By on November 15, 2016

2016 BMW M3

My friend “Edward” is a conservative fellow. He’s smart, and he’s successful, but he’s also not going to be the first person in a group to, say, jump into a lake of unknown temperature. He’d rather let some other idiot take the risk.

In at least two cases, I’ve been that idiot.

When he met my voluptuous Italian housekeeper at my 40th birthday party, he thought she was pretty neat — but he waited to ask her out until I’d confirmed that said housekeeper was both fantastic in bed and unlikely to send him a boiled rabbit in the mail. And once he saw that owning an Audi S5 didn’t mean that I’d be spending every weekend drinking coffee at the service department, he picked up an Audi S4 for a daily driver. In contrast to my lime green six-speed V8 coupe, however, his Audi was a dual-clutch, supercharged-V6, metallic black four-door. Conservative. Just like him.

Edward would like to replace his S4 before winter comes. My advice to him was to take a safer version of my current path: get himself an Accord V6 sedan for the commuting grind and a brand-new Z51 Corvette for the weekends. He can certainly afford to do it, but instead, he’s thinking about upping the ante to a loaded-up M3 with a dual-clutch transmission. However, I had a slightly different idea, as you will see.


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I think we can sell Edward’s 85,000-mile S4 pretty easily for seventeen or eighteen grand. Although he crunched the hood and fenders in a low-speed hit a few year ago, the car was fixed correctly and he’s always paid close attention to maintenance and repair, paying the local Audi dealer whatever they wanted for whatever was needed. And the S4 is an easy sale in the late fall; it has all-wheel drive and an automatic transmission.

Two weeks ago, Edward swung by our local BMW dealer to check out their M3 inventory. They have three in stock, two with the DCT. He’d settled on the loaded-up white one. With a couple grand out of pocket, he’d have been looking at just under $1,100 a month for a three-year lease. And he would have left with it, except for the interaction he had with the “numbers guy” at the dealership. Assuming that the sale on the M3 was already closed, the numbers guy started hard-closing him on a $3,000 winter tire package, telling him that the M3 would be dangerous without it in the snow.

I agree with the numbers guy. The M3 is absurdly torquey, often at inopportune moments, and it sits on steamroller summer tires as delivered. Only a fool would drive it on the street once the temperature dips below about forty degrees Fahrenheit. But Edward was put off by the dude’s manner and the way he seemed more interested in selling winter tires than selling the car. In the space of a few minutes, Edward was converted from a sure thing to what car salesmen call a “be-back”: Uh, thanks for your time, I’ll be back.

And back he was this past Saturday, this time with me in tow. But I wasn’t so sure that the M3 was the right car for Edward. It’s not really equivalent to the S4 he’s driving now. Hell, it’s not really equivalent to the RS5 coupe. The current M3 is wicked fast, an eleven-second quarter-mile monster that can reel in a Corvette in a straight line and trouble it around a fast sweeper. And although there was a time in my life where I was making five thousand dollars’ a month worth of car payments, I’m always troubled by the sight of a fourth figure on a lease statement.

So, I suggested that Edward try a 340 xDrive. It’s about as fast as his current S4, and it has all-wheel drive. Best of all, it’s currently offered with the usual BMW subsidized lease at something like $459/month. We went for a test drive. Edward dug the proverbial shit out of it. It was fast enough, handled well enough. But it was a little light on equipment, and he didn’t think it looked aggressive enough.

20161112_143934

Luckily for us, the dealership had something slightly different in stock: a 440xi Gran Coupe in white with white leather. BMW’s lineup has proliferated to the point where even I can’t quite keep track of it, but this is a rough guide: A 4-Series is a two-door 3-Series. Except when it’s a 4-Series “Gran Coupe”, which is a four-door 3-Series with a lower roofline — a massive power-operated hatchback! Edward’s big on doing home improvement projects. The minute he saw the hatch open, I figured he was sold. And the lease price was right: $509/month for a 440i AWD with M Sport package.

