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View Full Version : M3 the car, the lifestyle (is it right for me)


Razzoo
Thu, Jul-14-2011, 03:33:39 PM
I am over 50., I have an MR2 turbo and also have a Triumph Sprint ST. I split the miles between the two about 50/50. The syncros in my MR2 are going and the car is 170k. and I was thinking of selling it and picking up a 2001 M3 with 51k on it. The dealership is really trying hard to sell the car. It's pristine, and unmoded, It drives out well and the dealership is getting the service records, it's got 50k on it and they are asking about 21k.

Now for the questions:
I love the my '2. It's obvious from the moment you get in the car that it handles well, it's a sports car and (for better or worse) you can't miss that. I do enjoy the fact that you don't have to be going triple digits to have a blast in the car. I am concerned that the M3 is going to be comparatively subdued and will handle so competently (a little like the Sprint) that you are going to have to REALLY be going fast or be on a track to really feel like you are going quickly, otherwise it just feels like a very nice handling car with lots of power. BTW: My test ride was on the Interstate.

BMW for better or worse is a status symbol. I am just a regular joe that enjoys cars and bikes. I don't mind knowing nods from car guys (I get those now), but fear that when most folks see they car that they will assume a certain attitude and lifestyle that is just not me. Kind of like a jeans guy that is considering getting a job that requires a suit, and and wonders if it is going to be uncomfortable...

BTW: We are generally financially conservative, do not live paycheck to paycheck, and I do plan to do a lot of my own work,

I was going to move this to a more appropriate forum, but don't see a way to delete, just edit. Mods: Please move to the appropriate forum, thanks.

invictus
Thu, Jul-14-2011, 04:24:50 PM
You can feel it pretty good on any given back road. I think the attitude comes with bad parking jobs, blacked out emblems and smoked tail lights.

I most certainly do not wear a suit.

I feel like you will be fine.

Dave B
Thu, Jul-14-2011, 04:37:59 PM
Unless you live in the middle of nowhere in a simple minded small town, there's really no need to worry about any kind of stigma. Either you like the car, will enjoy it, and it's worth $21k, or it's not. And really, who's going to judge you for buying a used 9 year old car?

I've never really understood the concern, honestly. Maybe it's different in areas where kids are handed free cars and drive like idiots and run stupid stance or something, but everywhere I've gone I've never been judged. I get looked at a lot, but it's usually appreciative looks. Even when I drive like a jerk I don't feel like I'm judged because of the car... fairly or unfairly. Only back home (small worthless town) would I get strange looks sometimes... and now that my mom bought a used C-class after she retired people are whispering about her. (Often by people whose domestic SUVs cost substantially more than the 23k she spent on it.)

FWIW, my typical daily attire is mesh shorts, a t-shirt, and flip flops. Jeans when it's cold. (And while I hate suits for all that they represent, I will admit that they're often more comfortable than jeans.) Never really understood Clarkson's joke about dressing like a BMW driver. Maybe it's different in Britain. The whole "BMW drivers are cocks" thing seems to have died out long ago. The jokes are stale and don't apply.

But who really cares what other people think anyway?

AshsBimmer
Thu, Jul-14-2011, 04:42:37 PM
If BMW is just a status symbol then I must have formed an addiction to the wrong car! I am a 22 year old female, haven't gone to college yet, work as an office manager at a European repair shop, and live in a little tiny apartment in downtown. What kind of status do I portray?

Why do you care what other people will think? If they are judging you by your car alone, they are obviously not the type of people you should be worried about impressing anyway.
Test drive an E36... The E36 give you more feeling of connection to the road and car. Almost like you are a part of the car instead of just driving it. I believe that is what you were describing concerning the test drive.

Gary Powers
Thu, Jul-14-2011, 05:18:18 PM
BMW for better or worse is a status symbol. I am just a regular joe that enjoys cars and bikes. I don't mind knowing nods from car guys (I get those now), but fear that when most folks see they car that they will assume a certain attitude and lifestyle that is just not me. Kind of like a jeans guy that is considering getting a job that requires a suit, and and wonders if it is going to be uncomfortable...



