After being the laughing stock of my high school football teammates with a 1991 bright teal Acura Integra, I decided that it was time to upgrade to a BMW. I have always liked BMWs, but I didn't think that I could afford the repairs, but I was completely misinformed. With a total of 171k miles, I couldn't be any happier with my M3. After 4 years of ownership, my repairs pair bills have been half the price of my girlfriend's Nissan 200sx, which she has had for 2 years. If you are looking for a true sports car with the body of a tank and reliability of a Honda, this is the car for you!!!!!
reliability, aesthetics, performance, resale value, user friendly
Interior quality, BMW specific parts are overpriced.
I was actually looking for a 540i, but when I found this car with 50k original miles, perfectly maintained, I couldn't say no. Since then its been no looking back. Good highway MPG-28-30 if careful. Comfortable but somewhat stiff ride. But enough of the boring stuff, it RIPS. If you're considering this car, I recommend it. Find one that wasn't beat. Brakes, tires, parts are expensive, but they are well made. I've put 25k miles on it, and they were not easy miles. Some don't, but I love luxury package.
Perfect balance of handling and power. Really big sunroof. Good throttle response. Nice low-end torque. Great interior. Small things are thought of, like toolkit in trunk. Exactly what I wanted out of a car.
Few more ponies wouldn't hurt. Could use a nicer stock exhaust. You will always want to push it. Be careful on wet surfaces, even with stability.
I bought my Estoril Blue M3 over one year ago, and haven't looked back since. The performance (acceleration, braking, handling, etc) are self explanatory. It IS a perfect balance of weight, luxury, power, and suspension to create the most pleasurable driving experience. The only thing that can top it, is the E46 M3. For an enthusiast, an E36 M3 is a car that needs to be in your garage.
The engine (S52) is wonderfull. However, the E46 M3 uses the S54 which is an upgraded version of the 1995 M3 (S50 B32 engine). The difference is, the S52 is more of an upgraded 328 while the other M3 engines is a stand alone (individual throttle bodies for each cylinder).
Nothing comes to mind other than a more simple electronics design. The electronics are OK, however, it does have room for improvement. Stock U.S. lights are a joke (spend $600 and get a set of HID+halos).
This is a car that was built to be driven. Plenty of power and great handling makes this a very fun car to drive. For the most part it is very predictable and feedback provides plenty of warning when pushing the limits on corners.
Handling and feedback as second to none. Quality built vehicle with a well designed interior. Fast
Get behind on upkeep and this car will bite your wallet hard. Remove the Clutch Delay Valve (CDV) if you are an experienced/capable driver looking for performance.
Had this car for 10 years now - not a single significant problem with it. Always a pleasure to drive. Ready for action and being pushed to the extreme. A car of this class is completely unaffordable now.
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