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Old 08-18-2003, 01:33 PM   #1
Shavenyak
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Question STI or BMW M3

I have been on these boards for a while reading pretty regularly and I wanted everyone's opinion on which car to buy, STI or M3.

I can afford either one, but if I buy the M3, then it will have to last me for a while as it will be my keeper/daily driver for probably 7-8 years.

If I buy the STI, I will trade it in in a couple years for a newer model.

I'm 26 right now and since I forsee starting family relatively soon, I think this is my last chance to get a really nice car until close to retirement age.

I would love to get an M3, but people's experiences with E46s have been less than satisfactory in my opinion. Too many sunroofs off track, cracking interior, technical problems. The STI might not only be the more frugal choice, but also the more reliable decision.

If anyone could post their opinion on this matter, I would greatly appreciate the input.

Thanks!

--Roman "Scooby-ru"
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Old 08-18-2003, 01:38 PM   #2
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You're in CA so 4WD is not necessary. I would take the M3 most likely.

Have you considered a Boxster S?
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Old 08-18-2003, 01:44 PM   #3
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I'm 6'8" so a Porsche is pretty much out of the question

--Roman

P.S. Oh, and I realize how beaten to death the STI vs. M3 thing is, I was just curious what everyone would BUY, not what everyone thinks is faster in a circle
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Old 08-18-2003, 01:58 PM   #4
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I'd go with the M3. I love my STi, but I am also a big fan of BMW. They usually build exceptional machines and also give you the comfort while driving in S.Calif. (101 or I-5 Fwy at 4:00pm...you want something you can relax in)

Cheers,

Davis
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Old 08-18-2003, 01:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by SCOOBY-RU
I'm 6'8" so a Porsche is pretty much out of the question

--Roman

P.S. Oh, and I realize how beaten to death the STI vs. M3 thing is, I was just curious what everyone would BUY, not what everyone thinks is faster in a circle
Wowser ... 6'8" ... I was maxing out the Boxster and I'm 6'2". You'd have no probs in the STi, can't comment on the M3.
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Old 08-18-2003, 02:02 PM   #6
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as much as i enjoy driving the sti, if i could only have one id go with the m3. it would have to be a cab though. hehe
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Old 08-18-2003, 02:20 PM   #7
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if you're looking for a pre-family car that will still be useful after having a kid or two...I'd much rather put a child seat in a car with rear doors.

all of the other stuff has been covered in most of the other M3 vs STi threads, if you search for them.

have a good one.
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Old 08-18-2003, 03:15 PM   #8
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Had I had the money, I definately would have gone for the M3. Practicality be damned. Also, supposedly, BMW has fixed the engine issues for the newer ones.
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Old 08-18-2003, 04:04 PM   #9
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I had the choice.. STi - M3 - G35 and went with STi. Cant beat AWD and Turbo.....
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Old 08-18-2003, 05:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by wrx what
I had the choice.. STi - M3 - G35 and went with STi. Cant beat AWD and Turbo.....
What he said ^^!

Car seat will fit much better in the STi than the M3 which is really a '2+2'. Iv've fogotten what the crashworthiness ratings were for the 3 Series but the Impreza chassis is the best in the industry for its size/class as tested by NHTSA and IIHS. Your wife will like that alot. The insurance toward an STi is relatively inexpensive.

The only real downside is that you'll be forever explaining to non-enthusiasts exactly what an 'STi' is and how its different/better from the WRX so and so's brother/cousin/co-worker drives/races/wrecked.

Really though you can't lose with either choice as they are both fine sports cars.

Good times!

- Janq
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Old 08-18-2003, 06:07 PM   #11
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Roman, RU=russian? I u got the dough, get M3, STi is second best and proebably a little faster on curvy traxx and will be faster than M3 once PPP kit is out or vishnu....
Both cars r tops...
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Old 08-18-2003, 06:09 PM   #12
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Which M3?

I'd buy the current over an STi, but an STi over the last gen M3...
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Old 08-18-2003, 06:38 PM   #13
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Read this thread. It should answer a lot of your questions and then some.

STi vs M3
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Old 08-18-2003, 06:48 PM   #14
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Tough choice. I just picked up my STi last week and love it. I also have an e46 330i Sport (Iknow not an M3) and love it as well. Two very different cars with equal appeal. I have had e36 M3's in the past and enjoyed them very much. If you are interested in a car you can mod and see large performance gains buy the STi. If you are looking for an enthusists car to drive and enjoy buy the M3. Not saying you can't mod the M3, just that you won't see huge gains if you do. BMW service is typically top shelf. I have owned 7 of them in the last 10-12 years. Never had a service or warranty problem. When something came up they were all over it to fix it. They even do a loaner car for an oil change if you need it. This is my first Subaru so I have no input on their level of service. My advise is to drive both. See which one fits you the best. Can't see either being a bad choice.
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Old 08-18-2003, 07:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Silver-Bolt
If you are interested in a car you can mod and see large performance gains buy the STi. If you are looking for an enthusists car to drive and enjoy buy the M3. Not saying you can't mod the M3, just that you won't see huge gains if you do.
Agree 100%. Just wanted to clarify. You won't see huge gains from M3 engine mods. The major mods are going to cost you tens of thousands of dollars, require upgrades to the valves, springs, cams, throttle bodies, pistons, and con rods, ecu, exhaust, and might net you 60hp if you're lucky. You also might be lucky and not experience all the other upgrade issues that other people have learned about the hard way.

