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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Thu, Dec-19-2019, 08:17:12 PM   #1
MTiz
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Default Quick SMG review from an inexperienced driver

Going back on what I posted a few days ago on if people would forsake a manual transmission for color/options, I decided it'd be smart to drive an SMG to get a feel for it. One popped up not too far from me so I decided to take it for a spin.

When I got to the dealer the car was in pretty rough shape cosmetically--it likely got into a rear accident and it was never reported. I didn't car cause I'm not in the position to buy today anyway.

Getting to the driving portion, SMG really isn't as bad as people say. Coming out of the driveway in automatic mode was kind of rough, the car would buck when you tapped the gas. The shifts weren't super slow as I had it in the highest setting, but it felt like it would shift super late. So i popped it into manual mode and things got really fun.

The paddles are really pleasing to click in my opinion, and downshifts when I blipped the throttle stirred something in my soul. Shifts when not giving it full throttle were actually really smooth (and not as slow as people seem to proclaim). It was when I started gunning it that I started to dislike the SMG. WOT in S6 mode is no joke, I thought the transmission was going to fall out of the car, the only thing I could think of was that poor poor subframe cracking Maybe next time if i lift while shifting it won't be so hard on the car and break my neck? I've heard a few people say that.

In conclusion, do I think i'd pursue an SMG car in the future and leave it as SMG permanently? Probably not. But the question I was asking myself is "could I stomach the SMG for a few months and then manual swap it?" and the answer to that is yes, I definitely could.

Link to the car: https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/invent...ting=259850443
Perfect for a project, I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole if you're trying to daily it though.
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Old Thu, Dec-19-2019, 08:22:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Quick SMG review from an inexperienced driver

Something else I didn't mention: This is the fastest car I've driven so far. I'm use to GLI's, GTI's, and VR6's so gunning the M3 for the first time has pretty much ruined all of those for me. And I didn't even go all the way to 8400 RPMS, I chickened out at around 7k
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Old Thu, Dec-19-2019, 08:26:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Quick SMG review from an inexperienced driver

You will like it once u get used to it and add a SMG CSL software (SMG tune)
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Old Thu, Dec-19-2019, 08:28:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Quick SMG review from an inexperienced driver

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Originally Posted by MTiz View Post
Something else I didn't mention: This is the fastest car I've driven so far. I'm use to GLI's, GTI's, and VR6's so gunning the M3 for the first time has pretty much ruined all of those for me.
So you’ve never driven a modern car with dct? You should drive a DCT m4 then go back to an smg e46.
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Old Thu, Dec-19-2019, 08:37:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Quick SMG review from an inexperienced driver

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Originally Posted by Paulo M View Post
So you’ve never driven a modern car with dct? You should drive a DCT m4 then go back to an smg e46.
Had a lot of seat time behind a GLI with the DSG dual clutch. It was a lot better than the smg naturally but didn't have as much emotion if that makes sense.
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Old Thu, Dec-19-2019, 08:40:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Quick SMG review from an inexperienced driver

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Originally Posted by Zabalzae View Post
You will like it once u get used to it and add a SMG CSL software (SMG tune)
Did you add the CSL software before you swapped it or have you just driven another with the software? Not going to lie the SMG was pretty fun but I think i'd still go the route you took and swap it later on down the line. Mind sharing how the process of swapping went for you?
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Old Thu, Dec-19-2019, 08:43:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Quick SMG review from an inexperienced driver

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Originally Posted by MTiz View Post
Something else I didn't mention: This is the fastest car I've driven so far. I'm use to GLI's, GTI's, and VR6's so gunning the M3 for the first time has pretty much ruined all of those for me. And I didn't even go all the way to 8400 RPMS, I chickened out at around 7k
Don't worry, I've never had mine to 8400 rpms either.
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Old Thu, Dec-19-2019, 08:45:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Quick SMG review from an inexperienced driver

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Originally Posted by Paulo M View Post
You should drive a DCT m4 then go back to an smg e46.
I enjoy my SMG 90% of the time and will defend it up to a point... but yeah having test driven a DCT F80 last week, man it's really tough to go back now.

SMG is engaging though. At least compared to a dual clutch transmission where every shift is perfect, you can still actually botch a shift so it forces you to try to get it right. Its quirkiness does give the car character (for better or worse).
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Old Thu, Dec-19-2019, 08:48:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Quick SMG review from an inexperienced driver

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Originally Posted by MTiz View Post
Had a lot of seat time behind a GLI with the DSG dual clutch. It was a lot better than the smg naturally but didn't have as much emotion if that makes sense.
I’ve never driven a DSG car, but based on this video it feels more “automatic” than an m3 dct. So based on this, the m3 should feel more engaging.

Even the m4 dct felt different from the e92 dct. It could be the power delivery playing with my mind however.

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Old Thu, Dec-19-2019, 08:53:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Quick SMG review from an inexperienced driver

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I enjoy my SMG 90% of the time and will defend it up to a point... but yeah having test driven a DCT F80 last week, man it's really tough to go back now.
I too defended smg, I even got into it with members here when I said I’d rather keep smg than swap it for manual years ago.

But then I drove a dct e92 and now f80, no way I’ll own an smg car after that lol. I’d actually get dct over a 6mt with how good the m4 felt.
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Discussing Quick SMG review from an inexperienced driver in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)