'11 STi vs E46 M3 vs. 350z - MY350Z.COM - Nissan 350Z and 370Z Forum Discussion

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'11 STi vs E46 M3 vs. 350z

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Old 02-02-2011, 05:10 PM
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white2abbit
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Arrow '11 STi vs E46 M3 vs. 350z

Hey guys,

I'm looking at purchasing a new (or at least new-to-me) car this coming spring.

Looking for any feedback/advice on these three options, as well as open to other suggestions.

I live in Canada, work full time at a secure job, but am not sure I want to stay where I am forever. May want to travel and live somewhere else in a year or two, i.e. Australia. Of course I know the obvious "save up and buy a car when I'm older", but let's ignore that for now.

I've previously owned a '98 Subaru Legacy GT, an '89 180sx (highly modified), and a '97 240sx (suspension, tires, exhaust, short shifter). The 240sx was stolen off my driveway last August, so I'm currently driving a 2000 Corolla "winter beater".

I'm in a position where I can only have one car, otherwise I'd do things differently. I prefer RWD, as I plan to attend about 4-5 track days every year.

I like the idea of the M3 have always wanted one, and haven't owned anything German yet. Supposed to be one of the best cars ever made, although I've never driven one. Have been a passenger in a '10 335i and that was quite impressive. Even a '11 323i felt quite fun as a passenger. In general, people are always raving about this car.

The STi is the most practical, but also the most expensive, and getting into a 5-year finance on a brand new car isn't something I'm super keen on...but I guess I can always sell it. It also comes with a full warranty, and is absolutely brand new. Have driven my friend's 2002 WRX, as well as an '09 WRX. Can only imagine it's quite a bit better.

The 350z is the cheapest of the 3, but I'd end up getting the mod "bug" all over again, ultimately making this car quite possibly the most expensive of the 3. Haven't driven one before, but my close friend who's driven all of my cars and vice-versa (he has a modified S13) said it wasn't as fun as an S-chassis with some bolt-ons.

If anyone has owned all several or all 3 of these cars, I'd be interested in hearing opinions.

*Keep in mind I can't work on my own car, other than very basic things. Don't have time, the tools, or the space.*

Nissan 350z

PRICE: ~$15k for a coupe with roughly 80,000 - 90,000 km

PROS:

- rear wheel drive
- decent power out of the box
- suitable for drifting (something I'm into as a hobby)
- Japanese, relatively reliable, parts aren't too expensive, friend works at a Nissan dealership
- cheapest car up front

CONS:

- dull driving experience if stock (have heard from a few people that the car feels quite heavy, not all that sport when stock)
- no rear seats
- will likely want to mod, which ends up costing lots of $
- cop magnet

E46 M3

PRICE: ~$25k for a coupe with roughly 80,000 - 90,000 km

PROS:

- rear wheel drive
- German (handling, chassis, "tight" feel)
- great sounding engine, reliable when pushed, high revving inline 6
- great power out of the box
- well recognized as one of the best sports cars of all time
- middle road of pricing, wouldn't desire to modify right away
- great resale value, has already taken a big hit
- mature looking car, not a cop magnet

CONS:

- German (maintenance, parts, reliability?)
- only 2 doors, but at least it has rear seats
- used car, not a full warranty

2011 WRX STi Sedan

PRICE: ~$38k for brand new 4-door (non-limited) STi sedan

PROS:

- very practical (AWD, 4 doors, good for camping, snowboarding, etc.)
- fast right out of the box (i.e. Nurburgring lap time)
- Japanese, relatively reliable, parts aren't too expensive
- full warranty, brand new car

CONS:

- AWD (prefer RWD)
- would want to replace wheels, get exhaust
- most expensive car up front
- would lose a lot of money if I decide to sell in 2-3 years
- cop magnet

I might also consider buying another S-chassis, but after spending a lot of time and money on my last one, only to have it stolen, and due to the fact that they're getting quite old and require a lot of parts to make them as fun as one of these 3 cars, I'm a bit reluctant. Good for drifting and can be had for $5k, so something to consider.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:29 PM
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man you have a lot of options, i suggest do more research and think about a car that is the best car for your needs. but if i were you id definitely would go with a new STI (not the hatch, the sedan) or a 350z. you've already have a great car in the 240sx so not really "new-to-you" if you just get another one. Also consider a new 370z it has all of the warranties and that good stuff while being fun to drive and RWD. Also the 370 its a little bit cheaper than the STI, but if you decide on the 370z get the sport package, its definitely worth the extra 3000. plus invest in a security system for whatever car you get, i hate all the little f**kers that think they can have cool cars by stealing them
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:25 PM
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If I could buy a car around the price range of the z (remember I said AROUND the price) I would get the STI hatch. All of these cars a very different though, you should really think about what you want.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:47 PM
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I am confused by the whole price thing. So your price range is from 15k-38k? If you honestly have 38k to spend, then I would get the new STI. Why is an EVO not in the options? Something to consider. Problem with used vehicles is.....they are USED! Who knows how the previous owner took care of them. The M3 would be my last choice due to maintenance prices! BTW, how is AWD a con?
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:48 PM
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THe 350z is not for you. Sorry.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jerseystyle View Post
I am confused by the whole price thing. So your price range is from 15k-38k? If you honestly have 38k to spend, then I would get the new STI. Why is an EVO not in the options? Something to consider. Problem with used vehicles is.....they are USED! Who knows how the previous owner took care of them. The M3 would be my last choice due to maintenance prices! BTW, how is AWD a con?
I can afford to spend $38k, but spending less is always a good thing.

