The M3 is the top end edition of the 3 series from BMW. It has all the bells and whistles that every standard 3 series owner envies. So how does the best 3 series BMW drive? Fantastically, and let me tell you why.
The 2002 BMW M3 I drove had a 3.2L inline six cylinder and 6 speed manual transmission. BMW knocks it out of the park with their straight six engines, that’s just a fact. They produce a great amount of torque that keeps the driver pushing the limits further and further. What I loved about the engine specifically, is how linear the power band was. You rev and rev and rev, and the power never seems to die off. The six speed is a nice treat as well, keeping the RPMs in a respectable range on the highway.
The interior is nothing crazy, but up to par with the rest of the car. The gauges are normal, besides the fact that the redline lights up. I really liked that touch from BMW to make the redline on the gauges blink and light up as you approach the certified top end of the engine’s potential. The seats are comfortable yet sporty, the trim has held together well for being 16 years old, and the rear seats are usable if you’re in a pinch.
What I didn’t like was the clutch. It was rather aggressive, and took some time getting used to. It’s not impossible, but then again not the easiest I’ve dealt with. But besides that, I really don’t have any complaints about this car. It’s a solid machine inside and out, truly reflecting BMW’s slogan of the ultimate driving machine.
One last thing about the E46 M3. When I finished my video review and I was driving it home, I felt oddly comfortable. I had only had the car maybe 30 minutes at this point, and I felt like it was my own. I had found a good cruising rpm, I turned the radio on, and I knew I could drive it anywhere I needed to go. Very few cars give me that “at home” feeling so quickly. But then again, maybe I fell in love.