To start with this beautiful piece of German engineering, the E36 M3 is a gem. Of coarse coming from a person that has tested some of today's super-cars, The 1995 M3 has been my affordable choice. I purchased this car with 98k miles for an unbeatable price. The first thing I noticed was the purr of the high-performance dual-overhead camshaft S50 motor. Then as the test drive started, I was astonished how a mere 240 hp and 225 ft/lb tq could throw me into the back of the aggressively styled Vader seats. Now the previous owner didn't take the best care of this machine, and due to the negligence, I have to replace the motor, get the interior re-upholstered, etc. but no regrets.
I bought this red M3 in Dec 94 (a 1995 model) as my 50th birthday present. This is THE best car I've ever owned! Fun to drive! Totally reliable! Great comfort! Bulletproof mechanically! Very nice trunk (unlike my 911)! Looks like it's speeding while parked. A head turner every day. While I've driven this luxury model over 115,000 miles, it is still a special treat to get inside this and drive it, every day. If I only had one car to drive, every day, for the rest of my life, it would be this BMW car. I currently have half a dozen cars (including a 2003 Mustang SVT "tuned" Cobra), and two BMW motorcycles, but everyday I go out, I instinctively get in the M3 and let it go. Buy one!
The E36, 5-speed manual, inline 6 is the most fun I have had behind the wheel of a car. I was amazed at how it accelerates even from a lower speed in 5th gear. It is incredibly stable at high speeds (100+ mph) and it comes to a stop on a dime. Never felt more safe and comfortable driving that fast. It shifts beautifully and is incredibly fun to drive. No major mechanical problems and I'm at 160k. Mine in avus blue & the beautifully designed exterior looks incredible - especially after I changed the yellow blinkers on the front corner, side and rear to clear lenses. I think its the best looking car on the road when you have the rear spoiler, sunroof tilted and clean wheels. Highly recommended
I purchased my M3 four years ago and currently have 111,000. miles on the odometer. The car has been trouble free and a pleasure to own and drive. I have driven many cars and this is certainly one of the best handling cars available at any price. Incredible stability and balance. The 1995 is definitely the best year to go for due to the OBD 1, non staggered wheels, more neutral suspension set up, and less complexity. I highly suggest that you buy the nicest, cleanest example you can find.The extra clean low mileage cars are getting harder and harder to find, and demand a premium price,however an abused or neglected one may very well cost you much more in expensive repairs.
I purchased this car with 110k miles. I have driven it VERY hard for another 8k without a single problem. No telling this car is 14 years old! Beats cars that are brand new, handles like it's brand new, no rattles, no major mechanical issues. Well, a few, but I expected to put between 500-1000 into the car immediately and then 1000-2000 over the first year and it's been much less, even with an accident. I ran the car off the road pushing it to it's limit and all it had was a bent control arm, these cars are solid! It's the 4th bmw I've owned and first M3. Couldn't be happier, I'm just worried about tickets. :)