I bought this car from someone who babied the heck out of it and I have continued the tradition. It's a great car that delivers impressive performance, a bit of sex appeal, and much better than expected economy. However, the stock stereo was awful and suspension components were iffy.
The torque....oh, and the top down on a sunny day. The car also gets a lot of looks and it is a real scooter.
Get rid of the cheap plastic center arm rest. Chuck the stock radio. Cross brace the engine compartment for additional rigidity. Strengthen the suspension anchors and improve the shocks.
Bought the M with relatively high mileage (79K) but it is in great shape. Handles as though it is on tracks and accelerates, in all gears. Like it has jets. Long drives can be a bit difficult (I am almost 6'2" and the seats are a slightly bit hard, but if I take a break every 2 hours, no problem. It's a fun car, always noticed (ty, the cops too :( ) but a real treat to drive. I think I like the lines of this model more than the Z4 but would love to have some of the improvements of the newer Zs -- slightly wider interior, more comfy seats, and a fully automatic top. Otherwise, it's a dream.
Handling -- taking a corner and just punching the gas is a...gas.
Bought new with 3 miles on it. Love the 60s style dash and gauges. Great performance. Very reliable, never broke down on me, never. At 43k miles, still has the original brakes and I autocross with it. No shop repairs, just maintenance. I do maintain it very well and everything is like new. I have no intention of sell this car unless someone hits me. Great car.
Body style and the look of the wide body. Handles great, excellent brakes. With heated seats I can ride with the top down on a sunny winter day in Atlanta.
The suspension has been changed due to the rear end "looseness" from the E30 suspension. Replaced the suspension and now it is like a true M car should be.
Wonderful tossible car, great engine. There are some inherent design problems, i.e. the shock mounts, lack of cross bracing, an awful cd/radio system, a plastic rear window, and an off center steering wheel. It is a strong solid perfomer nonetheless and I think, though not as good a car as the z4, it is a hell of a lot more interesting.
Very fun car to drive, especially if you can find some curves. Northwest Arkansas is very nice to "test" the curves. We 1st had a 1997 1.8 Z3 and the power difference is amazing. Power is addicting... never too much. No mechanical issues. Since car has been lowered with H&R springss, it is very hard on tires. Khumo's ride and perform the best overall. and are afforable $ 115. Very safe cars, I was T boned by a truck at 45mpg and it only knocked the wind out of me. Door held up very well and prevented truck from sitting in my lap. If you can find a well maintained M buy it.
Classic looks, love the power and easy to add more to. Simple classic interior Comfortable seats. Very direct steering