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Discussion: e46 M3

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb e46 M3

    I have an eye on a clean example of the car. Stick shift.

    This car has been reviewed 2348976234 times online, I know that.
    I have never driven one.

    Can someone with first hand or past experience, describe this car to me, in terms of long term ownership.
    How does it stack up REFERENCED to the reality of the cars that are available on the market today? How much thrill/pleasure does it provide WITH RESPECT to the present time?
    I hope my question is clear. This is obv for a summer toy experience. Or should I look at e36 M3 for the same purpose?

    Input is welcome.
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    the E36 lacks a little power but i feels a lot more analog than an E46.

    IMO, the E46 is more fun by today's standard, but you get the price tag that goes with it. In similar condition, you'll pay 10k more for an E46 M3 than an E36 M3

    Both are a good value for the future, clean E36 M3 are going up in value for a few years now, so does the E46s

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  4. #3
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    A Euro spec E36 vs an E46 would be a tough choice but I wouldn't even consider a North American E36 M3. Not a real M car IMO. I love the E46.
    Fix the cause of the issue, don't cater to the result

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    First service bill will be 3-5k. You are buying a car that last rolled off the line in 2006.

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    Citation Envoyé par Gregster Voir le message
    First service bill will be 3-5k. You are buying a car that last rolled off the line in 2006.
    No problem, I expect to do the standard engine service items and subframe.

    I am asking about car feel by today's standards, and is it worth it, not maintenance costs.
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    Citation Envoyé par android25ua Voir le message
    No problem, I expect to do the standard engine service items and subframe.

    I am asking about car feel by today's standards, and is it worth it, not maintenance costs.
    You can't compare it to a modern car. You have to drive it for what it is. Still a fun car though. A soon to be classic. It's still a good car by today's standards but lots of people forget at youngest it's almost 14 years old. Newer stuff will always be better to drive and easier to live with.

    Personally I'd don't feel their worth the money people are asking. I'd get an F80 M3 and enjoy it on a daily basis more

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    Citation Envoyé par Gregster Voir le message
    You can't compare it to a modern car. You have to drive it for what it is. Still a fun car though. A soon to be classic. It's still a good car by today's standards but lots of people forget at youngest it's almost 14 years old. Newer stuff will always be better to drive and easier to live with.

    Personally I'd don't feel their worth the money people are asking. I'd get an F80 M3 and enjoy it on a daily basis more
    Too nose heavy though...
    FAST & CHEAP = NOT GOOD
    CHEAP & GOOD = NOT FAST
    FAST & GOOD = NOT CHEAP

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    ....please race on the highway !

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    One of the best BMW M cars and it sill looks good. Lovely inline 6 engine, well built. A full inspection is in order, ff you have the money to maintain it then go for it.

    What is the asking price?
    If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability. - Henry Ford

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    Citation Envoyé par android25ua Voir le message
    No problem, I expect to do the standard engine service items and subframe.

    I am asking about car feel by today's standards, and is it worth it, not maintenance costs.
    By today’s standard, the E46 M3 is not that good.

    The Sachs dampers are harsh but spring rates are soft so stock suspension is not comfortable and won’t offer good support during hard cornering.

    Car doesn’t have double wishbone front suspension so need tons of camber to make it turn.

    Hydraulic steering rack vs electric steering rack takes a lot of effort and ratio sucks at low speed.

    The engine feels a bit like high revving Honda engine, not a lot of torque and only HP at high RPM. Not like all the turbo engines these days.

    Car is heavy at 3500lbs so same as today’s standard.

    Front seats aren’t comfortable especially if you are taller than 5’10’’, you feel like sitting high in the car.

    Exhaust note is raspy and no crackle pop like new cars.


    The car was designed in the ‘90 and feels like a heavy and luxury E36.
    2003 BMW E46 M3 Jet black - race car project
    2006 BMW E46 M3 Individual Estoril blue/Nappa black - Garage queen
    2016 BMW F31 328i X-drive Estoril blue II/black - Daily driver

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  15. #11
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    Citation Envoyé par Gtfour Voir le message
    By today’s standard, the E46 M3 is not that good.

    The Sachs dampers are harsh but spring rates are soft so stock suspension is not comfortable and won’t offer good support during hard cornering.

    Car doesn’t have double wishbone front suspension so need tons of camber to make it turn.

    Hydraulic steering rack vs electric steering rack takes a lot of effort and ratio sucks at low speed.

    The engine feels a bit like high revving Honda engine, not a lot of torque and only HP at high RPM. Not like all the turbo engines these days.

    Car is heavy at 3500lbs so same as today’s standard.

    Front seats aren’t comfortable especially if you are taller than 5’10’’, you feel like sitting high in the car.

