New M3 vs Used CL500??

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by dalbright, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. dalbright

    dalbright Rookie

    Nov 3, 2003
    Naples, Italy
    Hey guys, been seriously thinking about both the (E46) BMW M3 or CL500 Sport. As it stands I could probably buy either a new M3 or a 2001 CL500 Sport (with low miles) for around the same price, +- a few grand. I imagine some of you have had one or both of the vehicles and just wanted your thoughts. I know they are some what different, although both are coupes. I love the layout for each. Would just like some general impressions on either.

    Thanks - David
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  3. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
    Full Name:
    I think the CLK 500 is a closer comparo....
  4. 150shot

    150shot Formula Junior

    Jun 15, 2003
    San Dimas, CA
    I'm with writer guy on the CLK, but I would say the M is more for driving enjoyment if you get a manual, the CL is a nice luxury sporty cruiser. Depends what you will enjoy day in and day out.
  5. ty (360mode)

    ty (360mode) Formula Junior

    Sep 25, 2002
    Full Name:
    the m3 will be more of a sporty car. virtually all the MB's are luxo cruisers. the amg versions of each car is a slightly diff story though, imo.

    you've narrowed it to an interesting choice - have you driven the cl500? it's a boat. although again, i don't think it handles any better/worse than the clk430/500, just from a size perspective.
  6. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    If I am not mistaken, it was either 2001 or 2002 that was the last year of the truely leather covered interiors before they switched over to plasticly yuk. this might of been the 600 though.
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  8. dalbright

    dalbright Rookie

    Nov 3, 2003
    Naples, Italy
    Thanks guys for the comments. I haven't driven either one yet. I know the MB is more of a luxo cruiser. I would really rather be able to afford the new CL55, but that will have to wait. Given that I like the cars equally, would you rather have a New M3 or a slightly used CL500 Sport (with warranty)? For me its a tough decision. BTW - Just realized that the current CL model came out in 2000...not 2001 and can actually be purchased in the mid to upper 40K's. If you've had some driving time behind any of these cars, please post your thoughts on that particular model.

    Thanks again - David

  9. whart

    whart F1 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2001
    Grandview NY
    Full Name:
    Herr Prof.
    Haven't been following MB closely, but i think you get the real deal leather by opting for a 'designo' interior package, which is some big dollars.
    These are such different cars, its like comparing apples and germany. For a daily, i'd probably opt for the cl if it had low miles, was well serviced and had no issues, was the right color, etc. But, i don't know if they had any endemic problems. I do believe the S class had some ECU issues, but hey, i've had those problems with other MB's, and with the 550, as well.
  10. ross

    ross Three Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Mar 25, 2002
    Full Name:
    heres my 2 cts.
    take the used cl500. very classy car, nice shape, and you are getting a better piece of machinery.

    the m3 although a great car is still a 3 series bimmer, which will not have anything on the build quality of a cl merc. also, the current bmw 3 series body is next in line to get bangled and the new model will come out next year and knock the old body prices down cosniderably (even if bangle makes it ugly, that just the nature of it)

    and thirdly, don't buy new. why take the huge dep hit when you don't have to. you'll thank me later.
  11. dalbright

    dalbright Rookie

    Nov 3, 2003
    Naples, Italy
    Thanks...and trust me, I know about ecu issues from my 348.

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  13. ATBNM3

    ATBNM3 Formula 3

    Nov 17, 2003
    Sunny Isles
    Full Name:
    Don Jackson II
    M3!!! I'm Biased. It all depends on what you are looking for... Luxury cruiser or sports car involvement.
  14. ty (360mode)

    ty (360mode) Formula Junior

    Sep 25, 2002
    Full Name:
    i've driven the cl500 and cl55 (but not the cl600) and again, it's a boat. is it fast, hell yes, so i guess it's a really fast boat. but do you like that feel? i'm not a fan of the new bmw's so i would still pick the cl.

    if you wanna PIMP, then get the cl, if you wanna drive, get the m3 :)
  15. 96impalaSS

    96impalaSS F1 Rookie

    Dec 8, 2003
    Full Name:
    I think if I had to make the same decision I would choose the M3.
  16. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:

