I have a 2004 M3 with SMG. The only complaint about this car is that the SMG is quite jerky, especially in stop and go city driving. Otherwise,the car is fantastic. It has excellent agility and can accelerate like stink. It also has a very decent sized trunk that can store a good load of groceries and has rear seats that can fit a real adult without having to amputate their legs.
It's interesting reading everyone else's views on the SMG box, I've had my M3 for less than a year but I've driven 49,000 in it.
I think the SMG is great. Yes it kangeroos a bit when cold but it's great to do loads of miles with.
My M3 is fully loaded and the toy count is pretty impressive. £700 odd for the TV is rather steep though (Particularly as the reception is so often rubbish). The engine is great, although you do have to work it pretty hard. Handling is fantastic.
Servicing costs are ok until a big one comes up (£950 for the last one!). It certainly gets through its rear tyres too. I've had no reliability problems with mine.
I don't agree that it's a true supercar though. BMW makes more 3s than Ford does Mondeos. Let's be honest, a 911 is a bespoke sports car - an M3 is a souped up rep mobile.
Bloody good fun though. Although I dread to think how little mine is now worth!
I have owned my M3 for nearly three years, and it's a superb drive - but only when it's not in the BMW garage having a complete engine replacement
I was one of the unlucky few who purchased an M3 built in early 2002, a period where BMW built engines with faults on the oil filters (or something like that). The car is again in the garage for a much needed modification to that new engine.
Later it was back in again due to loss of power steering, caused by a cracked pipe. Then there was an oil leak which took BMW three days to locate. When in for a service, it needed a new steering rack and rods, and a replacement ignition coil.
All this after only 24,000 miles! I'm sorry, but this just isn't good enough. What happened to German reliability? And do BMW have good after sales service? Not from my experience - courtesy cars are rarer than south american skinks.
I love the car, but its currently up for sale and I won't be buying another BMW ever again. So be warned.
I have now owned my M3 for just over 12 months. In that time I have covered 18,000 miles, and it has never let me down.
The SMG gearbox is a delight to use, although a little violent when really going for it. The downside to M3 ownership is the high running costs in terms of insurance, fuel, and tyres. I had to replace three tyres in one week - two were worn and one had a punture which couldn't be repaired.
Like Dave Perry's review, I wanted to upgrade to a 05 model from a 53, but like Dave I payed £34,000 and was told I'd get £23,500 in part-exchange. I told the dealer where to go.
I would definitely recommend an M3.
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