You have to be either mechanics or available for extra money for repair. It's been 18 months since I bought my M3 vert. I only could drive my car for 12 months. Other 6 months? It had been at the shop for repair. So far spent 8000 dollars on only repair. Here are some highlights. Motor mount, tranny mount = $1000 Smg2 transmission issue(broken gear selector detent springs) = parts $50, labors $1050 total: $1100. smg2 clutch assembly replacement with new slave cylinder= $2500 drive shaft center suppport bearing=$500 Used smg2 hydraulic pump unit=$1000 smg2 hydraulic replacements with coding=$1300 other minor repair=$800 Willing to spend more money in repair than the car value? Then this is the car for you.
Finally got to buy a 2002 SMG M3 Interlagos Metallic Blue Coupe, what a car!
Just have it for two month now, got it with 109,500 on it, and had put it over 1,000 miles already, the only thing I did was change the throttle body sensor and change the oil, everything was about U$375.00 in an aftermarket BMW shop ( don't dare to go to the dealer, they will charge you U$160.00 just to read your car with the computer) so the EML and Engine service soon light went away!
Yes it can be a litter expensive to maintenance, but the car won't be breaking every week or turning EML or engine service soon lights on, Is a daily driving car,with no problems!
Love the distinction between the normal 3 series and the M3.
SMG transmission set on 3, is a very smooth daily driving experience and very good on gas too, turn the "sport" on and gas goes away!!
Set the SMG transmission from 3 (daily driving mode) to 5 or 6, turn on the "sport mode" and you will soon realize what does BMW means by: "The Ultime Driving Machine"
Interior quality materials and they should support their M cars more with full and easy recall warranties, no matter what year!
You want the car to last like a Toyota? change the oil and filters always, don't spin on it and take off like if you are in a drag race, take care of this Icon, is a classic sport car not a scum bag civic, treat him like an BMW and stop abusing the car.
I wanted an e46 M3 or e39 M5 since they were introduced. Finally bought '02 M3 MT coupe in 2010.
WOW, what a machine! Perfectly balanced, high-revving and powerful engine (love the exhaust note), great in the corners, stops on a dime. Other cars, including the M5, may be faster but this one is just a blast to drive every day.
If you're accustomed to owning non-M BMWs, be prepared to spend 3X or more per year to maintain this vehicle. If that's not a problem, then you're going to love this car - it is a true performer!
I understand why Edmunds says this will be one of their favorites of all time. I also understand why none of the editors bought it after the long-term test :)
The pure performance of this vehicle is outstanding.
Power, handling, braking, exhaust note.
The car goes 100+ in 3rd gear - whoah.
Did I mention the exhaust note approaching 8k under full throttle?!
If you want to really have the ///M driving experience, stick with the expensive, super-sport/summer tires.
I made the mistake of opting for all-seasons due to cold weather.
The car handled like it was on rails with the summer-only tires. Don't sacrifice in this department - I will be going back to the sticky tires!
Build quality/durability of non-drivetrain parts (roof lining, exterior mirrors, door lock system, audio system, others...).
Some of the other reviews cited clunky transmission/differential noises - I experience this in my car too.
It is only noticeable during "normal" driving and does not seem to hinder performance while driving spiritedly.
Independent service shop says it's normal for these cars.
I bought this car without ever test driving it. I owned 2 Audi TT's and was ready for a back seat so I decided on the 3 series. I fell in love with the M's because of the sport package, performance and overall look! The car is fun and a real eye catcher. If you own the conv and have long hair you MUST invest in the windscreen! It's a must have and does wonders! I can be cruising on the highway at 80 mph and my hair doesn't flinch! I love it~
19' wheels are killer looking (but buying the tires is a pain). I love all the different sport modes with the SMG tranny. The overall looks are just outstanding. I love my M3! I have a special order color (baby blue). I like the parking sensors, they have saved my life a few times.. LOL
The CD changer in the trunk skips a lot due to my low profile tires and crappy roads. The stereo isn't the best (My Audi had a Bose system). I also don't like the heated seats - they aren't warm enough. The ride can be very bumpy especially if you have the 19' wheels. TIRES = $$$$$