help Me? M3 vs. 328i - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
M-Series (M1, M3, M5, M6) General M-Series Discussion - If it does not fit into a more specific M Category above, please place it in here. In addition, previously archived M-Series discussion is located in this section.

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#1 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 03:02 AM
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hi, i am new to these forums but have read around alot and just decided to join so i could get some expert advice from someone who knows what they are talking about. I am almost 17 and I am picking out my frist car. My mom let me learn on her 2002 BMW 525 so i convinced her i need a BMW because it will be easier for me to drive . I would really like a M3 between 1995 and 1998 but my mom would probably want me to drive a less powerful 3-series. She insists on buying from in in-town car dealer so it is very difficult to find a M3 at that age. I found two cars that suit me fairly well and wasnt sure what the performance differences were. One is a 1998 M3 Coupe 19K (little steep). The other one is a 1998 328i 4dr. for 15K. They are both a 5 speed but would i see that much of a difference in acceleration between these two cars. Any help would be appreciated in helping me make my decision.

Thanks

Alex

P.S. sry about the long story probably wasnt necessary.
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 04:11 AM
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Bluntly put, you WILL see a difference in acceleration. Other than that, especially if you don't plan on running your car on tracks too much, you won't see that much of a difference. I'm not speaking from firsthand knowledge, though. (My first BMW is my current '04 M3) I am going on what I've heard and experienced as a passenger, as well as specs on the two vehicles. Keep in mind that maintenance on an M3 is a different ballgame too. Chances are it was previously driven hard, the engine is tuned more, and even the tires are staggered and lower profile, which means more frequent replacing. Insurance will also undoubtedly be higher.

I'm not too knowledgeable with the Bluebook valuations for these two cars, but to an enthusiast, I would think $4K is worth the upgrade (mileage being reasonable and comparable, of course). Convincing your mom to spend that extra $4K is another story altogether... :P

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#3 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 05:30 AM
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you dont need to have an m3 as a first car, but if you "need" it go for it. also, think about the insurance. though if an m3 is going to be your first car, you probably dont need to worry about insurance(money wise).

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#4 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 08:25 PM
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do you think insurance will be that much of a difference on the two cars. They both have similar engines but m3 is worth slightly more or does it go up a lot just because it is classified as a sports car.
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-05-2004, 10:08 PM
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BMW's are much more than just acceleration machines. After having taught many young students in BMWCCA driving schools I would definitely say choose the 1998 328i. This car already has more performance than you will be able to handle for several years to come, has lower insurance premiums, and will be fun for you to modify and enhance IF your driving skills increase and your wallet will allow. Having driven MANY different BMW's over the years I have observed that they all have very similar handling characteristics. Some (like the M3) are sharper than others, but they are more similar than they are different.

Do yourself a favor and join the local chapter of the BMW Car Club of America and take one of their entry level schools for teens. You will immediately realize how much there is to learn and will give you respect for the performance of even a lowly 328.

P.S. I drove a 1996 318ti for eight years and was a BMWCCA instructor for 5 of those years. On the track (NEVER ON THE STREET!!!) I often passed inexperienced M3 drivers - unless the straights were too long and their lead feet got the better of me. Most people just do not realize how much a seemingly mundane BMW is capable of with the right driver. Learn about your own limits as a driver, avoid distractions in the car, and never drive while under the influence. Remember that your concentration must be on the road, especially since you are inexperienced. You may think of looking for a 318 or 323 and spend the extra money elsewere (or maybe on upgrading the stereo). You would still have a very fun and capable car.
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#6 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 04:13 PM
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I agree with Black_Tire with his input. I used to have a 328 non sport-package and it handled pretty good but now that i have a 318 with sport package, and the "328's sport rims/tires", it handles sooo well. It handles better than my parents' E46 323 and my E36 328 I used to have. Sticks to the road like glue, and if smart and experienced as a driver, it can be a very fun car. Well built, great quality.

Yeah, my 2 cents...
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#7 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 04:16 PM
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Definately the M3..... No doubt.

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#8 (permalink) Old 08-06-2004, 08:14 PM
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get the m3 only if you will respect it and take care of it and if you can drive it safely, also the 328 is pimp car as well good car to buy and mod

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#9 (permalink) Old 08-07-2004, 06:36 AM
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talk to jllphan about this, or hopefully he'll join in...

even though an m3 sounds tempting... go test drive it then go test drive a 328... the differences are not insanely uge (as trumph would say)...

i just drove a m3... it wasnt very impressive compared to my 325...

Heres my advice for you:

Buy the 328, a nice one... in good condition (or even a 325)
mod it lightly (or heavily?)
you could easily out accelerate an m3 with the following mods:
OBD1 Conversion: $1,000 (more?)
Exhaust: $400+
Chip: $300 ($150 used)
Intake: $400+

you would be pushing 250+ horsepower with a broader powerband than the 325, prolly gettin to 60 quicker than the m3... handleing is another question altogether...

the m3 stock handles VERY well... although with slight modifaction to any e36 the m3 would be left wayyy back in the dust...

nice tires
harder springs/shocks
etc...that would run you $2,000+

and to top all this off... later in life...

Performance engine:
238 HP 2.8 Liter: $6,000
Nice Turbo $4,500
install: $1,500 (more?)

then you would be pushing:
370+ hp

this is for a grand total OF:
$13,100 +/- suspension/tires $2000
-
$15,000 + cost of car
$15,000-car 1996 328 50,000 miles (thats a huge guess but maybe close)
======
$30,000
gets you

370 Hp BMW 328, with 0 miles on the engine...
0-60 4.9 seconds / or with a diff and tranny 4.5

*all numbers off the top of my head so they may be wrong

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#10 (permalink) Old 08-07-2004, 03:05 PM
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man that makes me start to question wether or not the m3 is the one for me, i could buy a 328 and mod it and make it fast or buy a stock m3 and have modded 328's embarass me, its tough this guy isn't helping me much either jonsibal

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#11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2004, 05:21 PM
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well, the tipping on the scale might be this:

M3:
HIGHER INSURANCE
HIGHER MAINT.
PARTS = MORE $$$

328 modded quite nicely:
RARE
SOUNDS COOLER ( )
ANDDDD WHY IS THIS IN CAPSLOCK I DUNO

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#12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2004, 05:48 PM
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Lol thanks for all the input u keep making my decision harder

EDIT: would installation be difficult for mods if so how much would labor be. I have a few friends that are really into cars that could probably do it but i wouldnt want them to wreck my car.
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#13 (permalink) Old 08-07-2004, 05:49 PM
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well before you do anything else.... DRIVE THE M3
then after that DRIVE A 328

...and you can decide for yourself... IMO the m3 is NOT that impressive after simple modding of a non ///M

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#14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2004, 05:49 PM
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Youguys ar emissing the sexy factor. M3 SEXAY. 328 nice but common. Whoever said that teh 328 was rare...well people cud give a shit for a difference in 0.3 liters. Go for the M3. A lot of times we here on the forums are bitter abotu a kid gettign a nicer car than us. As long as you aren't a schmuck abotu it, and you are respectful to other BMW drivers, I see no reason (other than affordability) for why you shouldn't get the M3.

Also the M3 will handle better than the basic e36 and you, by going with a better handlign car as well, are choosing the true way of pickign a german car (on both handling and performance).

Just my three cents.


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#15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2004, 05:50 PM
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but think about this:
if you got an m3 then modded that you would have an almost SUPERCAR

(sry that prolly makes your choice EVEN harder)

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