There was just one little problem: Edward wanted the car fully loaded. His perfect 440i Gran Coupe would be the Buddhist model: one with everything, as they say. So he and the salesman sat down to mock up one to his specs. And when that was done, they ran some approximate numbers. The final lease tab: $820 a month, on the same terms they used for the $1,100-a-month M3.

My response to this: Get the $509/month model… and a Corvette. But Edward is thinking that life is too short to drive a stripped-out car. And if he’s going to spend $820 for a 440i, he might as well spend $1,100 for an M3. I can’t really disagree with this. He should get what he wants. But I don’t see how it’s not better to have a new Corvette and a pretty decent turbocharged hatchback. So, we’re gonna sell the S4, at which point he’ll drive one of my cars until he can make a decision. But what would you say, dear reader? It is better to serve in GranCoupeLand, or reign in an M3?

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107 Comments on “Ask Jack: To M3 Or Not To M3?...”


  • avatar
    philadlj

    4 Gran Coupe. I like the looks better than the 3/M3 (it’s a no-excuses pretty car, maaaaybe prettier than the bigger 6).

    But back to the M, did you tell him the hard-close on the winter tires was actually *in his best interest*, even if it “felt” off to him?

    Does the Gran Coupe wear all-seasons?

    • 0 avatar
      raisingAnarchy

      All non-M BMWs are shod with no-season tires, except the ones with the optional Track Handling Package.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        M-sport and sport package cars usually come with high performance summer runflats. The No-seasons are a no-cost option. Which of course, many dealers order for the cars on the lot.

        If you want a new BMW, order the damned thing and do European Delivery for Dog’s sake. You will get exactly the same deal, less the 5 or 6% BMW lops off the top for ED. Have it your way, not the dipshit in the dealership’s way. And you get to drive it around Europe. Win-win-win.

        • 0 avatar
          raisingAnarchy

          Didn’t realize the sport packages changed tires as well. Probably a product of the fact that I’m in the north and every dealership options their inventory with no-seasons. That way they don’t have to scare the customer off with the idea of snow tires!

          Great suggestion about the European Delivery. I would do that in a heartbeat, if only BMW would sell a car I’d buy…

  • avatar
    scuzimi

    Did you loose some of your novel? This must have been written by one of your staff and you just phoned it in, waaaay too short for anything you may have written.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I was almost in the same position two+ years ago. from the sounds of it, I have a much stronger enthusiast leaning than what you describe of “Edward”. I looked at M3’s, M4’s, R5, RS5, and was very interested in a M2, but at the time, no one was sure when they would be available. The Corvette never made my radar.

    I went with a certified 911 and a used Honda SUV. I just don’t see a 440 grand coupe as a utility car. If I were Edward today, I’d go for a loaded BMW M2 or a Porsche Cayman GTS and get a SUV or a Tacoma for utility and I’d take delivery of the M2/Porsche in Germany. I would easily chose an M3 over a loaded 440. Two completely different cars.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Home improvement projects? Get an F150 for a daily driver and the Corvette.

    • 0 avatar
      wumpus

      Why daily drive the truck? Edward isn’t going to buy a used vette that he has to be concerned about using it up, although you might avoid areas of crazy driving (like within 100 miles of Washington, DC).

      there’s a youtube channel (engineering explained) where the guy decided on two cars that fit this description (except he wanted something that could off road as well as haul stuff, plus “brown diesel wagon” criteria).

      He went with a [new] subaru crosstrek and [ancient] S2000. While its a great combo, I’d really wonder about putting all the miles on the (intentionally boring) crosstrek. I’d recommend the opposite way (daily drive the fun car) and miata (the guy mostly fits, I don’t so I don’t have one) and a tough old truck. Then again, for whatever reason the guy claims to have been hit (while stopped) 4-5 times. Better it happen next in the crosstrek and not the S2000.

      But in general life is to short not to daily drive the fun car (unless “daily drive” means getting kids in and out of carseats or something).

      • 0 avatar
        DirtRoads

        I have an old truck and an old Corvette. I DD the Vette in the summer, and drive a Passat in the winter. The truck hauls lumber and garbage, and is generally treated like a semi-retired farm vehicle. It’s the highest mileage of the three by far.

        So I vote for the truck and Vette combo as well. It works great.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I’m still wrapping my head around a $1,100/month lease. My house costs less. That said…Gran Coupe. I like the way it looks, even if it is dangerously close to leading BMW down a slippery slope regarding model proliferation.

    Just got back from flogging a 530d down the Autobahn from Ramstein up to Frankfurt. Made me have a sadz for coming back home to my plebian Escape and Cruze.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    My ol’ 2004 BMW 325i – with all season tires – was perfectly unsafe for driving in a Michigan winter. And this with only 184hp. My wife borrowed it on the first snowfall and ended up having to get pushed out three times before she came back. I thought she was crazy – I’ve driven little Nissan trucks in the snow without 4WD, and some bigger cars without issue.

    But I quickly learned how tough driving the BMW was – the near 50/50 balance made it want to always spin like a top, throwing the traction and stability control in a tizzy. Eventually the traction control would gob up so much power than you couldn’t move forward. Turning off the DSC helped in some ways but made turning on slick roads a tricky proposition.

    A set of Blizzaks did the trick – I never got stuck even on unplowed roads. But the DSC was still always busy keeping the car straight. You eventually learned to trust the electronics and the car became quite fun, if not a bit unnerving, to drive in the snow.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      All-season tires have thier place – most are mud and snow rated but thats more for folks in marginal areas like the mid- Atlantic and lower where a blizzard is anything more than a 1/16th of an inch in accumulation ( okay I’m exaggerating its more like 1/128th ). You guys up north and out west definetly need your snow tires though.

      Always hard to wrap my mind around thathe when my AO out sees occasionally 3-4 inches in a bad storm ( of which I,have driven a car with about 5 times the power on summer tires – fun times! )

      • 0 avatar
        DirtRoads

        I live in the Northwest (inland of the Cascades, not the coast) and I have all-season tires for my 4Motion Passat. it works great all winter long, and I live on quite the hill.

        If I wanted to go to the lake place, well that may require better tires in the winter time.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    A buddy of mine has been looking at cars for the better part of this year. He has a low mile 2006 TL that I’ve told him I’ll buy. Since we’ve been looking he’s gone from wanting a brand new M4 to a Fiesta (non-ST). We’ve looked at FoSTs, A5s, X5s, Kia Sedonas, Honda Accords, Porsche Caymans, and a bunch of others. As of today he seems stuck on a new X6 or X4.

    So, he basically has no idea what he wants. He lives in downtown DC with underground parking and commutes out of the city for work. He’s not married yet but will be soon it seems and [strikethru]she[/st] they want to have a kid pretty quick. His companion doesn’t drive.

    Basically what I’m saying is all you can do is be supportive and steer him away from colossal mistakes. Don’t try to make him buy what you want, let him get what he wants and he’ll like it more – especially if you give your approval.

    • 0 avatar
      Von

      You need to steer your buddy away from his “companion” that doesn’t drive and want a kid soon. Give him a good slap in the face if you have to. He’ll thank you in a few years.

  • avatar
    michal1980

    I dont know if the guy is right. But if he has the means, get what you want. I car shop with my sister and my parents. Its painful. People get stuck on something they “want” and its nearly impossible to walk them away from it.

  • avatar
    7402

    A neighbor went for the M3. You don’t want it and, believe me, your neighbors don’t want you to have it either. The exhaust sounds exactly like the fart-can exhaust on a 25-year-old Honda/Acura that has been modified by an amateur younger than the car.

    Maybe that exhaust sounds sweet when the car is warmed up and taking on a sweet on ramp, but on a cold morning in the cul-de-sac forget it.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    GC xDrive for sure. It’s a no brainer. If he wants more without killing his warranty they make M Performance parts (intake, exhaust, chip bro!, LSD). Couple those with some lowering springs and he will have The Ultimate Daily Driver™.

  • avatar
    Der_Kommissar

    Get the 440xi GC. It’s a better car all around, even if its not quite as good of a toy. And screw context effects- $820 is still almost $300 less, and you can put all of that and more into that housekeeper previously mentioned. Further- I bet he can get a better price if he’s willing to buy elsewhere, but I think that price on the less loaded version was pretty good. Check out the ask-a-dealer forum on Bimmerfest and see if any salespeople are willing to help.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    “When he met my voluptuous Italian housekeeper at my 40th birthday party, he thought she was pretty neat — but he waited to ask her out until I’d confirmed that said housekeeper was both fantastic in bed and unlikely to send him a boiled rabbit in the mail.”

    And you know this how?

    It doesn’t even matter whether or not you actually got any of said action…you’re nauseating. A legend in your own mind and just the textbook definition of a creep.

    The only question left is whether or not you’ll still be a creep if and when you leave boyhood.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      “And you know this how?”

      Because I was sleeping with her, obviously. And before anybody gets too Marxist Labor Relations on me, I was sleeping with her BEFORE I hired her.

      “you’re nauseating. A legend in your own mind and just the textbook definition of a creep.”

      Don’t hate the player, son; hate the game.

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        To quote Jerry Seinfeld: “What did I just pay for?”

      • 0 avatar

        Haters gonna hate.

        Did they wind up getting together?

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        People bring to the game what they are…the game doesn’t make them what they are. Why are you so anxious that readers place you in the studly cocksman category rather than the faintly-annoying leg-humper category, anyway? Obviously vital to your self-image.

        Please post link to wherever on the internet your wife is bragging about who she was bangin’ before she stumbled across you.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          I bet your dad wrote angry letters to James Brown that contained sentences like, “Sir, I find your claim to be a ‘sex machine’ both dehumanizing and physiologically improbable.”

          As for your other comment, I wouldn’t marry a woman who made statements like that. And neither of my two wives have expected me to do the dishes or the laundry. My chosen pronouns are “he”, “him”, and “his”.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I enjoyed reading this piece because of the triggering content and the butt-hurt it would conjure. I was not disappointed. The second paragraph of your retort to Fordson’s unisexism made up for a day when I met the worst human being I’ve interacted with in over a decade. Thank you.

          • 0 avatar
            Fordson

            I see…and now I, the son, am writing comments to someone else who is trying to sell himself as a sex machine. That’s the comparison that immediately occurs to you? That’s an interesting social pathology, for sure, but…overdone. Oversold.

            But this is after all late 2016, it’s now expected that we’re all gonna say we are such and such, and we are going to do such and such…and everyone (not just the rubes, like before…) has to believe it. Just because we say so.

            “As for your other comment, I wouldn’t marry a woman who made statements like that.”

            Why not? She married someone who makes statements like that, no?

            No dishes, no laundry? I’m gonna assume you wipe your own butt…?

            For a while there, it almost looked like White Male Privilege was going by the boards…thanks for fighting the good fight!

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            You *do* understand that Lena Dunham’s character in “Girls” is supposed to be a comical parody, not a role model for you to build your gender-free life around?

          • 0 avatar
            Fordson

            And you do understand that that character is just a character…you don’t have to be afraid or threatened by it.

            I’m sure that both you and your wife could still consider you the man of the house if you washed the occasional dish or article of clothing, and stopped reflexively lying, on the internet, under a byline, about all the chicks you’ve bagged.

            I remain unconvinced as to how a certain chromosomal makeup and superior upper-body strength predisposes you to a life of never picking up after yourself like most friggin’ grownups do nowadays.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Not too scared of Lena — even with an NSX control arm’s worth of titanium in my lower body, I can still outrun her, assuming the race is for more than ten feet and there’s no eclairs at the finish line.

        • 0 avatar

          “Please post link to wherever on the internet your wife is bragging about who she was bangin’ before she stumbled across you.”

          If the writer was female, gay or lesbian (or female, gay and lesbian for the matter) and alluded to a past sexual encounter, would you be so exercised?

      • 0 avatar

        “Because I was sleeping with her, obviously. And before anybody gets too Marxist Labor Relations on me, I was sleeping with her BEFORE I hired her.”

        Imagine the vapors he’d get from The Way Of A Man With A Maid.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        As the son of an Italian immigrant I’d like to be able to complain that her ethnicity/national origin has no bearing on the story, but as someone who has *lived* in Italia for a couple years as an *adult*… yeah, it’s relevant. I don’t know why, but DAMN, it sure is.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      Eh, he gets results and has a blast doing it, so I can’t diss it.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Jack SAYS he gets more @ss than a toilet seat – but as he hasn’t bed me yet, I wouldn’t know how much is true (though I suspect very little). People say lots of things that are unadulterated BS all the time. But the boy has a way with words I find amusing, so I think we should keep him.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      While what Jack was doing is not my idea of how to live a successful life, as long as both parties agree to it and take the necessary precautions, that’s their business.

      I won’t call Jack out for being a horndog, hopefully he won’t call me out for being strictly monogamous.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Hey, Fordson, it’s his dick. He can do with it what he wants.

      • 0 avatar
        Frank Galvin

        Concerned Fordson is concerned. Christ man, lighten up. Jack, gotta give you credit for your progressive viewpoints regarding the fairer sex. Your bud shows up at your house, on your birthday, and makes inquiries about the woman you’re bedding. Damn, that’s asking for violence. Now a small man might cause a scene, might explode at his friend for breaking the code, but not our Jack B. Nope, Mr. Swagger B knows that his voluptuous Italian friend is free to choose who she wants to see, and he’s all too eager to help his friend. Why, its like the opening of the Godfather, as no Sicilian can refuse a request on his daughter’s wedding day, neither can Baruth on his day. So, Jack. You’re obviously a good friend to have. Slainte!

    • 0 avatar
      crazymonkey

      So, I see I’m not the only one who thought this guy was a full-of-himself clown.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        Well, he’s not claiming to be a billionaire, to have cured cancer or hold 150 patents, because those are easily disproved.

        The only evidence we have that undermines his claimed swordsmanship is his unceasing and unseemly eagerness that we believe it.

        What does that have to do with a guy choosing whether to get a 440xi or an M3? Nothing. But I guess we all have to build a brand or perish nowadays…

        • 0 avatar
          crazymonkey

          I for one was just soooo impressed with Heckle and Jeckle’s “swordsmanship.” Kudos, though, to Heckle for giving at least one unfortunate Italian the opportunity of a lifetime to be his maid.

    • 0 avatar

      And all along I’ve thought I was the textbook definition of a creep. My old shrink said that I gave off a vibe that repelled women.

      Which textbook are you using?

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        it’s not like it’s an exclusive club, dude…there’s more people being nominated for it all the time…I’m sure there’s room for you.

        Was the revelation of unpleasant truths about you the reason he is your ex-shrink? I mean, that’s one of the reasons you go to a shrink.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    He’ll need the winter tire package anyway.

    That’s a 60% bump. Is it really 60 percent more car optioned out?

    • 0 avatar
      baconator

      Indeed. Most BMW’s need the Sport package and real leather, and nothing else. A sunroof and the Harmon-Kardon (or B&O nowadays) sound system are nice for a splurge. But, nav, driving assist, and the other computational geegaws? Meh. You certainly don’t need seven drive modes with different throttle and shift mapping nearly as much as BMW thinks you do.

      If I were buying a BMW today, I *would* probably splash out the money on paint-to-sample. A Gran Coupe in E36 M3 Techno Violet would be interesting, and stand out more than one loaded with options but painted one of BMW’s shades of gray.

  • avatar
    raisingAnarchy

    Jack, I think your friend would be better served by any RWD BMW he can get, especially if he’s dead set on getting a fully loaded one. Something to keep in mind is that the M-sport package on an xDrive car is misleading. The AWD cars, no matter how they’re equipped, always get the same base model suspension. So he’ll be spending $3k+ for the front fascia, steering wheel, seats, and other small aesthetic items and get nothing the suspension department.

    The solution then is a 440i RWD fully loaded, or the M3, if he wants to get all he’s paying for. Good luck finding a non-M RWD BMW in the north though lol!

  • avatar

    I side with Jack on this one…get an Accord Sport for commuting, and the Vette on the weekends.

    I also say this because that’s what I’m going to do in a couple of years, but probably keep the RAV and get a sports car for the weekend (I don’t want two monthly payments).

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I don’t like the concept of a weekend car. I have other things I’d rather be doing than driving if I have nowhere to go.

      I prefer the concept of a “good weather/bad weather” team. Bad weather I take my car. Good weather I take my motorcycle. I guess it amounts to the same thing, but that has always been a pet peeve of mine. Maybe I am just too busy.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        That’s why my Porsches rarely leave the garage nowadays; my good-weather vehicle is a ZX-14R and my iffy-weather vehicle is a CB1100. It takes heavy rain or snow to put me behind the wheel of a car for other than competitive or professional purposes.

        • 0 avatar
          Detroit-Iron

          I have a theory, based on your affection for fwd cars, that you are not really a car guy. I think you like plush seats and going fast. If you had a little more discipline you should have tried to be an astronaut.

    • 0 avatar

      Weekend car is a general term, it’s not meant to be taken literally.

      I envision driving it occasionally during the week to break up the monotony of the daily grind, and late-night trips to the store/gym/wherever.

      I spend my weekends driving around the family rig, a 2016 Honda CR-V EX-L AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      This. Though my preference would be to not buy a BMW or Mercedes I would get a BMW new with warranty, but they aren’t the cars they used to be. None of them are really.

      Get something nice, comfy and reliable for a daily driver and a Viper/Vette for hooning about in.

  • avatar
    Brian Silvestro

    Why not just buy a Corvette and some winter tires?

    • 0 avatar
      soberD

      Chevy SS and winter tires

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        I don’t think “Edward” here would like the SS interior. I sat in one while shopping for the ’16 Cruze I leased. Besides the Alcantara inserts and the better seats, the Chevy’s interior in a 45k car looks like the 22k car I have. I know that doesn’t matter to some people, but it might matter here.

        And I like the SS or at least the idea of it. I leased the Cruze because I needed an inexpensive but reliable third car. But I like the SS and it’s on my shopping list for next car to buy. But the interior is one thing that gives me pause. Especially the large and cheap looking wheel with the cheap feeling buttons. Someone who likes a fully loaded BMW is probably not going to dig the GM parts bin interior.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Why not buy a new S4?

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I would get the 4 gran coupe for the looks and the hatch. The only competition from any german premium brand would be the Audi 5 sportback, both for looks and practicality. Looking at the rest of both Audi and BMW’s lineup the 4 and 5’s are the only ones that have a professional car designer working for them.(and allow me to repeat for the 112th time, how the F can the same guys who made that beatiful Audi make the Audi 7 that looks like a halfdead dog taking a sh*t? )
    As someone who doesn’t buy new cars, and especially not german cars, my opinion doesn’t count, but it sure looks good.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I guess the question would be how much time is he really going to spend in the BMW besides the daily commute? If his typical weekend activities typically require a more practical car, then the BMW becomes the 7 day car and he should get what he wants. Why have a Vette in the garage that never gets driven? If that is the case, get some classic car for the occasional joyride.

  • avatar

    If you are lucky/successful enough and have the space, why try to find one car to do everything ?

    I’d go for a dedicated sportscar and a more all rounder-you’ll want an AWD beater for those home improvement runs, or the two feet of snow day. Warm and cozy in the garage, your summer tires on the M3 or Vette or 911 or, or, will be fine. Bonus if you don’t stress over the scratch that beater gets at the Home Store.

    I have a SUV to go and drive the off road courses that NYC calls “roads”. I’ve learned not to take a stiffly sprung, low profile’d car to the airports…rims and tires can be expensive. Even if you can see, you oft cannot avoid.

    BUT-a hundred mile plus run upstate, on interstate and maintained roads, is just the ticket for that stiff and tight enthusiast package.

    Trying to get an all in one package give you the ///M X5, which while amazing, hitting the M3 targets, is huge, thirsty, and really, you’d still rather drive the M3.

    If you can, different tools for different jobs.

  • avatar
    Scout_Number_4

    <<>> Hoping to have these kind of dilemmas someday.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I had to look up the “boiled rabbit” thing, because I just *knew* it was a movie reference.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Jack, if he’s an Audi guy, why not an S6? It’s not all that more expensive than the M3, and you get the AWD he clearly likes.

  • avatar
    319583076

    I think he should lease an All-New Prius Prime for some reason. Or perhaps a 2017 Chevy Spark ACTIV, if he wants to get in on this CUV craze.

  • avatar
    brettc

    The answer to Edward’s riddle: C-Max

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Your friend discovered the first principle of BMW leasing: the numbers work out by far the best on volume-configured models. The program is designed to get thousands upon thousands of Premium + Technology-equipped 330i xDrives out the door, and punishes those who want to go full-boat even beyond the ludicrous MSRP difference.

    His real problem is that he actually wants a daily driver but he wants to THINK of himself as driving the baddest thing around. If it can’t be a M3, then it has to be a 440i that’s better than everyone else’s. He needs to let go of the self-image hangups and actually figure out what options are worth the money to him in daily use. Then he could probably get himself under $600, which is a fair deal on a well-equipped 440i.

  • avatar
    DearS

    Buy an E46 M3, 350Z Track Or Camaro 1LE and learn to drive it to the best of your abilities. Give $100/month to charity. Don’t ever buy a new luxury car again.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    He should get a C63 AMG, have a threesome with the Italian housekeeper and write stories about it.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Why do people get so wound up about the F&I guy? I simply tell them upfront I am not interested in buying ANYTHING but the car, please show me where I need to sign. The one time I had a guy that was being a tad over-zealous, I talked to my sales guy and told him he was about six seconds from losing his commission. Things proceeded quite smoothly from that point on.

    For both of my new BMW purchases, the sum total of their pushing anything was showing me a laminated list of their offerings and asking if I had any questions. Same at the VW and Fiat dealers locally too. I think Toyota tried a little harder with Mom’s Prius but a firm “no thank you” shut them up.

  • avatar
    USAFMech

    Oh, thank God. In Mark’s feedback post, a couple of the B&B suggested, from their fainting couches no doubt, that someone should tone down Jack’s articles. Thankfully, it would seem that silliness was dismissed.

    Luckily I’m mature enough to not get so caught up in the absolutely lurid sexual details, that violated more delicate sensibilities, to see that if the loaded man wants an M3, an M3 he shall have. Logic and reason be damned. They have almost no place in car buying at all, anyway.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    If he has the money to buy two cars, then he should buy two cars, not a compromise. At a much less elevated level, for years I had a Z3 roadster, which was my fun car (and also used for my 15-minute commute) and various other vehicles for hauling stuff, kids, their friends and so on. Being the wuss that I am, I never felt a serious handling deficiency from equipping the Z3 with all-seasons. But I never took it out willingly in deep snow, which doesn’t happen that much in metro DC. FWIW, using traction control is a great way to wear out your rear brake pads. Given that the Z3 is a light car, a light touch with the electronic nannies turned off seemed to be the best way forward in light snow, albeit at very slow speeds.

    I’m kinda think he could get a snow tire and wheel package from tire rack for a whole lot less than the F&I guy was quoting. For that purpose, narrower rims would be much better and the narrower tires would be cheaper also even if their not rated to 150+ mph. During those months just abandon the notion of “driving at the limit” unless you want to end up in a pile of white stuff.

  • avatar
    hgrunt

    Given the relatively small price difference between the GranCoupe he wants and the M he wants, I’d say go with the M.

    There’s definitely a special feeling in having fully loaded car. A friend of mine has a CPO 2010 M5 where the previous owner ticked every option box short of booking one through the Individual program. Full Leather (even the dashboard), special fine grain wood trim, metal iDrive knob. It’s nice. Real nice.

  • avatar
    a5ehren

    If he isn’t going to sniff a track, the M3 is a deeply, deeply stupid car to DD.

    If he’s after luxury, why not a well-equipped 535xi or S6? I would say an E-class, but the E300 is the only one available right now and that isn’t enough power for the money.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    He doesn’t strike me as a guy that will get any real use out of a dedicated sports car. Get the m3 and be done with it.

    A question though, the price gap from the base gc to the fully loaded one is preposterous, you sure of those numbers?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Yeah — as has been noted elsewhere, BMW designs their lease program to encourage very specific choices.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I disagree unless they are doing something unusual. The advertised lease price is for some certain mid-low spec config, to get that cheap number (though from 2016 they have improved the standard equipment levels). But you will get the same lease terms (money factor, option credit, and residual percentage) no matter how you option the car. The difference in lease price reflects the fact that you actually CAN ladle $20K+ in options onto one of these things. Assuming a 60ish% residual after 3 years, that can be an added ~$300-400/mo! And of course, taxes and fees are not included in that advertised $509 lease rate either. And that is before you delve into the world of Individual colors and leathers. You can make an $80K+ 440GCXi from a $50K base price if you want one in an Individual color with Individual leather and fancy wheels. Or a $100K+ M3.

        BMW really doesn’t play a lot of games with their pricing, and I have NEVER seen them pull the “cheap finance or discount” BS that the cheap makers love. Nor do they do the “from dealer stock only” game – they are more than happy to build one just for you for the same deal. Exception being model year changeover – usually better deals on last years after you can no longer order last years car. Which only makes sense to clear inventory.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          I don’t want to disagree with you and I value your opinion. All I will say is that I am a former employee of BMW Financial and I’ve seen a lot of programs come and go.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Are you sure the residuals are the same? This is not usually true as you move up through trim levels in other makers’ lineups, and differences in residual seem to me like the best way to explain the dramatic differences in advertised payments on volume and full-boat configurations.

          They’d make some sense, too; the owner doesn’t make much money back on most options at resale time.

          If what you say is true (which doesn’t seem supported by advertised prices) then a lease on a fully loaded BMW seems like a steal.

  • avatar
    tnk479

    I love cars but I just don’t see how more than 300 hp is even remotely usable on public roads. At what point does it make more sense to buy or rent dedicated track cars that are safer and more fun for learning to drive at the limit? We all know that Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, Audi R10’s, and the like are all about showing off one’s means and not about the performance. As much as BMW now charges for M3’s, they’re nearly in the same league. I’m going to have to agree with the recommendation for the 340. It’s everything you can possibly use on the road and then some.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      300hp in what? 300hp in an SRT4 is a whole lot different than 300hp in a Charger (to keep it in the family) or in a RAM 2500.

      That said, my weekend car has less than 6 pounds to haul for every pony and I can make use of that just fine on public highways, just not very long.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit33

        “That said…” can everyone on the [email protected]@amn interweb please stop using “that said” to start a sentence. I have very few pet peeves:
        slow drivers in the fast lane, people who don’t go when the light turns green (invariably cell phone related), and “that said.”

        That said, 365hp in my Flex is not nearly enough. Give me 50 more hp or put it on a 500 lb diet. Better yet, do both.

  • avatar

    Wait a year for the new Giulia Quadrifoglio to come out in the U.S.?

  • avatar
    RobbieAZ

    C450/C43. Just as fast as a 340 xDrive but with a classier interior.

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