2dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Just changed from 335d which was remapped to 345bhp and another 100 nm of torque. That car was very rapid with serious pull, however all spoilt by M sport suspension and run flat tyres. The M3 suspension and its ability to soak up the bumps in Wales is superb, the seating is so much better and the car a lot quieter. The engine noise makes you grin,the car covers ground at a rapid rate of knots without effort such is the quality of engine. All in all a pretty serious car and a better M3 than I had before despite the fuel consumption which is not as good as the old car, However this is a fabulous motor, seriously quick yet tractable - name another car like it!!!

Robert Hughes, Gwynedd, February 12th 2009

2dr SMG Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG19 mpg

I have had my M3 SMG (52 plate) for 12 months and just last week had a warning light come on for SMG box. I don't know what it means and have not had the time to take it to garage to have it priced. Other than this I had no problem with the car even though I went to Mostar with it ( Bosnia & Hercegovina). It's got 80,000 on the clock but it runs like new. I would highly recomend this car to anyone that likes speed and atention.

Sabahudin Kulasic, Essex, November 28th 2008

2dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG24 mpg

real talents lie at high speed, fidgety at anything less, rear springs replaced at 60k (common problem), 'ragged' motors suffer from being 'ripped-up' around the lsd mounting, i.e. boot floor and chassis - look for any signs of cracks, i do 20k a year and i reckon all in all this car costs about Β£8k a year to run, i get main dealer service - my previous one had independent servicing and suffer the dreaded main bearing failure at 100k - Β£10k to fix, Β£13k for new engine! steering is fast and fussy, expect to be committed to driving it, you can shame most 911's, but be warned, a few heavy stabs of the brake pedal and suddenly there is nothing (and I've opened the cooling ducts, for some reason they are closed off in factory trim.

steve m, November 11th 2008

2dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned the manual M3 coupe for 8 months and it has been a joy. Its a hugely refined machine, beautifully engineered and put together (no squeaks or rattles), and apart from a relatively heavy clutch, is ideal for every day use. The noise from its V8 engine is awesome and approaching the 8500 rpm rev limit is spine tingling. The technology packed into this car is impressive (for example the rev limitor various depending on oil temperature and the red line actually moves). Choice options are the excellent DAB radio, DSP sound system and the USB interface for your ipod (you need to buy an adaptor which is around Β£30). However you buy this car over a 335d for performance. But It is simply not the most exciting car to drive on your favorite A roads and lacks the grin factor. It has M Dynamic Mode, full power option (via the M Drive), however unless you drive it at 10 tenths on a warm dry day it is a bit disappointing. In the wet it can be a real handful even with DSC on so you need to respect this machine. And remember that the standard PS2 Michellin tyres whilst excellent in the right conditions are not designed for near freezing conditions, i.e. the UK 6 months of the year plus tyres do wear out very quickly costing Β£200 or so each. Also depreciation is ghastly. My car is Β£57K new but after 1 year is worth Β£38K trade in. So if you buy one do keep it for atleast 3 years.

Sanjay Nanda, October 23rd 2008

2dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG20 mpg

I have owned the manual m3 coupe for 6 months and have mixed feelings. Its a hugely refined machine, beautifully engineered and put together, and is ideal for every day use as well as on the track. The noise from its V8 engine is awesome and approaching the rev limit is spine tingling. However it is not the most exciting car to drive on your favorite A roads. Yes it has its M Dynamic Mode switched on with full power option (via the M Drive), and the power is addictive, but the chassis itself does not entertain unless you drive it at 10 tenths. So you need absolute commitment and a track to get anything decent out the chassis.

Sanjay Nanda, October 5th 2008

2dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have recently took delivery of a stunning silver 54 plate E46 M3 with full black leather and the optional 19'' wheels. I have been lucky enough to own a number of sports cars however have never driven anything quite like the M3. The way the car handles and corners is nothing short of astonishing....the only car that I have driven which can match its abilities in the twisties was a Lotus Elise that I owned a few years back. In terms of outright acceleration the M3 dosn't disappoint, standard Scoobies and Evo's....Oh please! The engine is a peach, smooth and quiet around town but raspy and loud when being thrashed. In terms of running costs, I managed 34MPG recently during a 50 mile drive on quiet A roads, not bad for a car with just shy of 350bhp {car was being driven at approximately 60 - 70 mph with Mrs and Kid in tow] Normal driving returns approximately 26mpg. In conclusion - a stunningly fast, great handling car with the looks to match.

