I bought this car without ever test driving it. I owned 2 Audi TT's and was ready for a back seat so I decided on the 3 series. I fell in love with the M's because of the sport package, performance and overall look! The car is fun and a real eye catcher. If you own the conv and have long hair you MUST invest in the windscreen! It's a must have and does wonders! I can be cruising on the highway at 80 mph and my hair doesn't flinch! I love it~
19' wheels are killer looking (but buying the tires is a pain). I love all the different sport modes with the SMG tranny. The overall looks are just outstanding. I love my M3! I have a special order color (baby blue). I like the parking sensors, they have saved my life a few times.. LOL
The CD changer in the trunk skips a lot due to my low profile tires and crappy roads. The stereo isn't the best (My Audi had a Bose system). I also don't like the heated seats - they aren't warm enough. The ride can be very bumpy especially if you have the 19' wheels. TIRES = $$$$$
The BMW M3 is a true BMW enthusiast's must-have. I bought this car at 90k miles and have driven it 30k more without many major issues - just one dead gas pedal which cost me ($120, 5 mins to replace), four oil changes ($70 each), air filter, and a few other small repairs (window regulator $200, convertible top sensor $300). If you can even remotely work on cars, you can SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the cost of ownership and heighten its reliability. I commute with this car everyday and it's fast, fun, practical, and great in stock form.
What else do you buy this car for besides its handling, performance, and prestige? It hides its weight very well. Short of the Ducati 999, it's the funnest, most exhilarating toy in the garage. Oh and I commute with it too.
Where am I going to hang my coat? And tell BMW dealerships to lower their prices - it is far less expensive than they charge you to take care of this thing.
In my mid 20s I have owned about 30 cars, many of them BMWs, and BMWs are my favorite by far. Some of them also with higher miles and never a problem. This includes a 2003 Range Rover (highly modified X5 essentially) with over 90k and a 1995 750iL with 114k. My M3 convertible SMG CPO only has 78k and already feels like its falling apart, has been to the dealer numerous times for an engine tap they insist is normal, and is unacceptably loud and harsh for the performance you actually get.
Prodigious power (though it comes with a price, both dollar-wise and comfort-wise), 3 Series trademark UNmatched styling, convertible top (though a lot of this can be had in the much less expensive and more user friendly 2003+ 330Ci Performance Package (ZHP).
HK audio is horrid compared to the sedan, interior materials could have been better, SMG trans is unnecessary unless you really don't want to shift yourself, race bred engine in a street car is like a chocolate chip and bacon cookie. Sounds good until you try it. Don't buy this car on hype alone.
I've really enjoyed owning my M3, as it is large enough to accommodate my family, but plenty sporty enough to really enjoy driving on weekend getaways. On top of that, it's stylish and catches a lot of attention on and off the road.