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E90 M3 (Sedan) | E92 M3 (Coupe) | E93 M3 (Convertible) (2008-2013) {Engine: S65 - Max Hp: 414 hp (420 hp Euro) at 8,300 rpm / 295 lb/ft at 3,900 rpm}


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Old Sun, Dec-13-2015, 05:40:36 AM   #1
MaximusB
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Default Prospect Owner - Reliability and Maintenance Question

Hello,

I am currently in a market of a new car and I've narrowed my choices down to three choices, a Cayman GTS or a BMW M4 or M3(E92). So far I've only been doing my research online and have been reading up online car reviews. I am planning on going to a BMW Dealership to look at one in person, and further inquire about the price and options. This particular Dealership apparently have several certified pre-owned M3 on their lot.

However, I am wondering:

1.) How reliable is either M4 or M3 for daily driving? Because I am planning on driving the car as often as I could, which includes daily commute on both highway and downtown city driving. For comparison purposes, my currently daily vehicle is a 2009 Lexus IS250 AWD and it have 150,000km on it. So I do drive quite a bit. And the Lexus in my opinion is very reliable since I never had any issues with it other than typical scheduled maintenances and manufacture recalls.

2.) How drivable is the M3/M4 in the winter? Heavy rain and/or snow? I understand that the M3/M4 is a completely different car and it is designed for performance and driving experience. So I am not expecting the M3/M4 to do what my Lexus can in the winter. But can the M3/M4 get around in the winter if needed?

3.) Are the maintenance cost reasonable? How much do an average owner spend on maintenance? I read online that scheduled maintenance are about once a year but it includes more than just an oil change.

Ideally I am looking to get sell my Lexus as I already have a second car, and keeping three cars just don't make sense to me. I hope that the M3/M4 can replace the Lexus as my daily car. Unfortunately my second car is a highly modified import that can't be driven daily (400+ hp, very stiff ride and loud with a 4" straight through exhaust) and selling that car instead of the Lexus is not an option for me because of sentimental value.

Having said that, should I consider the M3/M4 over the Cayman for practicality with a useable trunk and somewhat of a backseat? I do play rec hockey 3 times a week, so having a bigger trunk is more useful to me. I have seen pictures online that a hockey bag do fit in the Cayman but I assumed it won't be as convenience than say the M3/M4? However, I am currently leaning towards the Cayman GTS over the M3/M4 because I love the design more and the mid engine design. Plus seeing pictures of how some Cayman owner have a clear engine cover made the Cayman a lot more attractive to me.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old Sun, Dec-13-2015, 03:37:20 PM   #2
foolio
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Default Re: Prospect Owner - Reliability and Maintenance Question

1. I think most owners would agree that the M3 is a very reliable car. However, I know that you've also mentioned the M4, this is technically not the correct forum if you're looking at the at F8X platform. It's not that you'll never have problems in the car, but, my experiences been mostly positive. You're not paying for the ultimate reliability machine such as you did with your Lexus.
2. The M3 will get you around in the winter just fine. If you're in an area where you will be having snow, you will definitely want snow tires. Personally, I never drive my M3's in the winter because I don't like exposing them to the elements and the way they feel on the uneven pavement and snow and ice. The suspension is fairly stiff and there's a lot of power to consider. Others here that have more experience doing this might have different things to say. I however, Have chosen to purchase one or more other cars to serve as daily drivers and/or for inclement weather.
3. "Reasonable cost" is different for everyone. If you're buying one certified and under warranty, you don't need to worry about that until the warranty expires. Yes, there is a one-year scheduled maintenance, but, if you're planning on keeping the car long term, you should at least cut that in half. The different service descriptions are easily available on the web.
4. Personally, I think the M3 is going to be a lot more practical than a Porsche. Are you planning on tracking the car that you get? If not, it sounds like the M3 will check more boxes for you. However, if you just want to be in a Porsche, I can't really provide any reason for you to choose one over the other.
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Old Sun, Dec-13-2015, 05:21:47 PM   #3
Boozshie
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Default Re: Prospect Owner - Reliability and Maintenance Question

The M3 will be closer to the Lexus than the Porsche, as it's got a lot more room and is more practical. Reliability hasn't been a concern with my E92 M3, but it's only got 28k miles on it and is a garage queen so that's a consideration. I never drive my M3 in snow (which is rare in Texas anyway) so I can't tell you how it handles snow. I'd probably drive whichever car I cared about least and put snow tires on it.
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Old Mon, Dec-14-2015, 04:45:27 AM   #4
MaximusB
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Default Re: Prospect Owner - Reliability and Maintenance Question

Thanks for the reply guys,

I realize that either the M3 or M4, or the Cayman won't handle no where near as well as my Lexus in the snow. As long as it can get me from A to B in the winter than it'll fit my needs. Most likely I won't drive it in the snow, I just like to have option in the off chance that I need to take it out.

