• Jun 3, 2008
Car & Driver is a common choice as bathroom reader around Autoblog HQ, though thumbing through the latest issue had us contemplating using the glossy pages for TP. C&D got its hands on Nissan's new GT-R and its development benchmark, the Porsche 911 Turbo. That's great so far, as everyone wants to know how the Nissan stacks up against its bogey. The trouble comes when a BMW M3 gets tossed into the mix. What? The M3 is a hell of a car and it clearly earns its perennial 10-Best status, but it's outgunned and mismatched in this company. Somehow it managed to win a three-way comparo with two supercars anyway.

The explanation given was that the M3 attended as the "voice of reason" and gosh, just happened to be everyone's favorite. It's no great leap to imagine that the smallest, lightest car with sedan lineage would feel lighter on its feet and be a better everyday conveyance than two purpose built supercars. Thanks for the detective work, guys, but we think the M3 is a bit wide of the bullseye at which the GT-R and 911 were aimed. It's long been grumbled that C&D is in cahoots with this automaker or that one (an accusation that's been levied against every one of the big four major auto publications at one point or another), and the outcome of this comparo will surely fan those flames. We call foul on a few levels. The larger issue is the poppycock categories of "Fun to Drive" and the even more preposterous "Gotta Have It Factor" that arguably allow comparison results to be twisted one way or another, but also the reasoning for bringing the M3 knife to a big, turbocharged coupe gunfight is flawed. GT-R and 911 Turbo buyers don't strike us as the type of folks who might cross shop the M3. They want a range-topper, not a segment-pole-sitter.

Here's the real deal - ignoring the noise of the M3, the GT-R spanks the 911 Turbo on the track, while the Porsche feels like a more quality piece (at double the price, it'd better). While both cars sport AWD chassis that vector torque, the Nissan is quicker on its feet and dramaless where the Porsche is swinging wide. Both are a total hoot to drive, but the GT-R team definitely bested its development target as far as raw performance goes. Controversy will undoubtedly sell dead trees, though, and you can't really blame an increasingly irrelevant buff book for trying to find a hook. Take pity - hit the link and share some traffic. Thanks to all our incredulous tipsters.


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  • 124 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      C&D REALLY should have waited for the double clutch M3.

      With some drag slicks or race type tires (michelin pilot sport cup) and real (not watered down) launch control the M3 is 12@120 in the 1/4

      BMW really shortened the gear ratios for acceleration.
      4th now tops out at 120mph. (instead of 140mph)
      Top speed is slightly higher too, and mileage is improved.

      http://www.m3post.com/goodiesforyou/mdctinfo.PDF

      • 6 Years Ago
      "The M3 offers an unparalleled mix of hassle-free livability and performance at a price that undercuts those of the ­Nissan and the Porsche. For that, it wins in our book. We say its performance deficit is made up by the near perfection and sophistication of the rest of the package. And before you think we’ve gone soft and are too old for a wildcat like the GT-R, know that the average age of the test drivers (and the voters of the comparison test) was 29.5 years. Moreover, we’re the only three C/D staffers who dream of having a Lotus Elise as a daily driver. Trust us, we can put up with a lot of crudeness—you should have heard our dinner conversations. But if you can have it all without the pain, who would vote against that? And until that Elise thing happens, the M3 is the car we’d take home forever."

      I think that about sums up the logic they used.

      They admit the others are better performers, that was not the only benchmark.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed, while I will never have the chance to drive all three at the same time.. ( expect for GT5 ). I think the decision they made was justified. I think the GT-R is great, but if had the choice between the M3 and the GT-R for everyday.. it would be the M3..
        • 6 Years Ago
        well i guess it's pretty clear that you DO work for C&D.
      • 6 Years Ago
      yeah, when I got this issue, I was about to crapola my pants, I thought it was utter BIAS TO BMW, especially when the verdict read:

      "Even though the other cars are faster and better, the M3 felt like it was the best overall value"

      (please don't chastise me over the phrase since I dont have the issue in front of me)

      so yeah, the M3 is a great car, but in comparison to the GT-R???

      Even the AutoCar (UK) host said that the "GT-R is the best car in the test", but the host was biased towards the M3 since "he has one of his own"

      utter crap..

      this is the link to view this junk of a comparison:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjwJl4t-DF8&feature=related
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let's see... you have Pamela Andersen and Carmen Electra in their prime, versus Joan Rivers in her prime... and C&D chooses to go to the prom with Joan instead... VERY NICE you blind retards !!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ha! I nearly fell off my chair reading your comment. Nice analogy. Personally I'd choose Carmen.

