Used 1997 BMW M3 Sedan Consumer Reviews
1st new car I ever bought & still own 12 years later, tracked it when under warranty, only issues was brake rotors & too much restriction in power steering boost. STOCK SUSPENSION WAS SHOT AFTER 50,000 MILES, went to turner ms bilstein sport/h&r sport springs. Never looked back. Re-did rear this year. Under bilstein warrenty. Issues were blown head gasket @105,000 miles, rebuilt rear axles@ 115,000 & VANOS @ 95,000& lower control arms @ 90,000 all par for the course, mobile one only in engine, trans, rear & power steering 25 mpg.
I have put SEVERAL thousand dollars into repairs into this car over the last months. If you can't do the work yourself expect to sink lots of bucks into it!
There have been few purchases (<5) in my life that I have absolutely no regrets about. This tops the list. Everyday when I get behind the wheel of this car I am elated. The response is like no other vehicle I've driven. The flat torque curve starts you off at 200lb-ft and the acceleration is fantastic. Handling is phenomenal; double suggested speeds for highway ramps (professional driver, closed course, do not attempt at home). Every time I think about getting a new car, those thoughts are blown away when I drove home. To top it all off, it's practical-4 doors, trunk space, decent rear legroom. This is the most fun you can have in an automobile, probably for around $10k these days.
Overall - I can't find better one to date than this equipped with 4dr. and stick shift. I love pretty nimble handling and powerful engine. Body rigidity seems to be better than 2dr due to B piller. I'm not sure why BMW does not release 4dr. M3 in US for current model. Maybe E36-M3 could be the first and last 4dr. "M3" in US. It's well balanced between performance and packaging that holds average family. It's reliable too as long as maintained properly. Before buying the M3, I expected bunch of repair and regular service bills but it's been way below than I expected, which is a pleasant surprise. It's almost as well built Japanese vehicles.
It has been long time, that BMW has made me of it's fanatic, #1 reason: the ultimate driving experience, by the way M-editions are The Ultimate Driving BMWs. This 97/M3 is my 3rd bimmer & 1st M3, and I like everything of it. It offers more futures & quality even today, than 2006 American/Japanese "Transports" of same class & price - and "PRICE" of this M3 I don't mean new one, but as is now on the market 95-99/E36. First I wanted coupe, but since both they look, weigh & measure same, two extra doors makes this one more usefull. Well, I think everyone should owe one of these, at least once in a lifetime.