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      03-09-2017, 08:21 PM   #1
StreetCredShifter
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New 1M Owner

I just recently got a 1M, and I want to offer my first impressions.

First a little background, I am a long time BMW guy who has owned a E39 530i (auto), E39 M5 (6MT), F10 535i (auto), F30 340i (6MT), and two F80 M3s (one M DCT and one 6MT). I moved away from the brand and owned only Porsches for a while. I missed the BMW brand and bought a used 2013 BMW 135is (6MT), which I really enjoyed but eventually used as a trade-in. That got me back into the BMW camp again, and I recently bought a used E46 M3 (6MT), which has brought back the fun of M cars for me. Yes, I have gone through a lot of cars.

After reading this forum, watching YouTube videos, and hearing about how great the 1M is from a friend who owns one, I really wanted one. Most posts, videos, and conversations emphasized how great the car is drive and feels special as well as its ability to hold value due to its relative scarcity and potential to increase in value. I was a little skeptical because I am one of those guys who believes a M car is more than just a chasis, but also needsa M engine that starts with the letter S. I always agreed that the car will hold value relatively well due to the positive reviews and scarcity. However I was skeptical that car will increase in value because I was not convinced that the car has a great story other than scarcity.

I had the opportunity to buy one, so I did. I took it out for the weekend as well as my E46 M3 for comparison. Here are my first impressions and they may change, but I find that they usually do not for me.

The E46 M3 is much better and feels more special to me. It has timeless exterior looks. It is just the right size both outside and inside. My car is 100% stock and once I get the revs well above 3500 RPM, the sound from the engine and exhaust is glorious all the way to redline. The handling in the car is superb. The car still feels fast and special even though it is a 12 year old car. It is truly the definition of what a M car should be; a great naturally aspirated inline 6 M engine (S54), a proper 6MT in the middle, and power going to the rear wheels. The hydraulic steering just feels great and gives great feedback. Everything feels analog and depends on me. It had the classic four gauges with the classic BMW M yellow lighting at night. Very little nannies in the way and no hill assist, pumped in sounds, etc. And the response from pushing in the Sport button makes the car get up and go.

Then I drove the 1M. Immediately, I feel like I am driving a SUV since the E46 M3 drives low and the seat on the 1M feels high, which was a similar feeling to the 135is. After a while I get used to the feeling and enjoy the drive. I went four years driving BMWs and Porsches with electric steering, so, when I got my 135is, I forgot how great hydraulic steering is. I heard great things about the steering in the 1M, so I was expected something special. It is good, but I do not think is any better than my E46 M3, which I think is better. I made sure to use the M button, but it did not feel as responsive as the Sport button in the E46 M3. Where it does outshine my E46 M3 is the the shifter. The E46 M3 has the classic gooseneck shifter with the long throws. The throws in the 1M are perfect. However, the car is not the fun high revving car like the E46 M3. The engine and exhaust are relatively silent and do not feel special at all. The exhaust on the 135is was much better. I guess a tuned N54 engine, even if done by BMW M, is not as great a true S designation engine. I am in the naturally aspirated camp over the turbo camp,but I still felt the S55 in the F80 M3 was special I do not think the car handles as well as the E46 M3. I am relatively disappointed. I tried driving it again last night, and it drove great and was fun, but then I took the E46 M3 out for a spin, and my initial impressions came back. I know it was the first initial drives of the car, and Spring, Summer, and Fall are still not here, but I hope this car grows on me and I come to enjoy it. It is more fun than the F80 M3 because smaller cars are usually more fun.

Did anybody else have this initial first impression and the car grew on them? I plan on holding it. I guess the the relative scarcity will mean I will not get hurt too bad if I ever sell it. I am not trying to rain on anyone's parade; I am just giving my story.

I also do not understand why people will think this car will double in value. Outside of scarcity, which I believe makes it hold value, what is the story for it doubling? I do not think it is in the same class as the E24 M6 and E28 M5, which at least for Euro spec, have their engines derived from the first M car, the M1. The E30 M3 is associated with actual motorsports such as DTM racing and rally cars. When I think of them, I picture Warsteiner and Bastos liveries as well as the S14 engine and its great handling. BMW M was at its best when it developed the engine for the McLaren F1, which won Le Mans in 1995. And the work from that development found its way into the development of the E39 M5 (S62) and E46 M3 (S54) engines. Both of those cars have timeless exteriors and the subtle looks of a BMW M car. as opposed to the in-your-face aggressiveness of today's M car. I know these cars are mass produced, but can anyone convince me that a tuned N54 engine is in the same league as these great M cars? It seems like what makes the 1M a great car to drive are the parts it borrows from the E9X M3. Is that a story for it to double in value? I doubt it.
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      03-09-2017, 09:32 PM   #2
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The 1m isn't for everyone. It's not particularly great at anything besides making the driver have a laugh. Sell it and move on.
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      03-09-2017, 09:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetCredShifter View Post
I just recently got a 1M, and I want to offer my first impressions.

First a little background, I am a long time BMW guy who has owned a E39 530i (auto), E39 M5 (6MT), F10 535i (auto), F30 340i (6MT), and two F80 M3s (one M DCT and one 6MT). I moved away from the brand and owned only Porsches for a while. I missed the BMW brand and bought a used 2013 BMW 135is (6MT), which I really enjoyed but eventually used as a trade-in. That got me back into the BMW camp again, and I recently bought a used E46 M3 (6MT), which has brought back the fun of M cars for me. Yes, I have gone through a lot of cars.

After reading this forum, watching YouTube videos, and hearing about how great the 1M is from a friend who owns one, I really wanted one. Most posts, videos, and conversations emphasized how great the car is drive and feels special as well as its ability to hold value due to its relative scarcity and potential to increase in value. I was a little skeptical because I am one of those guys who believes a M car is more than just a chasis, but also needsa M engine that starts with the letter S. I always agreed that the car will hold value relatively well due to the positive reviews and scarcity. However I was skeptical that car will increase in value because I was not convinced that the car has a great story other than scarcity.

