2006 BMW M3 Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2006 BMW M3 Convertible

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
BMW M3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.2 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 333 hp @ 7900 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 BMW M3

  • Phenomenal BMW handling combined with an equally awe-inspiring engine make this high-performance Motorsport creation one of our all-time favorites. The 2006 BMW M3 is the sort of car that makes enthusiasts wish they were good enough drivers to push it to its limits.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Remarkable engine, racecar handling and braking, sumptuous interior, available Sequential Manual Gearbox.

  • Cons

    Uninspired exhaust note, basics like power seats and an alarm system cost extra.

  • What's New for 2006

    Although the regular 3 Series is redesigned for 2006, the high-performance 2006 BMW M3 continues on the previous-generation platform with no significant changes.

Full 2006 BMW M3 Review

What's New for 2006

Although the regular 3 Series is redesigned for 2006, the high-performance 2006 BMW M3 continues on the previous-generation platform with no significant changes.


With colors like Laguna Seca Blue and Imola Red, there's no question as to where the BMW M3's aspirations lie. These famous racetracks would be fitting playgrounds for any car that promises such stratospheric levels of power and handling.

Whether blasting up Tamburello at Imola or diving into the corkscrew at Laguna Seca, few cars in the world could attack a road course with the tenacity of those wearing the "M" badge of BMW's Motorsport division. Until the 2001 model year, we had to deal with the fact that as much as we loved those Motorsport machines, our European counterparts were getting versions far more powerful than ours. Their M3s boasted 317 horsepower, while ours made do with just 240. Not that we were complaining.

Even with its detuned engine, the previous-generation M3 was still one of the best performance coupes available anywhere. But the grass is always greener on the other side, and U.S. enthusiasts couldn't help but wonder just how much better the M3 was in its Euro-spec trim. With the introduction of the current-generation BMW M3 for the 2001 model year, drivers had to wonder no more. The M3 is now the same whether you buy it in Stuttgart or San Francisco. Better yet, it's been blessed with an even more powerful 333-hp engine, a sturdier, more responsive suspension and slinkier bodywork that, we think, makes it one of the most stunning cars on the market.

Like so many ultrahigh-performance cars of today, finding the limit of the M3's abilities takes more than just an empty road and the guts to hold the pedal down longer than usual. Fortunately, the 2006 BMW M3 gets along just fine in suburban environments, though be forewarned that the ride walks a very fine line between all-out performance and day-to-day drivability. Enthusiasts will find it pleasantly firm, but poseurs had better hold on to their cappuccinos.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2006 BMW M3 in offered in both coupe and convertible form. Standard features on the coupe include 18-inch wheels with Z-rated rubber, automatic climate control, 10-way adjustable sport seats, leather and cloth upholstery, one-touch power windows, heated power mirrors, a CD player, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers and keyless entry. The convertible adds power seat adjustments and full leather upholstery; these items are optional on the coupe. Additionally, the drop top comes with a fully automatic soft top (with heated rear glass); a removable hardtop is available. There are a number of option packages available, the most interesting of these being the Competition Package, which outfits the coupe with some of the performance upgrades from the coveted European-market M3 CSL, including 19-inch forged alloy wheels, larger Michelin tires, stiffer shocks and springs, a quicker steering ratio, upgraded brake pads and rotors, a less intrusive M Track mode for the stability control system, and unique Alcantara and aluminum interior trim. Choosing this package deletes cruise control and steering wheel audio controls. Among the other extras are a sunroof, seat heaters, HID headlights, a navigation system, a premium sound system, parking sensors, BMW Assist and an alarm system.

Powertrains and Performance

The BMW M3 is propelled by a potent 3.2-liter, six-cylinder engine rated at 333 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed sequential manual gearbox (SMG) is offered as an option. The SMG offers both manual and automatic driving modes, and although it is by definition a manual transmission, its clutch is electronically controlled, such that there's no clutch pedal. Drivers can use either steering column-mounted paddles or the shift lever to change gears in manual mode. Unlike other systems, SMG allows you to alter the quickness of the shifts, and in its most aggressive shift program, it's said to be faster than Ferrari's Formula One setup.