Euan Clapperton, Ayrshire, April 27th 2008

2dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have recently purchased my 2002 M3 convertible and all I can say is...WOW! Im not adverse to BMW's seeing as I have owned a 318Is Coupe, 325i,328i coupe and convertible, 330ci M sport but I have to say none of these cars even come close to the M3. This car is simply awesome. I dont care what the running costs are of this amazing car because simply stated, if you cant afford the costs that come with this great car then its not for you. But its a great investment because what you get in return for your money is incomparible. I would suggest the manual simply for pure driving pleasure, if you can get one with all the spec (sat nav, TV, Hardtop) then I would honestly say, its the best coupe/convertible on the market for Β£17-Β£20k. Rick from Leighton Buzzard, Beds

rickesh kundi, January 23rd 2008

2dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Bought three months ago to replace a Boxster as with two kids it was not being used nearly enough. Sensational performance even without the annoying Sport button pressed, amazing handling and is surprisingly quiet and comfortable as well with excellent standard equipment. The snarl when you put your foot down is very addictive. Slightly thirsty as you'd expect...23mpg ish. If you want a fast enjoyable yet still practical car I can't think of anything better. Feels far more special than a 3 series coupe. The only wrinkle is the dealer, Murketts of Huntingdon, who have never returned a car with everything on the list I give them fixed (we also run an X5 and previously had a 323 conv and 530d)...sigh

Chris Stening, September 22nd 2007

2dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

BMW M Power made a fantastic performance car. The steering is thick but it is better than RS and C63. The handling is extremely nice and EDC provides comfort, sport and normal options on the road. The braking is awesome - it's the best car in its class. But its running costs are very high.

Kinan Sleiman, Tartous, September 14th 2007

2dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

this car is ok, but nothing as special as it should, or could be. Firstly its not really as fast as contenders, eg the new mercedes c63 amg, which will do nought to 60 in 4.5 secs, but dont think im promoting the merc, far from it, the rest of the car is rubbish, not even close to the m3, the m3 as an owning proposition is great, it will hold its value far better than the merc, and even though its not as quick as the merc it still feels faster than it, the merc feels incredabily boring. The dash f the new m3, whilst being efficient and easy to use isnt exactly a style icon, its very bland and dull. I hope this car will turn out better than the old m3, but i just dont think it will, bmw has lost the driving soul, my advice is go for the old m3, its just as quick, more fun and around 15k cheaper if you get one thats not very old, the only thing wrong with the old m3 was that it was even more boring to be in, and it smelt of cheap plastic, but its still better than the new one. IF you wanted an m3. But if you wanted somthing better than an m3 then either get the vauxhall vxr8 and go on a nice holiday, or get the more expensive porsche 911, or audi rs6, and dont go on holiday for a year.

tom davies, hants, September 4th 2007

2dr SMG Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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 - Β£1100 for oil and insection on one service and I have had a full set of Pilot Sport 2 tyres fitted recently for Β£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.

tung chung, west midlands, July 27th 2007

2dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Bought from new in 2003, this car is absolutely superb, better now than ever before. The engine is nicely run in now at 46K miles and is really quick with the skid control turned off. But beware this may invalidate your insurance if you lose it so ALWAYS keep DSC on in the wet! BMW have been fantastic in honoring warranty claims even outside of the initial three years and I've had quite a lot of repairs, but this is a high performance car and you should expect that. The car has a noisy exhaust note and eats up rear tyres over 10k miles. The handling is typical of a convertible: my earlier Porsche 944S2 was better on the track, but for pure road enjoyment the M3 convertible is a dream. It has plenty of luggage space, but a shorter chassis length would improve cornering. I have had the two rear springs replaced because of speed bump damage, and this is a common problem. The only major fault has been a split battery and the leaked acid destroyed the main electrical leads in the boot, causing complete electrical failure. It was all fixed by BMW under warranty. There are some rattles from the roof but these have all disappeared over time, or I have got used to them!. Runs well on 18" wheels and I'm pleased I opted for the manual box. Pure driving fun.