I had the opportunity to buy one, so I did. I took it out for the weekend as well as my E46 M3 for comparison. Here are my first impressions and they may change, but I find that they usually do not for me.

The E46 M3 is much better and feels more special to me. It has timeless exterior looks. It is just the right size both outside and inside. My car is 100% stock and once I get the revs well above 3500 RPM, the sound from the engine and exhaust is glorious all the way to redline. The handling in the car is superb. The car still feels fast and special even though it is a 12 year old car. It is truly the definition of what a M car should be; a great naturally aspirated inline 6 M engine (S54), a proper 6MT in the middle, and power going to the rear wheels. The hydraulic steering just feels great and gives great feedback. Everything feels analog and depends on me. It had the classic four gauges with the classic BMW M yellow lighting at night. Very little nannies in the way and no hill assist, pumped in sounds, etc. And the response from pushing in the Sport button makes the car get up and go.

Then I drove the 1M. Immediately, I feel like I am driving a SUV since the E46 M3 drives low and the seat on the 1M feels high, which was a similar feeling to the 135is. After a while I get used to the feeling and enjoy the drive. I went four years driving BMWs and Porsches with electric steering, so, when I got my 135is, I forgot how great hydraulic steering is. I heard great things about the steering in the 1M, so I was expected something special. It is good, but I do not think is any better than my E46 M3, which I think is better. I made sure to use the M button, but it did not feel as responsive as the Sport button in the E46 M3. Where it does outshine my E46 M3 is the the shifter. The E46 M3 has the classic gooseneck shifter with the long throws. The throws in the 1M are perfect. However, the car is not the fun high revving car like the E46 M3. The engine and exhaust are relatively silent and do not feel special at all. The exhaust on the 135is was much better. I guess a tuned N54 engine, even if done by BMW M, is not as great a true S designation engine. I am in the naturally aspirated camp over the turbo camp,but I still felt the S55 in the F80 M3 was special I do not think the car handles as well as the E46 M3. I am relatively disappointed. I tried driving it again last night, and it drove great and was fun, but then I took the E46 M3 out for a spin, and my initial impressions came back. I know it was the first initial drives of the car, and Spring, Summer, and Fall are still not here, but I hope this car grows on me and I come to enjoy it. It is more fun than the F80 M3 because smaller cars are usually more fun.

Did anybody else have this initial first impression and the car grew on them? I plan on holding it. I guess the the relative scarcity will mean I will not get hurt too bad if I ever sell it. I am not trying to rain on anyone's parade; I am just giving my story.

I also do not understand why people will think this car will double in value. Outside of scarcity, which I believe makes it hold value, what is the story for it doubling? I do not think it is in the same class as the E24 M6 and E28 M5, which at least for Euro spec, have their engines derived from the first M car, the M1. The E30 M3 is associated with actual motorsports such as DTM racing and rally cars. When I think of them, I picture Warsteiner and Bastos liveries as well as the S14 engine and its great handling. BMW M was at its best when it developed the engine for the McLaren F1, which won Le Mans in 1995. And the work from that development found its way into the development of the E39 M5 (S62) and E46 M3 (S54) engines. Both of those cars have timeless exteriors and the subtle looks of a BMW M car. as opposed to the in-your-face aggressiveness of today's M car. I know these cars are mass produced, but can anyone convince me that a tuned N54 engine is in the same league as these great M cars? It seems like what makes the 1M a great car to drive are the parts it borrows from the E9X M3. Is that a story for it to double in value? I doubt it.
Excellent read, and well discussed points. Nice to read from an obvious BMW enthusiast's perspective.

My story...

http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1038241

Since I wrote that I also purchase an E46 M3. It was always my dream car in high school. ...when they first came out I was 18 at the time and used to go down the street to wash a guys jet black on black MT for him just because I liked them so much. He ended up letting me drive it a little!

The E46 I own now is a 2006 MT that I have done a bunch of things to...
KWv3 coilovers, CSL exterior, 3.91 rear diff, 540i lever with delrin carrier bushings (MUCH better than the stock "broom stick") and on 235/265 pilot super sports.

I think the 1M is much better. I find the feedback and weight of the steering (heavier in my opinion) much better. I have a MadDad mid pipe and really enjoy the sound the car makes; burbles on overrun are fantastic! I enjoy the shorter wheelbase compared to the E46 chassis. It feels like a smaller car to me than the E46.

Points I will concede: the linear pull all the way up to 8k on the S54 combined with the sound it makes is wonderful! And it is a very timelessly good looking car. (That torque and bulldog stance of the 1M though...)

While it doesn't have the history and lineage of the E46 in it's story the 1M does have a very unique story of in it's own way; and a great one in my opinion. It is a parts bin car that is more than the sum of it's parts. The M division did what they originally were told they couldn't do. They went backwards (in terms of modern popular demands) compared to the progression of today's sports car. When this car is looked back upon 20 years from now it will be revered akin to the E30 M3 of it's day.

If I could only have 1....it's the 1M every day and twice on Sunday.

Again, enjoyed reading your post! And welcome to 1addicts!
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      03-09-2017, 09:43 PM   #4
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      03-09-2017, 10:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetCredShifter View Post
I just recently got a 1M, and I want to offer my first impressions.

First a little background, I am a long time BMW guy who has owned a E39 530i (auto), E39 M5 (6MT), F10 535i (auto), F30 340i (6MT), and two F80 M3s (one M DCT and one 6MT). I moved away from the brand and owned only Porsches for a while. I missed the BMW brand and bought a used 2013 BMW 135is (6MT), which I really enjoyed but eventually used as a trade-in. That got me back into the BMW camp again, and I recently bought a used E46 M3 (6MT), which has brought back the fun of M cars for me. Yes, I have gone through a lot of cars.

After reading this forum, watching YouTube videos, and hearing about how great the 1M is from a friend who owns one, I really wanted one. Most posts, videos, and conversations emphasized how great the car is drive and feels special as well as its ability to hold value due to its relative scarcity and potential to increase in value. I was a little skeptical because I am one of those guys who believes a M car is more than just a chasis, but also needsa M engine that starts with the letter S. I always agreed that the car will hold value relatively well due to the positive reviews and scarcity. However I was skeptical that car will increase in value because I was not convinced that the car has a great story other than scarcity.

