1998 Bmw M 3
1-8 of 8 reviews
Test drive review

Zen and the Art of Sports Car Maintenance

by from Atlanta, GA on November 24, 2011

Owning this car has been a near-spiritual experience for me. After years of owning economical four-bangers, I spent a weekend as a guest of BMW North America at Road Atlanta for Petit Le Mans 2010. Tw...
Owning this car has been a near-spiritual experience for me. After years of owning economical four-bangers, I spent a weekend as a guest of BMW North America at Road Atlanta for Petit Le Mans 2010. Two weeks later there was an M3 parked in the spot outside my apartment and there was a new key in my pocket. These cars ain't for sissies. I'm not talking about driving - I swapped cars with my timid mother for a week while I was moving some stuff with her Toyota. She came away smiling. Where these cars bite you is in maintenance - either in the wallet if you're not mechanically inclined, or by devouring long hours of your time if you can swing a wrench. Being an aircraft mechanic was a blessing for me when it came to owning this car. The e36 M3's are not new cars. They may look new. They may smell new, and they often drive like new, but there's always some bit of rubber, somewhere, that has deteriorated away out of sight and awaits your attention. There is a huge amount of support on several forums that has proven worth its weight in gold, and the maintenance manuals are an absolute must, even if you're not doing much of the wrench work yourself. I've shied away from working on cars for years because I thought they were far more complex than the simple airplanes I maintained. Owning this car has taught me that with patience, persistence and a positive attitude, nearly any job on the car can be done yourself. These cars demand more upkeep than an American or Japanese car, but the effort is rewarded each time you get in and turn the key. M3's aren't rocket ships - they're quick, don't get me wrong - but they handle magnificently, and if you see a gap in traffic, you can gun it and pop right into the flow. I smile at every interstate exit/entrance ramp that I turn onto. Do your homework. Learn the car's weak points, i.e. rear strut mounts, Rear Trailing Arm Bushings, the VANOS variable timing system, etc. Test drive several of them. I fell in love at first sight and bought the first one I drove. The suspension was clapped-out and the engine wasn't running strong, but I had not benchmark to compare it to. After my 315,000 mile RAV4, it was a luxury ride. Buy this car and just try to frown as you walk up to it in the parking lot for your ride home after a long day at work. I dare you. These cars have soul.
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Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Bang for the buck German performance

by from Southern NJ on September 24, 2010

Went with the purchase an e36 M over an e46 M little over a year and a half ago and have been grinning ever since. I always wanted an M3 and the e36 was the generation I fell in love with so I finally...
Went with the purchase an e36 M over an e46 M little over a year and a half ago and have been grinning ever since. I always wanted an M3 and the e36 was the generation I fell in love with so I finally pulled the trigger. You have to hunt around and buy a cream puff from another enthusiast but they are out there. The chassis of the e36 handles like nothing else I've driven and you feel glued to your seat which feels glued to the road. I get in trouble all the time with motor and the handling saves me every time. Which bring me to the motor. Wow... There are more horses out there but what a great combo of screaming horse power, torque, and balance. I never knew 240 hp could feel like 300! You will have to watch the car like a hawk and do PREVENTATIVE maintenance. You cannot wait for stuff to break and then bring it into your mechanic, so factor maintenance costs into your purchase price and take care of your bimmer! All in all highly recommend this car.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Extremely sporty

by from Albuquerque, NM on October 15, 2010

Coming from an Acura, found the BMW (and that too a 98) to be a world of difference when it comes to driveability. The car is a finely tuned machine. The car had some issues initially (as it had been ...
Coming from an Acura, found the BMW (and that too a 98) to be a world of difference when it comes to driveability. The car is a finely tuned machine. The car had some issues initially (as it had been sitting in a garage for the longest time and some annoying ones), if taken care of early, has been reliable. The interior is driver centric with all the controls easily within reach. These cars come with sport seats, have a pretty decent stereo system (HK), plenty of controls and a very effective air condition. The car is easy to work on if you have the right tools and there is plenty of support available online. The car can be a lot more expensive if not maintained by oneself. Absolutely loving every moment I'm in the car and hope to do so for a long time.
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Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

