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FR-S / BRZ vs.... Area to discuss the FR-S/BRZ against its competitors [NO STREET RACING]

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Old 08-15-2012, 05:34 PM   #1
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FRS/BRZ vs E46 M3

I am not exactly sure the format on how to create these vs threads, but since I searched for this and couldn't find the comparison, I thought I would start the write up.

2004 BMW M3 Vs 2013 FRS


2004 BMW M3


Current Average Price- Low $20,000 range with normal/ average Mileage
3.2L 6-cyl. 6-speed Manual
Length: 176.8 in
Weight: 3415lbs (Curb Weight)
Torque: 262 ft-lbs. @ 4900 rpm
Horsepower: 333 hp @ 7900 rpm
Turning circle: 36.1 ft.
Standard LSD
0-60: 4.8 seconds
EPA: 15/22

When the FT86 started making appearances, first as sketches, then prototypes, I was extremely excited. A car I had dreamed of was finally surfacing as a car that Toyota would actually end up producing. As the car came nearer and nearer to production, they started making announcements regarding the engine and power. I was a little heart broken that not only was the car to receive the heart of a Subaru (I love Subaru's, but it didn't seem fitting for this car to me), but on paper, the car was underpowered. I started to lose faith in the car and begun looking for alternatives. I wasn't really looking forward to waiting a year or more to purchase a car that was going to be mediocre at best. I started by looking at new cars in that price range, and then at used cars that would be in the low to mid $20k mark. After a lot of searching, I decided to go with a 2004 BMW M3 (pictured above).

My reasons for buying the M3 over the FRS/BRZ were as follows:
  • I was 16 the year the E46 M3 came out, and fell instantly in love with them, but they were a super car as far as I was concerned at that age. So I believe there is some nostalgia there.
  • The price was actually less than the BRZ/FRS
  • The car had already depreciated greatly, and is going to hold its current value longer than the Toyobaru
  • 333hp/ 3415lbs vs 200hp/ 2800lbs
  • Individual Throttle Bodies (if you have experience with ITB's, you know they are amazing)
  • The car is proven, and all of the issues are known and reported. The Later Model M3's have most of the weird issues ironed out.
  • Naturally Aspirated. No forced induction (Like the 86)
  • Amazing Handling- the car is known for the handling, not the power (like the 86 as well)
  • Its an M3
I drove the car for a while and really loved it, but the day I saw the FRS in person, it pulled at me and I fell in love with it. It was so weird for me to see a car in person that started out as a drawing in a magazine I had seen years earlier. I couldn't believe it existed. I hadn't ordered an FRS, so I gave the dealer my number and had them call me when one came in that was available. I bought one and sold the M3 3 days later (very easy to sell that car).

So now for a comparison-
I must say that it was an extremely hard decision to get the FRS over the M3, and there are still days I wonder why I did what I did? Here are the comparison Notes:
  • BMW Has More Torque
  • BMW Has Leather- This is good and bad. 8 Year old leather is at the point where it looks nice still, but you can tell it is starting to age, and wear out. I actually prefer cars without leather seats in general.
  • FRS has a warranty, lower miles, and easier/ maintenance.
  • FRS has less factory required maintenance (like vanos adjustments)
  • FRS is a Brand New Car, I know how it has been driven/ Treated
  • FRS EPA is far superior
  • BMW has a rear seat that not only fits children, but adults comfortably (but I dont have kids, so I really dont care)
  • BMW is probably safer in most accidents based on size
  • It is probably just as hard to find a clean M3 as it is to find a new FRS/ BRZ right now
  • M3 has 19" staggered wheels with 265's in the rear stock.
  • Both Cars are nimble and fun on windy roads
My Choice? I personally still have to go with the 86. I can't say that I enjoy driving one car more than the other, but I feel guilty putting miles on a low mileage E46. I almost feel like it is a car that you buy to only drive on the weekends. I drive around 70 miles a day to and from work. The M3 is amazing for the commute, but I hated putting miles on it. I feel like the Toyota is a good compromise between a practical car and a sports car. Originally the plan was to keep both cars, but since we had someone interested in the M3, we sold it. Both cars are great, but they are still incredibly fun to drive and it makes the decision a difficult one.
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:39 PM   #2
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I pretty sure there is one of these already as I remember saying how the E46 M3 was one of the two cars I was looking at before picking up my FRS (the other being a EVO 9)

I still love then E46 as I personally think so far that is were BMW peaked for design (hate the look of these new BMWs)

Overall, I would not regret buying a M3 since its a great little car however FRS is a lot more every day friendly.
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:45 PM   #3
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Yeah I don't know if I am bad at searching, but I probably am. In the price range, these are still the two best cars imo. I guess all of the issues I am having with my FRS does help me to regret selling the ///M a bit though.
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:01 AM   #4
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M3 IS AN AMAZING CAR BUT I SOLD MY M3 AND NOW GETTING THE BRZ I CANT WAIT
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:03 PM   #5
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I'd say the M3 is probably more comfortable as a DD, but that's a bit subjective.

