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Salanis
Salanis Dork
7/11/08 1:01 p.m.
aircooled wrote: This is primarily a complaint of other magazines / shows that review cars. (hey, the new $75,000 supermobile is great!, ya no sh#&t, it's 75 grand, it better be great) It just seems that a car review should be an *overall* review and they all seem to leave out the economics when weighting the measures. Its kind of like reviewing cars by driving them around a track. Well that is great if you buy it as a track car, but not terribly relevant for an everyday car. It reminds me of computer (Apple mostly) reviews I used to read and how they would complain so much about how hard it was to do upgrades to the computer. Well, as you may know, very few people ever upgrade a computer, so it was a bit silly.

And this is why Top Gear rocks. They will take a $100k car, and tell you why it's crap. They will take a $25k car and tell you how awesome it is. They will take a flaming turd and and crush it with a wrecking ball.

On that mark, Top Gear loved the new M3. In a shootout with the comparable Audi and Mercedes, all three hosts agreed that the M3 kicked major ass and was hands down the best vehicle at it's job, at any price. I think it may be the first time I've seen all three hosts agree on the best car in a shootout.

The M3 is not especially grassroots though. The article was very interesting in getting to opportunity to read the comparison of possibly affordable vehicles to the flagship though.

As for 5-star cars:

NA Miata NB Miata 89-9? Civic and CRX Si E30 M3 Latest Mini Cooper S (turbo engine that comes on smoother, has more power, is more dependable, and more efficient than the previous version? Boo-YAH!) MazdaSpeed 3 S2000 Maybe the Corvette

aircooled
aircooled Dork
7/11/08 1:56 p.m.
Tim Baxter wrote: For me, the primary thing in a review is how well did the thing being reviewed accomplish what it set out to do...

That is certainly a valid basis for comparison and is likely really what most car reviews are (although I think they generally fail to strongly make the point that that is what the basis is).

Using that basis, I would probably agree the M3 is 5 star (they set out to make a luxury performance car which results in little regard to price or operating costs). If the Smart car got 60 mpg, it would also likely get 5 stars (they set out to make an economical city car, which results in little regard to performance, I think the fell short on mileage though).

In the context of the GRM audience, should the M3 or a 60mpg Smart get a 5 star rating in general, I personally would not think so. Break the rating into cost segments, then things might be different (but hard to compare across the segments). I guess it all depends on what you are going for, just clearly define it and evaluate based on it.

maroon92
maroon92 SuperDork
7/11/08 2:45 p.m.

my 5 star car is one of a list.

  1. series IV Lotus 7
  2. Merc-Benz 190E 2.3-16 Evo
  3. Dino 246
  4. 69' Mustang Boss 302 Trans-am

(given that i had the money, I would drive any of these everyday.)

confuZion3
confuZion3 HalfDork
7/11/08 3:02 p.m.

Should we note that an M3 can still be had for around $55,000? It's not a $75,000 car - at least until it's done up with all the goodies of a 7-series: but you don't HAVE to upgrade the hell out of it for it to be an M3.

youngfg
youngfg New Reader
7/11/08 3:09 p.m.

I agree with walterj. That article was several pages I just skipped.

walterj said:The problem isn't the car - it is what is a $75k, bloated GT car doing wasting pages about "How good it is out of the box" and "for its weight" in the magazine for guys who subscribe to GRM because you are NOT Automobile Magazine. Well, that, and all the gushing made you look like a shill for BMW NA. Have you looked in the Reader's Rides section here? Even if most of your audience could afford a new M3, they'd buy 3 E46 M3s for that money, gut one, keep one nice and use one for parts.
Salanis
Salanis Dork
7/11/08 3:17 p.m.
confuZion3 wrote: Should we note that an M3 can still be had for around $55,000? It's not a $75,000 car - at least until it's done up with all the goodies of a 7-series: but you don't HAVE to upgrade the hell out of it for it to be an M3.

Weird... the sedans are about 2k cheaper than the coupes.

Arguably, the less you upgrade it, the more pure of an M3 it is.

walterj
walterj HalfDork
7/11/08 4:12 p.m.
maroon92 wrote: my 5 star car is one of a list. 1. series IV Lotus 7

Duuude! 'cmon... that car is nowhere near 5-star - no iPod integration, satellite navigation, or rain sensing wipers! Don't even get me started on the wind noise ;)

SupraWes
SupraWes HalfDork
7/11/08 4:28 p.m.

