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  1. #1
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    Riding on 19s in NYC

    Probably going to buy an 06 M3 SMG tomorrow. I live in NYC and there are potholes everywhere. The car is fully loaded with every option except 19 inch wheels. I love the look of the 19s on the M3 but am concerned about wheel/tire damage when driving around the city. Any thoughts on 19s vs 18s? Also, does anyone know how much it would cost to put 19s (factory style) on an M3? Thanks everyone.


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    Just get the 19s

    San Francisco has the same problem. A pickup truck is better suited for travel, and parking on city streets.
    Driving through pot holes will trash both 18s and 19s. The 19s look better, but tires are a little more $$ when it comes time for replacement.
    Almost always better to get upgraded tires and wheels as standard equipment. You also don't have to dispose of the originals.

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    I've Had Them In NYC

    I just moved out of NYC but I've had 19's on my M3 for 2 years. You just need to be more aware of the roads. The look is worth the extra effort.

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    what about SMG in the city?

    i've been driving a 6speed 330ci for a couple years in the city. Thinking about getting a SMG M3 instead of manual. Any thoughts?

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    No Problem

    I've had 2 SMG E46s. The SMG learning curve is about 3000 mile to adjust from driving a stick. The hill hold function is also nice here in S.F.

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    Re: No Problem

    As Kevin indicated, there is a learning curve to driving the SMG smoothly, but it is not hard to learn. In addition to the hill-hold function, another solution is just left-foot brake, which doesn't put any wear or stress on the powertrain.

    In particular, when coming to a stop sign where you expect just a quick stop and then go, you will want to select 1st gear before you stop but not so far in advance that the clutch engages before the full stop. That way you are ready to drive off in 1st gear immediately after the stop. If you do not do this, some times the SMG will get caught either in a 2nd gear start or caught in between the programmed 2nd to 1st shift and there will be some hesitation and lurch when you drive away. I suspect the negative feedback from the auto mag writers is because they haven't learned the technique.

    I have raced for over 30 years and instructed for 25 and my feet know how to do smooth downshifts even in unfamiliar cars, but I enjoy the SMG and don't consider that it has drawbacks. Learning to drive to smoothly was enjoyable. I also enjoyed learning how to maximize mileage in my '08 Camry hybrid. The M3 and TCH are totally different cars, but learning to use their particular capabilities is part of the enjoyment of driving.

    Both my wife and I drive the '03 SMG in S5-manual mode virtually all the time. In slow city traffic driving, the shift speed is not way slow as in the lesser modes. In most performance driving, S5 is quite fast.

    For track use you would want to turn off the DSC and that allows access to S6, although I know some drivers prefer the less brutal S4 setting on the track.

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    Excellent info...thanks v much


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    Re: what about SMG in the city?

    Never in A mode and very easy to use.

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