10 reasons why the E46 is the best BMW M3 you can buy

10 reasons why the E46 is the best BMW M3 you can buy

The BMW The E46 M3 is the high-performance version of the BMW E46 3-series, developed by BMW’s in-house motorsport division. It was initially produced only as a coupe, but was later joined by a convertible model. It immediately captured the hearts of true sports car enthusiasts during its launch. It had a high-speed inline-6 ​​engine, and a lightweight construction, embodying the essence of the iconic BMW M3 E30.


Since then, people have considered The E46 generation is the greatest M car. Only due to its simplicity, attractiveness and general design. The hype in the E46 has been fairly constant for a while, but it has recently returned to the spotlight and the demand for this car is now on an upward trend again. With that being said, if you’re in the market for an M3, we’re here to show you why the E46 M3 is the best M3 you can buy right now.

10/10 price

Let’s start with the price. The E46 M3 has many trims and options available to it. Options determine the price largely based on how the E46 is selected in terms of exterior and interior colors, what package it has, which transmission, and whether it’s a coupe or convertible.

Choosing a regular used-market E46 M3 coupe can start in the $15,000 to $25,000 range for an SMG transmission and a few thousand more for a six-speed manual transmission. It can have a wide price range as it will also depend on the mileage, condition and history of the vehicle. It is still a very affordable price to enter the sports car market.

Related: 10 Reasons Every Head Gear Should Own a BMW M3

9/10 the operation

The E46 M3 is a car that is more than capable of everyday driving. You can definitely take it for groceries, and it will put a smile on your face when you’re driving on winding roads on the weekend, or on a track day. It truly is an all-in-one car. It has minimal blind spots thanks to a large quad rear windshield, which is great for city driving.

The ride is very assertive, but it can still be tolerated given it’s a sports car. If this is still an issue for you, you always have the option to switch the comment to a more editable one. This is likely the path the majority of E46 M3 owners choose for a lower, more aggressive stance with the ability to adjust dampers and rebound.

8/10 design

The design of the E46 M3 is simply timeless with powerful proportions. It’s one of those truly outdated cars that definitely fits in with the cars of modern design. The M3 is instantly recognizable thanks to numerous details such as wider fenders, a more aggressive bumper, bulge on the hood, and distinctive chrome side gills on the fenders.

Essentially, these design cues relate to the M3’s aerodynamic performance aspect. But the way it’s all integrated into the car is just perfect. It has the right body lines and curves, which makes the overall look of the E46 frankly a sexy coupe that you can easily fall in love with at first sight.

Related: Here’s Why Older BMW M3s Are Making Big Bucks Now

7/10 Driving Experience

The driving experience is what might make you fall in love even more. An experience is not something you can simply describe in words and justify. Being behind the wheel of this device is definitely an experience. The steering is very direct, and you can really feel the raw power it gives.

There aren’t many electronics in the car that tell you what to do and not do. Unlike modern cars, where you feel like you don’t have complete control due to driving aids and safety features. It can be frustrating at times for the driving enthusiasts out there. in addition to, BMW is heavily influenced by motorsportsSo whether you’re on the back roads or on the track, you can really enjoy the emotional driving experience that brings you closer to the car.

6/10 Availability of aftermarket and spare parts

The E46 M3 has always been a huge hit in the automotive community when it comes to mods. The simplicity of the overall design makes this vehicle easy to modify, plus it’s a great platform to start with. You see a lot of different constructions from different owners that make it their own. From an OEM-spec build, an air suspension-based stance, right up to a full track car.

Due to the various builds of the E46 M3, this has also become very useful for new owners entering the M3 market, where there is also a large availability of OEM and aftermarket parts. So, if something breaks down while you own it, there is often always something readily available for you to buy, even at the used parts market.

Related: BMW M3 owners have modified their cars to perfection

5/10 Maintenance work

Maintaining an E46 M3 can be costly, especially if you plan on using it as a daily commuter. So be prepared for some costly bills for the first two years of ownership. Also, initial maintenance will depend on which M3 you buy. If you choose to purchase a neglected M3, expect to pay approximately double the price to have it restored and serviced.

This is why it is really important to check out the M3 you are considering buying before making your decision. You can bring a trusted mechanic, and also do your research, as there are plenty of them Buyer’s guides Available for E46 M3 specifically. However, with fewer electronics than modern sports cars, the E46 M3 is relatively cheap to maintain.

4/10 Energy

The E46 M3 is paired with a racing-inspired 3.2-liter S54 engine. The engine is built on the legacy of its predecessor with an all-new development. The output is 338 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque that can reach speeds of 8000 rpm. The power numbers, given its age, are still very capable and comparable to the market today. It is still on par with modern sports cars in its price.

The S54 has won the prestigious Engine of the Year awards eight times. The e46 M3 also ran the Nürburgring Nordschleife in under eight minutes in The appearance of the M3 CSL, which is tuned to 360 hpand was significantly lighter compared to the regular M3.

3/10 simplicity

As mentioned earlier, the overall simplicity of the E46 M3 is one of the things you can love most about this car. It’s also one of the things that makes this car easy to operate. Even a novice can change their own oil without the need for a special tool to reset the system or program the battery just so you can change it.

It’s aggressive enough in the right places, but not obnoxious. He is sophisticated but enthusiastic. She has superhuman strength, but a refined feel. This truly is a well-rounded sports car that is meant to be driven by an enthusiast. Only a few understand the experience and rigors that a car has to offer.

The BMW community is a wonderful community to be in. There are plenty of websites out there that help fellow owners with their experiences during ownership, tips to extend the overall health of the car, and things you can do to avoid further damage. Even tips on turbocharging/supercharging your M3 will be posted there. The majority of the members are motorsport enthusiasts who regularly track their cars.

It’s also a great place to find used parts for your M3 if you ever need one that you can’t get yourself locally. Owning an E46 M3, even for a cheap price, will definitely give you a pass to be able to join this wonderful community, because the E46 M3 is truly a respectable car. Nobody can deny that.

1/10 Appreciation value

While this vehicle can be quite affordable to buy on the market today, it is getting more and more expensive as time goes on. Simply because it has become difficult to get a fully original E46 M3 condition, especially with the relatively low mileage. Some colors like Laguna Seca blue or Dakar Yellow can make the price of the E46 M3 jump to a higher level.

For example, two years ago, a Laguna Seca Blue E46 M3 with 16,000 miles sold for $90,000. It is not a CSL M3 but it does have some CSL modifications. You can already tell where the market is headed for the E46 M3. In fact, if you buy one at the right price, you’ll technically own it for free. Once you resell it years later, you can get back the same amount you initially paid.

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