BUT, M3 handling mods are another matter. They are great, relatively inexpensive, and can make it handle better than a 911 for less money. Brakes and suspension WILL give you huge gains on the M3 if you're a person you plans on tracking the vehicle. But it takes some experience to know how to package the mods and tune them for the best results.

You can also get the M3 down from 3600lbs loaded to 3100 stripped without spending a lot of money. This has a big impact on performance as well.
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Old 08-18-2003, 10:43 PM   #16
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Well said Mr. Grinch.
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Old 08-19-2003, 12:49 AM   #17
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Thank you everyone for your help, I really appreciate the input.

--Roman
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Old 08-19-2003, 01:11 AM   #18
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Why would you compare an m3 to a sti? Its like comparing apples to oranges. If you dont like big wings/ flashy wheels dont buy an sti. M3= Expensive .........oil changes are $$$$$$$ I personally would never buy a BMW unless I was in Germany. If you like driving on a track............DO NOT BUY THE M3! I eat them alive in my wrx. THey are big and bulky If all you care for are looks and image buy the M3. If you are looking for driving excitment and going to actually use the car to its potential buy the sti!
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Old 08-19-2003, 02:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by WRXMaster
Why would you compare an m3 to a sti? Its like comparing apples to oranges. If you dont like big wings/ flashy wheels dont buy an sti. M3= Expensive .........oil changes are $$$$$$$ I personally would never buy a BMW unless I was in Germany. If you like driving on a track............DO NOT BUY THE M3! I eat them alive in my wrx. THey are big and bulky If all you care for are looks and image buy the M3. If you are looking for driving excitment and going to actually use the car to its potential buy the sti!
Quote:
Originally posted by WRXMaster
Why would you compare an m3 to a sti? Its like comparing apples to oranges. If you dont like big wings/ flashy wheels dont buy an sti. M3= Expensive .........oil changes are $$$$$$$ I personally would never buy a BMW unless I was in Germany. If you like driving on a track............DO NOT BUY THE M3! I eat them alive in my wrx. THey are big and bulky If all you care for are looks and image buy the M3. If you are looking for driving excitment and going to actually use the car to its potential buy the sti!
I don't know where you come off saying all this stuff about the M3 like "big and bulky" and strictly for people who care about "looks and image." No "driving excitement" in an M3? HAHAHA. An M5 must be a tank in your eyes, but does that mean its LESS EXCITING to drive? I wouldn't think so but I guess thats just my opinion. As far as the looks and image goes, think about all of those haters and envious fools in their heavily modified civics/integras/neons/cavaliers/celicas/whathaveyou that look at guys rolling STi's in THE SAME EXACT WAY. It's all relative buddy. My point is, you can't go wrong with EITHER the STi or the M3. Apples to oranges you say...its not even about that. If you knew what the STi and the M3 represented with respect to their brand, then the dilemma would be more "Do I want a German representation of sport driving or do I want a Japanese representaion?" I know myself that I couldn't afford to maintain an M3 but that doesn't validate it as a "weaker" choice. Some people have the means to purchase cars like these and can also maintain them..and wouldnt have it any other way. It's not about how much YOU CANT compare the M3 and STi, it's more about knowing what they are and what they represent and choosing one that fits your unique needs/budget/style. You really can't go wrong with either one so it comes down to what you really want in the end.

BTW, I would only expect a WRX-bias from these threads that are posted on Subaru forums. If I come off as "pro-BMW" then you obviousy didn't recognize my point, sorry.


-STiLL
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Old 08-19-2003, 03:06 AM   #20
Kostamojen
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I'd get the STI. I see far too many M3's (and I dont mean the last gen) around these parts...
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Old 08-19-2003, 08:05 AM   #21
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At 6'8" tall, a Vette might be a good choice, also (Z06! )
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Old 08-19-2003, 08:10 AM   #22
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yes, at 6'8, you might just want to go with whichever one you fit in. No sunroof is a plus for STi headroom, buying an M3 without a sunroof will be harder, and will negatively affect resale, since most people want it.

and, ignore the people that say you can't compare the cars. They're pretty different, but they're both exceptional cars. Pick the one that you're most comfortable with, literally, and from a cost, practicality, driving dynamics perspective.
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Old 08-19-2003, 08:31 AM   #23
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How much are the oil changes for an M3 anyway?
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Old 08-19-2003, 09:15 AM   #24
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the included ones, or the non-included ones?

and, anyone can change the oil. Just buy Mobil1 and a new filter and have at it. It might even have the 15k intervals, too.

Would this make the decision for you?
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Old 08-19-2003, 09:51 AM   #25
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Service cost for BWM's is not that bad. The pay for all scheduled maintinence. I do oil changes in between the scheduled maintinence just because I am anal about my cars. 7 quarts of sythetic (Castrol is what BWM uses) filter, and lube is $49. Plus they give me a loaner car if I can't wait. The M3 is slightly higher but not obscene.
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