BF Poll: The $45K Question


As enthusiasts we are elated that BMW and ///M are creating a product that should in theory get closer to our ideal driver ‘s car- the 1 ///M. Here at BimmerFile we love the concept of this work in progress. Both staff and readers have been following the progress and speculation of this much anticipated model almost with religious fervor. All of the information we have acquired from sources have painted a fairly decent picture of what this future model will bring in terms of performance and how it will be priced somewhere in the mid forty thousand dollar range for a base car.

The pricing makes us wonder a bit as to what demand such a vehicle would have. In the speculated price point there will be many similarly priced cars fulfilling the same needs. Some of these competitors will either be new or slightly used. That begs the question: What would you buy for $45k? The model years of the choices in the poll take into account that the 1 series ///M version will not appear stateside until after March of 2011 as a 2012 model year from what we are hearing.

You have $45k burning a hole in your pocket; what would you choose?

View Results

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  • eager2own

    I have never liked comparisons pitting a new car against slightly used cars. The new car is rarely – if ever – going to be the better “value” when someone has already bit the bullet on initial depreciation. In other words, all such comparisons show is that you can get a “better” car if your willing to buy slightly used rather than brand new — well, duh. I understand that these comparisons are presented, because there may be a few individuals in the market who are indeed trying to decide between the new model or buying a used car, but I think that, if you’re really trying to determine if there is a market for this car, you have to limit the comparison to other new cars that will likely be out at that time.

  • I love this comparison. It has little to do with value and everything to do with what you want. I cannot justify a 997 for instance. However I could a sub 50k 1M. Now what if they were the same price? That’s why the question is so interesting.

  • Drill

    We just bought a new E91 in Feb and I own a 2006 MINI so I don’t NEED a new car but I’m still saving up for a 1M. I expect it to have plenty of power but with a lot of fun/feel/driver involvement thrown in for good measure. I test drove the M3 last year and while the power (and God… the SOUND!!) was exhilirating, it lacked that… (hard to explain) “Feel” that I get in my R53 (but OMG… did I mention the SOUND!!) I want a 1M in part because I expect/hope that it will have more of that MINI “feel” with at least some of the power that the M3 has as well as the quality/engineering common to an ///M car. Does any of that make sense?

  • JRobUSC

    someone show me a loaded, low mile 2010 M3 (original MSRP over $70k) that I can get for $45k. Please.

  • Les

    If I had 45 that I was willing to spend on a car, and I was a BMW guy, I would wait for the 1M. It would be like being the first guy to own the original iPhone. Yes, it cost way, way to much, but to owner of the iPhone, it was worth every penny. In the same, I feel like the 1M is worth the wait, even at base trim. It’s not even a subject of status, but getting what you really want.

  • votom808

    It’s a good comparison mix. I voted for the 1M because of those on the list, I think it has the ability to become an instant classic.

    Although it’s an awesome car and I love my e90, I just can’t get over the poor fuel economy of the e90 M3 (not a cost issue, just the principle.)

    As for the Audi TTS, there are some cars (RAV4, MX-5, Rabbit Convertible) that are strictly for ladies, this is one of them.

    The Porsche would be tempting but if I was going to carry the stigma of a Porsche, I would want a classic one.

    Can’t wait for the 1M!

  • jerry fisher

    45k for a low mileage 997 Carrera S…not likely..


  • Evan

    I’d get a 335i M-sport and add some M3 parts.

    Or find the extra cash for an M3 sedan….

  • JonPD

    Lots of lovely choices however I have to say that 1M has caught my attention the most.

  • RobertR

    It is a tough call between the 1M and the used M3. Finding a well cared-for, lightly used M3 can be a great deal. That is a lot of car for 45k. The 1M, though, could be one of those generational benchmarks that are talked about and coveted for years after, as they were a last in their breed as the marque took the model a new (read: larger) direction.

    Commenting on the non-BMWs, I only question the girl car comment. I’ve never understood what makes a Miata a girl car. Is a MGB a girl car? Is a MINI? Obviously, no.