    Exhaust note is raspy and no crackle pop like new cars.


    The car was designed in the ‘90 and feels like a heavy and luxury E36.
    Well said let's not forget about lack of brakes . It's still a good car to drive though but like I said you can't compare it to something modern.

    Besides you can get the best one around and still have this

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    Citation Envoyé par Gregster Voir le message
    Well said let's not forget about lack of brakes . It's still a good car to drive though but like I said you can't compare it to something modern.

    Besides you can get the best one around and still have this https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...4ffafb3cf9.jpg
    This is not one of the best around for sure with that corrosion...

    Always funny when seller told you that late model (2005-2006) Coupe aren’t affect/don’t need reinforcement or best one, my mechanic look at it and it’s in perfect shape. Like mention in another thread, they ALL need rear subframe reinforcement. And they all need a bunch of other stuff address cause they are between 13 and 18 years old cars
    2003 BMW E46 M3 Jet black - race car project
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  18. #13
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    Citation Envoyé par Gtfour Voir le message
    This is not one of the best around for sure with that corrosion...

    Always funny when seller told you that late model (2005-2006) Coupe aren’t affect/don’t need reinforcement or best one, my mechanic look at it and it’s in perfect shape. Like mention in another thread, they ALL need rear subframe reinforcement. And they all need a bunch of other stuff address cause they are between 13 and 18 years old cars
    A beer for you

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    Overpriced and hyped...
    Would go for a 1st gen (out of $$$)or a 4dr E36...
    FAST & CHEAP = NOT GOOD
    CHEAP & GOOD = NOT FAST
    FAST & GOOD = NOT CHEAP

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    C'est pas mal la seule BMW que j'aimerais (r)avoir. Ou une E30 M3

    Les autres me font pas grand chose. Ok la M5 initiale a un petit quelque chose aussi

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    Citation Envoyé par Guygeo Voir le message
    Overpriced and hyped...
    Would go for a 1st gen (out of $$$)or a 4dr E36...
    Or just get a clean E36 328i for 1/4 of the price. Sadly it will either need to come from Europe or USA.... Finding a non shitbox E36 here is difficult...

    I do enjoy the crazy asking prices for a good ZHP 4dr E46. Lol... E46 of any iteration (ok maybe CSL) aren't rare cars... It was one of BMWs best sellers. Oh the car market bubble

    Someone asked me yesterday how "raw" my regular 325i was... I replied "even with the bits I have on it.. it's still soft compared to the mini"

  22. #17
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    Citation Envoyé par Guygeo Voir le message
    Overpriced and hyped...
    Would go for a 1st gen (out of $$$)or a 4dr E36...
    1st gen M3 are overpriced and hyped!!!
    2003 BMW E46 M3 Jet black - race car project
    2006 BMW E46 M3 Individual Estoril blue/Nappa black - Garage queen
    2016 BMW F31 328i X-drive Estoril blue II/black - Daily driver

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    Citation Envoyé par Gtfour Voir le message
    1st gen M3 are overpriced and hyped!!!
    It's crazy to think just how long BMW used the semi rear trailing arm setup...

  25. #19
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    Citation Envoyé par Gregster Voir le message
    It's crazy to think just how long BMW used the semi rear trailing arm setup...
    On E30 M3, it’s fine but on a 2002 Z3M Coupe...and those are also overpriced and hyped today!
    2003 BMW E46 M3 Jet black - race car project
    2006 BMW E46 M3 Individual Estoril blue/Nappa black - Garage queen
    2016 BMW F31 328i X-drive Estoril blue II/black - Daily driver

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    Had one E36 M3 and two E46 M3s, those saying you should get an E36 never drove the two lol. While the E46 does start to feel like an older platform, it is light years ahead of an E36 it is not even comparable...A proper E46 M3 still feels solid and well built, the interior has aged really well and thanks to the materials/quality that are in my opinion superior to the E90-E92 generation, you don’t feel like you are in a 90´s car (ok except maybe for the cupholder).

    The E36 is underpowered, it has a fix steering column (lol), interior is more than dated and you’ll feel like you are in vietnam in terms of noises, rattles etc...

    Otherwise although the S54 is legendary, I never quite liked the sound you really have to be a fan of it, and it does miss some torque compared to modern turbo engines. Still a great engine with reasonable power, and it’s a tank when properly maintained.

    Oh and with proper wheels, a nice drop and a couple of light mods here and there, an E46 M3 still outclasses most cars out there in terms of looks, it is classy af lol
    Dernière modification par *VR6* ; 09/07/2019 à 07h34.
    Citation Envoyé par VwAlex Voir le message
    Who gives a fuck about whats faster, this car gives you the biggest smile
    ///M Power.

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