:facepalm:

///MTechnik
Thu, Jul-14-2011, 06:00:51 PM
I am also a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy that loves cars. I in no way feel like that stereotypical BMW owner your describing. I own an M3 because I love it, end of story. Maybe others will have some sort of preconceived notion, but honestly who cares... And I certainly do not feel like I have to drive at Mach 6 to have fun. Actually I have just as much fun going for a casual cruise as I do carving up the twisties.

Zuhg Zephyr
Thu, Jul-14-2011, 06:42:35 PM
I totally understand where the OP is coming from on this matter. I'm not sure about where you guys live, but it's terrible out here in Marin county (20 miles north of San Francisco). 95% of the BMW drivers are these stuck up wealthy Yuppies who look down there nose at everybody and anybody. Mind you, they couldn't tell you a thing about their car. E46? what does that mean? No, my car cost more than $46,000 if thats what your trying to ask me.

But go figure, it's Marin. Sean Penn and the mayor of San Francisco (two of the most repulsive people I can think of) are my neighbors.

Anyways, being a T-shirt and jeans kind of guy myself, I do feel like my car gives off a negative connotation at times. And my car is by no means new.

///MTechnik
Thu, Jul-14-2011, 07:55:01 PM
I totally understand where the OP is coming from on this matter. I'm not sure about where you guys live, but it's terrible out here in Marin county (20 miles north of San Francisco). 95% of the BMW drivers are these stuck up wealthy Yuppies who look down there nose at everybody and anybody. Mind you, they couldn't tell you a thing about their car. E46? what does that mean? No, my car cost more than $46,000 if thats what your trying to ask me.

But go figure, it's Marin. Sean Penn and the mayor of San Francisco (two of the most repulsive people I can think of) are my neighbors.

Anyways, being a T-shirt and jeans kind of guy myself, I do feel like my car gives off a negative connotation at times. And my car is by no means new.

But at the same time who cares what ignorant people think. I didnt buy my car to impress or get approval from others. At least that's how I see it...

MSTuning
Fri, Jul-15-2011, 02:50:04 AM
^^OP , Great! first post. ///M3 enthusiasts = bridges all gaps. Welcome!

suaveflooder
Fri, Jul-15-2011, 04:21:44 AM
If BMW is just a status symbol then I must have formed an addiction to the wrong car! I am a 22 year old female, haven't gone to college yet, work as an office manager at a European repair shop, and live in a little tiny apartment in downtown. What kind of status do I portray?

Why do you care what other people will think? If they are judging you by your car alone, they are obviously not the type of people you should be worried about impressing anyway.
Test drive an E36... The E36 give you more feeling of connection to the road and car. Almost like you are a part of the car instead of just driving it. I believe that is what you were describing concerning the test drive.

EXACTLY! I am 29. I live in t-shirts, jeans and sandals. One bedroom condo here and I wait tables while I go through pre-med. Nothing special and I'm about as broke as they come ;) No "status" here....just a fun car :thumbsup2:

Dr.Nefario
Fri, Jul-15-2011, 05:17:56 AM
I've owned two MR2 turbo's, the first when I was 19. More people thought I was some rich kid. Mind you I bought the Mr2 for $4500 and it was stock lol. Most people didn't even know what it was and assumed I was spoiled and mom and dad bought it for me. There are so many BMW's around here I don't think anyone even looks twice at it let alone passes judgement.

kennerd
Fri, Jul-15-2011, 11:36:25 AM
My first BMW was an '84 633csi that I purchased in 1994. I was 24 @ the time.

I think the "BMW stigma" you're referring was a bit more prevalent back then, and I can't tell you how many 40-somethings looked at me like I was "the little rich kid" (Which I certainly was NOT), only beause I was driving the high-end coupe they either couldn't afford when new, or weren't allowed to buy, because they needed a sedan/minvan. Plus, BMW's of the 80's were absolutely associated with the whole yuppy, izod-popped-collar scene.

That has died off quite a bit, especially with the advent and popularity of car leasing making higher priced cars more available to younger and /or less wealthy drivers....the demographic of what defines a "BMW driver" is much more broad than ever, IMO.

