View Full Version : M5 v. M3 convertible--Help!
Wed, Oct-17-2001, 03:18:00 AM
I have an M5 on order but am now considering an M3 convertible. Why, you ask? because this will be my fourth 5er and I'm may want a change. I've never had an M-anything (i drive a 540/6-speed now). The convertible sounds like fun, but I'm worried about the small size--esp. since I'm so used to a 5 series. Price is not the issue. any of you have any comments that might help me make tha decision? I'm pretty aware of the M5. But pretty unfamiliar with the M3, though I have driven both.
Thanks for your advice!
Wed, Oct-17-2001, 05:20:00 AM
Both of the M's are totally two different things. If $ is not an issue to you, you should click on my picture http://m3forum.com/ubb/smile.gif
Thu, Oct-18-2001, 05:53:00 AM
I too had a 540i sport 6sp. I almost bought a m5, but the interior is the same as the 540 and the m5 looks identical from the sides. I got the m3 coupe and I am loving it. I get massive attention. People compliment the m3 constantly. With the rag top m3, be prepared for mega stares and smiles. As long as you dont mind hearing at least 3 times a day, "I love your car!" or "that's my dream car", get the m3. It is a little smaller and the luxury isnt quite all there, the engine and ride more than make up for it. The Starbucks guy now gives me coffee for free because he loves my car. Good luck with your decision.
Wed, Oct-31-2001, 05:17:00 AM
I actually like both. The M5 looks more menacing from the front, but I like the back of the E46 M3 better. I own a 2001 M5.
Hey Ziff, did the Starbucks guy give you head too?
Wed, Nov-21-2001, 02:52:00 AM
Wed, Nov-21-2001, 04:21:00 AM
I've had experience in both. Let me say that if price is NOT an option, than i would definitely go with the M5. I don't know how many cows BMW had to slaughter to pack the amount of leather into the M5 that it has, but it must have been quite a few (suede ceiling, leather dash, etc.)! I found the M5 to feel just as powerful as the M3. Naturally, the smaller and lighter M3 is going to feel like the more nimble handler when you're driving it, but the M5 handles better than any S-class i've ever driven (keep tryin' Mercedes!). I found the M3's steering to be WAY too overboosted. The M5 also has over-boosted steering, but when you activate the "sport" mode, it tightens up and begins to feel the way the old-school spartan bimmers used to feel like. Sport mode does nothing for the M3's cadillac-like steering pressure--and when you're pushing 150 mph, you're gonna want to tighten that steering up, less a slight shift of your arm send you off the road! This might seem trivial, but it made a huge impression on me when I drove both cars. As a bmw enthusiast, i'm sure handling means a great deal to you, and in my opinion, in the M3 I just don't feel "connected" to what the road is communicating to me. What I love about the M5 is that it feels like you're sitting in a living room that's been strapped to a rocket. I don't have the $$$ to get an M5 instead of my M3...but if I did, i'd do it in a heartbeat! Now if I could just get a few supermodels to fill up the rest of the car......
Wed, Nov-21-2001, 03:52:00 PM
I just went through exactly the same decision you are now confronted with. I would take the M5 over the M3 coupe, but I have never owned a convertible and I decided a covertible is probably better earlier in life rather than later. I'm still 30, but I figure the kids are quite near on the radar screen and the time for the convertible is now! I decided the M3 cab is the best cab out there with a backseat, in case a car seat becomes necessary. My wife, worried about her hair, would rather spend the extra 10K for the M5 but my desire for a cab won out! I figure the sport "sedan" could later replace or accompany the M3 cab.
Wed, Nov-21-2001, 06:27:00 PM
I have read reports from various magazines that stated that the steering tightens up the faster you go. I believe that is what it was designed for. But, you've driven one and I haven't, so you would probably know better than I would. That's just what I read.
Fri, Nov-23-2001, 10:35:00 PM
i have a 2002 M3 and i think that you should get that. you should get the coupe not the cab. the problem with the m5 is that it doesnt look TOTALLY different than a 540i. it has the front and back bumper and mirrors. the m3 on the other hand looks almost totally different the regular 3 series. The m3 has different front, side skirts, back, fenders, hood, mirrors. The performance is awesome too. in my opinion the m3 and m5 are about the same in performance, but the looks of the m3 made me buy it instead of gettin an M5. but that is my opnion, you can get whatever you want. good luck and happy car shopping
Sat, Nov-24-2001, 10:23:00 AM
Having driven both, and cancelled my M5 order for the M3.. id say the M3 feels more of an involved driving experience, more sporty, and more enclosed due to the smaller cabin.. and quicker.
The M5 actually felt quicker, although the 3 is quicker, but I didnt feel like I was driving the car, more like piloting it, the cabin is so big for me, too big.. i like to feel involved.. and the M5 failed to do that for me.. but as you are a seasoned 5 series driver, im sure that wouldnt be a problem.
Drive them both then decide!
Sat, Nov-24-2001, 08:54:00 PM
One thing that you may want to consider is whether or not you will want to take it to the track or racing schools. I bought a convertable (s2000) and found out that very few tracks allow convertables without a full roll bar. I'm now selling my S2000 and have ordered the m3 coupe.
Sun, Dec-02-2001, 09:27:00 PM
If you can take a chance that E46 M3 will not have those teething problems, by all means get the M3.
It's only about $58K anyway! http://m3forum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif