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    Thread: BR-Z/FR-S or E36 M3?

    1. 11-06-2012 10:36 AM #1
      Anybody here have a chance to drive both?

      I know it's not a fair comparison in terms of price, but as a fun DD, would you rather by an excellent condition E36 M3 - (see the ones at Enthusiast Auto, for example), with the money saved used for maintenance/mods or a BR-Z/FR-S?

      Is spending the extra money on the new car worth the difference between these two?

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      11-06-2012 10:40 AM #2
      M3.

    3. 11-06-2012 10:58 AM #3
      Have you driven either one? I have not yet, but trying to line up the finances to do so.

      I hope this thread gets some traction - curious for the group's input.

      Thanks.

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      11-06-2012 11:02 AM #4
      I'd go with the FR-S, especially if I was planning on using it for daily driving.

      The E36 M3 is a great car, but they're getting some age on them. I like modern features in cars, and the newer car is going to be more reliable for much longer.

      If you're set up with a garage where you can work on the M3 easily (things like brakes and clutch replacements, etc.), and you have plenty of spare time then that makes it less of an issue.

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      11-06-2012 11:11 AM #5
      I wouldn't be thrilled with DDing a 15 year old car. I'd love the E36 M3 for a weekend toy, but I'll swing with the FR-S.
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      11-06-2012 11:12 AM #6
      This is not even a fair comparison for me. M3 hands down. Handles extremely well like the FRSRZ86blahblah, but much more responsive power. And you can still find low mileage, well taken care of ones for a decent price. Put the rest of the money towards maintenance. They aren't AS expensive to maintain as some of the other M cars out there.

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      11-06-2012 11:13 AM #7
      M3.

      I'm biased but for one I thing the FR-S looks horrible.

    8. 11-06-2012 11:20 AM #8
      I had and loved my 99 M3. I've also driven an FR-S and thought to myself how I could scrounge up the cash to buy one.

      One question, since you talked about putting away the money saved from buying an M3 for maintenance/mods.

      Do you have the full purchase price of the car, either car, in cash ready to go or will you be financing them?

      If so, then the payments you're making on the M3 + the maintenance costs might easily add up to more than what you'd be paying for one of the 86 twins.

    9. 11-06-2012 11:24 AM #9
      M3.

      I've driven both. The M3 is such a better car it's not even in the same class.

      Furthermore, the M3 is done depreciating. At this point if you take care of the car it will not lose value. If anything it will go up so long as the car is well maintained.

      a lot of people love the way the BRZ looks.. but honestly if does nothing for me. if you buy a BRZ you are likely to spend the same or more than you would spend on an e36. then over the next 10 years you can watch that 27k turn into 6 or 7k if you are lucky. and over those ten years you are likely to be replacing parts and fixing that car out of warranty as well.

      I would especially recommend the e36 if you can do a little of your own work on the car... as, for the right type of person, this would be a nice use of time and a rewarding endevour which would give you great satisfaction in driving a well maintained m3.


      IMO.. this is like asking BRZ or s2000... and s2000 is the obvious answer there as well.

      also.. short shift kit on the m3 if you get it. makes the car awesome saucier.


      The twins only make sense here if you NEED utter reliability at the cost of 20k in depreciation.. which imo is a lot of depreciation/reliability that a subaru engine is not likely to deliver on. I guess the other argument is for people that can't be bothered to work on their own cars. For ladies in the house... I would suggest a BRZ.


      For the real men out there.. the 4 cylinder e30 should be considered.
      Last edited by x1000rpms; 11-06-2012 at 11:35 AM.

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      11-06-2012 11:25 AM #10
      E46 m3?

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      11-06-2012 11:28 AM #11
      knowing nothing about either car, id stay away from Toyobaru on the principle of it being the first model year
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      11-06-2012 11:31 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by firstorbit84 View Post
      E46 m3?
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      11-06-2012 11:32 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by iggysju View Post
      One question, since you talked about putting away the money saved from buying an M3 for maintenance/mods.

      Do you have the full purchase price of the car, either car, in cash ready to go or will you be financing them?

      If so, then the payments you're making on the M3 + the maintenance costs might easily add up to more than what you'd be paying for one of the 86 twins.
      ^^just enough financial lounge material for relevance.

      dd the brz, if it were weekend only I would go m3. (logically)
      buy M3 and dd, track it, mod it, drive it hard, laugh at torks when you pass any brz/frs on the road. (win)

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      11-06-2012 11:35 AM #14
      FR-S. Scion is supposed to have a supercharger coming out in March so you will have dealer supported power upgrades.
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    15. 11-06-2012 11:43 AM #15
      I can only provide perspective on E36 M3 ownership. The M3, despite being ~15 years old, does not require a lot of care and feeding. Change the fluids regularly, make sure all the cooling system parts have been replaced or upgraded, and go put miles on it. Those who complain that the US didn't get the high-strung Euro-spec engine tend to overlook the fact that the US-spec engine has some nice benefits, namely ample power, a wide torque curve, and very low relative costs. Out of the box, the handling is excellent. For a street driven car, I see no reason to modify it. Also, the E36 M3 comes in better colors.

      As a DD, I prefer it to the E30 M3, which needs to be revved to the moon to make power, was noisy, and had the time bomb/money abyss S14.

      I haven't driven the FR-S/BRZ yet, but I hope to in the next few weeks.

    16. 11-06-2012 11:46 AM #16
      M3

    17. 11-06-2012 11:46 AM #17
      Thanks for the feedback.

      Regarding financing - I'll probably finance about 40% of cost if I go M3 or around 65% if I go BR-Z.

      Regarding E46 option - I personally like the E36 better, and honestly would go with an E36 sedan for the practicality, which you couldn't do with the E46.

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      11-06-2012 11:52 AM #18
      How about an E46 330i ZHP? They came as a sedan, and are both newer/lower mileage than a E36 M3, and less expensive than a new BRZ/FRS.

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      11-06-2012 11:54 AM #19
      M3

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      11-06-2012 12:00 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Drake View Post
      Thanks for the feedback.

      Regarding financing - I'll probably finance about 40% of cost if I go M3 or around 65% if I go BR-Z.
      Financing a 15 year old car...? That sounds dicey.
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug Butabi View Post
      I just want to know why OP thought making a thread in The Car Lounge would help him in any way... We've got a bunch of dudes telling him to "pepper his angus," and an insurance agent who just made a 2:30 appointment to **** someones wife. Classic TCL.

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      11-06-2012 12:00 PM #21
      As a daily driver I'd go with the BRZ, but if it would be a weekend/fun car I'd go M3.

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      11-06-2012 12:06 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Drake View Post
      Thanks for the feedback.

      Regarding financing - I'll probably finance about 40% of cost if I go M3 or around 65% if I go BR-Z.

      Regarding E46 option - I personally like the E36 better, and honestly would go with an E36 sedan for the practicality, which you couldn't do with the E46.
      Have you looked into financing the E36 yet? Most banks finance cars up to 8 years old or newer. If they do, it most likely will be a personal loan, which will have a double digit interest rate.

      On topic, I would get the FRS/BRZ for a daily since it will have warranty, scheduled maintenance, etc.
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      11-06-2012 12:08 PM #23
      If you can swing it there are a lot of low KM's E46 M3's going for cheap because its "Winter" at the moment.

    24. 11-06-2012 12:23 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by BMP_3918 View Post
      Have you looked into financing the E36 yet? Most banks finance cars up to 8 years old or newer. If they do, it most likely will be a personal loan, which will have a double digit interest rate.

      On topic, I would get the FRS/BRZ for a daily since it will have warranty, scheduled maintenance, etc.
      I can get a 5.99% rate (6.99% worst case scenario). Not bad all things considered...

    25. 11-06-2012 12:33 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by rynodyno312 View Post
      How about an E46 330i ZHP? They came as a sedan, and are both newer/lower mileage than a E36 M3, and less expensive than a new BRZ/FRS.
      I'd be open to this idea as well.

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      11-06-2012 12:54 PM #26
      Really, this winner of this comparison depends entirely on application. Are you looking for a daily driver? The BRZ/FRS is a new car. It will be dead reliable and have a warranty. Are you looking for an autocross car? The BRZ/FRS is a new car. It has a chassis benefiting from 20 years of the auto industry's collective chassis R&D compared to the M3. Are you looking for a sports car that's good on gas and economical to run? The BRZ/FRS beats the M3, hands-down.

      Are you just looking for something cool, has a bit of heritage behind it, and is a blast to drive on nice weekends? Because the Toyobaru can't hold a candle to the M3 in the "visceral appeal" department (subjective, of course).

      For those suggesting an alternative in the form of an E46 ZHP, I have much experience with this car and I'll just say this: It's exactly like an E36 M3 except completely boring to drive. It's as if you took an E36 M3 sedan and said "You know, I'd really prefer if this was a bit more Camry-like."
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      11-06-2012 01:00 PM #27
      The E36 is the M3 that I least want.

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      11-06-2012 01:13 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by cheap sunglasses View Post
      I can only provide perspective on E36 M3 ownership. The M3, despite being ~15 years old, does not require a lot of care and feeding. Change the fluids regularly, make sure all the cooling system parts have been replaced or upgraded, and go put miles on it. Those who complain that the US didn't get the high-strung Euro-spec engine tend to overlook the fact that the US-spec engine has some nice benefits, namely ample power, a wide torque curve, and very low relative costs. Out of the box, the handling is excellent. For a street driven car, I see no reason to modify it.
      I agree with most of what's said here, but I promise you'll end up spending a lot more on maintenance than you think you will. It's an old German car. That means you just plan on spending a couple grand a year to keep it running well. Even if it's a low-mile example, it's an old car now. And cars just don't like to sit unused for long periods of time.

      If you do your own work, you can bring the running costs down substantially. But the cooling system WILL need replacing (with the upgraded Stewart waterpump). The VANOS WILL go bad and need a replacement/upgrade. The steering rack will never really stop leaking fluid. The strut tower mounts and control arm bushes WILL need regular attention and replacement. The transmission mounts will need to be upgraded to avoid risking the dreaded "money shift". Etc.

      Owning an old German car requires a certain level of commitment to learning about what will regularly need attention and how to best address it. I don't mind being so involved with my car, but I can also admire how much fun a Scion FRS would be while never really asking for much in the way of your time or money. Just get in, drive the snot out of it, and put it away wet.

      The nice thing is that the E36 M3 doesn't really need any performance mods. It's a difficult car to improve. A refreshed stock suspension is better than you are a driver. You won't get a ton of additional power out of the engine without spending $1K on ECU, intake, MAF, M50 manifold etc. Even stock, the car is better than 99% of the drivers who own them.
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    29. 11-06-2012 01:13 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by jrmcm View Post
      The E36 is the M3 that I least want.
      Care to elaborate? Which M's having you driven?

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      11-06-2012 01:16 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Drake View Post
      Have you driven either one? I have not yet, but trying to line up the finances to do so.

      I hope this thread gets some traction - curious for the group's input.

      Thanks.
      I've lightly driven an E36 M3, but not an FR-S/BR-Z. It's very livable but goes when you want it to. Feels very light, handling even on stock suspension is like it's on rails.

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      11-06-2012 01:16 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by jrmcm View Post
      The E36 is the M3 that I least want.
      Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Drake View Post
      Care to elaborate? Which M's having you driven?
      He's referring to the fact that it is the cheapest M3 to buy today and the one that didn't get individual throttle bodies in the North American market. People who want a grand touring rocket will prefer the E46. People who want a motorsports-bred, lightweight, driving purist's car will always prefer the E30. For some, the E36 falls between stools. For others, it's the perfect combination of the two. Your mileage may vary.
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      11-06-2012 01:17 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Drake View Post
      Care to elaborate? Which M's having you driven?
      All of them. And it's the one I prefer least. And I'm not alone, as it is generally considered the least desirable of the bunch.
      I'm not saying they're garbage, or that nobody should ever want one.

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      11-06-2012 01:20 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by jrmcm View Post
      All of them. And it's the one I prefer least. And I'm not alone, as it is generally considered the least desirable of the bunch.
      I'm not saying they're garbage, or that nobody should ever want one.
      But that doesn't mean its bad. Plenty of track rats use E36s when they could have gotten E46s. They like the lighter weight (compared to the E46) but a stronger engine (compared to the E30).

    34. 11-06-2012 01:24 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlie84 View Post
      He's referring to the fact that it is the cheapest M3 to buy today and the one that didn't get individual throttle bodies in the North American market. People who want a grand touring rocket will prefer the E46. People who want a motorsports-bred, lightweight, driving purist's car will always prefer the E30. For some, the E36 falls between stools. For others, it's the perfect combination of the two. Your mileage may vary.
      That's why I love this forum - all different opinions and great information at the same time. I really appreciate everyone's input.

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      11-06-2012 01:25 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by C4 A6 View Post
      But that doesn't mean its bad. Plenty of track rats use E36s when they could have gotten E46s. They like the lighter weight (compared to the E46) but a stronger engine (compared to the E30).


      Quote Originally Posted by jrmcm View Post
      I'm not saying they're garbage, or that nobody should ever want one.

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