I have owned this car for three years and it still gives me a smile every day. I have covered 25,000 miles and it has always started and runs smoothly.
I have the SMG box and have had some problems with kangaroo starts, but have discovered this is due to the sensitivity of the throttle. Power and grip as expected is fantastic and launch control is a laugh.
I have averaged 19.6mpg with a combination of motorway and town driving and that includes really driving it hard as well. It gives me 250 miles max per tank of super unleaded.
Overall build quality has been fantastic - there are no squeaks and the materials are good. I have had problems with a faulty temperature gauge and flickering xenon lights - but this was all fixed under warranty.
Servicing is expensive as expected - £1100 for oil and insection on one service and I have had a full set of Pilot Sport 2 tyres fitted recently for £700.
The only other problem is that everyone tries to race you, but in this car you can give them a race and always smile at the end. If you can get over the running costs I would certainly recommend the M3.
I purchased new in 2006-one of the last, apparently. I chose silver grey and it has every optional extra bar the SMG which I tried, but could never get on with. Felt it was artificial and the car just didn't need it. Just over 15 months and 17,500 miles later, this car has run entirely problem-free, not even as much a minor warranty glitch. Its invigorating to drive and its as quick as you ever want to go - it'll hold its own against anything things from Stuttgart, up to Carrera S - yes, even the chap from the local Porsche dealership who is trying hard to sell me one had to concede that. And as for Subarus – oh please....
Its also wonderful to listen to, particularly when it revs above 4k - a glorious metallic rasp!
It is, shall we say, a little 'eager' when cold, but have never had the kangarooing others refer to - have found it to be perfectly well mannered, until of course you ask it not to be....
Its a looker, cabin quality is the best, everything works and fits properly. Had a drive of a new E90 320i when my car was being serviced and the cabin is reminiscent of taxis you find at airports in Germany - a step back, I think.
Running - 24mpg. If your concerned about running costs don't buy an M3, its a simple as that.
So really, can't praise this car highly enough and can see no reason to change it, even with a new one on the way - all I can say is its going to have to be very good to top this one....
I've owned my M3 from new in November '01 and have covered 52,000 miles. It has been very reliable and has only broken down once when a new brake disc suddenly warped under breaking.
It was annoying to have to run the engine in three times because of the bearing recalls but, BMW did extend the warranty for another 15 months as some compensation. The build quality is superb (it is an individual build and that might have meant that greater care went into fitting the interior).
I've driven it at an indicated 160mph in Germany and it is as solid as a rock at those speeds. It goes around corners at speeds that many other performance cars would struggle to achieve without fuss and, even if it does start to breakaway, is easy to correct.
As others have found, even a manual version can be a little jerky when cold. However, I've found that putting it into sport setting pretty much sorts the problem. I have had some misfiring when it's cold but, this was totally sorted by fitting new ignition coils.
This is one of the all time great cars and I'm hoping that the new V8 will be another.
I have just got rid of my M3 manual with 34,000 on the clock,I bought the car new on the 25 June 04,great drivers car,room for 5 and lots of load space with the rear seats down,a very practical everyday car. Expensive running costs but i thought worth it,although my wife would not agree. Faults,a few, new gearbox after a few thousand miles,the odd misfire when cold,new xenon headlights both went faulty at different times,new CD player,(would not release disc)squeeky rear seats and a fault with the tyre pressure warning light that was not resolved,the last time i took the car in for this problem the dealership managed to damage the front n/s wheel,and put 80 miles on the clock. Haven't like the dealership i bought the car from(arrogant)so decided to go to another to test drive the new 335i coupe but when i arrived at the given time the salesman was on holiday and no car was avalable to test drive,no one seemed to know anything about it,i did drive the 330 coupe and after they offered me 21,500 for mine came away rather peeved to say the least.so i'm giving BMW a miss this time. So if don't mind the expense,and the low residual value,buy one,i loved the drive but not the aftersales.
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