First off, let me say this is a great car but make sure you know who you are buying it from and that they took good care of the car and have records of repairs. Not a car to take chances on unless you really have the wallet for it. Not a straight line bruiser but still fast. Eats V-TEC Hondas all day. Handles like a dream. Especially with the manual transmission. Also note, NO traction control on this car. Not a car to be buying for you teenage child. While a great car, If you have the money, go for the E46 M3
The E36, 5-speed manual, inline 6 is the most fun I have had behind the wheel of a car. I was amazed at how it accelerates even from a lower speed in 5th gear. It is incredibly stable at high speeds (100+ mph) and it comes to a stop on a dime. Never felt more safe and comfortable driving that fast. It shifts beautifully and is incredibly fun to drive. No major mechanical problems and I'm at 160k. Mine in avus blue & the beautifully designed exterior looks incredible - especially after I changed the yellow blinkers on the front corner, side and rear to clear lenses. I think its the best looking car on the road when you have the rear spoiler, sunroof tilted and clean wheels. Highly recommended
Effortless acceleration in any gear, exterior design and color (avus blue), incredible braking, grips to the road like glue, low to the ground, exhilarating to drive, comfortable, seats, orange/red dashboard back light, trunk space, 50/50 front/rear weight ratio, access to battery terminal in front and back, clean and neat engine compartment.....I could go on for days!
Steering wheel is a little larger than I like - but that was common in '95.
No cruise control.
To start with this beautiful piece of German engineering, the E36 M3 is a gem. Of coarse coming from a person that has tested some of today's super-cars, The 1995 M3 has been my affordable choice. I purchased this car with 98k miles for an unbeatable price. The first thing I noticed was the purr of the high-performance dual-overhead camshaft S50 motor. Then as the test drive started, I was astonished how a mere 240 hp and 225 ft/lb tq could throw me into the back of the aggressively styled Vader seats. Now the previous owner didn't take the best care of this machine, and due to the negligence, I have to replace the motor, get the interior re-upholstered, etc. but no regrets.
Vader seats, 3.0L S50B30US motor (240 hp, 225 ft/lb tq), fuel economy (18 city/27 highway), cost to maintain (engine $2,500, oil change $55, fill up at petrol station $48.67 at red zone on dash, brake job [pads, rotors] $160 w/lifetime warranty)
The subframe NEEDS to be re-enforced, x-brace is a MUST, Oil pump nut NEEDED to be recalled by BMW, however not taking blame, or responsibility for the engines lost from this nut backing off, forcing the oil pump to shoot through the oil pan, destroying engine internals, and Better LSD.
So they raved about this car when it hit the US and man were they spot-on! Having had Z cars, Supra's, and other BMW 3's, this car is the tops. Mine has 242,000 miles and still rocks! Love to take people at work out for lunch, then charge back into the parking lot to show off those great brakes... up to 100mph and stomp on the brakes and listen to folks shriek! Starting to think about an E46 M3, and hope to get the same results with it... we'll see... Yes that silly radiator/water pump thing is a known weak spot, true. But easy to replace every 70,000 miles and go on too. SO... the big question is... why isn't anyone making a car like this today? Currently in a CTS and it only gets 20mpg...:>(
It's all about that silky smooth jamming inline 6 for me... and those brakes... and the looks...
I purchased this car with 110k miles. I have driven it VERY hard for another 8k without a single problem. No telling this car is 14 years old! Beats cars that are brand new, handles like it's brand new, no rattles, no major mechanical issues. Well, a few, but I expected to put between 500-1000 into the car immediately and then 1000-2000 over the first year and it's been much less, even with an accident. I ran the car off the road pushing it to it's limit and all it had was a bent control arm, these cars are solid! It's the 4th bmw I've owned and first M3. Couldn't be happier, I'm just worried about tickets. :)
Sport Seats, Ride, Handling, performance.
More solid front end because these cars are low and it hits often if you are not super careful.