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· Registered
2,634 Posts
I've never driven an R32, but as I do have experience of those superb M cars I would echo Carlos and say just drive one.

If it's any consolation I didn't like the image of BMWs either, now I'm on my second[:D] (and I still don't like the image - a small minority spoils it for the rest....!)

· Registered
4,428 Posts
M3 is in another league all together, but the running costs are very
high. Inspection 2 service for example - the
wrong side of ?700, assuming there is nothing wrong! In fact alot of M3
owners go over to France for a service for the price saving. Great car
but the
3.2 is by BMWs own admitance quite highly stressed, and costly
ownership is likely. Its a true performance car with performance
running costs, not really comparable to the R32, which is much easier
on the wallet.

Idoubt you would be dissapointed with either!

· Registered
2,379 Posts
The M3 any day for me, my cousins got one and its just so fun to drive
and the scream from the engine when you rev it 7000rpm upwards is hir
standing experience, just the noise does it for me, but as everyone
says the servicing costs can be a killer if the cars not been treated
properly. It all depends on how much you got to spend and if you want
rear wheel drive fun, or everyday fun with the 4x4 of the R32, in my
opinion If i had the money I'd go for the M3 but both cars are equally


· Super Moderator
15,020 Posts
phew atleast its not a BMW bashing thread !! I'd go M3 too - when the E90 M3 comes out, I may consider it for the missus to replace her 330 sport. I know all dealerships vary but my local BM dealer is heaps better than my local VW one...

· Registered
4,428 Posts
drove a 330 - no faster than the vectra, and at
least 3 times the price!
The R32 is no good to you then, you will need an M3....

Golf R32 3.2 3198cc 6
Cylinder 237BHP
0-60: 6.4 Seconds

BMW 330Ci 2979cc 6
Cylinder 235BHP
0-60: 6.2 Seconds

Vectra 3.2 GSI 3175cc 6
Cylinder 208BHP
0-60: 7.1 Seconds

BMW M3 3.2 3246cc 6 Cylinder
155MPH 0-60: 5.0 Seconds


· Registered
10,613 Posts
Back in January this year, I had use of my friends 2001 M3 SMG coupe for 4 days..

I can summarise a few points on what I feel:

M3 Pros:

Engine - SUPREME power from 4000-8000 rpm. Accelaration above 60mph is on a different level

Brakes - Very powerful


Very very tail happy.

Very very tail happy

Lack of power below 4000 Rpm (but compensated for the sheer grunt from 5-8k!)

Overly heavy steering, not much feedback

SMG gearbox is damn fun, but still flawed.. Go for a manual I think.

· Registered
4,518 Posts
I am a self confeessed BMW hater, I will get flamed for this, for several reasons I would go for the R, both personal to me

  • In Liverpool the M3 has a VERY big Drug Dealer Image. dont know about the rest of the country
  • I dont Like the Messy looks of BMs, heavy swage lines and chrome kidney Grills, put me off
  • the seating position, I hate offset Pedals with a vengence, Also
    I get the feeling theye wer designed with a 6'4 german in mind, and Im
  • Cost, if I was going to spend that on an M3 I would buy an Older
    Porshce Or even 348 ferrari, servicing would be cheaper at a specialist
    than main BMW on an M3
  • The R would be less of a drivers car, but also less of a liability in terms of deprciation and servicing,
  • The R would be quicker 80% of the time on our roads, as they are wet 80% of the time, theM3 is renowned for not likeing it wet
  • The R fits with my own personal image more, personal one this but I know what I mean
  • Do I really need the extra oomph of the M3 , no it will just get me in trouble
  • Is the M3 more of a fashion Item? to alot of people,
    debatable, as time goes on and the R is less of the "today cult car" Id
    say yes
It all depends on what your looking for personally, hope this helps.

· Registered
1,556 Posts
I must admit that I don't like the image of BMWs and I have never driven a M3 but I do have an R32.

I have seen more M3s on the road than R32s, as said above the servicing will be hefty (but that doesn't bother you), Servicing on the R32 every 20K miles.

The R32 has more bottle than I do when it comes to corners, haven't had it let go on me in an unexpected manner. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough.

Don't know how fuel consumption compares but I get between 28 and 31 mpg on decent length journeys when sticking to the speed limits(ish[;)])

Love the R32 interior, love the exterior styling, oh yeah I had fun with a GSI when I first got her and up to silly speeds he was a dot in my mirror (an M3 would be even better for that though).

I don't know mate it must be a tough call, what about an audi S4/RS4 don't know what the second hand market is like for these but I bet they command a premium.

· Registered
4,518 Posts
Is it the new Style vectra you have, the 3.2 gsi, My mate has got one
and it is a cracking, car, I may get slated for this one here but you
may be a bit disapointed in the R's power delivery, after having a new
vectra, i know the R has more BHP, but the vetra is much lighter and
doesnt suffer with 4wd transmission loss, I think the Rs4 would be your
best bet.

Back to the BMW thing, I know exactly what you mean, there is a
notorious council estate in Liverpool, and every street has at least
one x5 and an M3 if not more, it really is crazy!

· Registered
894 Posts
Would definitely got for the M3 without a doubt. If you can afford to buy/own one then, the servicing cost shall not be an issue as such, taking all the enjoyment and the feel-good factor into account. M3 is one special car...

· Registered
2,634 Posts
If ?30k is your budget why not just browse the autotrader for ideas?

There's an RS6 in Fontain for ?35k, an S4 V8 avant for ?26k, a new shape 530d for ?31k, a supercharged C32 AMG for ?27k and loads of good performance cars.

Yes BMWs do have a poor image but the driving experience is second to none but the most advanced performance cars, they're not just boggo main stream cars with a few goodies on, they're designed from the ground up to have good weight distribution, handling and ride that doesn't need a ?500 suspension kit to make 'right'....

The problem is that so many people have bought them they have become main stream yet still remain aspirational for many. I've been fortunate enough to own and experience many different cars and brands, BMW, Audi, VW, Porsche remain my favourites whilst there are some excellent jewels in other manufacturers ranges - Honda, Alfa, Skoda, Volvo to name a few.

What do you want from the car? Just performance? or do you need a practical side too? is economy a factor? size? etc etc

IMHO whatever you buy that's comparable to an M3s performance will have some issues, cost, image, depreciation etc. What are you prepared to put up with for that fun factor?

Personally when you put an R32 next to an M3 I just wouldn't even consider the Golf.

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