I live 3 miles from BMW, NA HQ, which is 20 miles from mid-town Manhattan. There are a TON of "BMW Drivers" in this area, along with a myriad of other high priced cars....shiny, cool, fancy transportation to be used through a lease, and traded in.

"BMW Owner" is a different term than "BMW Driver": owning and nurturing a car for how and why it was engineered, drives, feels, etc. I include those that lease consecutive BMW's in that definition as well: some people want to stay on the cutting edge of what's available.

I get that, too.

Getting in to my 13 year-old E36 and having it feel tight and sporty, getting complements on its condition is a great feeling to me. I grew up in house where I was taught the value and resposibility of maintinaing a vehicle properly over the long term. I restored dozens of domestic cars & trucks with my father over the years.

Aside from always having a large domestic SUV (Bronco/Tahoe), once the BMW bit, it bit hard. It's not the test drive that will impress you the most, it's living with it that makes you content.

Careful, it's a bit of an obsession.

lucad2
Fri, Jul-15-2011, 09:17:00 PM
I am 18 and I drive a 2005 m3. I also have a cobalt as a daily driver. I always get called the rich kid. Just because I live in a big house and, I drive a m3 does not mean I'm rich because I'm not. An example of being rich is bill gates. Yes I'm going to be honest and my parents are well off and we are not struggling with money but that just means we are comfortable. The first day I got my license I drove my moms range rover to school. It was such a big deal because its a range rover. All of a sudden everyone thinks I'm loaded.

When I got my m3. I was right away thought that my parents bought it for me. I bought the m3 with the money I worked for at my part time job that I had since I was 14. Yes i'll have to admit that my parents always bought me any thing that I needed, thats why I was able to save every penny of my pay cheque but still the money I paid for my m3 with was the money I earned.

People always judge people on the cars they drive. An average person if they wanted to they could save up for a brand new m5 if they wanted to. It may take them 10 years to save for the car but eventually they will have enough money. After they buy the car their still the same average person they just drive a m5 now.

I guess it comes with the car, it used to bother me but I got over it.

moe0001
Fri, Jul-15-2011, 10:19:59 PM
Your 18 with two cars one being an m3 and you wonder why people think your family is rich. Either your really stupid or you just like people telling you that you are wealthy by saying you don't think you are. My car at 18 was an impala. I had to buy my car with my own money when i was 21. Oh and your mom let you drive her range rover when you started driving Im sure everyone got that to.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk

Razzoo
Sat, Jul-16-2011, 03:00:30 AM
The E36 give you more feeling of connection to the road and car. Almost like you are a part of the car instead of just driving it. I believe that is what you were describing concerning the test drive.

Thanks to your (and other posts) I am now looking at low mileage M e36's. From what I am reading on the net they seem to cost less to maintain (and certainly less to purchase) than an e46. I understand they have a good 90hp less than the e46 but I think I can live with that. I am more about handling and general "fun to drive" than raw straight-line performance. The car I am considering now is low mileage and has a 3.2 engine, Borla exhaust, TMS lightweight flywheel, 24lb. injectors and Bilstein shocks.

Regarding how other drivers reaction to BMW's - I found this on Yahoo Answers (maybe not the best source of information on the net) but here's the quote:
"Just sold a nice Toyota MR2 (2 seater) and bought a BMW 3 Series Coupe (4 seater) here in the UK. Reason behind this is that I'm getting married next month and need some back seats to enjoy evenings out with other friends etc... Thought long and hard about what to buy. I love driving sports cars, not to break any laws by speeding recklessly but to enjoy the mundane experience of traveling from A to B (mostly to work and home) in a nice car. The BMW has a reputation of being a fine build quality, reliable and sporty. Great, I'll get one of them. Two days into driving it around town, you feel that you are public enemy #1. No-one lets you out of junctions, everyone wants to get past you.
Even indicating at every possible turn, you still get angry looks and blasts on the horn. I don't consider myself a bad driver, don't tailgate, don't mean to annoy other motorists, just want to drive a comfortable, reliable car. No other car like a BMW annoys other motorists. Jealousy perhaps? Maybe. "

Zuhg Zephyr
Wed, Jul-20-2011, 03:25:46 PM
Your 18 with two cars one being an m3 and you wonder why people think your family is rich. Either your really stupid or you just like people telling you that you are wealthy by saying you don't think you are. My car at 18 was an impala. I had to buy my car with my own money when i was 21. Oh and your mom let you drive her range rover when you started driving Im sure everyone got that to.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk

:rofl3: You're not really selling us on your story lucad.

freeride2space
Wed, Jul-20-2011, 04:09:33 PM
:rofl3: You're not really selling us on your story lucad.

