After about 5 years of driving a '94 325i, I scored a '99 M3, black on black and it's the best thing I've ever purchased in my life so far. I didn't think it could be this fun driving a car. Plus, it's a manual, so the fun never ends. Can't wait to mod a bit, though I don't want to over-do it. Styling is classic. Simple beauty.
Car is fast! Gets up to 110 without missing a beat, and handles like a champ. Only had it 1 week today!
Suspension concerns still common, rattles a bit but hey,E36s seem to have them. Electronics are iffy too. It rained and I thought I was going to die on I-95, despite new tires, I was still all over the place. Not good, but not bad. Exciting in a way learning to control the beast they call M3.
Owned for over 6 years and drive over 100K miles (163K total). Have only brought it in 3x for minor issues (a/c control, brake noise and steering lock failure). All other maintenance and repairs were done myself or by a friend. Have upgraded suspension components (shocks/struts, lowered springs, sway bars, bushings) resulting in a firmer but way better handling vehicle. My brother has a stock M3 sedan and they feel like very different cars now. Power is adequate. People want more, but this car was not designed for straightline speed - no BMW ever has been. Can push the car to its limits without much drama. Plan to keep several more years and surpass 200K miles. Fantastic car.
handling, braking, understated styling still looks good even though it's over 10 years old, world class engine even though it's a stroked e36 325 motor
rear subframe issues, rear shock mount failures, electronics fail too early
The car is excellent all around. With this bmw, you get it all - style, performance, luxury, and BMW prestige. You can drive in all types of weather, including snow with snow tires, without any problems (except that you'll find yourself wanting to garage it in the winter!). I drive my m3 hard, and it has always performed flawlessly. I am impressed with all of its performance characterics. Don't let small HP and torque number fool you - the germans really know how to put the power onto the pavement with this car. The trunk is plenty big, the back seats could be bigger. Reliability has been excellent with proper maintenance.
M "clout" - everyone will know you have an M, not just a Bimmer. All the things that come with an M styling, performance, comfort. I've added dinan stage 1 package and the performance is excellent. This is probably the best car for the money these days!!
Interior (visually) is somewhat boring and I haven't found a way to make it more appealing yet. That's it! This car rocks - I really love mine :-)
I bought my '99 M3 coupe used with 22k miles in 2004. It has been very reliable. It's exceptionally fun to drive. I love taking it on long trips, it is that comfortable. Proper snow tires make this a competant winter car (with ASC of course). Braking is awesome and properly matched to a vehicle capable of traveling so fast, so easily. This car brings smiles to my face every time I drive it. The cockpit is the best I've experienced. It is not cheap to maintain, parts will cost you. Find a good BWM mechanic and avoid the dealerships. I hope I can keep this car for many years. If now has 43k miles two years later.
This was my dream car for a long time and I finally got one. It had 46,000 miles on it and seemed to be in great condition. For the first 5k miles I added coilovers which made the handling absolutely amazing. Engine is giving me some trouble now, even after always changing the oil and such mantience I get an annoying whine at 2900 rpm. I can't wait to get my next one and have the money to fix any little problem as it arises. Lots of little electric problems as well.
The sound with Dinan Exhaust and Intake at WOT
Strip the interior when it starts to fall off, make it a race car.