The cost of using a E46 M3 as a DD these days is awfully high though. I currently commute ~80 miles a day, and have just about ruled out the E46 for that reason alone. The VANOS issues, the valve adjustments every 15-20k, the cost for general consumables (7-8 qts. of 10W60, brakes, etc.)... absolutely amazing car, but man, can they run up the $$$.

Congrats on the FR-S, sounds like you'll really enjoy your time with it.
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:24 PM   #6
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Yup, the maint cost on the twins is SO low for the amount of fun you get to have.
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:52 PM   #7
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I got both. I bought a used 05 with 34k miles in prestine condition. Love the car, but I know it'll be an expensive commuter so I got an frs. Now its my weekend fun car. If I had gotten the frs first, I don't think I would've thought about the m3 at all. Don't get me wrong, I don't think I would ever give up my m3. It's by far my fav car (had the e90 M3 which I also loved, but had to give it up for an suv).

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Old 08-26-2012, 12:06 AM   #8
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E46's will always have a special place in my heart.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:59 AM   #9
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I have an e46 m3 and honestly you can't really compared the two, yes the m3 will cost you an arm and a leg compared to the FRS but the M3 is significantly faster and handles every bit as well as the FRS.

If you can afford the maintenance on an M3 and don't drive an ungodly amount of kms every day, you really can't beat the M3's speed, comfort, quality and overall awesomeness.

If you don't believe me then drive them back to back, you will not end up with the FRS.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:54 AM   #10
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An E46 M3 in laguna seca blue is one of my dreamcars. Last years of the true M3 (with a I6) but I'm glad I bought a FR-S. I don't have to worry about expensive parts/repairs/maintenance, and I get great gas mileage.

After reading a couple of thease VS. threads The 86 seems like a practical, sensible car.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:08 AM   #11
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I loved my e46, but I don't regret the change at all yet. There are a lot of made up facts I keep reading in the vs threads too, but no worries. I still love both cars, the frs is just better for me now and without regret.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:06 AM   #12
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Another E46 M3 - Ft86 guy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanuki View Post
I am not exactly sure the format on how to create these vs threads, but since I searched for this and couldn't find the comparison, I thought I would start the write up.

2004 BMW M3 Vs 2013 FRS.....

..... Both cars are great, but they are still incredibly fun to drive and it makes the decision a difficult one.
Hi Tanuki

I used to drive an HEAVILY modified E46 M3 up until a few weeks ago.. I was running a modified version of the Active Autowerks Stage 2 Version 6 with meth and water injection.. I was putting down 372Kw and had changed pretty much the entire suspicion, drive train, lighting system etc etc etc

The reason for my change was reliability issues, the insane cost of keeping the M3 in the road (especially with all the mods) and the fact that I just wanted something which always works..

so I was in the market for a new car.. managed to get another enthusiast to pay loads of cash for my old M3 (Jezebel was her name) and saw a demo model of the FT86 driving down a road and I was


WOOOAAAHHH!!!!

So I went straight in.. paid a silly high deposit and demanded the showroom floor white model within 6 days

It's my DD... I have put 2 baby seats in the back to take the kids to school and have successfully done the monthly shop once already.

I'll post a review and pics when she (Lilith) comes back from the body shop... 6 days and 600km into ownership and a big SUV kissed her front fender in the school parking lot!!

Anyhows.. it works like a bomb as a daily driver and never ceases to bring a smile to my face...

Welcome to the club everyone
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:14 AM   #13
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Oh yeah... here's me and my ex..

And to answer all the inevitable questions about the smoking pic... I live in Africa... go figure it out!
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:06 AM   #14
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@ MattQ...Glad to see another South African on this site
Read up on you build on the Fanatics forum...loved it
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:14 AM   #15
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Thanks dude Yeah that was a monster build back in the day I still love the E46 as a platform but it has definitely aged.. will always be one of my favorite cars but I am SO excited about the possibilities of the 86.

I recon the M3 is a better car out of the box, but the 86 is a MUCH better platform for modifying.. the M3 was simply too expensive as a modders car.. the last engine build alone cost me more than my FT86!!

So anyhow.. I will be modding the Toybaru SIGNIFICANTLY... but I'm currently in R&D!!!
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:41 AM   #16
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Thanks Tanuki

Have you read "Villa Incognito"??
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MattQ-WP View Post
Thanks Tanuki

Have you read "Villa Incognito"??
I have not. Secret Town?
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:34 PM   #18
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Went from E46 ZCP to FR-S.....

