335i pulled away from him at all speeds.

I guess it's all about what you will use the car for. If I was using it for weekend blasts into the Lake District and tearing up B roads them I would prefer the M. But in everyday driving the 335i is the better option in my opinion.

If you want to make any performance mods, then the 335i is the only way to go.

WM
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Google "thinking man's M3" Plenty of real world info out there.

WM

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      01-13-2014, 06:01 AM   #17
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Out of interest anyone know details difference between the LCI and non LCI M3 E90s. Looking at the M3 saloon as due to kids and thinking of getting pre LCI and updating the lights and satnav just wondering what else might make decision other wise
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      01-13-2014, 07:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windymissile View Post
I know what you're saying. I know the M3 is a great car. But even by your own admission you say you need to stay above 5.5k to see the major benefits. I drove loads (6+) during my 6 month search. If I had found one I wanted for the right price I would be sitting in one now.
I'm just glad I drove the 335i and was able to look at it from both sides. I just couldn't justify the huge price premium in the purchase cost and the fuel/service/tax. Not for the few minutes per drive when the M would be the better car.

I have done over 10k in the 335i since April. Sat at 70 to go and see Makkan all the way down the A1, I got 40+MPG. Last week on a trip to Germany to get my son I hit 172 on the Autobahn, before my better half bottled it. Many a mix-up with "more obvious" "fast" cars, all have been surprised when I leave them behind.
After a chance encounter with a lovely E92 M3 who happened to be a friend of my detailer. He contacted me a couple of days later saying he was looking at changing the gearing, as he was amazed how well the 335i pulled away from him at all speeds.

I guess it's all about what you will use the car for. If I was using it for weekend blasts into the Lake District and tearing up B roads them I would prefer the M. But in everyday driving the 335i is the better option in my opinion.

If you want to make any performance mods, then the 335i is the only way to go.

WM
Edit:-



Google "thinking man's M3" Plenty of real world info out there.

WM
I think a lot of that is specific to your needs, and I agree it depends on what you want from the car, sounds like fuel is a big part in why you choose yours and I can understand that, bottom line, im happy with my choice and reasons, your happy with yours.

I will always continue to rave about the M3 over my 330d because the fuel economy isn't important to me (I knew what it was before buying it) otherwise I would have stuck to the diesel, granted its a massive drop from 48mpb to 20 etc but for what the M3 gives "me", its not part of the overall equation. Its simply is a much better car to the non Ms in every other way to me, others needs may differ.

as for the LCI question, depending on the year (mind/late 2010) first came the CIC nav circa Sep 09, then LCI rear lights. You also got comp pack as an option, LCI start button, drink holders, change to heated/climate settings, front end didnt change though (newer Xeons etc).
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      01-13-2014, 09:48 AM   #19
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I had an e92 325i for nearly 3 years. Loved that car, wasnt the fastest but was just a good all rounder.
I sold it in May last year after 3 years ownership and 20k miles, mainly because had just moved house, needed a bigger car for our recent arrival and generally because I would get something better in the future.

I then bought an e46 M3 in September. Its not an e92. Doesnt look as modern IMO, despite the e46 being iconic. The inside isnt spacious either, again IMO.
But put simply, its as fast a car as you'll ever need on an open road, and is still quite nice to look at and be behind the wheel.

mines 2004, its 200something to tax and I think was 40 more to insure per year than the 325i.
Fuel wise Im seeing 21/22mpg, the 325i used to give me 25/26mpg - not huge differences considering the performance available. Im sure it would be more economical if I actually drove it further - I only do about 20miles a day.

If I could justify the extra cost, an e92 M3 would be lovely. Thats what originally had in mind when I sold the 325i.
I would have the great performance with better looks (I still love the e92 m-sport looks) and a better cabin.
But having paid 8750 for a cared for e46, Im finding it difficult to better its epic value for money and I keep up with cars worth much much more. Im loath to drop another 10-12k to upgrade it as a result.

Ive never driven a 335i, but it will not be an M. They give you a very different feeling.

So to summarise; firstly if you want one, then get one, cos the itch doesnt disappear. Secondly, have a look at some 10k e46 M3's!
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      01-13-2014, 10:16 AM   #20
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If you own a 325i/328i then you might wish you had purchased a 335i, if you own a 335i you might wish you had the M3. The M3 is going to be the best in the E9X production and you will be very proud to drive it. The cars simple sound great and are unmistakable, I personally like the M3 handling better than my M5, but I wouldn't give-up my M5 for the M3 due to it comfort and size.

I can tell you from personal experience that the M's will cost you more for everything, brakes, rotors, plugs, fuel, insurance, S-belt, etc.... I can also tell you it's worth it, you will never look back, at least concerning your decision!

I wish you well with your decision and good luck and have fun.
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      01-13-2014, 10:40 AM   #21
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I don't think it's unreasonable to double everything on your current car apart from tyres and fuel perhaps

Tax is a lot but think it might have gone up. Mine is 490 now and same tax band I think.
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      01-13-2014, 10:46 AM   #22
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Buying a 335i based on its modding potential is a false economy. You need to spend £5k+ to get a 335 anywhere a M3 interms of handling/power, yet come sale time you wouldn't see a penny of that back.

Having said don't under estimate the running costs of a M3, one of my mates who's on a rather large income is now selling his E90 M3 partly because of running costs, where as my 335i has cost next to nothing to run (excluding all the mods), and I cannot see any reason why I would sell up for a long time yet
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