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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

I currently own a 2003 BMW M3 (equipped with SMG) and have been considering trading my car in for an '03 SRT-10 Viper. Although the M3 is an extremely practical car, and packs a decent punch, I just think the car just doesn't fulfill my desire for more power. All of the performance mods available (even the superchargers currently in R&D) are going to be priced between 10 to 25k, and even then, not give the car the same sort of raw power the SRT-10 viper has to offer.

Now, on to my questions that I suppose only current viper owners can answer.
1.) The M3 is very practical. It's a fast car and is more of a "sleeper" (cops don't really identify the car immediately as a fast car, that's not to say I speed, though I do drive "briskly" :)). I get asked about my car a few times a week, so the "attention" isn't really all that intrusive. Do you find that you are constantly being asked about your car? Does it get in the way? Yeah, I like, attention, but I think the Viper might be asking for too much! From what I've been reading on the forums from other members, the SRT-10 isn't as immediately eye-catching as say the Generation II/I Vipers. I suppose by looking at pictures, the Gen II/I vipers look more radical.

2.) Daily drivability. I commute about 25 miles (each way) to and from work. Since I'm here in Northern VA, we can experience really hot summers, and sometimes brutal winters. Is the SRT Viper a practical daily driver? In my M3 I found it to be a challenge to drive it in icy conditions. I would imagine that the Viper is equally as challenging if not more so. Do any of you guys use your car as a daily driver during winter?

3.) Maintenance. Since I pile on a good 22,000/miles a year on my car, I can imagine the maintenance can be pricy. For BMW owners, the maintenance is included at no charge for 4 years/48,000 miles, and the M3 can be driven over 11,000 miles between oil changes. A set of new tires runs about 1200 bucks annually. What could I anticipate in terms if maintenance 1,2 and 3 years down the line if driven at that rate in terms of cost?

4.) Reliability. I'd imagine for the most part the Viper family of cars is reliable. Have any of you Viper owners have any serious issues with your car? If so, are the issues common?

5.) Comfort. I've read about serious complaints with Gen I/II viper owners that inside the cabin its nearly impossible to cool down on a hot day. Is the same true for SRT owners? Of course I'd imagine you'd keep your top down virtually any day it's sunny and not cold, but still, an AC that actually works is always a plus :). I've never owned a roadster either. Does the roof make a lot of noise when the top is closed when driving at 60-70 mph?

Essentially I'd really like to own, at some point, a supercar that has a lot of power. I believe the SRT-10 Viper is that car, but I guess I just need some input to guide my decision.

Thank you all very much for your response!

Thanks again!

Regards,
Brian
 

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1) I used to own an E36 M3, and I got a bit of attention with it. Now that I've got a Gen II Viper GTS I get TONS of attention. It rarely is an issue, but can tweak people out if your passengers aren't used to people staring at them. That and you get prompted to smoke'em or the like all the time. My approach to that is.... "You've gotta do it for the kids" not everyone can own a car like this, so if you can share some of the coolness with others, you should. That being said, if you don't want to be asked about the car nearly every time you get gas you might not want one.

2) My GTS is my daily driver, and while not having as much power as an SRT-10 I do just fine with it. I drove it all last winter, and I did have to wimp out 2 days to beg for a ride from a friend due to severe weather (here in WA state). Without traction control, you've got to rely on your skill and self control to keep the car shiny side up. It will be incrementally worse in the winter than the M3, but not enough to stop me from owning one.

3) I've got an '02 which I've put 5k miles on since January without any problems at all. It's just as smooth of ownership as the M was except for service at the dealership. Normal dodge dealers just don't rise to the quality of service I got from Bellevue BMW. That being said, there are some awesome ones out there who will make you 110% satisfied but I don't know about your area.

4) I already mentioned this as part of 3, but I'm not aware of any maintainance reasons not to own this car. If you buy one, be sure to buy the extended warranty as you don't want to pay for repairs yourself after the factory warranty is gone. The extended one is reasonably priced, so don't worry about it.

5) I can't speak to the comfort of the SRT-10, but my GTS is quite nice to me. This will depend on your height. In a GTS if you are much over 6'1 you'll want to get a seat lowering kit, but there are lots of guys who are much taller who love thier vipers. As for interior fit and finish the SRT-10 is much nicer than the GTS/RT-10's and I think you'll like it. Just be aware that is will feel like a step down from the BMW, but the overall experience will greatly outweigh this problem.

