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AaronBalto Reader
10/11/14 4:34 p.m.

I have a 1999 M3 Convertible 5-speed with just under 60k miles. Unmolested, garaged, unmodified. Nice car. Great car. REALLY wonderful car. It's my DD, rain, snow, sun, whatever. I have had a great time with it. The lines are timeless, and it's been dead reliable.

But it is a fifteen year-old car. So the interior is very dated, it's short on all of the technology, and the amazing-for-the-nineties 240HP just isn't that sexy anymore. I'm thinking about something a little more blue-toothey and 2014.

To make matters weirder, the M3's been increasing in value as I commute in it. KBB has it around $12,500 at this point. Which makes me wonder if it isn't time to make a change. A FoST seems to be a pretty sensible upgrade. It looks like I can make that trade and only have to cough up $12-14k. That's pretty low pain for what seems to be a nice upgrade.

I would look for a used one, but I'm concerned that anyone who wants one of these is NOT the kind of person you want to buy a used car from. Pay the man, get the new hot hatch, ya know?

So what says the Board? Sell the great-but-flawed car to buy the flavor-of-the-week?

Storz Dork
10/11/14 4:55 p.m.

Go for it, as much as I love the E36 M3 the Focus ST is a very good car with modern saftey and technology.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
10/11/14 5:04 p.m.

I'd wait for the 2015 mustang with irs to drop at dealers. FOST is cool but it's not as cool as a rumbly v8 rwd car with similar styling to the rest of the brand.

1988RedT2 PowerDork
10/11/14 5:10 p.m.

Consider this: What will the Focus be worth in five years? What will the M3 be worth? What's your annual cost of ownership over the next five years?

I understand wanting to scratch that itch, but to me, a Focus wouldn't be an upgrade over an M3. But then, I'm certainly no fan of tech in cars.

AaronBalto Reader
10/11/14 5:19 p.m.

The Mustang is a non-starter for me. I understand it's a great car, but seating for three kids across the back is a major positive of the FoST over the M3. The 'Stang is a step backwards in terms of rear seat. Hatchback practicality would be a great thing and would complement my other cars.

In terms of the financials, I know that the M3 will continue to appreciate, and the FoST will certainly do the opposite. The thing is this: if the M3 doubles from here to $25k in ten years, I am only making $1,250 a year to drive an antique every day. Life is short. I am not a museum. I can afford to forgo that "profit."

Yes, new cars depreciate like mad. Not a new topic and I think anyone who has been on this board for more than about five minutes gets the value of used cars over new. But with 250HP coming out of a little four-banger, I don't trust the PO of a FoST--whoever that may be!

But the M3 is absolutely just about the best old car you could want to drive. This is the heart of the question. Is it worth it to abandon my old German pal for something completely different and arguably just as awesome--if not more...

AaronBalto Reader
10/11/14 5:23 p.m.

And just when I decided against a used car, there's THIS.

Nick_Comstock PowerDork
10/11/14 5:41 p.m.

I cannot picture a universe where I would consider any FWD hatchback an upgrade over any M3.

It's inconceivable.

Knurled PowerDork
10/11/14 6:03 p.m.
Nick_Comstock wrote: I cannot picture a universe where I would consider any FWD hatchback an upgrade over any M3. It's inconceivable.

That word, etc.

I like the idea of the new Focus ST. The driving leaves me really uninspired. A Playstation, HDMI monitor, force feedback wheel, and a copy of GT5 are cheaper and about as involving.

Scratch that. You get more driver feedback with the Playstation.

AaronBalto Reader
10/11/14 6:10 p.m.

Nick, I COMPLETELY get this comment, but here's where you are wrong, sort of:

It's February in Baltimore. It's 33 degrees and pouring rain. I get home, pull into my garage. I open the door and water comes pouring off the cloth roof in a steady stream--there is no gutter or anything. I try to time my exit, but the seats are low and the bolsters are high. I make a quick maneuver to get up and out, but I'm not quick enough--a great stream of near-freezing water pours down my neck as I scramble with my briefcase. I say "E36 M3" and I mean it BOTH WAYS!

Sure, it's a great car. But it's parked next to my Ferrari. WTF do I need this crap for? So while it might not be obvious, it's pretty far from inconceivable.

Nick_Comstock PowerDork
10/11/14 6:36 p.m.

In reply to AaronBalto:

I understand where your coming from. Especially using it as a DD. And the situation you described would be an annoyance.

Just to give you a little bit more perspective on my point of view. While there are several hot hatches I have serious lust over. I despise FWD. That's reason number one why I wouldn't do it. The second is I would rather be on fire than drive a Ford. Third I absolutely love most BMW's.

I could see me getting out of an M3 vert for a coupe. I don't think I would do it for a hot hatch. And I damn sure wouldn't do it for a Ford.

On the plus side my opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it, so feel free to do what you want. It's just not a move I would make.

02Pilot HalfDork
10/11/14 6:52 p.m.