C6 Vette. S2K New Skyline because its a step back to the wild Japanese styling of the 80's with a 2000s twist. I hope there are more things coming that will take this detour.

yo vanilla
yo vanilla New Reader
7/11/08 4:42 p.m.
Chris_V wrote:
yo vanilla wrote: It's hard for me to give any BMW a great rating. It wasn't that many years ago I worked at a BMW dealership, and we called them BMTroubleU's because we had to push so many of them into the shop...
The problem with this line of thinking is that people that work in ANY manufacturer's service department will have the same feelings towards that manufacturer's cars. Why? Because no one has you work on a non-broken car except for oil changes and scheduled service intervals. So pretty much all you'll SEE are the few broken examples (and even if only 5% of the cars made are broken, it equals a large number in the service bay at any given time).

I have worked with bmw, mb, volvo, saab, land rover, jaguar, volvo, porsche, honda, toyota, scion. besides land rover, nothing even came close to the sheer volume of broken bmw's, many of which had to arrive at the dealership by flatbed. mb was just a tab behind coming close though ;) But please don't assume that I'd be so naive to not notice that the only cars that came to service were the broken ones...

Nashco
Nashco Dork
7/11/08 5:05 p.m.

C6 Vette, CTS-V, Saabaru, old Civic/CRX Si, skinny (pre-02) Impreza RS, E30 and E36 M3s, Karmann Ghia...boy, I could keep going, but this is a can of worms. For example, some cars that I would consider 5 star cars at USED prices (or even new street prices) aren't/weren't at MSRP. Others that I think of were homologation specials that may not have seemed like a good deal at the time, but with the knowledge I have now after time has passed you can see they would have been great cars to buy due to their current rarity, fun factor, value, class success, etc. So the above were ones I think are five stars for a new car at MSRP.

Bryce

Tom Heath
Tom Heath Production Editor
7/11/08 6:04 p.m.
walterj wrote: The problem isn't the car - it is what is a $75k, bloated GT car doing wasting pages about "How good it is out of the box" and "for its weight" in the magazine for guys who subscribe to GRM because you are NOT Automobile Magazine. Well, that, and all the gushing made you look like a shill for BMW NA. Have you looked in the Reader's Rides section here? Even if most of your audience could afford a new M3, they'd buy 3 E46 M3s for that money, gut one, keep one nice and use one for parts.

Have you looked at what most of our staff drives? Our personal vehicles would fit in the Reader's Rides section pretty well.

I guess I don't get hating the car because it's pricey. I wouldn't spend my money on one, but that doesn't make the car less good. In 15 years, I'll own one. Maybe sooner, if the kids manage to nail a scholarship.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 Reader
7/11/08 6:42 p.m.

When a performance car with no torque (even with a V8 BMW still can't produce it....) gets the same gas mileage as a Silverado, it should at least get a half star strike.

For me I think the 335 should def get 5 stars. Outperforms the E46, and the money you save by purchasing that over a E92, you could throw some cash and make perform pretty damn close to the E92.

For an American car, I have to say the Corvette or Solstice/Sky w/ the 2.0L DI engine. Both have great looks, great handling, and awesome MPGs. For something that can carry more people it's tough to say, the Cobalt SS has an awesome engine, great handling, but the interiors are full of suck. Mustang...everyone has one but they are great cars and have a huge aftermarket.

Japan....GODZIRRA is coming!!!

Salanis
Salanis Dork
7/11/08 6:59 p.m.

What do you mean the M3 has no torque? It produces 295 ft/lbs. @ 3900rpm. This is from a 3999cc engine.

For comparison the Mustang GT makes 320 ft/lbs. @ 4500 rpm from a 4.6L V8. To have the same specific output, it would need to make 340. The V6 is 4.0L like the M3, and only 240 ft/lbs. @ 3500.

To compare to another BMW, the S52 in my '99 M makes that same 240 ft/lbs from a 3.2L engine.

