I'm a working Joe, military guy, car enthusiast. I've had faster cars and slower cars, but I like BMWs the best. This car is a blast. I got my steel Grey/cinnamon m3,6-sp manual, lease turn-in; 26,000 miles, in 2005. It now has 106,000 miles on it and has cost me over $9300.00 in repairs and maintenance (including 4- sets of tires thus far) over and above my car payments. It's 2010 now, so for 5 years--that's pretty expensive! My m3 got a "new motor" sometime in its 1st owner's life because of the main bearing cap recall. The motor/trans has been flawless! All the complaints that folks have documented are valid for mine. Call me crazy, I still love my m3. It's one gorgeous sports/gt car.
The fact that it is a raw,"Old School BMW" with a 6-sp manual transmission. Visibility is good all around and the size of the car is just right. It's extremely comfortable, fun-to-drive, gets 20 mpg combined city/hwy and the motor makes awesome sounds as it screams to 8000 rpm. Oh, and it's gorgeous!
The interior cloth--glued window, A and C pillar trim, cannot handle Florida Summers and falls off! I Super- glued it and it worked, looks fine. The leather seats wear rapidly from ingress-egress, even if you are careful. Parts and service are crazy expensive when there's no warranty left.
I sold my 2006 G35 6mt coupe and got an 02 M3. Wow, night and day as far as performance! Yea, the deck rattles from the bass and the front tweeters seem to be blown and the pass side window trim was sagging. But its a $55000 plus car I stole for $15000 and other than the few inexpensive problems its my favorite car ever! So fast, smells german inside, the paint is amazing, the looks, the sounds, the power and yes, even the gas mileage is out of this world. I hope it stays this great! I put 89000 on my G and never one time in the shop. That I will miss and hope my new bemmer does just as well. Dont buy a ragged out one, if they took care of it, it will take care of you. M3 for Life!!!
paint, power, smell, interior, seats, looks, gas mileage, driving it, steering wheel, looking at it!
This is one of the best cars on the planet! I used to have a supra turbo '97 but this BMW kicks its backside. With amazing handling on the track and outstanding acceleration, all in one daily driving car.
Moved to this car from a 1991 E30 M3 and very pleased with the GT car performance and agility of the 3rd generation of this vehicle. I thought the E36 was lacking in horsepower where the E46 does not. It's practically a race car in it's stock form and not much room for adding more in bolt on improvements. If you can't keep up on the maintenance on this car yourself look to spend a lot at the dealer or private shop. If you want the sexy glamor of a 911 buy one of those, if you want to carry four passengers and walk around a 911 buy this. Suggest getting a rare color other wise it just looks like another 3 series, mine is in Laguna Seca Blue and I get tons of complements on the color...
Engine, the 6-speed manual, the brakes are nice... Cinnamon leather is supple with seat heaters to take off a chill. I like pressing a button on the key and seeing all the windows drop automatically on a hot day.
Speakers squeak on high bass songs, interior trim around window was replaced cause it was falling down. Other interior items seem durable for little wear and then show scuff marks or scratches... Needs alignments often, burns through rear tires
Bought used at 35k mi, now have 48k mi. I drive my M3 daily mostly city on the weekdays and occasional highway on the weekends. Since then I've had to replace a battery, driver side mirror slightly discolored on the edge and when it's really cold the passenger side door doesn't unlock on the first try. Besides that the car has been very reliable, even after being to a couple of weekend track events. The only casualties being the tires, brakes and fuel. Great track car that you won't feel guilty driving everyday. Service is expensive, quoted $2k for Inspection II at the dealer, but did myself with $500 in parts. Inspection II is every 35k mi or so.
Steering feel is the benchmark of all sports cars. The handling is excellent and power is plentiful & smooth. At hard accel the exhaust note is just music. Good trunk space & mileage. It's a driver's car that not everyone will appreciate but for the few it's just what we're looking for.
If you don't work on cars, it'll get a little expensive for upkeep. Ride is really rough on bad roads, got adj coilovers to smooth it out on commutes, helps a lot wish I had done earlier. HK sound is just okay, seats are not good for long drives. All goes away on smooth twisty roads.