2002 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test

2002 BMW M3: Would You Trade It In For The New M3?

April 30, 2009

LT blog.jpg

I drove our new M3 like I meant it for the first time this week, and while I'm totally with Jacquot on the color choice, here's what I texted back to the office: LT blog 2.jpg

"A race car that seats five, with a supple ride and a killer stereo. Best all-around car in the world."

I stand by that assessment, but after taking our old M3 up the PCH to Oxnard last night (not once have I just driven this car straight home), I'm not sure I would trade it in for the new one if it were my car. TMV for our M3 is about $19k, so I'd need another $37k or so to get into the new one. Even if I had silly money, I'd have to think twice about getting rid of the E46.

Yes, the aging S54 inline-6 is noticeably less powerful than the ridiculous S65 V8, but it's got every bit as much of that refined ferocity that sets M engines apart. I still prefer the looks of the old car, too, though it loses out on functionality to our E90 four-door (a curse upon you, BMW, for not making an E46 M3 sedan). For my money, I think I might keep the E46 and buy a new 328i wagon with that $37k.

What would you all do?

Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor @ 70,996 miles

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