00 supercharged prelude or 97 M3

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Mantis, Jul 11, 2003.

  1. Mantis

    Mantis Guest

    which to get? a 00 supercharged prelude for $15,000 with 55,000 miles on it. or a 97 M3 with 135,000 miles???? i've always wanted an M3, but that mileage is pretty high. the prelude i think is a good deal considering it has about $10,000 worth of mods done to it already. the only thing about the prelude is i know the guy beats on it coz i've seen him drivin around town before. i'm impressed with a supercharged prelude ever since i saw one run 13.7 in the 1/4 mile. that amazed me. i never knew. i know the prelude is reliable as hell and this one at least is probably faster, but like i said, i've always wanted an M3.

    how does a 97 M3 with 135,000 hold up??

    i posted this in the eastern imports forum as well, just want to get your opinions as well.
  2. sonicyouth

    sonicyouth Guest

    I owned a 97 Prelude (same body style) years ago and loved the car. It had everything I needed at the time and to this day, I regret getting rid of it. My family always owned BMW's and Mercedes so I thought I would try my luck and go the rear-wheel drive route. I purchased not one, but two 325's within less than a year of eachother. I have driven my fair share of M3's as well.

    The bottom line is although both cars are fun as hell to drive, the M3 will feel like a more solid car. The supercharger on the Prelude is just making up for it's low end & lack of torque. Trust me, you have to keep a Prelude above 5k constantly just to enjoy the car. Not the case with an inline six.

    I have been looking at 5th gen Preludes as a beater to replace my current Accord, but BMW will be my primary car until I can afford a Porsche. You will be happier in the long run with the BMW. :)
  3. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

    May 10, 2001
    Likes Received:
    :werd: I had an oldr Prelude ('95 stock). It was kinda fun but no comparison to any of the BMWs I have owned. Bimmer has more power & torque, more even and linear power range, and can fit 4 passengers more comfortably.
  4. Mantis

    Mantis Guest

    true, i've driven a prelude before and i can also attest that it has nothing below 5000. and RWD is always nice. i'm more concerned about the reliability issue at this point. at 135,000 miles for a 97 M3, is that something i should be concerned about? that seems awful high to me. the prelude on the other hand has less miles, cheaper and with some serious mods done to it. honda reliability speaks for itself. my parents have owned hondas for 15 years and every one of their cars never let them down. i'm gonna try to find another M3 with less miles on it. thanks for the reply
  5. sonicyouth

    sonicyouth Guest

    If you want to see reliability issues and TSB's then go to http://www.alldata.com and see for yourself. You will notice that the Prelude has only a quarter of the TSB's that a 97 M3 might. Keep in mind that the M3 is (in my opinion) 10 years ahead of the Prelude in every category and it's a meticulous car company as well. There were common problems with the Prelude (and other Preludes across the country) that Honda wouldn't acknowledge. Things like my e-brake light staying on constantly when it rained.

    Another thing you may want to take into consideration is the seating quality as well as the metal used on both vehicles. You can practically put dimples in the Prelude with your fingers the metal is so thin.

    Maybe some M3 owners will chime in and give you a list of common problems they have encountered.
  6. El Slotho

    El Slotho Every hour wounds. The last one kills.

    Sep 13, 2001
    Likes Received:
    The Erf

    :rofl: biznatch

    97 M3, currently with 86,000 miles:

    Fuel pump nut backed off twice, circa 60,000 miles, fixed under CPO.

    Transmission replaced at 80,000 miles.

    Rear toe are bushings fixed out of pocket, $500 at dealer (80,000 mi.)
    clutch gone at 80,000 - replaced with HD clutch and AA LTW flywheel.

    Inspection I every 20,000 miles - circa $400 at dealer.

    Inspection II every 40,000 miles - circa $800 at dealer.

    Rear differential grenaded into tiny metal shavings.

    Alternator replaced circa 60,000 miles under CPO. My underdrive pulley probably didn't help. :)

    Stock stereo shat the bed circa 50,000 miles, necessitating new head unit, which then prompted full stereo upgrade that was a waste of money IMHO.

    Common M3 issues that will need attending:

    Inside passenger door pull surround keeps popping off
    Driver's door looks to be coming unhinged/stuck/fused with door
    rear subframe will need to be welded before long

    There is probably more, but this is the short list for now.

    edit - here's some more good advice. Whatever E36/M3 one may be considering, never even think of buying the car without taking it to a dealer and having them check the "max sustained RPM." This will tell you whether or not the car has ever been over-revved, which is quite easy to do with the E36 as the tranny is notorious for shifting on its mounts during hard driving and cornering. Most blindly call this driver error, and this is true in a good many cases, but it still happens and sometimes a car can survive a serious overrev intact. A leak-down and compression test is also highly advised!

    Look for wear on the seats. And stay away from the lighter Dove Grey interiors - they suck the big ass when it comes to keeping them clean, and they show the leather's natural cracks infinitely worse than the black interior. God I wish I had a black interior. :(

    Buying any used car is a crapshoot, but a used M3 can become a money pit faster than you can say "but I thought this engine was bulletproof!" The S52 is very reliable, provided the necessary preventative maintenence is consistently performed, and proper care is given to keeping it running in top shape - of which there is no real formula besides what BMW recommends, and taking care of issues like that new whine that's just starting up, or the slight clunk that's just started from the rear of the car...stuff like that. Those are announcements of a future failure. I got my M3 in 2000 with 30,000 miles, and it cost me nothing for the first 2.5 years. And then recently I dropped $5000 maintenence dollars into it (outside of modification money) just to keep it running perfectly. :sad2:

    I hope I haven't scared anyone off the M3. I could start in on the driving satisfaction and modification potential of the car, but it's been beaten to death here. I am just going over the less-vocalized realities of owning one. :)
  7. Mantis

    Mantis Guest

    thanks for all that info. kinda shying me away from the M3 now and towards the prelude but i won't throw it out the door just yet. i'm gonna have my neighbor, who's a mechanic, come with me to inspect it. i really want the M3, but the prelude is gaining ground more and more each day. this may be the nail in the coffin. but we'll see. until i can find an M3 with lower miles for around the same price in the area, i'm leaning towards the prelude right now. :dunno:

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