In summary, I recommend buying a Viper but be sure which generation you want. Many viper owners are hesitant to buy an SRT-10 due to the different looks, but there are others who love it. Don't buy a car used without having it inspected by someone who knows Vipers, and if buying new I would recommend calling Woodhouse. You can easily get ripped off by dealers who try to mark these cars up too high. There are some reputable dealers who will take good care of you and Woodhouse is one of them. If nothing else you can talk to some of the most knowledgable sales people in the world who can help you make an informed decision.

Woodhouse Viper
2171 South Highway 30 - Blair, NE 68008
Phone: 800-889-1893 or 402-426-4127
Fax: 402-426-4116
 

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I have a Gen II RT, and love it, even for long trips, but would never use it as a daily driver. I drove an SRT-10 once and it seems much the same to me, just better handling and a little more grunt. I would especially avoid even the appearance of ICE, as these things are tail happy as all get out. I don't even like to get caught in the rain, especially with dry pavement tires like Kumhos.
Definitely a weekend, special occasion car for me.
 

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I wouldn't go so far as to worry about rain. I've driven mine through two hurricanes and four tropical storms, as well as uncounted thunder storms and the like. As long as you adjust your driving accordingly, it really isn't any problem at all.
 

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If i were you, I wouldn't do it. I currently have both cars and I love them both, but I wouldn't want to drive my SRT for basic transportation.
1. You will get some attention in the SRT for better or worse.
2. You can drive an SRT daily, but I wouldn't want to. Icy weather would be bad.
3. Maintenance shouldn't be that much of an issue.
4. Reliability, I'd bet on the M3 winning out, but not a huge factor.
4. Comfort, the M3 will always win out. The AC in the SRT is fine with the roof closed and the car is not that loud.

If you can manage to own both cars, they are a perfect pair.
 

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If this car HAS to be driven all winter, I would not consider the Viper. If you don't mind driving a beater during the winter months, a Viper can be a daily driver in sunny or rainy weather. But forget about driving a Viper during the snow months... In an emergency situation maybe, during the entire winter, no.

Bottom line: GO TEST DRIVE ONE! It is an entirely different animal than the M3.
 

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Heh, I remember a story from .morgue about a guy trying to move his GTS from one storage garage to another during winter. Basically -- ZERO traction on the snow and ice, and this was only about fifty feet through a parking lot at walking speeds.
 

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Its a discretional thing. If you ask some of the hardcore die hard viper guys here, they actually think the thing is comfortable. Compared with any kraut car, it just ISNT. The SRT-10, although more comfortable than a GTS, is definitely no where NEAR the comfort levels for the beemer. If you HAVE to have this as a daily driver, id say no f'n way. The cars are overall reliable, but depreciate like a ROCK with any semblence of miles on them. If you have 23K miles on your SRT-10 within a year it will be tough to resell the thing. Most guys have these cars as weekend cars, most NEVER get rain driven. Youd be forced to trade the car in to unload it. IMO, unload the M3 if youre tired of it,...get something else. Get 2 cars if you want the viper. But dont daily drive the thing...its hell.
 

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Bah! Daily Driver! <chant with me> Daily Driver! Daily Driver! Daily Driver! Daily Driver! Daily Driver! Daily Driver! Daily Driver! Daily Driver! Daily Driver! Daily Driver!

If you notice Smokin has a 775RWHP viper, maybe he forgot how "tame" the stock ones are if you behave yourself.
 

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I have never even been in an SRT-10, but I hear it is more comfortable than the GTS, which is what I have. I don't use mine as a daily driver, but weather permitting, I don't see any reason why you couldn't do it especially if you are not very big. I say DO IT!

Mark
/images/graemlins/smiles
 

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Digital said:
Hello everyone!

I currently own a 2003 BMW M3 (equipped with SMG) and have been considering trading my car in for an '03 SRT-10 Viper. Although the M3 is an extremely practical car, and packs a decent punch, I just think the car just doesn't fulfill my desire for more power. All of the performance mods available (even the superchargers currently in R&D) are going to be priced between 10 to 25k, and even then, not give the car the same sort of raw power the SRT-10 viper has to offer.

Now, on to my questions that I suppose only current viper owners can answer.
1.) The M3 is very practical. It's a fast car and is more of a "sleeper" (cops don't really identify the car immediately as a fast car, that's not to say I speed, though I do drive "briskly" :)). I get asked about my car a few times a week, so the "attention" isn't really all that intrusive. Do you find that you are constantly being asked about your car? Does it get in the way? Yeah, I like, attention, but I think the Viper might be asking for too much! From what I've been reading on the forums from other members, the SRT-10 isn't as immediately eye-catching as say the Generation II/I Vipers. I suppose by looking at pictures, the Gen II/I vipers look more radical.