I had the opportunity to buy one, so I did. I took it out for the weekend as well as my E46 M3 for comparison. Here are my first impressions and they may change, but I find that they usually do not for me.

The E46 M3 is much better and feels more special to me. It has timeless exterior looks. It is just the right size both outside and inside. My car is 100% stock and once I get the revs well above 3500 RPM, the sound from the engine and exhaust is glorious all the way to redline. The handling in the car is superb. The car still feels fast and special even though it is a 12 year old car. It is truly the definition of what a M car should be; a great naturally aspirated inline 6 M engine (S54), a proper 6MT in the middle, and power going to the rear wheels. The hydraulic steering just feels great and gives great feedback. Everything feels analog and depends on me. It had the classic four gauges with the classic BMW M yellow lighting at night. Very little nannies in the way and no hill assist, pumped in sounds, etc. And the response from pushing in the Sport button makes the car get up and go.

Then I drove the 1M. Immediately, I feel like I am driving a SUV since the E46 M3 drives low and the seat on the 1M feels high, which was a similar feeling to the 135is. After a while I get used to the feeling and enjoy the drive. I went four years driving BMWs and Porsches with electric steering, so, when I got my 135is, I forgot how great hydraulic steering is. I heard great things about the steering in the 1M, so I was expected something special. It is good, but I do not think is any better than my E46 M3, which I think is better. I made sure to use the M button, but it did not feel as responsive as the Sport button in the E46 M3. Where it does outshine my E46 M3 is the the shifter. The E46 M3 has the classic gooseneck shifter with the long throws. The throws in the 1M are perfect. However, the car is not the fun high revving car like the E46 M3. The engine and exhaust are relatively silent and do not feel special at all. The exhaust on the 135is was much better. I guess a tuned N54 engine, even if done by BMW M, is not as great a true S designation engine. I am in the naturally aspirated camp over the turbo camp,but I still felt the S55 in the F80 M3 was special I do not think the car handles as well as the E46 M3. I am relatively disappointed. I tried driving it again last night, and it drove great and was fun, but then I took the E46 M3 out for a spin, and my initial impressions came back. I know it was the first initial drives of the car, and Spring, Summer, and Fall are still not here, but I hope this car grows on me and I come to enjoy it. It is more fun than the F80 M3 because smaller cars are usually more fun.

Did anybody else have this initial first impression and the car grew on them? I plan on holding it. I guess the the relative scarcity will mean I will not get hurt too bad if I ever sell it. I am not trying to rain on anyone's parade; I am just giving my story.

I also do not understand why people will think this car will double in value. Outside of scarcity, which I believe makes it hold value, what is the story for it doubling? I do not think it is in the same class as the E24 M6 and E28 M5, which at least for Euro spec, have their engines derived from the first M car, the M1. The E30 M3 is associated with actual motorsports such as DTM racing and rally cars. When I think of them, I picture Warsteiner and Bastos liveries as well as the S14 engine and its great handling. BMW M was at its best when it developed the engine for the McLaren F1, which won Le Mans in 1995. And the work from that development found its way into the development of the E39 M5 (S62) and E46 M3 (S54) engines. Both of those cars have timeless exteriors and the subtle looks of a BMW M car. as opposed to the in-your-face aggressiveness of today's M car. I know these cars are mass produced, but can anyone convince me that a tuned N54 engine is in the same league as these great M cars? It seems like what makes the 1M a great car to drive are the parts it borrows from the E9X M3. Is that a story for it to double in value? I doubt it.
I don't have an E46 M3, it was always my dream car but couldn't afford it when young. By the time my kids were older and I could afford one, they were discontinued. I wanted a new M Car euro delivery but the E90 dissapointed me. It was too big, too lux, the shifter was not very good and I was coming from an E46 325i with great steering feedback albeit less power. When the 1M came out, it was gift from the gods compared to all the new stuff BMW was making. Driving it on canyons on the boost is amazing but around town it's laggy compared to E46 and the steering feedback is still better on the last two e46s although I love the fast rack on the 1M.

You don't know me but I have said it on here before, I own a 2003 ZHP MT that is my daily driver and I don't feel a letdown when I switch cars. The torque on the 1M is awesome but the linear pull and sound of the ZHP when in the power band is instantaneous. The E46 M3 and the 330i ZHP Sedan, I agree are the peak of the old school N/A inline 6 cars. Sadly too, expectations of the 1M have been pushed very high along with price that they can dissapoint for that reason. Another issue with the 1M is that the torque hits so early that traction control is constantly killing the momentum. Put it in MDM mode and find a nice canyon road. When the 1M is in the boost and the road is windy, it is very nice.

So, I do like my 1M very, very much but I agree that the E46 is the peak of that generation. However, of the turbo generation, the 1M stripper which is slightly ligther and comes with lighter manual seats that sit 1 3/8" lower than power seats is the purest overall of the new generation. It might not sound as good as the M2, but it's real sound, not digitally enhanced. It has an oil temp gauge, steering while not as good as e46, very good still and for a turbo motor.

Sorry your're dissapointed, I know that feeling. This is my second 1M and I daily drove the first one. I got used to the turbo lag and I didn't notice it. Later I bought the ZHP and then a second 1M and now I still relish tapping the throttle at 3000 RPM in the ZHP and it's a mechanically linked thump in accelaration. The brake pedal modulation is very good in the ZHP too as well as the feedback. I also think the E46 is a great looking car, but then I get in the 1M and listen to the cold start roar and how it pulls in any gear and how pure and simple my cockpit is.

A lot of people think that there is no difference between the stripper and loaded 1Ms. If you like the backup sensors, NAV, music on the hard drive and memory seats, then it makes sense but there is a cost to that. If you forego that stuff you get a much better seating position in the 1M, lighter weight, less problems, no hump on the dash and no idrive to mess with. Just pure driving pleasure.