It is such a downgrade.

Taking a loss on the FR-S and getting a E92 M3 like I should have done.
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:04 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by ///Murph View Post
Went from E46 ZCP to FR-S.....

It is such a downgrade.

Taking a loss on the FR-S and getting a E92 M3 like I should have done.

Why post on the forum if you hate the frs so much? I really think I am 6's between my e46 and the FRS. They are both good in their own ways. An e46 is only a good car while it has low miles.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:03 AM   #20
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Went from E46 ZCP to FR-S.....

It is such a downgrade.

Taking a loss on the FR-S and getting a E92 M3 like I should have done.
It's not a downgrade... it's a side grade.. it's a totally different car... the BMW brand is trying to expand more and more into the US and so the cars are getting bigger, fatter and more comfy to accommodate the US market

(sorry guys, not a nice fact but you are the...er.. "heaviest" people on the planet on average)

The Bimmers of old (E30, E36, E46 to lesser extent) used to be much more driver oriented cars but with the E90 series onwards, there is more and more focus on all round DD as apposed to driver focus.

VW made the same mistake with their GTI's and only recently go them back to the Mk1 and Mk2 status symbol level they once were...

So Bimmer is going through it's fat and middle aged period as a manufacturer where it is trying to cram more and more space, comfort, daily usability and safety into it's cars... the net result for enthusiast drivers is that the cars are becoming less like track day playthings and more like boats, or mercedes's.

For some this is desirable and it's not a good VS bad clear cut thing... that's why I say you have SIDE-GRADED and not DOWN-GRADED.... you basically purchased a red-head when you should have purchased a blond

The new M3 is certainly a more comfy all rounder, but as for being as fun as an 86... hmmm.. I dunno...

I've been doing regular and aggressive track driving for nearly 2 decades now and the E90 M3 doesn't feel "on edge" and exciting until I push it to the very limit of my ability...on the street it's just plain boring (unless you enjoy straight line speed in which case get a muscle car rather)

The 86 by comparison gets me grinning from as low as 60km/h... I can even get it powersliding at road legal speeds...and THAT is a driver's car!!
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:33 AM   #21
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Why post on the forum if you hate the frs so much? I really think I am 6's between my e46 and the FRS. They are both good in their own ways. An e46 is only a good car while it has low miles.

I dont hate the FR-S. It could have/should have been so much better. It feels cheap. Now if I dumped about $10k into it and replaced the horrible stock exhaust/wheels/tires/antenna/sound system/and SC or turbo'ed it, I think I would love it.

The way it is now, just feels so unstable when you are at speeds higher than 75mph.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:38 AM   #22
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It's not a downgrade... it's a side grade.. it's a totally different car... the BMW brand is trying to expand more and more into the US and so the cars are getting bigger, fatter and more comfy to accommodate the US market

(sorry guys, not a nice fact but you are the...er.. "heaviest" people on the planet on average)

The Bimmers of old (E30, E36, E46 to lesser extent) used to be much more driver oriented cars but with the E90 series onwards, there is more and more focus on all round DD as apposed to driver focus.

VW made the same mistake with their GTI's and only recently go them back to the Mk1 and Mk2 status symbol level they once were...

So Bimmer is going through it's fat and middle aged period as a manufacturer where it is trying to cram more and more space, comfort, daily usability and safety into it's cars... the net result for enthusiast drivers is that the cars are becoming less like track day playthings and more like boats, or mercedes's.

For some this is desirable and it's not a good VS bad clear cut thing... that's why I say you have SIDE-GRADED and not DOWN-GRADED.... you basically purchased a red-head when you should have purchased a blond

The new M3 is certainly a more comfy all rounder, but as for being as fun as an 86... hmmm.. I dunno...

I've been doing regular and aggressive track driving for nearly 2 decades now and the E90 M3 doesn't feel "on edge" and exciting until I push it to the very limit of my ability...on the street it's just plain boring (unless you enjoy straight line speed in which case get a muscle car rather)

The 86 by comparison gets me grinning from as low as 60km/h... I can even get it powersliding at road legal speeds...and THAT is a driver's car!!

You are right about BMW getting away from their roots, especially with the M series. Was disgusted that they actually made a Sedan M3 (thought thats what M5's were for). If I had it my way I would be driving a 1 Series M but know that will never happen.

BUT, the E92 is still an impressive car, especially with a V8 that is lighter than the I6 the e46 had.

I will eventually buy another e46 though even if I get an e92. The e46 is hands down the most balanced car I have ever driven,

(I have not driven the e36 or 30 yet unfortunately)
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