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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am considering an E46 M3 for a new daily and can't decide between a 6spd and an SMG.

I have never owned a car that didn't have a third pedal, but I can't seem to get the paddle shifters out of my head. Having driven a few, I would say it left something to be desired, but everyone I have talked to says you really have to own one to really fall in love with it.

So has anyone ever owned one, thoughts?
 

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This debate can get ugly pretty fast, but I imagine we can keep it civilized on this site.

I like mine a lot. I did not like the jerkyness the first few times I drove it, but once I learned how to shift it, it became very smooth. Lifting off the accelerator during upshifts and staying on the accelerator during downshifts gives me the best results. You develop you own method after driving one for a while and know what to do at certain speeds to keep things smooth.

That being said I would hesitate buying a used SMG because there can be a lot of problems if it was abused. I always have followed the warm up procedure listed in the manual and it has performed flawlessly. My car only hit 9k miles today though.
 

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Six Speed!!!
 

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I have owned both......

My previous E46 M3 was six speed. At first I was worried about getting the SMG version because of what was said on other forums (pump malfunctions, jerky shifts). But the cleanest one I found was SMG so that made my decision for me.

For everyday driving in traffic you really appreciate auto mode. Having owned my car a few months now I can say I have grown to love SMG. It does have some rough times (jerks) like ///M3TZ said. But once you get use to it, it becomes perfect. It all boils down to how you drive it. Get use to it and i'm sure you will love it. The SMG memory can be reset as well so it can learn your driving style. After owning both vehicles, I can say I don't miss the third pedal. Own and you will grow to love and appreciate it just like I did.

///M3TZ, I laughed when I read your post because I have seen this topic get very heated on other forums. The funny thing is, the almighty CSL only came SMG
 

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Without the DSC/TCS, the SMG shifts at .45 milliseconds. I can't quote on how fast a human can shift through the gears....it really depends on how fast they clutch, shift, gas (etc.)

SMG is the same tranny as the 6 speed, only with an Hydroloic clutch and like Prestige said...the auto mode is a godsend in bumper to bumper traffic.
 

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Got to love how this site can handle even the most controversial of car topics :lol:

But in all seriousness, I forgot to mention that I have never had an SMG owner tell me they would rather have a 6MT. I have had 6MT owners drive my car and say they want SMG though.
 

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I drove an e46 m3Cab with a 6spd for 65K miles... Loved the car, but did have tranny issues. Looking back, I was young and just punished the car every day of its life. It was always under warranty.

Now I have an m6 with an MT also. There are many a days when I wish I had opted for SMG in this car. SMG will always be faster in a straight line.

Really depends on personal preference....
 

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If you want to drive get the 6 speed. If you want to be driven buy the other thing.
 

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Without the DSC/TCS, the SMG shifts at .45 milliseconds. I can't quote on how fast a human can shift through the gears....it really depends on how fast they clutch, shift, gas (etc.)

SMG is the same tranny as the 6 speed, only with an Hydroloic clutch and like Prestige said...the auto mode is a godsend in bumper to bumper traffic.

Typically a VERY FAST manual shift takes around .3 to .4 of a seconds. The SMG is THOUSANDS OF TIMES FASTER.

I too am a clutch guy. Every single car I have owned has had one. But recently Ive started to get some seat time with these "dual clutch" gear boxes. Specifically the Porsche PDK and Audi DSG and they really are great. Especially the PDK. I actually found myself being able to control the up and down shifts with the throttle and brake pedals and eventually was barely even touching the paddles. Im guessing this is because like the BMW the car learns how you are driving.
 

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Here is are a view very important questions for you.

Does the vehicle have a warranty?

Have you researched estimated up-keep costs associated with a E46 M3?

If so, have you seen the cost for labor and SMG pump replacement?


With that being said. You can't go wrong either way. I chose an SMG car over a 6sp. Some days I regret not having a 3rd pedal. Other days I don't know why I would ever want a 6speed.

Rate of failure... It is hit or miss. The pumps and relays tend to go around 80k (average) I have had ZERO issues with mine. Although I do not beat on the car daily. I think the wear comes quicker depending on how aggressive the driver tends to be. Lots of reports of failure in Humid/Hot climates.


If you do decide on going with the SMG car with plans to mod. Look into getting the SMG flash from ESS Tuning. I had this recently done and it feels like a completely new trans. Faster shifts in S4-S5-S6 but also smoother. Very similar to the CSL software.


If you have any questions. Feel free to PM me.
 

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Here is are a view very important questions for you.

Does the vehicle have a warranty?

Have you researched estimated up-keep costs associated with a E46 M3?

If so, have you seen the cost for labor and SMG pump replacement?


With that being said. You can't go wrong either way. I chose an SMG car over a 6sp. Some days I regret not having a 3rd pedal. Other days I don't know why I would ever want a 6speed.

Rate of failure... It is hit or miss. The pumps and relays tend to go around 80k (average) I have had ZERO issues with mine. Although I do not beat on the car daily. I think the wear comes quicker depending on how aggressive the driver tends to be. Lots of reports of failure in Humid/Hot climates.


If you do decide on going with the SMG car with plans to mod. Look into getting the SMG flash from ESS Tuning. I had this recently done and it feels like a completely new trans. Faster shifts in S4-S5-S6 but also smoother. Very similar to the CSL software.


If you have any questions. Feel free to PM me.
I've been wanting that ESS software for a while, just didn't really know if it was worth the price. I'd love to see a video of it shifting sometime, even if it's just from a cell phone.
 

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I've always been a 6MT guy. Now, I drive an E46 M3 SMG, and I can chime in on a few things. First, if your having the itch too try an SMG out, DO IT. It's going too be very jerky when you get it, but just like a MT, it has quite the learning curve... Once you learn how too drive it, you will LOVE It. Just like previously stated, theres sweet spots, on downshifts, rev matching and staying on your accelerator, you will not even feel the shift, period. Up shifting, there is a certain sweet spot as well, once you learn that transmission and use it for what it's for, it really is a fun ride. I love mine, and if I could do it all over again I'd get the SMG again and again.
 

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It's pretty hit or miss with SMG issues. Fortunately for me, I have had absolutely zero problems!

I absolutely love my SMG! I have the occasional urge for a third pedal but SMG is on a whole other level!
I'd go with SMG!
 

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The SMG has it's advantages...and it's flaws.

If you have lots of stop and go or bumper traffic the SMG might work better for you. But for me, the SMG hasn't really worked out. I'll take a 3rd pedal all day.
 

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Ive driven the E46 M3 SMG a few times. I really loved it.. except it was pretty jerkey at first.. the shifts were really hard.
 
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