So I agree with you, if you are judging the 1M by the past N/A inline 6 standard, which I tend to do myself, then the 1M can fall short there.

I heard that Einstein said if you judge by its ability to climb a tree, then it will fail. What makes the 1M special is that it is a modern BMW that respects the past.

I am very happy with my ZHP and while not an M3 it shares a lot of the DNA and things you speak about. Mine has the alcantara cloth interior, 6 speed, etc. If I didn't already have an NA BMW, I would be looking for an E46 M3 too.

Best wishes!
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      03-10-2017, 01:50 AM   #6
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Exactly. I couldn't put it any better myself.
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      03-10-2017, 03:59 AM   #7
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dude, GimmeanM, welcome to the club and i totally agree, i just got my 1M as well but i come from the same camp, had a 996 turbo in the family and always dreamt of the e46 growing up, so that is where my standards lie. test drove a e46 after buying the 1M and i wholeheartedly agree, for me i often wish i had purchased a nice e46 manual (so timeless, in looks and driving experience, i still drool over every passing e46) over the 1M.

biggest thing that gets me is the seating height and the idrive/nav, i totally agree with nachob on this, the stripper cars are where the 1M is at, my biggest regret on my purchase right now is not getting the stripper car over the loaded one.

that being said, totally love the 1M and how in my mind its the car the e92 could have been. the main things with the e92 were weight, size, and lack of torque, and the 1M literally addressed each of the e92's faults.

to me it was like the M division recognized that it had strayed from its M3 roots and the 1M was like a step back to its winning formula. growing up dreaming of the e46, the 1M was like a dream come true, a modern successor to the genes of what made the older M3's great. in my mind, i only wish the 1M had a high-revving engine (i dont mind the turboing as that is just the way of the future aka F1 racing) but a 1M with a S65 + forced induction(or in general more torque from the NA engine) is my idea of what a true successor to the e46 M3 would be; could you imagine that instead of the e90s and f80s, the 1M and M2 had the S65s and the S55s respectively and had both been named M3's? that in my mind would much more follow the path of what i think made the e30s e36s and e46s so great

-that also being said, the 1M has so much personality when you let it spool, and the short wheelbase *for me its a feeling like no other and a key point as to why i love the car

is it as raw, light, quick, and low like older porsches/lotus'/s2000's? no
does it rev to a ba-jillion? no (which is a big shame, but could you imagine this car with an s65 with more low-end torque/overboost feature like our cars? OH MY WORD, i get goosebumps just thinking about it, could you imagine the SOUND?!?! OMG :SLDKFJSD:LKFJS:LKDFJS:LDFKJS:LDFJKDSF:J,)

is it a great compromise though? yes
-great damping (not overly stiff, soaks up uneven terrain at speed beautifully, and not soft by any means)
-torque, love the torque
-two rear seats that actually can fit people (aka not porsche)
-trunk space that can fit more that your sunday pie (aka again not porsche)
-the hydraulic steering (not as raw as one might like but we all know its still better than most electric steering racks going forward)
-stock, short and wide wheelbase that you'd be hard press to find elsewhere
-and i LOVE the way it looks, front and back, the front nose still reminds me of the older e46's, and the rear, is just NSFW

-also i actually like that the car doesn't really get recognized except by people that are actual bmw fans (my car is black). VO i'm sure though gets a lot of looks (a.k.a. me pulling up behind a lady driving a VO 1M at a gas station is how love at first sight happened for me)

things i could foresee making the car really mine though are: intake, exhaust, some manual seats (bmw performance seats anyone? )and mabye a bbk, also kinda wish the steering wheel was heated so i could cruise at night with the windows down and not have frostbitten fingers, and of course a s65 + forced induction*or if there is a way to increase the torque on the s65 without insane power gains i would love to know, a dream for me would be a s65 that made the numbers the S54's or our N54T's make

and yeah the prices aren't going to double, and if they do double let's say in what 10 years?, you must have too much money to want a 16+ year old car for what, 90? 100k? if you have that much money to burn, i'm assuming you already have a lot of money, so if you want twin turbos, 6 cylinder, hydraulic steering, and a 6+ year old car why not buy a used 997 Porsche Turbo S's for less than 100k or even a 997 GT3 for 92k on autotrader. at 100k only rich people are picking up such cars, i doubt someone that rich would bother buying a 1M or even a used car for that matter, if your taking a loan to buy the 1M at 100k your making a huge mistake and if your buying the 1M for 100k in cash i'm assuming you have much more than 100k in liquid. maybe your buying it for your spoiled kid at 100k but other than that case, could you imagine someone older and successful wanting to buy a 1M cause its rare? lol i can't, if i had that much money and i wanted an iconic BMW, i would rather buy a garage queen e30 in 10+ years at 100k than a 1M at 100k and enjoy the heck out of it

some garage queens might sell for quite high but honestly why bother saving your car like that, just go out and enjoy your 1M. if you want the money, wouldn't it be way easier to go out and make more and worry less about whether our 50k +/- 20k cars go up or not (not that a little speculation isn't fun, im just worried there are owners out there not enjoying their rides!)? thats literally like having a catch of a girlfriend, rarely making love/spending quality time together, and then just letting him/her go after 10+ years together so she can get together with another man LOL. thats just tragic, don't do that guys LOL

anywayz.. sorry for the long rant guys, as driving is such a huge part of my life, GimmeanM, your question and observations on the 1M vs e46 were something i've really been struggling with ever since i picked up the 1M and it was really cathartic for me to drop my thoughts onto a post, albeit this is probably going to hurt when i wake early tomorrow for work lawls. anyways, hope to eventually meet with some of you 1M/BMW folks, anyone that truly appreciates driving and cars is already a friend in my book, again welcome to the club GimmeanM

oh and p.s.: i'm actually surprised chris harris said he'd prefer a 1M to a M3 CSL, maybe cause the CSL didn't come in a manual? if so then i understand, but couldn't you just swap the trans for a manual one? *this is probably just my e46 bias, as one of the all time bmw greats, screaming its insecurities

edit: or you know what, has anyone tried working the internals of a N54 to make it rev higher?