I do like the fact the M3 offers more usable storage space than the Cayman, and that is why I am having a hard time deciding.

Couple more questions, if I do decide on the M3/M4. Which transmission would you guys pick? DCT or manual? I don't mind driving manual in rush hour traffic as I have done it for over 10 years in the past. So I won't factor in rush hour traffic even though a DCT will be better in that sense. Which one is more reliable? I've read that the DCT tends to have more issues?

Also, are there any known issues with the M3? I've been reading on this forum that some have rod bearing problems?
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Old Mon, Dec-14-2015, 06:47:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Prospect Owner - Reliability and Maintenance Question

The main issues you will hear about the M3's are indeed the rod bearings and throttle actuators. No car model is without its issues, however, so take it for what it's worth.
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Old Mon, Dec-14-2015, 10:50:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: Prospect Owner - Reliability and Maintenance Question

Absolutely drive a DCT before making your decision. Its an amazing transmission. (This coming from someone who hates automatics)
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Old Mon, Dec-14-2015, 03:40:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Prospect Owner - Reliability and Maintenance Question

OP are you in Canada?
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Old Mon, Dec-14-2015, 07:34:09 PM   #8
Boozshie
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Default Re: Prospect Owner - Reliability and Maintenance Question

DCT is better than the manual unless you're a hardcore manual fan and then it probably wouldn't be a question... It's faster to shift and is more convenient. Reliability hasn't been a factor for me, but it would be more expensive to fix than a manual or even an auto.
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Old Mon, Dec-14-2015, 10:41:38 PM   #9
MaximusB
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Default Re: Prospect Owner - Reliability and Maintenance Question

good point, I should try them both out when I go to the dealer and see it for myself. Does the DCT on the BMW give you the option of full automatic? That usually turns me away from DCT, for example my Lexus comes with paddle shift as a standard option. Don't get me wrong I know it is no DCT, but I find myself being in auto 99% of the time.
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Old Tue, Dec-15-2015, 05:31:08 AM   #10
Boozshie
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Default Re: Prospect Owner - Reliability and Maintenance Question

You *can* use it in full-auto mode if you want, but you don't have to. I'm not sure how Lexus's version works (or if it's really DCT and not a regular auto with "paddle shifters"), but the M3's DCT I use almost 100% in manual mode, which doesn't override you (it won't shift up unless you shift, it will downshift though as you slow down in order to prevent stalling, but not until it hits a threshold. You switch modes by tapping the selector to the right, or switch to manual by using the paddles. The way I drive it I can pretty much forget the fully-auto mode exists, it sticks with your last choice when you start up again. Really though, I enjoy the rapid gear shifts and perfection of the shifts, rev matching, etc. as much as I enjoy shifting gears on the bike.

If you see yourself using auto-mode mostly anyway, I don't really see the point in getting a manual... lol It'd just lock out that choice, shift slower, and be a minor annoyance in traffic (very minor, but still - traffic annoys me most while riding my motorcycle, since I've got to eff with the clutch constantly).

Here's a pretty interesting video on it:
(not the specific transmission in the M3 I doubt, but same concept - I couldn't find the manufacturer of BMW's DCT to see if it was/wasn't ZF or BMW in-house). Also, I might have a different definition of 'interesting'. I'm fascinated by how it works
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Discussing Prospect Owner - Reliability and Maintenance Question in the E90 M3 (Sedan) | E92 M3 (Coupe) | E93 M3 (Convertible) (2008-2013) Forum - {Engine: S65 - Max Hp: 414 hp (420 hp Euro) at 8,300 rpm / 295 lb/ft at 3,900 rpm} at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)