2002 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test

2002 BMW M3: Wear or Patina?

November 17, 2008


Occasionally, when driving a car I really like, the distinction between "wear" and "patina" isn't so clear. Such is the case with our M3. This car is old and used in many ways that our fleet of new machinery isn't. But most of us don't care. In fact, I find some of the M3's worn bits somewhat endearing. Like a tired pair of jeans or, in my case, a nasty old ball cap, some of this stuff is cool. And some of it, well, isn't.

The driver's side seat bottom bolster, which has been abraded by every manner of denim and polyester for six years, still looks stunning.

Here's how the once blue and red steering wheel stitching looks now:


Here's the center console just in front of the emergency brake handle where every driver's thumb scrapes after releasing the brake:


And the key, which I'm assuming once included an arrow and a trunk-release icon on its buttons:


So, wear or patina?

Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor @ 64,120 miles

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