Last edited by digwm1; 03-10-2017 at 04:56 AM..
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      03-10-2017, 11:25 AM   #8
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Hey, this is funny cause for the first time I got to drive an e46 M3 manual this past weekend. I have to say I agree with most of what you're saying about the e46 M3, but to me the M1 is not that much of a let down as you describe. I'm thinking the hype has more to do with your let down than the actual driving experience. I'm also a new owner of the 1M and my initial drive didn't blow me away as I was expecting, but as I drove it more I started to appreciate it for what it is. To me it's not a race car, its a fun car that's unique with its own character. The e46 M3 is a fantastic car that can't be duplicated anymore because of EPA, safety, technology, etc requirements and advancements. With that said I wouldn't consider the 1M a replacement for the e46 M3 because if you look at it that way you will always be disappointed. Just like the e46 M3 should not be viewed as a replacement for the 1M cause again you will be disappointed. Thy're two different cars and different characteristics. I think if you approach it that way you might find happiness with both cars in you stable.
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      03-10-2017, 11:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetCredShifter View Post
I just recently got a 1M, and I want to offer my first impressions.

First a little background, I am a long time BMW guy who has owned a E39 530i (auto), E39 M5 (6MT), F10 535i (auto), F30 340i (6MT), and two F80 M3s (one M DCT and one 6MT). I moved away from the brand and owned only Porsches for a while. I missed the BMW brand and bought a used 2013 BMW 135is (6MT), which I really enjoyed but eventually used as a trade-in. That got me back into the BMW camp again, and I recently bought a used E46 M3 (6MT), which has brought back the fun of M cars for me. Yes, I have gone through a lot of cars.

After reading this forum, watching YouTube videos, and hearing about how great the 1M is from a friend who owns one, I really wanted one. Most posts, videos, and conversations emphasized how great the car is drive and feels special as well as its ability to hold value due to its relative scarcity and potential to increase in value. I was a little skeptical because I am one of those guys who believes a M car is more than just a chasis, but also needsa M engine that starts with the letter S. I always agreed that the car will hold value relatively well due to the positive reviews and scarcity. However I was skeptical that car will increase in value because I was not convinced that the car has a great story other than scarcity.

I had the opportunity to buy one, so I did. I took it out for the weekend as well as my E46 M3 for comparison. Here are my first impressions and they may change, but I find that they usually do not for me.

The E46 M3 is much better and feels more special to me. It has timeless exterior looks. It is just the right size both outside and inside. My car is 100% stock and once I get the revs well above 3500 RPM, the sound from the engine and exhaust is glorious all the way to redline. The handling in the car is superb. The car still feels fast and special even though it is a 12 year old car. It is truly the definition of what a M car should be; a great naturally aspirated inline 6 M engine (S54), a proper 6MT in the middle, and power going to the rear wheels. The hydraulic steering just feels great and gives great feedback. Everything feels analog and depends on me. It had the classic four gauges with the classic BMW M yellow lighting at night. Very little nannies in the way and no hill assist, pumped in sounds, etc. And the response from pushing in the Sport button makes the car get up and go.

Then I drove the 1M. Immediately, I feel like I am driving a SUV since the E46 M3 drives low and the seat on the 1M feels high, which was a similar feeling to the 135is. After a while I get used to the feeling and enjoy the drive. I went four years driving BMWs and Porsches with electric steering, so, when I got my 135is, I forgot how great hydraulic steering is. I heard great things about the steering in the 1M, so I was expected something special. It is good, but I do not think is any better than my E46 M3, which I think is better. I made sure to use the M button, but it did not feel as responsive as the Sport button in the E46 M3. Where it does outshine my E46 M3 is the the shifter. The E46 M3 has the classic gooseneck shifter with the long throws. The throws in the 1M are perfect. However, the car is not the fun high revving car like the E46 M3. The engine and exhaust are relatively silent and do not feel special at all. The exhaust on the 135is was much better. I guess a tuned N54 engine, even if done by BMW M, is not as great a true S designation engine. I am in the naturally aspirated camp over the turbo camp,but I still felt the S55 in the F80 M3 was special I do not think the car handles as well as the E46 M3. I am relatively disappointed. I tried driving it again last night, and it drove great and was fun, but then I took the E46 M3 out for a spin, and my initial impressions came back. I know it was the first initial drives of the car, and Spring, Summer, and Fall are still not here, but I hope this car grows on me and I come to enjoy it. It is more fun than the F80 M3 because smaller cars are usually more fun.

Did anybody else have this initial first impression and the car grew on them? I plan on holding it. I guess the the relative scarcity will mean I will not get hurt too bad if I ever sell it. I am not trying to rain on anyone's parade; I am just giving my story.

I also do not understand why people will think this car will double in value. Outside of scarcity, which I believe makes it hold value, what is the story for it doubling? I do not think it is in the same class as the E24 M6 and E28 M5, which at least for Euro spec, have their engines derived from the first M car, the M1. The E30 M3 is associated with actual motorsports such as DTM racing and rally cars. When I think of them, I picture Warsteiner and Bastos liveries as well as the S14 engine and its great handling. BMW M was at its best when it developed the engine for the McLaren F1, which won Le Mans in 1995. And the work from that development found its way into the development of the E39 M5 (S62) and E46 M3 (S54) engines. Both of those cars have timeless exteriors and the subtle looks of a BMW M car. as opposed to the in-your-face aggressiveness of today's M car. I know these cars are mass produced, but can anyone convince me that a tuned N54 engine is in the same league as these great M cars? It seems like what makes the 1M a great car to drive are the parts it borrows from the E9X M3. Is that a story for it to double in value? I doubt it.

well the 135IS comes with PPK & PE so that's why it sounds better than the 1m.