No help in your decision-making process, but I wish I was in the market for a car. That M3 sounds like fun....

AaronBalto Reader
10/11/14 6:57 p.m.

Got it. I am agnostic in the FWD/RWD Holy Wars, but I can certainly understand why people take a stand. If somebody offered me a coupe with similar miles, I'd probably jump on it, but those cars are gone. I briefly considered the E46 version, but I couldn't warm up to it. And then things get too expensive and heavy after that. But I'd love a hot hatch for a few years. Flingable, and it can carry kids and bags of mulch. And if I need a RWD fix with great balance, well how do you say "mid-engined bad-assery" in Italian?

ansonivan Dork
10/11/14 9:03 p.m.

Aaron, we're going to need to see a Ferrari burnout video before dispensing any more advise.

Do it.

Desmond Reader
10/11/14 9:15 p.m.

I say ditch the vert and get an M3 coupe! Or E46 M3! The Focus seems to be an awesome car though, I don't think you can go wrong either way.

Mr_Clutch42 Dork
10/11/14 11:27 p.m.

I say to do it. You're tired of the M3, so it's time to trade it in or sell it to someone that wants it. FWD is good for people that need interior room. I wouldn't want to put 3 adults in the rear seat of my old Crown Vic because the middle passenger wouldn't have any leg room because the trans tunnel is so tall and wide. Some of the technology can be upgraded by simply buying an aftermarket CD player with bluetooth and buy a stand-alone GPS system. With the Fiesta and Focus STs, I think that the lighter weight, turbo, and tuning gives those cars a lot of torque and a big rush in power that make them exciting to drive. I believe that BMW tunes the power delivery of the M3 to be smooth so it feels more luxurious, but less exciting compared to other cars.

Travis_K UberDork
10/12/14 12:55 a.m.

I really don't like the interior in the focus st, and I don't see it lasting as long as a 90s car, but there really isn't anything wrong with them. I can't even comprehend a 1999 car being an antique, but the newest car I have driven much was an 01 Jetta for 3k miles, and other than that the newest car I have owned was an 87 lol.

ebonyandivory SuperDork
10/12/14 6:03 a.m.

So you ask the question: sell the M3 and but a fwd Hatch.

Only several posts down you mention you have a Ferrari.

Don't you think that should've been included in the first post?

bentwrench HalfDork
10/12/14 9:21 a.m.

A tire has a limited amount of traction, to ask it to stop, turn, and propel the car is too much. Those duties are best split between F & R.

Front wheel drive cars are cheaper to build, can be built lighter, and are more difficult to work on. But stuff it into a corner and stand on the power and see what happens. No fun factor in under-steer, all the joy leaks right out of the inside front as the outside front tries to take the wheel out of your hands.

Much cash must be thrown at a FWD to come close to RWD fun, and then you realize you've wrecked it as a DD!

Put a new stereo in the M3 and enjoy it some more.

dean1484 UltimaDork
10/12/14 9:32 a.m.

Sell the Ferrari keep the m3 and get the focus.

Problem solved.

/ thread

ebonyandivory SuperDork
10/12/14 9:34 a.m.

In reply to bentwrench:

High Five!!!

Nick_Comstock PowerDork
10/12/14 9:52 a.m.

In reply to dean1484:

You sir have gone mad!

Mad I tell you!!!

VWguyBruce HalfDork
10/12/14 9:57 a.m.

Did you really like the FoST? I tried to like it, drove it twice on 2 different days and decided to keep my E30 and get a new stereo.

2002maniac HalfDork
10/12/14 10:04 a.m.

Guy, he owns an 80s Ferrari. Let's not try to speak logic to him!

Mr. Balto,go ahead and do what feels right to you.

getfast Reader
10/12/14 10:16 a.m.

I got a FoST a year ago to keep the miles off my E46M3... and have had a few E36M3s nearly nonstop for the last 8+ years including a track prepped one I sold recently. So I have some thoughts on this subject.

The FoST is a decent street car... pretty stiff, stereo could be better, ample road noise, etc. It's also a hot mess of torque steer and wheelspin and huge front end grip plus lift-throttle oversteer when pushed hard... personally I think it's a riot to drive but it's definitely not for everyone. There are also some minor annoyances (small gas tank, worse MPG than expected, build quality) and I'm sure its resale value will be bad.

Any M3 is among the best balanced and in my opinion most enjoyable cars to drive that have ever been screwed together by humans. They're also hopefully never going to get any cheaper than they are right now (I know good E46M3s are already on their way back up.) Not sure that I'd ever get rid of one for a FoST, but to each his own!

amg_rx7 Dork
10/12/14 10:21 a.m.

Yeah, if you have the Ferrari, getting rid of the M3 is less of an issue. Bluetooth is kinda cool. I have it in my Volt and can play Pandora through it. Also makes phone calls fantastic. But that's about it really.

I also hate FWD but considering how I use my DD, it is irrelevant. I have the FD for fun and hoonage. Neither of which I can do in my daily commute.

Have you driven the Focus yet?

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