Used 2001 BMW M

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Pros

  • World-renowned performance, brute strength, exclusivity.

Cons

  • Two-seater configuration limits functionality, roadster still sports a plastic rear window, platform is starting to age.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The M coupe and convertible are bruiser punks masquerading as stylish debs; they're like Mickey Rourke in Jude Law's body. If raw-edged performance is what you're after, the M provides it in spades.

vehicle overview

The Z3, introduced in 1996, has seen unfaltering popularity with young and old alike even as the line has grown to include more models. It seems that wherever we take these cars, a crowd quickly forms to ask questions about performance and to drool over their lovely shapes.

The Z3 lineup consists of three sportsters: the base Z3 Roadster 2.5i, Z3 Coupe 3.0i and Z3 Roadster 3.0i. The Z3 Roadster has an upgraded 2.5-liter, six-cylinder engine that now makes 185 horsepower while meeting low emission vehicle (LEV) standards. Z3s outfitted with larger, 3.0-liter, 225-horsepower six-cylinder engines are available as coupes or roadsters.

Z3 Roadsters feature L-shaped taillights with clear turn signal lenses, fully lined tops, and sculpted rear flanks. The capable sound system is actually audible at speed and clear instrument gauges, plus an analog clock, give the interior a classic look. Some carefully chosen upgrades in interior plastics would go a long way toward improving the Z3's value equation. And what's with the plastic rear window on roadster models when a $12,000 cheaper MR2 provides glass and a defroster?

The 2.5i gets four-wheel disc brakes, a limited-slip differential and 16-inch V-rated performance tires as standard equipment, while the 3.0i cars have larger brakes and new 17-inch wheels this year. A smooth-shifting five-speed manual transmission is standard on all Z cars, but this year a five-speed Steptronic automatic, capable of being manually shifted, is optional. All Z3s have a leather-wrapped M-Technic sport steering wheel and standard Dynamic Stability Control, which senses when the car is veering from its intended path and selectively modulates engine torque and the antilock brakes to bring the car under control.

Driving BMW's Z3 cars is a phenomenal experience. Even the most basic Z3 Roadster, with its powerful inline six and ventilated front-disc brakes, is a blast. Only at high speeds does the 2.5 feel winded, but opting for the larger displacement 3.0-liter six in the 3.0i Roadster solves that problem. And for those who must have a rigid structure and protection from the elements, the 3.0i Coupe is a hoot.

With superb steering and excellent brakes, any Z3 is fun to drive and own. Despite their prowess, however, pure performance freaks will want to step up to the M Coupe and M Roadster, which offer increased power and superior handling.

Slotted comfortably between the bargain Mazda Miata/Toyota MR2 and more expensive machines from Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, there is a Z3 to suit anybody's needs. Certainly the thrill of open-air motoring in a European two-seater is appealing to any baby boomer who owned a sporty little convertible while in college, but those seeking a scalpel sharp roadster this price range will want to check out Honda's ultra-capable S2000. The Z3 Coupe 3.0i makes sense for Snowbelt dwellers who have greater storage needs and like a bit of "funk" with their "sport."

Thirty-somethings are attracted to Z3s because of their undeniable sex appeal and attainable price. But let's face it: Everybody who loves to drive loves the Z3.

2001 Highlights

Engine displacement in the 2.8 Roadster and Coupe is bumped from 2.8 liters to 3.0 liters. An associated horsepower and torque increase, along with bigger brakes and larger 17-inch wheels and tires, accompanies the new engine. The base 2.5-liter engine also sees a 15 horsepower increase. An optional five-speed Steptronic transmission with manual shifting capability is now available.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 BMW M.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Ultimate Muscle Car
Ultimate Muscle Car,06/26/2010
The 2001 and 2002 M roadsters are unique in their absolute driving performance. The engine is sublime and the car can out run just about anything on the road. From a roll, from a launch, or on the freeway it just runs away. Most everyone underestimates the car and I have yet to see a car (even new models of corvette, SRT8s, camaros, etc) that can even keep close. The car can break the tires free shifting into any gear but is so balanced that there is no loss of control or fishtailing. If you think your current car is fast and handles well you should drive one of these to compare.
Fast and fun
RoadieWNC,11/03/2008
Built for winding alpine touring the S54-equipped M roadster is the best car I have ever owned in terms of raw thrill, performance and head-turning good looks. The only (minor) design flaw is non- functional shark-gill side air vents (unlike its lesser cousin the Z3). Odd in a car where every aspect of driving is optimized for the purist from analog instruments to race-quality seat bolsters and an unnerving lack of roll in the fastest corners. It will take anything except a Z06, Viper or Turbo Porsche in a straight, and in the mountains it's virtually untouchable - truly a keeper for the enthusiast and if you find one in mint condition it will be close to 2X the "suggested" online prices.
Ultimate Traditional Sports Car
M Roadster Driver,07/15/2003
If you like the traditional British style of small roadster sports car, but would like reliability and modern supercar performance, this is your car. This car has been everything the specs promised. The car and straight six 315 hp engine is so smooth, the speed can be deceptive except that other performance vehicles disappear in the review mirror. I like its relatively conservative, traditional appearance and it's limited production numbers vs. ten of thousands of Corvettes. Turn the traction control off and it can switch ends very quickly. Recommendation: leave it on on the street or your favorite curvy road! This one is a keeper!
2001 M-Roadster
caseykev,02/26/2003
This is a very fun car to drive. It can be a handful if you disengage the stability control. Very good acceleration. Only drawback is plastic rear window and minor exhaust rattle until exhaust system is warm.
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Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 2
5-speed manual
Gas
315 hp @ 7400 rpm
See all Used 2001 BMW M features & specs
More about the 2001 BMW M
Used 2001 BMW M Overview

The Used 2001 BMW M is offered in the following submodels: M Coupe, M Convertible. Available styles include 2dr Roadster (3.2L 6cyl 5M), and 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2001 BMW M?

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Which used 2001 BMW MS are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 2001 BMW Ms you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used BMW M for sale - 2 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $9,862.

Find a used BMW for sale - 6 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $8,517.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW M for sale - 5 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $14,317.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW for sale - 12 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $15,754.

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Should I lease or buy a 2001 BMW M?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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