The 1m is just a basic n54 if I'm not mistaken. Sounds like you are in love with the e46.
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      03-10-2017, 12:22 PM   #10
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I had an S54 Z4M Coupe and the only thing I liked better about that car was the engine sound and the looks I got while driving it. I only sold it because I have a 3 year old and wanted a back seat (even as a third car, I found the lack of a back seat annoying). When I acquire additional garage space I plan to buy another Z4M just for that S54 engine! With that said, I do love the low end power of the 1M and I would take the 1M over an E46 M3/Z4M any day of the week.

The subframe issues of the E46 alone would scare the hell out of me. I'm told to stay away from any E46 M3 prior to 2004. After that, I would only want a ZCP which of course are extremely rare.
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      03-10-2017, 01:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etr2016 View Post

The subframe issues of the E46 alone would scare the hell out of me. I'm told to stay away from any E46 M3 prior to 2004. After that, I would only want a ZCP which of course are extremely rare.
I have never actually driven an E46 M3, although I considered buying one several times. I could never find one for sale at a reasonable distance (for me that would be from California to Colorado, W to E) that was reasonably priced and not severely molested.

My Z3M Coupe doesn't have the coveted S54 engine, which not so coincidentally is more common with "rear subframe dissolution" in the Z3 models also.

My major issue with the original post in this thread is that unless you are tracking one of the vehicles discussed, even a "lowly" 135i is a hell of a great street car, with terrific driver feedback, and enough acceleration for any normal street or driving road situation. You can literally pass anything you will ever encounter in normal driving in a few seconds. The steering feedback is great. To call the hydraulic steering in any E82/E88 1-Series car lacking is really to have no perspective on what horrible steering feedback more modern cars from virtually every manufacturer provides.

Perfect, no, the 1-Series cars even the 1M are not perfect. But damn good and never to be seen again in a modern car is the reality.
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      03-10-2017, 01:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etr2016 View Post
I had an S54 Z4M Coupe and the only thing I liked better about that car was the engine sound and the looks I got while driving it. I only sold it because I have a 3 year old and wanted a back seat (even as a third car, I found the lack of a back seat annoying). When I acquire additional garage space I plan to buy another Z4M just for that S54 engine! With that said, I do love the low end power of the 1M and I would take the 1M over an E46 M3/Z4M any day of the week.

The subframe issues of the E46 alone would scare the hell out of me. I'm told to stay away from any E46 M3 prior to 2004. After that, I would only want a ZCP which of course are extremely rare.
In my understanding the big three concerns for the E46 M3 are:

1: Rear Floor, commonly referred to as the rear subframe, but technically incorrect as it is the spot welds on the floor surrounding the bushing mounting points for the rear subframe that are know to fail causing the floor to separate. There is a two part hard setting foam that can be injected into the cavity in the floor (this was BMW's fix for the early cars) or aftermarket companies that make weld on steel reinforcement plates. Later year and well cared for cars are better here. Mine shows none of the symptom cracks.

2: Rod bearings, same ol same ol story here. Monitoring mine with Blackstone oil analysis.

3: VANOS, two fold: the intake and exhaust cam bolts backing out due to under torquing at factory (most have been replaced as part of a recall) and secondly the "activating tabs" or whatever they are called have been known to shear of. This failure is evident via a metallic rattle usually starting a 3k rpm. This is cured with aftermarket rebuild kits like Besian (sp?)

Yes, it is a higher maintenance car, but they are getting old, so it's to be expected.
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      03-10-2017, 02:29 PM   #13
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Did the OP not test drive before buying?

Despite all the YouTube videos and reviews you checked out, sounds like you kind of missed the whole point of the car.

Edit: hope you enjoy it more after hitting up the back roads!
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      03-10-2017, 05:22 PM   #14
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I found every one of your impressions way off. There is NOTHING my E46 M3 does better than the 1M.

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      03-10-2017, 06:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by redux View Post
The 1m isn't for everyone. It's not particularly great at anything besides making the driver have a laugh. Sell it and move on.
I think that is too early. It is only early March. I still have not driven it on my favorite backroads. As I said in my post, Spring, Summer, and Fall are still to come. I hope my first impression is not my last.
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      03-10-2017, 06:34 PM   #16
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I've got an S54-powered E36 M Roadster and I prefer the 1M. Push the M button and mash the throttle. You'll become s convert.
One of us...one of us...gooble gobble gooble gobble...
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      03-10-2017, 06:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee Pee View Post
I've got an S54-powered E36 M Roadster and I prefer the 1M. Push the M button and mash the throttle. You'll become s convert.
One of us...one of us...gooble gobble gooble gobble...
the torque is definitely awesome
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      03-10-2017, 07:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmoney135i View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetCredShifter View Post
I just recently got a 1M, and I want to offer my first impressions.

First a little background, I am a long time BMW guy who has owned a E39 530i (auto), E39 M5 (6MT), F10 535i (auto), F30 340i (6MT), and two F80 M3s (one M DCT and one 6MT). I moved away from the brand and owned only Porsches for a while. I missed the BMW brand and bought a used 2013 BMW 135is (6MT), which I really enjoyed but eventually used as a trade-in. That got me back into the BMW camp again, and I recently bought a used E46 M3 (6MT), which has brought back the fun of M cars for me. Yes, I have gone through a lot of cars.

After reading this forum, watching YouTube videos, and hearing about how great the 1M is from a friend who owns one, I really wanted one. Most posts, videos, and conversations emphasized how great the car is drive and feels special as well as its ability to hold value due to its relative scarcity and potential to increase in value. I was a little skeptical because I am one of those guys who believes a M car is more than just a chasis, but also needsa M engine that starts with the letter S. I always agreed that the car will hold value relatively well due to the positive reviews and scarcity. However I was skeptical that car will increase in value because I was not convinced that the car has a great story other than scarcity.

I had the opportunity to buy one, so I did. I took it out for the weekend as well as my E46 M3 for comparison. Here are my first impressions and they may change, but I find that they usually do not for me.

