2002 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test

Three Things I Love About the 2002 BMW M3

December 08, 2008


Our 2002 BMW M3 has a few minor problems (curling trunk liner, missing dome light cover, loose trunk flashing) but at 65,000 miles there's still lots to love about it. Here are three things that come to mind and a short, highly opinionated reason why this raises my pulse.

1. Changing Redline on the Tach. When you first fire it up the redline, shown in glowing red, is about 6,500 rpm. But after it's hot the redline climbs to 7,500 rpm. I can imagine some Germanic voice saying, "Yes, I know you want to wind za crap out of it immediately. But you must wait until za vital oil is warmed and fully circulated before you may do so."

2. The fat, fat steering wheel. Is it too fat? Edmunds editors could debate this along with the great questions of existence, for hours on end. But my firm conviction is that it is just right. It is a constant tactile reminder you that you are driving a car that is a cut above everything else on the road, even when it is six years old with 65,000 hard miles on it.

3. Growls and snarls. This M3 is like an athlete who's so good he doesn't have to advertise it all the time. So a threatening growl is your normal exhaust note. But step into it and you find another whole level of snarling performance awaits you.

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