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E46 M3 E39 M5?

Discussion in 'BMW' started by JackE30, Oct 5, 2012.

    • Member

    JackE30

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    I have been looking E39 M5s for a while. I was sure that this was what I wanted but then I read about maintenancing them... How expensive replacement part are, the expensive oil changes and basic engine tune ups. So I looked around for some e46 m3s. They are much cheaper own but I just love the m5.
    I think the m3 is a more nimble and sportier car. But the m5 has more class and is more luxurious.(not to mention the low end power and incredible sound from that s62!). I am kind of leaning towards the m5 because I already own an e30 which is small and nimble like the m3 so the m5 would be a better addition to my garage.

    Which would you buy? Or if you've owned an e39 m5 was the maintenance really that bad?

    two30grain guest

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    super tough choice, both were/are great cars. I'm still super smitten with the E46 M3 and will be until one is mine.

    At the same time, I would not be able to pass up a E39 M5. The E39 in general is a favorite of mine. The four doors would be great for occasional trips with the kids.

    I think you would be happy either way. It is commonly (with good reason) thought that in general, a BMW V8 is more maintenance intensive than an BMW I6, so I think you are on track with that assessment. But either way, these are both high strung performance engines.
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    03BeastCharmer

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    There is a reason everyone compares the E60 and F10 M5 to the E39 version. Yes, it's that good at being two cars in one! Ours has been a daily driver for the last 7 years. You do have to keep up on the maintenance, and sometime those bills are REALLY big, but it's a great car. It's not going to get the same gas mileage as the E46, or be as fun on the track if that is your primary focus as the weight will occasionally sneak up on you. It also has 4 doors and is the perfect size. Ironically, the new F30 is about the same size, so the next M3 sedan might be the successor if they don't mess up the steering.

    You can't go wrong with either, but it depends on what you want out of them from a daily, family use, canyon, track stand point.

    I compared both back in '05, and you can see which way I went with my decision.:) Granted I did end up getting a M Coupe two years later for autocross and weekend fun, but kept the M5 for daily use.
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    tonywaters

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    I downsized from a e39 540i to an e46 330ci convertible. I occasionally miss the two back doors, the sound of that V8 and the extra space but when the weather is nice and the top is down on a twisty, life is sure good.
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    I love my e39 m5 and wouldn't trade it for a e46 m3. The maintance really is not that bad for the m5 as along as you do most of it yourself. Brakes are probably the worst, and the s62 uses the same amount of oil and type as the e46 m3 (as long as you dont get an early m5 that uses 5w30) so you really wont be spending more on the oil changes. Also the m3 in my opinion has more issues then the e39 m5. Such as headgasket leaking, crankcase ventilation relief valve leaking, subframe issues in the early models, and if you have smg the pumps constantly failed. E39 m5 usually have cat failure, vanos rattle, cam sensors, valve cover gaskets. But through it all they are both great cars and neither would disappoint.
    • Member

    JackE30

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    Thanks for the input guys. 03beastcharmer, you have my dream garage.
    image.jpg I went with a Phoenix yellow e46 m3. 2003.5, 32k miles, black nappa and proper manual
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    After many years, I almost like that color...
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    JackE30

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    Yea it's defiantly a hate it or love it color.
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    eblue540 Fourth Gen Bimmers

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    Beautiful car! And the color makes a statement; nice find!
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    I saw a Z3 M roadster in Phoenix Yellow... and I LIKED it!
    Obviously, it's time to adjust the dosage.
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    ghpup GLFBGGY

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    A good friend of mine has a '99 MRdstr in what I believe is Dakar yellow. Another neighbor has an e46 in the Phoenix. I think I prefer the Dakar, it stands out for certain.

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