The E46 M3 is much better and feels more special to me. It has timeless exterior looks. It is just the right size both outside and inside. My car is 100% stock and once I get the revs well above 3500 RPM, the sound from the engine and exhaust is glorious all the way to redline. The handling in the car is superb. The car still feels fast and special even though it is a 12 year old car. It is truly the definition of what a M car should be; a great naturally aspirated inline 6 M engine (S54), a proper 6MT in the middle, and power going to the rear wheels. The hydraulic steering just feels great and gives great feedback. Everything feels analog and depends on me. It had the classic four gauges with the classic BMW M yellow lighting at night. Very little nannies in the way and no hill assist, pumped in sounds, etc. And the response from pushing in the Sport button makes the car get up and go.

Then I drove the 1M. Immediately, I feel like I am driving a SUV since the E46 M3 drives low and the seat on the 1M feels high, which was a similar feeling to the 135is. After a while I get used to the feeling and enjoy the drive. I went four years driving BMWs and Porsches with electric steering, so, when I got my 135is, I forgot how great hydraulic steering is. I heard great things about the steering in the 1M, so I was expected something special. It is good, but I do not think is any better than my E46 M3, which I think is better. I made sure to use the M button, but it did not feel as responsive as the Sport button in the E46 M3. Where it does outshine my E46 M3 is the the shifter. The E46 M3 has the classic gooseneck shifter with the long throws. The throws in the 1M are perfect. However, the car is not the fun high revving car like the E46 M3. The engine and exhaust are relatively silent and do not feel special at all. The exhaust on the 135is was much better. I guess a tuned N54 engine, even if done by BMW M, is not as great a true S designation engine. I am in the naturally aspirated camp over the turbo camp,but I still felt the S55 in the F80 M3 was special I do not think the car handles as well as the E46 M3. I am relatively disappointed. I tried driving it again last night, and it drove great and was fun, but then I took the E46 M3 out for a spin, and my initial impressions came back. I know it was the first initial drives of the car, and Spring, Summer, and Fall are still not here, but I hope this car grows on me and I come to enjoy it. It is more fun than the F80 M3 because smaller cars are usually more fun.

Did anybody else have this initial first impression and the car grew on them? I plan on holding it. I guess the the relative scarcity will mean I will not get hurt too bad if I ever sell it. I am not trying to rain on anyone's parade; I am just giving my story.

I also do not understand why people will think this car will double in value. Outside of scarcity, which I believe makes it hold value, what is the story for it doubling? I do not think it is in the same class as the E24 M6 and E28 M5, which at least for Euro spec, have their engines derived from the first M car, the M1. The E30 M3 is associated with actual motorsports such as DTM racing and rally cars. When I think of them, I picture Warsteiner and Bastos liveries as well as the S14 engine and its great handling. BMW M was at its best when it developed the engine for the McLaren F1, which won Le Mans in 1995. And the work from that development found its way into the development of the E39 M5 (S62) and E46 M3 (S54) engines. Both of those cars have timeless exteriors and the subtle looks of a BMW M car. as opposed to the in-your-face aggressiveness of today's M car. I know these cars are mass produced, but can anyone convince me that a tuned N54 engine is in the same league as these great M cars? It seems like what makes the 1M a great car to drive are the parts it borrows from the E9X M3. Is that a story for it to double in value? I doubt it.

well the 135IS comes with PPK & PE so that's why it sounds better than the 1m.

The 1m is just a basic n54 if I'm not mistaken. Sounds like you are in love with the e46.
N54T -it has a few different intervals (rings, pistons maybe) and I believe a lightened fly wheel. Can't recall what else as I've had a few pints

To the OP and others...Get rid of the exhaust, seats, some proper dialed in suspension and a real tune; then learn to drive it w/ the nannies off -you might then be a little more jolly about it will at least challenge you. Much more fun to put on the edge and rewarding. Have no car envy whatsoever as nothing really compares for the $$$

I do have love for the E46, however I just prefer it guted and caged.

(I will be posting a Maddad midpipe for sale soon if interested just reach out)

Good thread and comments
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      03-10-2017, 07:31 PM   #19
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Another possibility is that the 1M in question could benefit from some servicing, such as, perhaps, walnut blasting.
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      03-10-2017, 07:35 PM   #20
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Reply to All

Thanks to all for the comments. I hope I can address some of the issues raised. I am not saying the 1M stinks. I just gave my first impressions and compared it to another M car that I bought recently.

I am glad to see other members also have a passion for the 1M and the other cars from the F82 era as well as the E46 era. It seems like some still think the 1M is better and others can see my point that the E46 M3 may be more enjoyable.

I also never said that the hydraulic steering on the 1M was awful. I actually praised the hydraulic steering on the 135is after my last few BMWs and Porsches came with electric steering. I just said that I do not think it is any better than the E46 M3, which I prefer more.

I did not test drive the car first. But neither did any of the original owners of the 1M who were lucky enough to get an allocation when it first came out. However, I did own a beautiful Le Mans Blue 135 is, which I miss very much. Given the scarcity of the car, it does not always pop up at a local BMW dealer, and if it did, you might not be able to get a test drive.

I am glad that most owners had the WOW moment from the first time they drove the cart. I did not. That does not mean that I hate the car. It just means that I was expecting a WOW moment after owning a 135is and getting back into BMW M cars iwth the E46 M3. It may come, or it may not.

I know people like to rag on old M cars becaus of know issues. With the E46 M3, it is the rod bearings, subframe mounts, and VANOS. My car is a 2005, and I do not have those issues. It has only 55K miles and I will stay on top it. Every great car has issues. The N54 does too. My friend was reminded of that when he was driving back from Vermont in his E61 Touring and his high pressure fuel pump went out on him a few weeks back. I would not be scared off from buying either a E46 M3 or a 1M bacuase of known issues. One just has to be prepared to deal with them and have the extra cash.