Nope not at all. Trying to act humble while in reality you like the attention. Your age does not matter but how you act does.

To the OP, sounds like you would enjoy the car for what it is and not what others think it means. I say get and enjoy it. 21K for the car sounds like a good deal too.

ksjdan
Thu, Jul-21-2011, 08:12:13 AM
Unless you live in the middle of nowhere in a simple minded small town, there's really no need to worry about any kind of stigma. Either you like the car, will enjoy it, and it's worth $21k, or it's not. And really, who's going to judge you for buying a used 9 year old car?

I've never really understood the concern, honestly. Maybe it's different in areas where kids are handed free cars and drive like idiots and run stupid stance or something, but everywhere I've gone I've never been judged. I get looked at a lot, but it's usually appreciative looks. Even when I drive like a jerk I don't feel like I'm judged because of the car... fairly or unfairly. Only back home (small worthless town) would I get strange looks sometimes... and now that my mom bought a used C-class after she retired people are whispering about her. (Often by people whose domestic SUVs cost substantially more than the 23k she spent on it.)

FWIW, my typical daily attire is mesh shorts, a t-shirt, and flip flops. Jeans when it's cold. (And while I hate suits for all that they represent, I will admit that they're often more comfortable than jeans.) Never really understood Clarkson's joke about dressing like a BMW driver. Maybe it's different in Britain. The whole "BMW drivers are cocks" thing seems to have died out long ago. The jokes are stale and don't apply.

But who really cares what other people think anyway?

...Wait thats me :shifty:

A White m3
Thu, Jul-21-2011, 10:06:17 AM
I don't really care if they pass judgement on me. Boo -effing - hoo, Am I ever going to talk to that person? No, would I even care if I did? no. Let them think what they want, they are probably boring and not worth my time anyways. .. I own an M3 because I am not a boring "point A to point B" kinda guy, I enjoy a thrilling and exhilarating driving experience, not only to get from point A to point B but to drive aimlessly until I have fulfilled my need for speed :p And yes it is true, you do not have to be going very fast to have a lot of fun in these cars, taking tight low speed turns are every bit as much fun as the fast banking ones. Don't let the stigma of a car steer you away from driving pleasure, only let that stigma steer you away if that car or truck (i.e a hummer) is completely useless and gives you a bad name at the same time. haha Hope that made sense, i'm a bit tired and am probably not making much sense.


oh and i'm 22 btw.. I don't a e36 m3 inappropriate for a 22 yr old, nor did I have daddy pay for it.

Rolf-Dieter
Thu, Jul-21-2011, 01:14:38 PM
If BMW is just a status symbol then I must have formed an addiction to the wrong car! I am a 22 year old female, haven't gone to college yet, work as an office manager at a European repair shop, and live in a little tiny apartment in downtown. What kind of status do I portray?

Why do you care what other people will think? If they are judging you by your car alone, they are obviously not the type of people you should be worried about impressing anyway.
Test drive an E36... The E36 give you more feeling of connection to the road and car. Almost like you are a part of the car instead of just driving it. I believe that is what you were describing concerning the test drive.

Seams to me you know quality when you see and feel it :) never mind what people think I too like to drive a car (always will and always have) that one can feel to be part of :)

AshsBimmer
Thu, Jul-21-2011, 09:07:17 PM
Thanks to your (and other posts) I am now looking at low mileage M e36's. From what I am reading on the net they seem to cost less to maintain (and certainly less to purchase) than an e46. I understand they have a good 90hp less than the e46 but I think I can live with that. I am more about handling and general "fun to drive" than raw straight-line performance. The car I am considering now is low mileage and has a 3.2 engine, Borla exhaust, TMS lightweight flywheel, 24lb. injectors and Bilstein shocks.

