Used 2004 BMW M3 Convertible Consumer Reviews - 34 Car Reviews | Edmunds

2004 BMW M3 Convertible Consumer Reviews

Base 3.2L 6-cyl. 6-speed Manual - (34 reviews )

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E46 M3 Convertible w/SMG is octogenarian's dream!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Brian T
on

Vehicle

2004 BMW M3 Convertible 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)


Review

I just turned 80 and I Knew what to expect from an e46 M3 w/SMG; (drove a silver Coupe for 5 years before it got totaled) Just bought a pristine, carbon black convertible instead of a motorcycle. SMG requires smooth driving style to avoid jerky behavior that many people can't seem to learn to overcome. I would put my SMG up against any 6 speed manual, and when you switch to automatic, your wife can drive it. Otherwise, I set my shift pattern on 5 bars and paddle shift. Must have the correct limited slip differential fluid from BMW to avoid jerky shifts and grinding noises during tight turns. I replaced stock exhaust with Rogue Engineering rasp eliminator, and a Remus axle back muffler system..sweet mellow tone and no rasp. To enjoy top down driving at speed, you'll need a simple to install wind deflector.


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With Upgrades, Pretty Much The Perfect Car
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Bimmer Owner
on

Vehicle

2004 BMW M3 Convertible 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)


Review

Amazing balance of performance and practicality. Research the VANOS, cam bolts, and rear subframe. Upgrade kits and parts are available for all. They can cause major damage if not inspected and addressed (if nec., as far as the subframe). Convertibles are reportedly less likely to have the rear subframe problem. Skip the SMG - arguably hard to live with, unreliable, expensive. Consider removing the manual transmission's Clutch Delay Valve (CDV). The car can be hard to shift smoothly and fellow owners recommend it, saying doing so solves the problem (I'm planning to do it). Car is a remarkably comfortable tourer on the highway and is equally adept at carving up mountain roads. Seats are the best I've ever had and upgraded stereo (Harmon Kardon) is the best OEM I've ever had as well. The convertible does flex a bit. Top up, there are blind spots. It's also hard to judge the corners of the car from the driver's seat and easy to scrape the front spoiler. Parts and oil can be expensive, but considering the car's performance, it's still a good value. You can drive it like a Honda all day or get on it and accelerate like a hoon.

UPDATE 11/28/16: Still love this car. Had the CDV removed and it does shift much more smoothly. The strong online enthusiast community for these is helpful, friendly and informative. Some people find the e46 M3's ride too harsh; I suspect this is regarding the coupes and the convertible's extra weight improves things. Also, the 19-inch wheels reportedly result in a much firmer ride (I have the 18s). As the cars get older parts can be crazy high, but here again the online forums are a great resource. And a quality, well-reviewed independent mechanic is invaluable.


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All in one!!! Performance, Style and Reliability
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By vision3
on

Vehicle

2004 BMW M3 Convertible 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)


Review

Bought this amazing car last year with 55k orig miles. I've since driven it for 12k miles and can only say great things about it. It runs, drives and handles outstanding. The solid build, craftsmanship and styling of this car is top notch. The exterior color is called Carbon Schwartz. At first glance, it looks Black; but, in sunlight it seems to change to metallic dark Blue. Have to see it to believe it! Interior is Black with Black convertible top and 19" wheels.
All original, non SMG, regular 6 spd. No problems at all. A practical yet powerful convertible sports car with room for 4 people and suitcases. A powerful, great handling sports car that gets 20mpg!! BMW got it right!!






Best Features

Style, power, handling, build quality, gas mileage, room for four, plenty of trunk space, and reliability. If you can find a well maintained used one, buy it. It's a keeper that will never go out of style and will have you smiling every time you drive it.


Worst Features

Can't think of anything. Except, maybe a little deeper interior middle console storage compartment, to keep sunglasses, eyeglasses, etc. But it's not a big deal, as there are other storage compartments to make use of (glovebox and door panel lower pockets).


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Can't buy more fun
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Silvert M3
on

Vehicle

2004 BMW M3 Convertible 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)


Review

Nothing handles, accelerates, and overall performs like an M3 convertible and still has room for 4 people and luggage (try that in a Porsche). Proof positive that you can make a practical car fun, and a performance car practical! All with 21 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.


Best Features

Engine w/333 HP. 6-speed SMG transmission. Nav system. Convertible top. People staring!


Worst Features

Slightly more rear leg room.


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Fun at First - Then the poor quality
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Frustrum
on

Vehicle

2004 BMW M3 Convertible 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)


Review

Had a lot of fun with the top down, great acceleration and speed -- loved the SMG. Not enough space for all the bad. Twice transmission died on the freeway at 90 mph, flying in neutral. Manage to get to the side, tow-truck guy says "these have been dropping like flies." GPS never worked. Took into different dealers totaling 5 times, everytime they said it was fixed. It actually works now. Intermittent glitch on windows rolling up, still not fixed. Tire pressure light is on now and won't go away (tires checkout). Took to dealer and they said it was fixed, drive it away and light still on. Anyway, tons of other basic quality issues. Frayed steering wheel leather.


Best Features

SMG was fun when it worked. Not a coincidence they have pulled it from the new cars.


Worst Features

Some build quality. Seems to be meant to be leased for a few years and then traded.


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