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Discussion Starter #1
I read most of the articles in the "Online Reviews" thread, and some of them indicate that the ride is surprisingly compliant, while at least one mentioned that the ride was punishing/not suitable for daily use. So, can the members here comment on the ride quality of the MS3?

I ask because local dealers won't allow a test drive here without filling out the paperwork first, and even then it'll only be a "spin around the block," which I doubt will be long enough to get a good impression.

By way of comparison, I currently have a 2001 Z3 coupe, and am definitely looking for something a little more comfortable on all the bad pavement in my area.

Thanks in advance.
 

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[quote author=Recluse link=topic=65907.msg1129290#msg1129290 date=1167763080]
By way of comparison, I currently have a 2001 Z3 coupe, and am definitely looking for something a little more comfortable on all the bad pavement in my area.

Thanks in advance.
[/quote]

You'll miss your Z3 Coupe.
 

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[quote author=franck link=topic=65907.msg1129309#msg1129309 date=1167763821]
Ride quality is very comfortable for daily driving.
[/quote]

Depends very much on the type of roads you typically use. For roads in good condition, ride is fine. On bumpy, back country roads it is ROUGH! I doubt this is any smoother than the Z3, maybe a little worse....
 

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If you are that concernd, I would say with the right wheel/tire setup, the MS3 can be quite confortable. Right now I have my winter set on (215/50/17) and it drastically improves comfort. You of course will be trading away performance but, I am sure you are aware of that.
 

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its a little bumpy compared to the regular, but not bad.

in regards to your dealer, that is total BS! You may want to check into it, but I have been told and have read, that they cannot run your credit without your concent. If they are going to pull that kind of crap, I am not sure I would want to buy from them anyways. No telling what else they would try to do. I would contact mazda.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies so far. :) Some comments....

-I probably will miss my Z3, no matter what I get, and I wish I could have two cars. Still and all, it'd be nice to go grocery shopping only once a week, or drive my girlfriend AND her best friend home, or walk upright after a long drive.... ;)

-The road conditions I usually experience are pretty bad. I live in San Francisco, and the roads are totally trashed. The constant bouncing, jittering, and jostling in the Z3 is getting old (as am I :p), and starting to take a toll on my neck and back.

-On the dealership, from what I gather, they want me to sit down, negotiate a value on my trade, do all the paperwork, and presumably give my permission to run a credit check before they will allow a test drive. I guess they figure that's OK, since they are the only dealership in the Bay Area that is not charging a markup of $2000+.

So far, I'm getting the impression that the ride on the MS3 is a little on the rough side over uneven pavement, so it may not be the car for me...... :(
 

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I love the ride quality however this may not be the car for you if a soft ride is important as everything else is compromised somewhat for speed and handling.
 

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[quote author=Recluse link=topic=65907.msg1129821#msg1129821 date=1167779708]
Thanks for the replies so far. :) -The road conditions I usually experience are pretty bad. I live in San Francisco, and the roads are totally trashed. The constant bouncing, jittering, and jostling in the Z3 is getting old (as am I :p), and starting to take a toll on my neck and back.

[/quote]

Check out the V.W. GTi, the Audi A3, and the Volvo C30 (probably at Volvo dealers come July).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
[quote author=Betelgeuse link=topic=65907.msg1129834#msg1129834 date=1167780354]
I love the ride quality however this may not be the car for you if a soft ride is important as everything else is compromised somewhat for speed and handling.
[/quote]

I'm not so much looking for "soft" as I am "less harsh," if that makes any sense. My car before the Z3 was a 2003 Accord LX-V6, which was WAY too soft and floaty. If, on the firmness scale, the Accord was a 5, and the Z3 is a 9, I guess I'm looking for a 7 or an 8.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
[quote author=Bezor link=topic=65907.msg1129868#msg1129868 date=1167781720]
[quote author=Recluse link=topic=65907.msg1129821#msg1129821 date=1167779708]
Thanks for the replies so far. :) -The road conditions I usually experience are pretty bad. I live in San Francisco, and the roads are totally trashed. The constant bouncing, jittering, and jostling in the Z3 is getting old (as am I :p), and starting to take a toll on my neck and back.