I am a big fan of Chris Harris. His purchase of the 1M, which coincided with my friend's purchase of his 1M, got me interested in looking into the car. Plus I am also a big fan of Steve Sutcliffe. He is also a big fan of Porsches, like Chris Harris, as well as the 1M. However, Chris Harris also is a fan of the F80 M3, and not all share his opinion of that car. I bought my first F80 with M DCT because he said get it with the M DCT. I was surprised that he did not say the manual. I wish I did not listen to him because I eventually got rid of it for the the manual. I too had digwm1's reaction to GimmeanM posting of Chris Harris's response to E46 CSL or 1M. Chris Harris tweeted on September 3, 2013 the question "Has anyone ever converted an E46 M3 CSL from SMG to stick?" Knowing his inclinations for the stick, he may have had a different answer if it came in stick. He also said in an interview with Mike Spinelli that if one wanted the last great analog car, then get an E46 M3. That being said I know that his praise for the 1M does speak volumes, and I am not giving up on it yet.

In the end, it may be that they are both great cars, and it does not have to be an either/or issue at all. It can be both are great cars, but some prefer the E46 M3 while other prefer the 1M.

Maybe it is an age issue as well. Younger guys prefer low end torque and older guys prefer to rev their engines. I got my first BMW during what I consider the Golden Age when the E38 was the 7 series, the E39 was the 5 series, and the E46 was the 3 series. All great cars and most will concede that they all might be the pinnacle of their respective generations. When I bought my first BMW, all the cars were rear wheel drive, and driving performance came before luxury and technology and were not as big as they are today. The 1M, and the 1 Series for that matter, was a return to that ethos.


To conclude, thanks for all the comments and your passion for the 1M and/or the E46 M3. Enjoy the upcoming driving season!

One last comment for hot-j. There is SOMETHING that your E46 M3 does better than your 1M, and I doubt you will think my impression is way off . It looks better with that Leguna Seca Blue color.
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      03-10-2017, 07:48 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by StreetCredShifter View Post

One last comment for hot-j. There is SOMETHING that your E46 M3 does better than your 1M, and I doubt you will think my impression is way off . It looks better with that Leguna Seca Blue color.
You got me there. I WISH the 1M came in LSB.
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      03-10-2017, 08:49 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetCredShifter View Post
Thanks to all for the comments. I hope I can address some of the issues raised. I am not saying the 1M stinks. I just gave my first impressions and compared it to another M car that I bought recently.

I am glad to see other members also have a passion for the 1M and the other cars from the F82 era as well as the E46 era. It seems like some still think the 1M is better and others can see my point that the E46 M3 may be more enjoyable.

I also never said that the hydraulic steering on the 1M was awful. I actually praised the hydraulic steering on the 135is after my last few BMWs and Porsches came with electric steering. I just said that I do not think it is any better than the E46 M3, which I prefer more.

I did not test drive the car first. But neither did any of the original owners of the 1M who were lucky enough to get an allocation when it first came out. However, I did own a beautiful Le Mans Blue 135 is, which I miss very much. Given the scarcity of the car, it does not always pop up at a local BMW dealer, and if it did, you might not be able to get a test drive.

I am glad that most owners had the WOW moment from the first time they drove the cart. I did not. That does not mean that I hate the car. It just means that I was expecting a WOW moment after owning a 135is and getting back into BMW M cars iwth the E46 M3. It may come, or it may not.

I know people like to rag on old M cars becaus of know issues. With the E46 M3, it is the rod bearings, subframe mounts, and VANOS. My car is a 2005, and I do not have those issues. It has only 55K miles and I will stay on top it. Every great car has issues. The N54 does too. My friend was reminded of that when he was driving back from Vermont in his E61 Touring and his high pressure fuel pump went out on him a few weeks back. I would not be scared off from buying either a E46 M3 or a 1M bacuase of known issues. One just has to be prepared to deal with them and have the extra cash.

I am a big fan of Chris Harris. His purchase of the 1M, which coincided with my friend's purchase of his 1M, got me interested in looking into the car. Plus I am also a big fan of Steve Sutcliffe. He is also a big fan of Porsches, like Chris Harris, as well as the 1M. However, Chris Harris also is a fan of the F80 M3, and not all share his opinion of that car. I bought my first F80 with M DCT because he said get it with the M DCT. I was surprised that he did not say the manual. I wish I did not listen to him because I eventually got rid of it for the the manual. I too had digwm1's reaction to GimmeanM posting of Chris Harris's response to E46 CSL or 1M. Chris Harris tweeted on September 3, 2013 the question "Has anyone ever converted an E46 M3 CSL from SMG to stick?" Knowing his inclinations for the stick, he may have had a different answer if it came in stick. He also said in an interview with Mike Spinelli that if one wanted the last great analog car, then get an E46 M3. That being said I know that his praise for the 1M does speak volumes, and I am not giving up on it yet.

In the end, it may be that they are both great cars, and it does not have to be an either/or issue at all. It can be both are great cars, but some prefer the E46 M3 while other prefer the 1M.

Maybe it is an age issue as well. Younger guys prefer low end torque and older guys prefer to rev their engines. I got my first BMW during what I consider the Golden Age when the E38 was the 7 series, the E39 was the 5 series, and the E46 was the 3 series. All great cars and most will concede that they all might be the pinnacle of their respective generations. When I bought my first BMW, all the cars were rear wheel drive, and driving performance came before luxury and technology and were not as big as they are today. The 1M, and the 1 Series for that matter, was a return to that ethos.


To conclude, thanks for all the comments and your passion for the 1M and/or the E46 M3. Enjoy the upcoming driving season!

One last comment for hot-j. There is SOMETHING that your E46 M3 does better than your 1M, and I doubt you will think my impression is way off . It looks better with that Leguna Seca Blue color.
That's exactly what this forum is for. I had similar puzzlement when all the press said there was no lag in the 1M and when I drove it, it had lag. I had to post on here asking if my 1M was the only one with lag? : )

The hype and price has skewed the expectations. But definitely, if you get a chance to drive a 1 series with manual seats, you will see that you have more range and choice on seating position. The motors and memory are nice but the high position feels a little awkward to me also. It sounds like you have money to play with. You might even considering finding a manual seat in good condition and bolting it in? I saw someone at cars and coffee here with a 135i with manual e90 M3 seats also. I didn't ask how low those go but I figure they also go lower. Welcome to the club and best wishes!
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