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

Stylish Supercar

by from Sunnyvale, NY on October 28, 2007

This convertible brings high performance and wind-in-your-hair grins to your garage. Fantastic, controlled handling, even at speeds exceeding 100 mph, strong acceleration, great 5 speed, and fun at an...
This convertible brings high performance and wind-in-your-hair grins to your garage. Fantastic, controlled handling, even at speeds exceeding 100 mph, strong acceleration, great 5 speed, and fun at any speed with the convertible down. Great seats and stereo complete the package. This is one great car!
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Handling
Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

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

Great Purchase

by from Princeton, NJ on December 14, 2013

The entire purchase experience was one that you would not expect at a typical car dealership. I dealt directly with the owner who was also the decision maker. What I liked especially was that the enti...
The entire purchase experience was one that you would not expect at a typical car dealership. I dealt directly with the owner who was also the decision maker. What I liked especially was that the entire emphasis of the conversations that took place between the two of us were to address my questions and concerns, to better understand what I wanted rather than the glorification of the vehicle driven by the desire to sell. Also, the handling of the administrative tasks was executed smoothly and I also decided to puchase the extended warranty. I told all my buddies how happy I was with the purchase and the experience as well as the young owner who is also a car enthusiast. I hope you find this review helpful and good luck on your purchase.
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Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

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

1998 BMW M3 4-door Sedan

by from Hercules, CA on May 18, 2006

It's really a driving machine. The M3 has excellent handling, powerful high performance racing equipped, and luxury settings. This particular model was a top winner for the autobahn, and build its rec...
It's really a driving machine. The M3 has excellent handling, powerful high performance racing equipped, and luxury settings. This particular model was a top winner for the autobahn, and build its recognition.
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Value for the Money
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Purchased a new car

Does recommend this car

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

BMW Tuners Delight

by from Carlisle, Pa on August 18, 2007

I've had the pleasure of owning this vehicle. It's fast, sharp on turns, and with 99,000 mile on the odometer, It still flies like new. I had lowered my vehicle, upgraded the brakes w/ slotted and dri...
I've had the pleasure of owning this vehicle. It's fast, sharp on turns, and with 99,000 mile on the odometer, It still flies like new. I had lowered my vehicle, upgraded the brakes w/ slotted and drilled rotors, racing brake pads, angel eyes conversion, clear all around w/ euro taillights. The Estoril blue still turns heads after I role out of a car wash. The upgraded sound system definitely pounds. You can expect some pretty expensive maintenance, but a well maintained car will take care of you. I've gotten away from the expensive dealer fixes by replacing most parts with after market ones. They are usually a little less expensive, and they are far superior in quality to the BMW oem. Brands to recommend: Bilstein, Brembo, Dinan, Active Autowerke, and turner motorsport. Enjoy the ride, its trully a blast getting to feel 140mph on a flat curvy surface. Nice agressive look. I am almost sad to say goodbye.
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Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

fun car

by from md on August 12, 2009

i like it.. but it could definetly be better...its a workout to drive as a daily driver.. the seats are not that comfortable.. its a peppy car.. clutch is hard.. looks really nice outside.. inside is ...
i like it.. but it could definetly be better...its a workout to drive as a daily driver.. the seats are not that comfortable.. its a peppy car.. clutch is hard.. looks really nice outside.. inside is boring with the orange/redish light. it is reliable but, you will always hear a wierd sound. stereo is not that great. air condition is really weak.. if you drive it like the way your are suppose to the gas mileage is not that great. there is not much of anything you can do to make it got faster. its as quick as an e46 bmw 330.. which is not that great of an accomplishment.. you definetly feel like you had a work out when you are done driving it.. it great excersice.. lol. no room for the people in the back.. it is safe with minor collision
Comfort
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Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

2 out of 16 people found this review helpful. Did you?
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