1997 BMW M3 Sedan - Consumer Reviews

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Base 3.2L 6-cyl. 5-speed Manual - (12 reviews )
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5 of 5 people found this review helpful
FUN CAR but better be a DIY past 120K
By Kelli on 08/26/09 05:25 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 BMW M3 Sedan 4dr Sedan

Review

I have put SEVERAL thousand dollars into repairs into this car over the last months. If you can't do the work yourself expect to sink lots of bucks into it!
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Everything I'd hoped it would be!
By Sammyzuko on 07/01/09 08:46 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 BMW M3 Sedan 4dr Sedan

Review

I've owned my M3 for 5+ years now and couldn't be happier with her. I haven't had any major problems with her. You do have to replace basic wear items if you expect these old cars to drive like they're intended to*. I still enjoy every moment I'm behind the wheel of this car. The aftermarket is full of options to keep the E36 driving as good or better than new. *items like bushings that would need to be replaced on any car, but the average person driving their Corolla into the ground doesn't typically care about these items or getting optimal handling out of their daily driver.
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4 of 4 people found this review helpful
1997 BMW M3 SEDAN
By john on 06/20/09 18:10 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 BMW M3 Sedan 4dr Sedan

Review

1st new car I ever bought & still own 12 years later, tracked it when under warranty, only issues was brake rotors & too much restriction in power steering boost. STOCK SUSPENSION WAS SHOT AFTER 50,000 MILES, went to turner ms bilstein sport/h&r sport springs. Never looked back. Re-did rear this year. Under bilstein warrenty. Issues were blown head gasket @105,000 miles, rebuilt rear axles@ 115,000 & VANOS @ 95,000& lower control arms @ 90,000 all par for the course, mobile one only in engine, trans, rear & power steering 25 mpg.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The Ultimate Driving Machine
By Mike O. on 03/24/09 09:05 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 BMW M3 Sedan 4dr Sedan

Review

There have been few purchases (<5) in my life that I have absolutely no regrets about. This tops the list. Everyday when I get behind the wheel of this car I am elated. The response is like no other vehicle I've driven. The flat torque curve starts you off at 200lb-ft and the acceleration is fantastic. Handling is phenomenal; double suggested speeds for highway ramps (professional driver, closed course, do not attempt at home). Every time I think about getting a new car, those thoughts are blown away when I drove home. To top it all off, it's practical-4 doors, trunk space, decent rear legroom. This is the most fun you can have in an automobile, probably for around $10k these days.
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Fun car to drive
By donny on 02/12/08 21:03 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 BMW M3 Sedan 4dr Sedan

Review

This is an awesome car to drive, great handling and lots of power, great sleeper car. I don't know about other people but this car hasn't been the most reliable car I have owned, it has left us stranded on the side of the road three times, had to trailer it home all three times, now it is in the garage getting worked on again, has been nothing but a hassle the last year and a half of owning it, I trust my old 1989 Ford pickup more.
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No Comparison
By RAB on 12/21/06 20:19 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 BMW M3 Sedan 4dr Sedan

Review

My 4 dr E36 M3 is an automatic with the luxury package - leather and wood trim. I think of it as a total stealth bomber - I catch a lot tuner cars by surprise. Can't say enough about the power, handling, or braking. Fit, finish, and craftsmanship are first rate. My M is 10 years old and still feels like a new car. Prices have plunged and I cannot think of a better way to spend $15,000. Helps to have a good repair shop, as relying on the dealer can be suspect. HAVE to be prepared to take care of an older Bimmer, but if you do, you will be well rewarded. There are brand new sports sedans that cannot compare to this car - in '97 it came with huge tires, 17" wheels, & huge brakes.
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Rear Sedan from MOTORSPORT-3
By Alexander B on 11/26/05 06:51 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 BMW M3 Sedan 4dr Sedan

Review

It has been long time, that BMW has made me of it's fanatic, #1 reason: the ultimate driving experience, by the way M-editions are The Ultimate Driving BMWs. This 97/M3 is my 3rd bimmer & 1st M3, and I like everything of it. It offers more futures & quality even today, than 2006 American/Japanese "Transports" of same class & price - and "PRICE" of this M3 I don't mean new one, but as is now on the market 95-99/E36. First I wanted coupe, but since both they look, weigh & measure same, two extra doors makes this one more usefull. Well, I think everyone should owe one of these, at least once in a lifetime.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Ultimate Four Door Sadan
By Techno_V299 on 01/02/05 18:29 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 BMW M3 Sedan 4dr Sedan

Review

Overall - I can't find better one to date than this equipped with 4dr. and stick shift. I love pretty nimble handling and powerful engine. Body rigidity seems to be better than 2dr due to B piller. I'm not sure why BMW does not release 4dr. M3 in US for current model. Maybe E36-M3 could be the first and last 4dr. "M3" in US. It's well balanced between performance and packaging that holds average family. It's reliable too as long as maintained properly. Before buying the M3, I expected bunch of repair and regular service bills but it's been way below than I expected, which is a pleasant surprise. It's almost as well built Japanese vehicles.
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Achtung: M Power is addictive!
By bez on 07/21/03 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1997 BMW M3 Sedan 4dr Sedan

Review

If you want a car to haul your kids around town on weekdays and take to the autocross track on weekends, you have found your car. Don't be intimidated by the exhaust rumble that pervades the cabin or the harsh ride on rough pavement from the taut suspension. You won't be dissappointed. Be prepared for high cost of insurance and maintenance.
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Yes, I have indeed arived.
By Blackmind on 03/06/03 00:00 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1997 BMW M3 Sedan 4dr Sedan

Review

First off I never thought I would be driving a M3, but as they say never say never. This car is really something special. It has a fine blend of luxury and performance that is hard to match by any car out there. The looks are formost intimidating to say the least, and it has the POWER to back them up. The four door makes this car a "SLEEPER" for sure, and it's great for people who cart others along frequently. Tight cornering, great acceleration, and smooth as silk, this thing really is a car you can get addicted to driving.
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