A real thrill to drive. A 10 in the turns. The car never feels out of control. Racecar handling and phenomenal braking at any speed. The best ride in the price range. Competition Package was well worth the 4K.
Wanted one before production was finally discontinued on the E46 with the straight-6 engine. Everything, from the interior ergnomics to the performance (power & handling) fit me like a well tailored suit. I'm a fairly athletic guy and I swear this car feels like an extension of my own arms, legs and rest of my body. Although higher horsepower, and more comfortable seats, my 02 M5 doesn't even compare. The Competition Package came with a much higher steering ratio that requires a tighter grip on the thicker alcantara wrapped wheel, but remains extremely firm and direct and very high speeds. This car does require some concentration and skill to truly drive well.
Awesome engine, rigid chassis, razor sharp handling with no body roll, firm supportive & multi-adjustable seats, classic BMW ergonomics, everyday driveability + love the color (interlagos blue) and wheels both unique to the ZCP (Competition Package). Relatively covert for such a high perf car.
Although I never had a problem in my 02 M5, I always worry about a flat (for those that don't know, Ms have NO spare tire, only an air compressor and can of tire stop-leak in the trunk) Also, I could stand to lose the Alcantara wrapped steering wheel and get back my cruise control (w/ZCP)
This is the year I decided to finally take the leap and buy an M3. I have longed for one of these for quite some time. I was prompted by the fact that BMW will soon be straying from its time honored tradition of squeezing the most out of its venerable in-line 6 and replacing it, in the M3, with a larger V-8. So far the decision comes with no regrets. This is a beautifully crafted, subtly understated performance car. It eases the embarassment of succumbing to middle age malaise, conventionally known as the mid-life crisis.
The acceleration and handling are superb. Seats are likewise excellent-- lots of support and very comfortable. Instrumentation is well organized and properly located. The external styling is classic BMW with just enough edge to make its appearance something special
The seat belt set up is ridiculous. How a company that pays as much attention to detail as BMW does could think that this would be acceptable is beyond me. I wouldn't want to ride in the back seat for very long either.
Best car I've ever owned. Have about 1800 miles on it so far. Terrific styling, excellent fit and finish. Silver exterior with black Napa leather, aluminum trim, xenon headlamps. Love the SMG. Harmon Kardon sound system, NAV, all good. Unalloyed joy to drive. Handling is superb. Power to spare. Zero body roll. Well-mannered in town, a thrill to drive on twisty highways, carving through corners like a laser. The car is everything I'd dreamt it would be.
Excellent adjustable seating. SMG was easy to learn. Good ergonomics on all controls. Thank God, no iDrive to have to contend with. Great looks exteriorly and interiorly.
In auto mode, the shifts are not as smooth as I'd like, but only minorly so.
After driving everything from an audi S4 to a porsche 911, this car has it all and makes few compromises. From a handling perspective, it is truly sporting asking the most from its driver, not unlike a 911. It is everyday livable with out smacking of too practical like the S4. My only complaint is the lack of satellite radio with NAV. The motor is incedibly willing and feels like it is made for the chassis, instead of the other way around. I am still under 1200 miles so I have only let it rip once or twice, but what a thrill. I have forgotten about my dream to sometime buy a new 911, if you are a sportscar enthusiast with a family, this might do it for you. Worth every penny!
Carbon black paint, (very blue) tons of compliments. Lighted M on shift knob, attention to detail, seats, effortless shifter. Engine growl,doesn't sound fake. Ability to drive everyday. M Steering wheel thickness. Car is very cool.
I know this is the last year for the E46 M3, and that's partly why i bought it, everything with it has been perfected except the lack of Satellite radio with NAV. But this car is not about the options list, its about the handling. If the new M3 wants to better, it better keep the feel.