Model Details

1997 BMW M3 Consumer Reviews

4.8
Average based on 6 reviews
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability
1-6 of 6 reviews

What an Engineering!

by from Los Angeles, CA on August 17, 2007

BMW chassis e36 M3 is a very beautiful car, always will be. Getting behind the wheel feels like you are in the cockpit of a Jet-fighter. In 1997 M3 won the competition among Vette C4, F355, Viper GTS,...
BMW chassis e36 M3 is a very beautiful car, always will be. Getting behind the wheel feels like you are in the cockpit of a Jet-fighter. In 1997 M3 won the competition among Vette C4, F355, Viper GTS, Toyota Supra, Honda NSX, C36amg... M3 was named "Best handling car at any price". Now I will share my knowledge about this car: If you want a CAR, not just Transport - buy BMW. If you want BMW, buy e36 M3, either 1996/97 or early 1998. Later one of 98 & 99 are heavier, have no longer napa leather & need more gasoline 19-26MPG. 95 OBD1 M3 was easier to modify before, but now there are everything for OBD2 as well. 95 M3 has smaller engine 3.0L & it is cast iron, less quality valve/springs, old style ergonomics, has no ASC(Stability Control), 19/27MPG... 96-99 OBD2 has 3.2L Alloy engine built with Forged parts, better head, everithing is digital, ASC, heated seats, better traction, and fuel economy at 20/28MPG - ONLY 96/97 EARLY 98 M3... How to distingush early 98 M3 from later one? Later M3 has three spoke steering wheel, back seat head rests, M-contour rims are heaviest also. Get M3 with forged or M-Paralell rims. Watch history before buyng one, most importent factor is 'How many owners car had', as of 2007 2-3 owner M3 is OK, but 4-7 What you think? Maintenance history is very important. I guarantee you will enjoy owning this cars. Last & not least is to get it with MANUAL transmission, better MPG, Automatics have 11lb-torque less, and REMEMBER to look for 4door M3, they are rare, made only in 97-98.. Sedan M3 looks better than coupe, plus all the rest it's more usefull. BTW sedan M3 weighs same as coupe. Good luck finding good 1996/97 M3/4!!!
Comfort
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Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Best Sports Car All Around

by from San Diego, CA on August 12, 2006

I have "four" words for you: This Car Is SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!! You will love this car more than anything else you own. The motor is bulletproof. The interior is eligant/sporty, v...
I have "four" words for you: This Car Is SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!! You will love this car more than anything else you own. The motor is bulletproof. The interior is eligant/sporty, very functional, and is extremely comfortable, having all of the features and gadgets of a modern 2006 American/Japanese car (keep in mind that this is a car made in 1997) Blows the competition away.... Pretty inexpensive considering the fact it is a BMW engineered rocket. What more do you need. Oh...and did I say that it is blazing fast completely stock. You don't really need to modify this car at all...just put on some race tires and enjoy a fine day at the track. Oh...and the best of all "The Car Is A Chick Magnet" and it gets 22-25 mpg on average. Two Problems: 1.) The black strip trim/molding that goes all the way around the car is not appealing to the eye. You must take these off and paint them the same color as the car. Makes a huge difference :-) 2.) The car has more electronic devices and sensors than I have ever seen before. I mean a plethora of wires and switches that tend to go out here and there. Electrical problems are never good, but the car has NEVER failed me and it is relatively easy to fix them when they pop up. The cars electronics will let you know visually when there is a problem. 3.) Can be a little spendy for maintenance. However, if you find a good local BMW specialist, the prices will be fair and just bring it to the dealer for the electrical issues. The dealer is the only place that can 100% accurately diagnose an electrical problem from my experience. In closing, these are all minor issues. The car is worth its weight in gold and I promise you that you will ENJOY THIS CAR. I also know that you will learn to love investing your hard earned cash to maintain the car. Everyday you will be excited to be behind the wheel of "the ultimate driving machine". It really does live up to the slogan. JUST MAKE SURE THE CAR IS IN GOOD SHAPE WHEN YOU BUY IT.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

What a thrilling ride!

by from Honolulu, HI on March 10, 2007

What a car BMW built, a M3 sedan which can out corner and out accelerate most sport cars. The performance of this car is outstanding, the horsepower is rated at 240 but I can tell you that it feels al...
What a car BMW built, a M3 sedan which can out corner and out accelerate most sport cars. The performance of this car is outstanding, the horsepower is rated at 240 but I can tell you that it feels alot more (and take it from a person who owns a Viper RT/10). Frankly I have more fun driving my 1997 BMW M3 sedan then the Viper as it is a total sleeper car. BMW is certainly correct when they say the "Ultimate Driving Machine." The only drawback to the car is that it does not have a center console armrest, storage and a tilt steering wheel. But all that is forgotten when you hit the go pedal and hit the turns.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Great All Around Performer

by from Indianapolis, IN on December 17, 2012

I bought a 1997 4-door 5-speed BMW M3 in July '04. Keeping it in running in top shape costs you, but the results are worth it. Driving the M3 around makes any trip a fun experience, while getting 23 m...
I bought a 1997 4-door 5-speed BMW M3 in July '04. Keeping it in running in top shape costs you, but the results are worth it. Driving the M3 around makes any trip a fun experience, while getting 23 mpg combined city/highway. I tracked the M3 a few years ('06-'09), and all it needed were summer tires and good brake pads. With its locking rear differential, and winter tires, the M3 got around in the snow tolerably well too. Sadly the M3 was lost in an accident (September 2012). The car saved our lives, as we were blind-sided by a young lady driver in her '98 Jeep Grand Cherokee. If the M3 weren't totaled, I'd still have it today. It was a great car!
Comfort
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Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

I dreamed this car

by from LA, CA on December 26, 2006

Most amazing design & look, a balance between civilization and savagry, powerfull drivetrain, nimble & agile, that makes E36 m3 ultimate symbol of BMW's greatness. You get 5 passenger every-happy-day...
Most amazing design & look, a balance between civilization and savagry, powerfull drivetrain, nimble & agile, that makes E36 m3 ultimate symbol of BMW's greatness. You get 5 passenger every-happy-day car, with big trunk, heated comfortable seats, nappa leather, OBC & so on... But most important in it is it's power, handling, steering, breaking and feeling you get. In S50B32(EURO) spec m3 you could get even more: 316bhp/258ft-tq, 0-60 5sec, top speed 175mph and more....
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Race car

by from Chandler, AZ on December 12, 2011

I just purchased my 1997 M3 a couple months ago and it is engineered fantastically and you can tell the good quality parts that BMW uses. I bought this to turn into a race car as it is very popular as...
I just purchased my 1997 M3 a couple months ago and it is engineered fantastically and you can tell the good quality parts that BMW uses. I bought this to turn into a race car as it is very popular as a relatively inexpensive, ultimate handling, absolute blast to drive car. It is also used by racers because of its great reliability. Some BMW reviews say BMWs are expensive to maintain but this one certainly does not have many problems like other BMWs have. (And that is why you don't take it to a dealer..) Aesthetics: The clear side markers and clear tailights immediately make this car stand out and look so much better. I don't really know about the comfort and interior design as mine is stripped out.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?