2005 was a special year for the auto industry, and some of the credit for that must go to the BMW M3. Notably, the 2005 BMW M3 was the fifth version of the BMW M3 E46 launched in 2000, and is considered the best version of the M3 to date.
The importance of the BMW M3 cannot be underestimated, as it has been one of the most influential sports cars since it hit the roads in 1986. Since its inception, the M3 has featured numerous engines, from four inline engines to inline-six, and even a V8.
Even with so many incredible versions before and after it, the BMW E46 still ranks as one of the most powerful M3 models ever, and thus has become the benchmark for modern performance cars, striking the perfect balance between power, weight and control.
The BMW E46 M3: Massive power with the Inline-Six engine
The E46 was a turning point in the line of M3s, as the model initially focused on providing balance to a car that already had enough power under the hood to burn tires with relative ease. That power came courtesy of the S54, a 3.2-liter twin overhead cam, 24-valve inline-six engine that produces 333 horsepower. The BMW inline-six is one of the best inline six the German company has ever made.
Six straight in 2005 BMW M3 It’s a stunning piece of naturally aspirated engine, with performance that fills gear heads with exhilaration. In the midrange, the engine produces a low sound that turns into a full roar at its peak revs of 7900 rpm. Torque numbers aren’t that high, with just 262 pound-feet at 4900 rpm, and that doesn’t stop it from providing the BMW-ish sound experience you can get from an M3.
This M3’s launch time is 4.8 seconds from rest to 60 mph, and it will also sprint for the quarter mile in 13.3 seconds. The M3 comes in a little heavy at 3,450 pounds, but the S54 engine has enough power to handle this without the chassis feeling overwhelmed. The E46 along with the S54 is the main reason the E36 and S52 feel pedestrian.
BMW E46 M3: An elegant interior with extremely comfortable seats
The E46’s interior maintains BMW’s image of producing great interiors by using premium materials throughout, and offers a spacious cabin. The M3 offers a stylish three-spoke steering wheel along with a brushed aluminum transmission and door handles, while a brushed aluminum treatment continues across the instrument panel, making the premium cabin experience all-inclusive.
The E46 adopted the E36’s undercarriage mode, but that doesn’t reveal as much of the E46’s snout as the previous one. The seats are particularly spacious and have enough lumbar cushions to keep your shoulders under control. The seat position on the E46 appears to be correct along with the pedal position, however, it doesn’t offer much legroom when compared to the E36, and this may be a concern for people with long feet.
The interior has that tailor-made quality we’ve come to expect from a BMW, with a color scheme that appeals to the eyes. The E46 has a more “focused” interior, and this provides a unique feel of a vehicle that is suitable for both business and casual activities.
BMW M3 2005: A captivating performance car that sells for a bargain
The 2005 version of the BMW M3 increased in demand after its launch, and it is still highly respected among street racing enthusiasts and car dealers to this day. Well, unlike before, you can now get a used 2005 BMW M3 for as low as $17,000 on CarFax which shows a listing of over 50 used BMW M3s. Also, performance variants can run up to $25,000, which is still a bargain given this car’s legacy.
We found one 2005 BMW M3 With the Performance Package, a $4,000 add-on when the car was originally launched, it also features larger brake calipers, an upgraded suspension system and BMW’s M Track Dynamic Stability Control mode. If that interests you, the model is a convertible version, available for $14,000. However, the price range for a used 2005 BMW M3 will be anywhere from $18,000 to $24,000 depending on mileage, with some of the best deals often priced under $22,000.
Here’s how the BMW E46 compares to other generations
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