That's great! Keep us updated :)

Mr.Jack
Fri, Jul-22-2011, 09:00:41 AM
...Wait thats me :shifty:

Me too.. I do think you are stereotyped based on yourself and driving also. Say you make a mistake while driving, you'll get a negative comment despite of your modest demeanor. Or if you decide to take the lady out to a nice date and somebody sees you get out in a suit, well that person will judge. Doesn't matter if you get out of an Audi, BMW, Merc, Range, etc.

With that being said, maybe I am too young (20) to know what was once the "BMW Douchebag", but I've never really felt it. Of course my close friends will poke fun time to time as well Top Gear, however it's pretty limited to that. I mostly just get looks from my age and the car I'm driving.

I'm very blessed, with a side of spoiled, to have a E46 M3 at my age. No reason to deny it. I can say all day that I bought it with my money, but that's only because my father was there for, literally, everything else I ever needed. Some kids sports were football and some were baseball.. mine just happened to be well refined German sports coupes.

Don't let that sole reason fright you away from owning such a magnificent car. It's something beautiful that never fails to put a smile on your face. I say go for it! :thumbsup2:

PS. All this E36 talk makes me want to try one out lol

omhl
Sat, Jul-23-2011, 05:12:38 AM
my old 330ci got spit on by some guys in a truck when at a redlight in intersection....he wanted to fight me or something -_-. i just kept looking forward cuz i didnt want any trouble...

A White m3
Sat, Jul-23-2011, 07:32:18 AM
my old 330ci got spit on by some guys in a truck when at a redlight in intersection....he wanted to fight me or something -_-. i just kept looking forward cuz i didnt want any trouble...

wow, bro's and their lifted bro trucks. So lame :(

lucad2
Tue, Jul-26-2011, 01:40:43 AM
Your 18 with two cars one being an m3 and you wonder why people think your family is rich. Either your really stupid or you just like people telling you that you are wealthy by saying you don't think you are. My car at 18 was an impala. I had to buy my car with my own money when i was 21. Oh and your mom let you drive her range rover when you started driving Im sure everyone got that to.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk

No I do not. I was explaining my situation of how it started and how people judge you just on the type of cars you drive. Being called that is NOT good at all. Everyone expects you to always pay for everything, buy them stuff, always drive places. I was just a average kid until I got my license. Then all of a sudden everyone turns to you just for money, because they think your rich because of the cars you drive. I did buy both my cars with the money I worked for. I don't work in a mall, I don;t work in a nice place, I work at a restaurant in the kitchen working the deep fryers, on top of that I go to college during the winter and in summer I get a second job with a land scape company. I wake up at 5am cut grass until 3pm 3 times a week and work at the restaurant 6 days a week. My parents don't help me one bit. I pay my maintenance on both cars, insurance, gas, buy my own clothes, and any thing that i need. My parents always try to help me out with money, but I refuse it because I like to show people that I am not a spoiled rich kid.

daffyduck
Tue, Jul-26-2011, 01:47:43 AM
look at jerry seinfeld. p-car extraordinaire.

you'll find him cruising in jeans, sneakers etc.

my 60 yo pop is in a 750li and, sans anything work related, you'll catch him in his sweats and favorite pair of asics.

enjoy the car sir...don't read into the ownership of it. cheers!

daffyduck
Tue, Jul-26-2011, 01:50:20 AM
No I do not. I was explaining my situation of how it started and how people judge you just on the type of cars you drive. Being called that is NOT good at all. Everyone expects you to always pay for everything, buy them stuff, always drive places. I was just a average kid until I got my license. Then all of a sudden everyone turns to you just for money, because they think your rich because of the cars you drive. I did buy both my cars with the money I worked for. I don't work in a mall, I don;t work in a nice place, I work at a restaurant in the kitchen working the deep fryers, on top of that I go to college during the winter and in summer I get a second job with a land scape company. I wake up at 5am cut grass until 3pm 3 times a week and work at the restaurant 6 days a week. My parents don't help me one bit. I pay my maintenance on both cars, insurance, gas, buy my own clothes, and any thing that i need. My parents always try to help me out with money, but I refuse it because I like to show people that I am not a spoiled rich kid.