    This has been the best response and said exactly what I was thinking. M3 is a great car, but a Cl500 is in a different league.
  17. Juice It

    Juice It F1 Rookie

    Sep 22, 2002
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Full Name:
    Get the CL, much nicer car. Besides, every other twentysomething male has an M3. They are a dime a dozen. Like someone else said. at the end of the day it is still a 3 series BMW. Now if you throw convertible into the equasion I could go either way!
  18. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    My vote would also be for CL. We had a 3-series before our C-class. The BMW was by far the worst car I've ever owned, reliability-wise (10 trips to the shop in 22 months!). So far the MB has been trouble-free aside from an altercation with the local wildlife. A new M3 will depreciate much worse than the used CL, if that is important to you. Upkeep will also be more for the M3, doesn't it require valve adjustments due to the higher redline? With the CL you can get extended warranties and certified pre-owned, so warranty shouldn't be an issue for a few years.
  19. Noelrp

    Noelrp Formula Junior

    Aug 30, 2001
    Full Name:

    I will not comment on which is better between the two and I disagree on the maintenance cost since the new M3 will cost you nothing (free for the 1st 4 years) and the used CL will be at least $400 annually. Not counting the brake job, fluid flush that the car is due if not done yet (add another $1k or more).

    Tough choice tho' but if you plan to keep the car for a long time, my vote is for the M3.
  20. CCarlisi

    CCarlisi Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    Full Name:
    Have you considered a used M5? You can pick one up with reasonable miles for the price of a new E46 M.
  21. ATBNM3

    ATBNM3 Formula 3

    Nov 17, 2003
    Sunny Isles
    Full Name:
    Don Jackson II
    Yes, new BMW maintenance is cover for the first 4 years that includes brakes and clutch changes the only thing they don’t cover are tires. AMAZING
  22. labcars

    labcars Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 22, 2003
    Phila. + Scottsdale
    Easy......CL500. You wont be disappointed.
  23. kenny

    kenny Formula Junior

    Nov 9, 2003
    Greenwich , CT
    Full Name:
    ???? If the new model is ugly in the public's eyes, that would only make the current outgoing model more desireable boosting resale value...
  24. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:

    Only amazing if you drive enough so that stuff needs changing. I have one, 4K in one year, and get no free service :( By the time the warranty runs out, I will have like 16K miles. *sigh* Need to quit life and start racking up miles.
  25. JeffB

    JeffB Formula 3

    Jan 16, 2004
    Northville, Michigan
    Full Name:
    Jeff B
    LOVE LOVE LOVE my M3. I've had it almost 2 years and will probably keep it for another, which is rare for me to keep my daily driver for that long. It's a 2002 M3 convertible (with the optional hardtop) and has the SMG transmission. I've never driven a CL so I can't compare, but I will admit, I love the looks of the CLs as long as they have the sport package.

    The M is exciting to drive and offers great performance. I've never thought of a CL500 that way. In all honesty, the M is similar to the performance I got from my old 355 Spider.
  26. damcgee

    damcgee Formula 3

    Feb 23, 2003
    Mobile, AL
    As someone mentioned, if you're considering used cars -- a used M5 is going to start around $45k(1999) and go up to about $65 (2003)
  27. WFO_Racer

    WFO_Racer Karting

    Nov 5, 2003
    Newport Beach Ca
    For what it's worth a friend of ours is selling her 01 CL500 with 4,000 miles on it. Only problem is the car has had 14 service issues since new. She is not a happy camper.
  28. Gary(SF)

    Gary(SF) F1 Rookie

    Oct 13, 2003
    Los Altos Hills, CA
    Full Name:
    Gary B.
    Well they are VERY different cars. The M3 is much firmer and more responsive. I have a 2002 M3 and it is a very impressive car, especially for a full four-seater. I have several good friends with recent-vintage MBZ who are extremely unhappy with the quality. Problem after problem, in the shop way too much. My M3 has been trouble free, and the overall build quality is definitely superior to MBZ. By the way, I disagree that the current M3 will take a big hit on resale with the new model intro, if it is Bangle-ized it will HELP the value of the E46. Good luck in your choice.


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