I hate to break it to you, but Honda is really the only other player out there with better specific outputs, and they do it with smaller engines. In my experience, VANOS also has a smoother transition than VETEC (but that experience was with a 2.0L S2K).

Edit: because of weirdness on this board, I'm going to put my response to the later post complaining that I was using specific output. Fine, the 4.0L M3 engine doesn't put out the same torque as the 6.7L LS-X used in the GTO (which I also think deserved more love). But it puts out the same horsepower and I believe moves less mass. I suspect it also will out accelerate that GTO. The GTO also has a live-axle.

My point is, the BMW is putting out as much or more power than other V8's from a smaller package. I'm not going to scoff at the low torque of an S2000 because the S52 in my BMW has more torque. That S2000 has the same peak HP and makes better use of it because the whole package is better.

And rotary engines don't count, unless you use a 3:1 scale. That 1.2L R2 is more like a 3.6L engine... without the torque.

P71
P71 GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/11/08 7:12 p.m.

Well for one, this page got so messed up I couldn't read it (the posts keep getting less screen space and migrate to the left Tim).

But for two, I just don't understand the "hype" on the new V8 M3. It has over 100 less Ft/Lbs of torque then the GTO!! That's right, the great Aussie GT car that nobody loved (because it wasn't retro) can be had for less then 1/5 the price of the M3 (now, 1/2 price when it was new) makes 400HP and 400FtLbs and still has a 6-Speed manual, IRS, and a great interior. I'd take the goat over the M, even if they were the same price.

I'd have to agree that the 335i looks like the better car. The I6 Turbo is the "traditional" big bad BMW engine and the lower price makes it much more attractive.

Oh and to the guy complaining about specific output, I call hogwash. Specific output means jack squat. That's called "ricer math". Sure the M3 makes higher "specific torques" then other cars, but it's STILL only 295FtLbs, which is WEAKSAUCE in a V8! My Challenge car's V8 makes twice that torque and still has more HP. If you want to use ricer math we can always break out the rotary engines...

patgizz
patgizz GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/11/08 7:27 p.m.

saturn sky redline/pontiac solstice gxp

that turbo 4 is fun, great mileage, etc... blah

and the new vettes except the fact that the ZR1 gets the gas guzzler tax.

yo vanilla
yo vanilla New Reader
7/11/08 8:08 p.m.

I realized I never gave my answer and my 5 star car is going to be the Porsche Cayman S. I haven't driven one since the new car launch I went to (when I was with a Porsche dealership). When I first heard of the car, I was a bit lukewarm on it. However I must say it is excellent. It fit me like a glove the first time I got in, and it drove like it too. Unlike the 911 it's greatest attribute is it's performance is perfectly balanced. I walked away really wanting a Porsche for the first time ever.

walterj
walterj HalfDork
7/11/08 8:19 p.m.
Have you looked at what most of our staff drives? Our personal vehicles would fit in the Reader's Rides section pretty well. I guess I don't get hating the car because it's pricey. I wouldn't spend my money on one, but that doesn't make the car less good. In 15 years, I'll own one. Maybe sooner, if the kids manage to nail a scholarship.

I don't hate expensive cars, I own a few and I don't hate the M3 at all either... I just don't think that GRM needs to do articles like all the other car mags do. I read GRM because it is NOT C&D, Automobile or R&T. I read it because of what makes it unique... tell me how to turn that M3 into a competitive club racer or take it to Thunderhill and tell me the story.... awesome.

Per is probably secretly shopping minivans with the new scrub on the way... and thats fine... keep it a secret. I don't need to know about it unless you make it a mid-engined V8 rally minivan.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/11/08 8:29 p.m.

Okay, time to chime in since this thread is starting to get ugly. Some of you have taken something and run waaaaaay out of control. Some of you are also forgetting that talking about cars is supposed to be fun. And cars aren't always about numbers. Once you start arguing over horsepower per liter numbers without discussing the driving experience, you have become the poseurs you like to mock. (What's next? Arguing about Ferrari vs. Lamborghini even though few of us have driven one?)

Are we turning into the big buff books? Um, I don't think so. Do we like the new M3? Heck yes. However, the fact we really like a $55k car isn't going to change everything about us. Sometimes it's okay to like things you currently can't afford. It's what inspires you to work harder and improve what you already have.

walterj
walterj HalfDork
7/11/08 8:58 p.m.
David S. Wallens wrote: Okay, time to chime in since this thread is starting to get ugly.

