Used 2002 BMW M3 Coupe

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2002 BMW M3
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2002 BMW M3

Pros

  • Astonishing performance, prodigious thrust, truly a bargain compared to its competition.

Cons

  • Difficult ingress/egress, ride can be rough around town.
BMW M3 years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Several of our editors would be driving the 2002 BMW M3 today if we were in a more lucrative field. Lotto tickets, anyone?

vehicle overview

Last year, the boys of Bavaria finally relented and sent us the potent M3. Boy howdy, was it worth the wait. The M3 coupe and convertible, based on the delectable current-generation 3 Series, is propelled by a magnificent 3.2-liter engine, with 333 thundering horses coming from a single bank of naturally aspirated six cylinders. Capped with a six-speed manual transmission, all that horsepower and the 262 pound-feet of torque (at 4,900 rpm) is good enough to propel the 3,781-pound M3 convertible to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds, according to BMW. The lighter 3,415-pound M3 coupe, meanwhile, reportedly gets the job done in an even quicker 4.8 seconds. New for the year, an optional Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) provides Formula One-style paddle shifting on the steering wheel and reportedly allows the transmission to shift faster than a skilled driver can shift a manual or a conventional automatic can shift itself.

But an exhilarating driving experience involves more than mere speed, and the dynamics of the M3 have car reviewers frothing at the mouth to describe the joy derived from piloting this vehicle. From its communicative steering and near-perfectly balanced chassis to the compliant-yet-firm ride, this Bimmer, like most others, will have you searching for that elusive twisty road upon which to spool the revs and extract that stunning exhaust note. Don't think that you'd be lacking structural rigidity should you opt for open-topped fun. In fact, BMW claims that this version of the ragtop boasts a superstructure more rigid than the previous-generation 3 Series coupe. It's quite an accomplishment and the perfect accompaniment to the M3's superb MacPherson strut front and double-wishbone rear independent suspension system.

Standard features for the convertible include heated power-adjustable sport bucket seats; these are optional on the coupe. For 2002, a CD player finally makes its way onto the standard equipment list. There are front and side airbags (coupes get a head protection system for front seat occupants, too), as well as optional rear-seat side airbags for safety, and, of course, antilock brakes are standard. BMW's Dynamic Stability Control system also makes the grade, and the drop-top version of the M3 gets a Rollover Protection System that automatically deploys roll hoops behind the rear seats in case the ragtop ever goes end over end.

Other options include a removable hard top for the convertible and a Cold Weather package for the coupe that includes a ski bag, heated front seats and a headlight washer system that'll make the cars more palatable during the winter months. A proximity-sensing Park Distance Control system will probably save a few costly scratches to the bumpers, and a navigation system with a wider screen for 2002 lets you know where you're going.

We think that the 3 Series is one of the best cars on the market today, and the M package increases its appeal exponentially. These beauts should have enough oomph and athletic prowess to have the competition whimpering in the corner.

Read our BMW M3 Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

2002 Highlights

An optional sequential manual gearbox makes its way into the 2002 BMW M3, which allows the driver to shift with almost instantaneous precision without a clutch. A CD player becomes standard, the automatic climate control has been revised and rear-seat side airbags are optional for both the coupe and convertible.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 BMW M3.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Awesome Performance. Expensive to Maintain.
richpsu,06/01/2011
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 Ultime Driving Machine!
mbatista911,09/19/2013
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!
'02 BMW M3
mike,11/04/2006
Awesome car to drive... absolutely love it!!! The SMG gearbox is the way to go especially if you live where there is lots of traffic.
MMMMM Good!
ttocsffej,02/28/2002
My M3 is Imola Red with the Red/Black interior. It has all options including the nav system and SMG II sequential manual gearbox which is great! The "automatic" mode is a godsend in stop and go traffic. I didn't buy this car for fuel efficiency, which is a good thing. The best I've averaged on the hwy was about 21...and I've already seen some 15 mpg "in town" tanks. As such, the 16.5 gallon tank empties FAR too quickly, with fill ups as often as 250 miles.
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Features & Specs

MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
333 hp @ 7900 rpm
See all Used 2002 BMW M3 Coupe features & specs
More about the 2002 BMW M3
Used 2002 BMW M3 Coupe Overview

The Used 2002 BMW M3 Coupe is offered in the following styles: 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2002 BMW M3 Coupe?

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Can't find a used 2002 BMW M3 M3 Coupe you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used BMW M3 for sale - 3 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $7,847.

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Should I lease or buy a 2002 BMW M3?

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.

Check out BMW lease specials
Check out BMW M3 lease specials