:lolhit: love the rich kid justification. very generic. very consistent.

lucad2
Tue, Jul-26-2011, 01:50:28 AM
my old 330ci got spit on by some guys in a truck when at a redlight in intersection....he wanted to fight me or something -_-. i just kept looking forward cuz i didnt want any trouble...

Some people just have no respect. Once I found gum on the back of my door handle. :shifty:

A White m3
Tue, Jul-26-2011, 04:58:20 AM
Some people just have no respect. Once I found gum on the back of my door handle. :shifty:

wow, id trace that person down and suffocate them with it. lol I just have no respect for people who damage other peoples property.

EmThree4Me
Wed, Jul-27-2011, 07:24:17 AM
wow, id trace that person down and suffocate them with it. lol I just have no respect for people who damage other peoples property.

Moor pics of owner/driver or :banstick:

Chaucer
Thu, Jul-28-2011, 07:47:25 AM
my old 330ci got spit on by some guys in a truck when at a redlight in intersection....he wanted to fight me or something -_-. i just kept looking forward cuz i didnt want any trouble...

I experienced a similar situation like yours. I'm driving my E36 M3 and these two guys in a Civic wanted a drag race or something while we are on a red light. I refused to and just ignored them, I kept driving normally, eyes on the road, and maintained my speed; even though my mind keeps on telling me to "activate the "S" mode and smash the gas" (I'm driving an A/T M3). And yes, I didn't want any trouble as well, I think you need to have more patience when you're driving an M. :D

And yesterday, a guy on a F-150 was looking at my M while I'm parked in a parking lot, but this time I knew it was a look of "appreciation". The guy slowed down and looked even closer to my M. I think her wife is with her on the passenger side and I heard the guy telling his wife "Now, that's what I call a car! They only produce that model and color in a single year, so it's a kind of a rare BMW." The guy saw me inside and yelled "I love your car! Wish I could afford it too!". I was like "Is that how people look BMW's especially M series?" I mean, they think you're rich even if you're just driving a 1995 M3 because it's a BMW.

To OP: It's just a matter of yes or no. It doesn't matter what your lifestyle is or what kind of person you are. What do you think of the M when you tested it out? Did you appreciate it? Do you think it's worth paying that much money for that kind of car? If your answer to those questions are all yes, then get it. Put your favorite shirt, pants and shoes on; start the car and have fun! I'm sure you'll enjoy owning an M.

bimmerfan08
Sat, Jul-30-2011, 05:37:11 PM
If BMW is just a status symbol then I must have formed an addiction to the wrong car! I am a 22 year old female, haven't gone to college yet, work as an office manager at a European repair shop, and live in a little tiny apartment in downtown. What kind of status do I portray?

Why do you care what other people will think? If they are judging you by your car alone, they are obviously not the type of people you should be worried about impressing anyway.
Test drive an E36... The E36 give you more feeling of connection to the road and car. Almost like you are a part of the car instead of just driving it. I believe that is what you were describing concerning the test drive.

:thumbsup2: youre one of few girls that drive a BMW and appreciate the engineering behind it. Kudos to you

esteticxlyezex
Sun, Jul-31-2011, 07:09:59 PM
very nice - thanks :)




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Jtrem
Sun, Jul-31-2011, 11:18:21 PM
Don't worry about others. Do what makes you happy. If its a car that you really like and want to own. Then by all means do it.

There will always be a group of guys in any car 'group' that taint it. Just how it is.

Karuza
Wed, Aug-03-2011, 05:20:29 AM
20 here, First M3 (e36) at 18, Newly acquired E46 M3 about 6 months ago.

Both car enthusiasts and non love the car, people appreciate a cleanly modded car, or even a stock one properly taken care of. Buy the car for what it is, not what it represents, make it represent you not the badge.

omhl
Sat, Aug-13-2011, 03:08:33 AM
:( sometimes i don't even want to tell people i drive a bmw....much less a m3.

i get that snob rich kid look assumption...