Safety features include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control, front side-impact airbags, head curtain airbags for the front (coupe only) and a rollover protection system (convertible only); rear side-impact bags are optional. The BMW 3 Series earned a "Good" rating from the IIHS in 40-mph frontal-offset crash testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

Aggressive driving is aided by heavily bolstered front bucket seats, a thick M Sport steering wheel with attractive blue and red stitching and distinctive red-needled M instrumentation. The rest of the interior is pretty much standard-issue 3 Series, and that means high-quality materials and tight construction.

Driving Impressions

We've always loved the near telepathic feel of the 3 Series' suspension, and the 2006 BMW M3 is all that and more. The near insurmountable grip and predictable motions inspire cornering speeds that will leave even the most experienced drivers second-guessing themselves. Keep the throttle set in "Sport" mode and the M3 will tackle your favorite set of switchbacks as fast as any production car on the road.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

What i thought it was....awesome

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Vehicle: 2006 BMW M3 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

I have been looking for a M for 4 years and it was worth the wait. A pure sweet car to drive, every aspect of the car is a joy, totally a head turner with the M3 badging. I am completely satisfied with this car, glad I bought it, true sport inspired. I have had several sports cars and coupes, this one by far is the most fun and pure fun to drive.

When only the best will

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW M3 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

This car is totally amazing. Drop the top and your in heaven! Everything you want in a sports car with a back seat and trunk is here! 19147 miles of happiness (no problems just regular maintenance).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

To hot not to love

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW M3 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

One word describes my car: AMAZING! I have never had a car that held 4 people, looked so good and could drive so fast. It is American specs and I have driven on the Autoban at 160 MPH! 130 with the top down! I looked at other cars but they did not compare to this one.

06 m3 convertible

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Vehicle: 2006 BMW M3 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

I have owned many convertible cars in my life (Porsche, Ferrari, Aston) and none are as rewarding as the M3. The engine is a true masterpiece. The SMG is brillant. I almost went with a manual due to a bit of negative press about the SMG but I am glad I got the SMG. It is absolutely outstanding. Auto boxes with shift modes are not even close. The car handles very well for a open top car. I purchased the hardtop and it looks fantastic (even better than the coupe) and adds a bit more rigidity. I highly recommend this car and I believe the 6 cyclinder will become a classic. This is a real crowd pleaser as well and will certainly get you noticed

Best in show!!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW M3 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

We are enjoying our new BMW M3 tremendously. My husband and I love to drive up to the north Ga. mountains and along country roads with the top down on warm days. I would definitely recomend this car to anyone/everyone looking for a fun, safe, sporty and suprisingly affordable car.

Outstanding performance and handling

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW M3 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

I considered the Cadillac CTS-V, BMW 335i, Audi S4, and Infiniti G35 before deciding on the 2006 M3. This was the most expensive of the lot, but the overall quality and driving experience gave it the edge. The back seats are large enough for adult passengers, the instrument cluster is user friendly, (no iDrive) and there is enough storage space to make it a functional car for daily driving. The suspension and handling are better than any car I have ever driven, including my dearly loved '99 corvette. The manual transmission is excellent. I highly recomend this car.

Talk About The 2006 M3

2006 BMW M3 Discussions See all Started By

My winter tires (Dunlop Winter Sport M3s) have gone through 2 winters and about 12,000 miles. I'm not sure how many miles to reasonably expect from them. This figures to be their last winter anyway...

So as all of us BMW fans suspected, BMW got rid of the N54 engine and replaced it with the less tuner friendly, and less ability to make power N55 engine, in order to develop the new M3/M4 engine arou...

I was talking about allow us as in the US, to be able to build a true sport sedan. The current M sport package is a start, but I'm more talking about like the ZPH package that I had in my 330i, close ...

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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