Let me introduce myself, as this is my first article for AutoSpies.
I'm Motor2, and I'm Motor1's cousin. When it comes to cars, I'm the sort of guy that continues to buy the exact same model I bought originally each time they make a new one.
My wife got an X5 4.4i in 2003. We loved it. So last year, we bought an X5 3.0sd.
I bought an M3 Convertible also in 2003. I loved it. So earlier this year, I bought the new convertible. Except this time, it isn't an M3. It was a 335i.
Fuel prices are through the roof. And if I continued the way I was going, I'd probably be stuck with some wimpy 320d diesel sedan.
So I compared the M3 Converitble (2008) with the 335i Convertible (2008).
On the 335i, I had optioned for the automatic gearbox plus the M Sports Pack, and also the removal of the vehicle number. Everyone who drove or walked past my car assumed it as an M3. But it wasn't.
Okay, obviously the M3 is much more fast (nearly a whole second). But the 335 isn't slow. it reaches 100km/h from 0 in 5.6 seconds, good for a hard-top convertible. Yet it consumes 3 litres less than the M3. 3 litres! It still can reach the same speeds as the M3, and is over 75 kW less powerful than the M3. But there is only a 1 second difference between the two!
Now obviously if you were a dedicated BMW M3 fan, you wouldn't do what I did and decide to get the 335i that looks like an M3. But if you don't really care about loosing under a second in a 0-100 leap, why bother with the M3 Convertible? The same could probably speak for the M3 Coupe against the 335i Coupe.
So, if you are considering buying an M3, stop. Think about whether you need to be that 0.8 seconds faster. Think about whether you would like to trade that in for better efficiency which in the end means you have more in your pocket. And you'll have more in your pocket from all the money you've saved.
Because I did, and the 335i with the M Package and no 335i badge is physically the same as the M3 from the above average car enthusiast's eye. And .8 seconds doesn't matter when I saved enough to buy a home theatre system and a 60 inch flat screen TV.
So, what do you think? Is it worth spending the bucket load of money buying the M3, then the bucket load of money for it's fuel. Or is it worth saving heaps on efficiency and the cheaper price to buy the 335i, and just get rid of the 335i badge and get the M Pack?