2.) Daily drivability. I commute about 25 miles (each way) to and from work. Since I'm here in Northern VA, we can experience really hot summers, and sometimes brutal winters. Is the SRT Viper a practical daily driver? In my M3 I found it to be a challenge to drive it in icy conditions. I would imagine that the Viper is equally as challenging if not more so. Do any of you guys use your car as a daily driver during winter?

3.) Maintenance. Since I pile on a good 22,000/miles a year on my car, I can imagine the maintenance can be pricy. For BMW owners, the maintenance is included at no charge for 4 years/48,000 miles, and the M3 can be driven over 11,000 miles between oil changes. A set of new tires runs about 1200 bucks annually. What could I anticipate in terms if maintenance 1,2 and 3 years down the line if driven at that rate in terms of cost?

4.) Reliability. I'd imagine for the most part the Viper family of cars is reliable. Have any of you Viper owners have any serious issues with your car? If so, are the issues common?

5.) Comfort. I've read about serious complaints with Gen I/II viper owners that inside the cabin its nearly impossible to cool down on a hot day. Is the same true for SRT owners? Of course I'd imagine you'd keep your top down virtually any day it's sunny and not cold, but still, an AC that actually works is always a plus :). I've never owned a roadster either. Does the roof make a lot of noise when the top is closed when driving at 60-70 mph?

Essentially I'd really like to own, at some point, a supercar that has a lot of power. I believe the SRT-10 Viper is that car, but I guess I just need some input to guide my decision.

Thank you all very much for your response!

Thanks again!

Regards,
Brian
1. Practicality. You'll get far more attention than you want. So in that sense, it's not practical. However, it has ABS and a real trunk, so it's kinda practical in that regard. Initial response - don't get a Viper.
2. Daily Driver duty - Do not drive the car in ice and snow. It has 13" wide rear tires. That's a recipe for disaster. It's OK in the rain, but again, the wide tires and uneven road surfaces willmake it more susceptible to hydroplaning. So no - don't get a Viper.
3. Maintenance. No free service with the Dodge. Car takes 10 quarts of Mobil 1 or the equivalent and should be changed every 3000-5000 miles depending on your driving - stop and go - probably 3K miles. Fluids and filter alone will be $65 for an oil change - dealer will charge you considerably more. Other maintenance is reasonable - it's not particularly high tech or uses exotic fluids - just a lot of them. if you are dependent on a dealer for your service - don't get a Viper*.
4. Reliability. Some 2003's had issues, but were covered under TSBs and recalls. 2004's seem to have more issues, strangely enough - diff bolts, cam bolts, etc. Dodge has a 7/70 powertrain warranty and with a good Viper Dealer, you should not have many issues. So - go ahead and get a Viper.
5. Comfort. The fact that this is even in your list - don't get a Viper.

Bottom line - unless you are a complete speed junkie and are willing to sacrifice creature comforts for kick ass performance you will not be happy. The Viper is no frills. You have to be so enthralled with the power and handling that you overlook a WHOLE BUNCH of daily driver nuisances.

It's not a car to have as an only car.

I predict that if you do buy, you'll have the car for sale in less than 6 months.

* - If you are near a good Viper friendly dealer with a GOOD Viper tech - like Woodhouse, Tator, D&E, etc. then you have no maintenance worries - otherwise, you'll be disapointed in how little the servicing dealer will know about your car and how you'll be treated.
 

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JT pretty much nailed it... Your coming from a paddle shift (easy-no clutch) super comfy car with all kinds of features. You may not be happy. I came from a '69 Vette and a race built '89 Mustang. I was very pleased with the comfort levels. All depends what you're used to...

Bottom line: You have to be a speed junkie to really appreciate the Viper if you're going to drive it daily.

My suggestion: Buy the Viper and a low cost car. Want a break from the Viper, bad weather, or other - jump in the Honda Civic. You will keep the miles down by not driving during winter/rain, and the resale will make up for the cost of the Civic. Works for me (1999 Buick Regal).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey guys,

Thanks a ton for your responses. I think I'll take the advice of the majority of you all and not use the Viper as a daily driver. To be honest, I'd rather not have to part with my M3 to get a Viper, so I think the solution is probably to purchase the Viper and keep the M3 as well. Financially this means I need to wait a little while longer before I can do this (at least 6 months).

At some point I'd really like to take a test drive in an SRT-10. Is this feasible? Do most dealers with a used SRT-10 Viper sitting in the lot actually let people test drive the monster?

Once again, I really appreciate the responses and the time you all took to give thorough answers.

Regards,
Brian
 

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if its your only vehicle DONT DO IT. if its a second car...whatre you waiting for, go get a mans vehicle and get outta those trailing wheels /images/graemlins/toothy
 
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