What should I look for in a used BMW M3 coupe?
The BMW M3 was built to be driven hard – and hold up well. However, they're not indestructible: check any proposed purchase over thoroughly, and seriously consider a professional inspection, especially to spot crash repairs.
Check all the electrics, too. If something's not working, make some calls to find out how much it will cost to repair. In all cars, check for low oil pressure, because wear of the big end's shell bearing isn't uncommon. And, if you're trying a car with the SMG automatic gearbox, be ready for shifts that can get you kangarooing down the road like a learner driver.
Bear in mind that the car you're looking for may well have some warranty remaining, and keep an eye out for a car with a desirable extended warranty. The good news is that owners like the 3 Series: the JD Power customer satisfaction survey in 2006 ranked the standard car overall joint 11th out of 139 models, and third in the executive car class, while BMW came joint fifth out of 35 manufacturers.