  • lasersailor
  • chas58

    I’m a bit leary of buying a used performance car like the M3, as you rarely really know how it was treated by the previous owner, and BMW’s maintenance plan almost guarantees it wouldn’t have the maintenance done on it that I expect on my cars (including proper break in). It is unusual to find someone who buys a car for a couple of years, but treats it like he is going to keep it for 10+ years.

    Besides, the size of the 1M is more appealing to me as a driver’s car (unless you really need 4 doors of course).

  • Chris

    Good comparisons. There a couple of items that would steer me away from the 1M.

    One of my primary reasons for my purchase of the e92 335i over of the 135i(and it’s not really an excellent one) was that I think the 1 is not a good looking car. Not quite ugly but not as good looking as the e92. Looks are subjective, so to each their own. The 1M will likely still not be to my taste.

    Also, The 1 series just felt like a mishmash of parts and a not so good attempt to make “cheaper” 3, at least to me. The 1M will definitely be an awesome car that improves on the 135i but still not a compelling buy at that price point. Most reports have noted it will have the N55 and not the N54 if I’m not mistaken. This is likely to prevent aftermarket tuning from the N54 community; which will work, at least until the N55 is cracked.

    Don’t forget a low-mileage 2008 335i goes for $35K. Add in $10k worth of engine and suspension mods and a LSD. That’s a fun party also.

    The road to race concept is also compelling and lured me towards the M3 even more so than before. I would take a low mileage e90/e92 before the 1M.

    Another car that anyone should strongly consider for $45K is a slightly used Lotus Elise/SC. If you’re looking for performance and willing to sacrifice the creature comforts that is one hell of a ride.

    My .02.

  • I would pick up a used M6 and have Dinan work his magic on the V10 and suspension.

  • 2008-2009 Porsche Boxster S or Cayaman S, nicely equipped.

  • Micah

    1M provided that legit measures are made to reduce some mass, and it comes in at this price. Very excited to see final spec, and the 1M is in my differential for a car purchase in the next 2 years. Mine will be a “stripper” to keep it as light, simple, and driver focused as possible.

  • JS Yoon

    My father and I have already made plans to purchase the 1///M. That won’t change barring final product is lackluster.

    Only question in our minds is if we should get on the waitlist as some have already.

    This car is going to be very special and rare for BMW lovers and should be a great car for the long haul.

  • I think people are missing the fact that the 1 ///M will be in 2011 (as clearly stated in the post), you can get E90s in the mid $40s now that are two years old, a 997 S can be had for $55k now with low options so in a year they will be worth even less, 2008 GT3s can be had for the same price as a new M3 loaded- just ripped one a hour ago and it was priceless…


  • goat

    Cayman S is this car’s natural competitor from perspective of “driving focused”. But the 1M may be even more special than p-car’s best model (Cayman, NOT 911) if it channels some of what made the e30 M3 so fantastic – and in my opinion the most desireable M car sold to date, despite newer M cars being far faster.

  • Joel

    With European delivery the new car is my pick. This is the biggest reason to buy new over used. It is such a fantastic experience, I can’t imagine buying a new car any other way. If I can’t do European delivery, the hunt for and satisfaction of finding the right used car is half the fun.

  • CCBiggs

    The price point for the 1M seems low. Doesn’t a 2011 135 with decent options (not even fully loaded) cost $45k?

  • Dylan

    I love the E90 M3 but a) one gets the feeling the 1M is going to be a very special M car, perhaps in the way the E30 M3 was, and b) there’s something about owning a brand new car over a “slightly used” example. The ownership experience will be special, especially if you can afford to hold onto it during the years it become a modern classic (i.e. 10+ years)

  • Chris Brake

    ’11 Mustang 5.0. No replacement for displacement plus the 6 spd gets pretty good gas for a car of this performance caliber. Want a car with similar performance for $30k that you won’t feel compelled to sell once the warranty expires? Yeh, right.

  • I’m still hoping the 1///M will be the car for me, but if it’s not, I’ll be purchasing a lightly used e92 ///M3.