Michelle Styles, Surrey, July 11th 2007

2dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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....

Bill Greenwell , West Midlands , May 31st 2007

2dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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.

roger mount, gloucestershire, April 26th 2007

2dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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.

William Holroyd, West Yorkshire, April 18th 2007

2dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This is an excellent car - I just love the noise of the engine and exhaust note especially with the roof off. It looks great, handles really well and goes like a rocket, although watch out for the SMG II gearbox in full mode with the sport button on - it can be quite savage. I have an 03 plate with 25,000 miles on it. I have had no real problems with it, although I had to replace the two back springs (probably because of speed bumps). The suspension is a bit hard, but that’s the compromise you get for cornering like a house fly. Fuel consumption is what I expected - 22mpg combined. I got 34mpg on a long journey at 70mph. Boot space is OK, even with the roof down, and I easily got two of my friends in the back seats. This is a great car and I look forward to driving it every day.

George Cairns, Fife, February 26th 2007

2dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I purchased the SMGII convertible in December. What a ride - I have had many high performance cars over the years, but this has to be the biggest rush. Every time I get in the car it will give me the same rush even three months on. Knowing its power and the grip that it delivers, being confident when needing its abilities proves to be sucessful all the time. I must say that it is even better turning the radio off and listening to it punch through each gear. I highly recommend having the F1 shift paddles, as it makes a massive difference. Although it is heavy on gas and insurance is high, it's worth every penny.

karl wood, DERBYSHIRE, February 26th 2007

2dr SMG Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned my BMW M3 for two years - it's a 2003 model. There have been a couple of little niggles - it needed a new starter and two new rear springs (the warranty covered these). I'd suggest you get yourself RAC's Gold cover. Otherwise, it's superb. Running costs are on the high side, but you don't buy an M3 for economy. It's by far the fastest non-turbo car I have ever driven, and although it kangaroos when cold, I can't find anything else to moan about. It's reliable, very fast and practical for the family. I can't fault BMW's aftersales (brilliant). Will I sell it? Not on your nelly. Well, maybe for the new V8 version. (Neil Willerton, you should have bought the 911 4S if you wanted a turbo).

neil davies, staffordshire, February 21st 2007

2dr SMG Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I agree with everyones problems with the SMG when engine is cold, so i what i do now is drive it in manual (mostly 2nd) until engine is warm - then enable SMG, and only use sport mode when 'playing'. I have a 2003 model, that came with everything on. My last car as a 2000 Ford Mondeo ST200; 205bhp, which was a good car (wolf in sheeps clothing) but this M3 is probably the best car i have ever owned. I even play with motorbikes.. and in some conditions win! Negatives - well I accept like others that 24mpg is acceptable, and two tyres (I was amazed that front and rear are different sizes) cost me Β£400. it has yet to have a service... but i have been saving, and raiding the piggy bank. The only other negative is that other 'sporty' drivers expect you to have a go --- unfortunately, i do.. hee hee. Will i sell it ... i doubt it, unless my circumstances change ... but then i would sell the house first!

Brett Dukes, Cheshire, January 21st 2007

2dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Having just purchased the M3 convertible having owned a 325i sport for the past 2 years. Firstly this is the first convertible I have owned, secondly this is without doubt the greatest car I have driven to date and I can't think that I'll personally be driving many cars better. Yes o.k. it can be very slightly noisey, but then half the time thats the sound of the Nappa leather or the growl comming from under the bonnet, which it has to be said puts a smile on the face. The M3 can be driven around town, ok the cluth is slightly heavy but once that sport buttion is pressed it turns into a totally different experience. This is definetely a fantastic drivers car

Ryan Docherty, Cleveland, December 10th 2006

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