        Ahem...back to the subject. If someone asked me this question and had to immediately give an answer, my instincts would have gone with the 911, unconditionally.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You all -just- realized that C&D is obsessed with the M3? Have any of you been paying attention?
      • 6 Years Ago
      You just lost a few points by admitting that it is a common read for autoblog... Unless you're using it as toilet paper in your bathroom. C&D is trash.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Before I actually thought C&D was one of the decent US car mags. I'll be more than happy to forget about renewing my subscription now...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I've read the C&D comparo and its absolute trash. They complain that the "floor mats cost extra" on the bottom ranked 911 Turbo. It loses by almost 30 points, primarily on things like "rear seat comfort" and "trunk space". They also don't include the Z06 in this review because it doesn't have back seats. Absolutely missing the point of the cars.

        While I haven't driven the GTR, I have driven both the new M3 and 911 Turbo. While, yes, the M3 offers better rear seats, from performance terms its night and day. C&D needs to understand these cars are designed for people in the front seats (behind the wheel) not the back.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Autoblog gains points back saying its a bathroom read. I dont let my copies of EVO or Car into the loo...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't hate C&D. I enjoy lots of their writing. This boggles the mind though. I think it won because of "daily driver" abilities... The GT-R is just fine there, as is the 911 Turbo... The GT-R is a miracle of engineering. How did it lose? (I'm a domestic fan, not a JDM fanboy.)
      • 6 Years Ago
      They've been in the tank for BMW as long as I can remember. They've even had "e-polls" that several readers wrote in surmising that C&D was resetting them because the Bimmer wasn't winning the votes.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well duh! That's because BMW is the best motor company in the world. Period. The worlds sexiest, fastest, and most exciting cars are not BMW's. However, BMW has been constantly and consistently providing fun and exciting daily drivers since the late 60's. They have always set the benchmark in their class and Audi, MB, and Caddy have just now begun to catch up. You can bet your ass that those brands would not be near as exciting today without BMW's influence.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No kidding!

        The theory has always ben that if a BMW couldn't make the annual Top Ten list for some reason, they simply wouldn't publish the list at all. I also heard that Pat Bedard has BMW tatoo'd on his ass.......
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not to mention that Honda also is in the same bed with C&D
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed. They compare every car to a BMW.

        Heck, the new Caddy CTS got compared to two BMWs and lost because it was "too small" compared to the 5-Series and "too big" compared to the 3-Series.
      miniguy25
      • 6 Years Ago
      C&D is trash,
      this proves once again, their horrible bias
      • 6 Years Ago
      GT-R rules and in the long run, the GT-R will last longer, and will be faster in every way. I like the M3, but it should have lost to the Nissan in the test.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Who's to say that the electronics in the car will last that long? It has an dual-clutch transmission. And if you have done your research on them, you would know that they are tricky things to keep in good running order. The clutch will usually burn up after a few good launches in the car. The whole car is run by electronics. Sucks for the poor bastard who takes it to a track and taps the tire wall, pays the $2,000 for the bodywork, but the car is ruined because the wiring got messed up in the accident. Try covering that under your warranty.
      • 6 Years Ago
      For the driving you're likely to do the M3 is probably more fun and it certainly looks better. Not many people are going to get the change to push the GT-R to it's limits even on a track.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I subcribe to Car & Driver only because I got a subcription for only $5.00. But I thumb through it to look at the pictures. I rarely read their dribble. They're WAY too biased (aka, "in love") for my taste with BMW. Seems like no matter the road test if there's a Bimmer involved, it'll win. If they ever compared one BMW model against another BMW, their little brains would probably explode from the frustration of having to choose one over the other.
      • 6 Years Ago
      according to the article:

      1) the M3 handles better in slower (read daily driving) conditions
      2) it isnt as heavy
      3) The M3 is more affordable (Duh its not quite a supercar)

      which is all irrelevant because the GT-R is supposed to be a Hardcore Track Car Set to compete with the Corvette Z06 and Porche 911. When comparing Dimensions and Pricing, and not performance numbers of cource the M3 is gonna win, by that standard it would also beat any ferarri and Lamborgini. That isnt any kind of comparison.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Which is yet another point that these cars have no business being compared in the first place. They were designed for 2 different things (besides driving).

        It's a terrible comparison to say the least. C&D has been doing ridiculous comparisons for a long time, and there's no signs of it stopping.

        This may not be as bad as comparing a Honda Civic with, say, a Koenigsegg CCX, but it's still up there on the "WTF cat" level.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And that's the exact point that people need to realize.

        The GT-R would loose to a minivan if you did a comparison on the best family car for 3+ kids. Just like the M3 would have lost if they focused only on track performance.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Which is exactly why the article is so utterly pointless. Who buys a Porsche Turbo for practicality? Nobody. They should've put a Pontiac G8 in there and declared it the winner. More rear legroom, more space, much more affordable. A runner-up could've been the Honda Odyssey.
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