[/quote]

Check out the V.W. GTi, the Audi A3, and the Volvo C30 (probably at Volvo dealers come July).
[/quote]

I actually drove the VW (with the 18" wheels), and thought the ride was at the upper limit of acceptable. Is the MS3 harsher than that?

As a sidenote, I think the C30 looks awesome.....just not sure I can wait until July.
 

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[quote author=Recluse link=topic=65907.msg1129870#msg1129870 date=1167781792]
[quote author=Betelgeuse link=topic=65907.msg1129834#msg1129834 date=1167780354]
I love the ride quality however this may not be the car for you if a soft ride is important as everything else is compromised somewhat for speed and handling.
[/quote]

I'm not so much looking for "soft" as I am "less harsh," if that makes any sense. My car before the Z3 was a 2003 Accord LX-V6, which was WAY too soft and floaty. If, on the firmness scale, the Accord was a 5, and the Z3 is a 9, I guess I'm looking for a 7 or an 8.
[/quote]

You need to test drive the car. Everyone will have a different opinion on what is harsh or soft. For the sake of making the right decision, it's probably worth it to venture out to another dealer that's willing to let you drive the car. If you act hastily, you might pick up something you'll regret owning.
 

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i don't think the ride is too stiff, its definatley meant as a daily driver. the roads in PA aren't in the greatest shape, but its still more than tolerable. the seats are comfortable and supportive too
 

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The suspension is not as stiff as I might have expected.
I doubt that you will be unhappy with it in that regard.
 

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people who comment that the suspenion is stiff may not have a good comparison to base their opinion. my friend drives a completely stock Z3 and comparing the two, the ms3 is more compliant, especially over things like pot holes and speed bumps.
there is little doubt that it is a more comfortable ride, especially for rides longer than 30 mins.
I love the way the steering responds in my friends car and I love the perks from driving a FR car, but considering its size I wouldnt consider owning one for myself.
 

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[quote author=Recluse link=topic=65907.msg1129875#msg1129875 date=1167781996]
I actually drove the VW (with the 18" wheels), and thought the ride was at the upper limit of acceptable. Is the MS3 harsher than that?
[/quote]

yes, but only just. it's mainly the low profile 18" tires which make it harsh. get higher profile 17" or 16" and it'll cushion the ride more.
 

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[quote author=Recluse link=topic=65907.msg1129875#msg1129875 date=1167781996]
[quote author=Bezor link=topic=65907.msg1129868#msg1129868 date=1167781720]
[quote author=Recluse link=topic=65907.msg1129821#msg1129821 date=1167779708]
Thanks for the replies so far. :) -The road conditions I usually experience are pretty bad. I live in San Francisco, and the roads are totally trashed. The constant bouncing, jittering, and jostling in the Z3 is getting old (as am I :p), and starting to take a toll on my neck and back.

[/quote]

Check out the V.W. GTi, the Audi A3, and the Volvo C30 (probably at Volvo dealers come July).
[/quote]

I actually drove the VW (with the 18" wheels), and thought the ride was at the upper limit of acceptable. Is the MS3 harsher than that?

As a sidenote, I think the C30 looks awesome.....just not sure I can wait until July.
[/quote]

The C30 is going to rock some bells.
The MS3 harsh? Meh, not to me. Tho I was coming from a '95M Miata with a 1.5 inch drop on AGX 8-way adjustables set at 3 in front and 2 in the rear on 16" rims. Yeah, it was a corner machine alright. Mt. Hamilton east of S.J. was a frequent drive for me.

Right now I'm in an A3 with Sport suspension on 17" rims. I also have a non-sport E46 BWM which intially has more understeer than a MS3, but has much better overall control and less impact harshness over pot holes compared to the MS3.

I thought the MS3 was a good compromise.
 

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i dunno what some of you are thinking but its great, very smoothe and comfortable, and great when ya need an adrenaline boost :) haha thus the wild child
 

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I've seen many other cars more comfy than M3, but I have it and I'm happy with it's quality. Yes, it could be more comfortable, if speaking about bumpy roads, and yes the sound isolation is not very good, but that's a compact class car. And as a compact, this car is the best you can get.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the replies, everyone. Definitely sounds like it's worth checking out...just need to find a dealer that is giving test drives without the BS..... :x
 
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