I hope that wasn't because of me... I thought I was being civil... and I really would read the story on a mid-engined v8 minivan.

joshx99
joshx99 New Reader
7/11/08 9:40 p.m.

I thought only Honda fanbois spouted out the hp/L stuff, lol.

P71
P71 GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/11/08 9:57 p.m.

Wow...

It's 5.7 (04 only, 350HP/390FtLbs) or 6.0 (05-06, 400HP/400FtLbs). And no. the GTO most assuredly does NOT have a live axle! It is heavier then the M3 and has MUCH less rear gear, so yes I do believe stock the M3 will out-accelerate the GTO (M3 also has wider/better factory tires). Put drag radials on both and it's a toss-up however.

My point (and it's really, really hard to do while squinting to try and read this page, all of the posts are jumbled to the left side of the screen and only have a single word on each line, so it

looks

like

this

to

me.)

Anywho, back to my point(y head)...

For me, $55,000 is a TON of money! The other potential cars(s) at that range (and lets face reality, a damn good chunk of my house) are just "more better" to me. I can honestly say though that if I landed my dream job and started making enough to really justify an expensive new car, I would head for the 335i. I rejoiced when GRM made that choice as I really feel that the turbo I-6 offers more potential then the BMW V8 (let's face facts here, the M3's V8 is pretty much tapped out already whereas the turbo 6 has a lot of room to play and grow into so much more if one wished. The 4.0V8 will also not respond to a cam change with 100HP like a 6.0L LSx will either). I truly appreciate that the 335i flys "under the radar" so to speak and that it offers such a supreme level of performance compared to the M3 and other cars in it's class for such a good "discount". The 335i interests me, and I look forward to reading about it in GRM (honestly the 135i does too, but that comparo brought the difference between the two into focus).

That being said, I'm in no position right now to afford one, and that does have to be taken into account. Sure, I could swing a new car payment without taking too much of a hit, but something like an RX-8 would be at the top of my price range. BMW is so far over me right now that it doesn't have the appeal. There was a day not long ago that I was the target audience of BMW.

Cliffnotes conclusion? If I was in the market for a car of this caliber (new), I would head to the 335i before the M3 and pocket the difference with a grin. If I had to have a high-revving V8 GT car, I'd still take a used 05-06 GTO over the M3 (even if I could easily afford the BMW). Since I can't do either, more accessible cars

Salanis
Salanis Dork
7/11/08 10:22 p.m.

No argument from me about spending money on the 335i vs M3. I guess my point, in short, is that Torque is more a factor of displacement, rather than number of cylinders.

The GTO is sweet... for some reason I was under the impression it was a liveaxle (guess not). I don't get why people like mustangs so much more.

yo vanilla
yo vanilla New Reader
7/12/08 8:02 a.m.

I understand everyone considering their financial ability to buy whatever car, but the reality is that with an evaluation such as this you should be considering the car, not your personal ability to actually buy it. For instance the price of the M3 is not going to change, but what can the M3 do against the competition for the money it does cost. Or M3 vs 335: the evaluation determines if the M3 is worth the extra $20K, not if you yourself can spend that $20K. Someone out there can spend it, and will make that comparison for a real life purchase.

poopshovel
poopshovel Dork
7/12/08 9:18 a.m.

Given the criteria laid out in the first post:

84-87 CRX Si

...as it's the only car I've personally driven that gets great gas mileage and is fun to drive. But seriously, gas mileage, shmileage; I'm sure the M3 is a blast to drive, and the guy using the M3 as a DD probably isn't buying it for hypermiling duty.

PS: Grassroots Motorsports is owned by Grassroots Motorsports (or its shareholders, I suppose,) not Message Board Dork Technologies, Inc. Give the thing fifty goddamned stars if you want to.

Rangeball
Rangeball New Reader
7/12/08 9:19 a.m.

GTO = irs. The GTO is a nice car with tons of power/potential but it will never have enough room for tires for its weight.

There was a segment on the 335i vs the M3. The M3 out performed the 335i but the people choose the 335i because it had more potential. Here it is.

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