The EVO is actually closer to $50k here in Canada, so it's out of my budget.

AWD isn't a "con", but I prefer RWD cars.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by davidv View Post
THe 350z is not for you. Sorry.
Why do you say that?
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by white2abbit View Post
Why do you say that?
CONS:

- dull driving experience if stock (have heard from a few people that the car feels quite heavy, not all that sport when stock)
wrong


- no rear seats
-if you don't have kids who cares

will likely want to mod, which ends up costing lots of $
e46 m3 and a brand new sti are much more expensive to mod.

- cop magnet
opposite of a cop magnet.. unless you are doing something wrong, cops will usually ignore sports cars.

BTW if you don't work on your own cars, forget the e46.. they need way too much attention

Last edited by BonesZ33; 02-02-2011 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:33 PM
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I would go with brand new M3 if you can get it or 370z. I do like STIs but not 2011
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by krnzzang84 View Post
I would go with brand new M3 if you can get it or 370z. I do like STIs but not 2011
Brand new M3 is totally out of the question, it's like $90k after tax.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BonesZ33 View Post
CONS:

wrong


-if you don't have kids who cares


e46 m3 and a brand new sti are much more expensive to mod.

opposite of a cop magnet.. unless you are doing something wrong, cops will usually ignore sports cars.

BTW if you don't work on your own cars, forget the e46.. they need way too much attention
Regarding the "dullness", I've just heard that about the car, haven't ever driven one.

Having rear seats is nice, but not necessary...just something for me to keep in mind. 3 out of the 4 cars I've owned had pretty much useless backseats, but at least they had them for emergencies (aka driving girls to the bar).

Cops around here tend to pullover and harass sports cars for no reason...especially with aftermarket exhaust.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BonesZ33 View Post
opposite of a cop magnet.. unless you are doing something wrong, cops will usually ignore sports cars.
TRUTH.

I have never been pulled over and ticketed more in any car than my old white Chevy Blazer. The Z is the only car that in over 4 years of ownership, I have never been ticketed in. (I said ticketed, not pulled over )
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by white2abbit View Post
Regarding the "dullness", I've just heard that about the car, haven't ever driven one.

Having rear seats is nice, but not necessary...just something for me to keep in mind. 3 out of the 4 cars I've owned had pretty much useless backseats, but at least they had them for emergencies (aka driving girls to the bar).

Cops around here tend to pullover and harass sports cars for no reason...especially with aftermarket exhaust.
Sorry but since when? Do you live in Toronto?

The only downside with the cops and and driving a sports car would be that they wont be as lenient when writing a ticket for you as with a non-sport car driver. However, they wont single you out on the road.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:58 PM
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How old are you?
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:08 PM
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Don't matter which one u get, the mod bug is gonna bite ya, get the Z, best bang for muck and you'll get more out of your mods
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:24 PM
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the STi's resale value is absurdly good. I picked up a 2011 wrx and couldn't be happier with the decision.

it doesn't really do anything GREAT, but it does everything good, in an area that gets some snow, rains a ton, its the perfect performance oriented every day driver that can also hand a little track time. I'm going to hate the brakes on the track though. the STi is much better suited for it.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Entaille View Post
the STi's resale value is absurdly good. I picked up a 2011 wrx and couldn't be happier with the decision.

it doesn't really do anything GREAT, but it does everything good, in an area that gets some snow, rains a ton, its the perfect performance oriented every day driver that can also hand a little track time. I'm going to hate the brakes on the track though. the STi is much better suited for it.
any new car drops in value as soon as you drive it off the lot, not to mention interest you are paying in loans. You pay out the *** for a new car vs a used car.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:10 AM
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You said......my Z has a

Originally Posted by white2abbit View Post
- dull driving experience if stock (have heard from a few people that the car feels quite heavy, not all that sport when stock)

cancel your membership now thank you.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:40 AM
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Ay, me duele la cabeza. Es mucho parra leer...
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:45 AM
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whoa why is the m3 price so high?
you can find cheaper.
and why is German under cons?
im biased for BMW so M3 gets my vote.
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