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2002 BMW M3 User Reviews

2002 BMW M3 Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 36 reviews

  • Performance:4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars 4.7 / 5
  • Appearance:4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars 4.6 / 5
  • Build Quality:4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars4.4 out of 5 stars 4.4 / 5
  • Overall: 4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars 4.7 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"power" 16 reviews
"ride" 14 reviews
"speed" 8 reviews
"handling" 7 reviews
"fuel economy" 6 reviews
CONS
"expensive car" 8 reviews
"high maintenance" 5 reviews
"fuel economy" 5 reviews
"tires" 3 reviews
"brakes" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 36 2002 BMW M3 reviews.

Trevor writes:
2002 BMW M3 Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Fast, beautiful and a joy to drive.  The E46 M3 is a legend for good reasons.

Cons

Cost of ownership is high.  All parts are really expensive, it gulps premium fuel, and tires cost an arm and a leg.  Plus every dumbass in a tepid "sporty" car will try to beat you off the line at every traffic light.

115

I Love This Car! I Would Buy Another In A Heartbeat And May Never Sell This One. — It was a basket case when I bought it, poorly maintained, inappropriately modified, and badly repaired. I have put over $10 000 into fixing/putting the car right mechanically and just had over $20 000 in paint and bodywork done. I am into the car for just over $50 000 and there's no end in sight but I still love it. I am in the middle of turning it into a show car/capable GT...the customizing has taken on a life of it's own and may never be finished now. The E46 M3 is legendary for good reasons. It came with a normally aspirated 3.2liter inline 6 with 333hp at the flywheel bone stock. My car has a Remus exhaust and has been flashed (conservatively, we think the car is running about 350hp at the flywheel now). The enormous power is run through a 6 speed manual gearbox (the shift pattern on the stick shift lights up too, have I mentioned that I love this car?) and LSD differential. With traction control defeated I can cut the back end loose at will and I have 285/30ZR19 Nitto Invos on the rear. The acceleration is stunning from a "normal looking" car from 2002. It can be beat off the line but not often. The braking is good, I have heard that the brakes on the E46 M3 are a weak point but have never wanted for better braking. But I did just put cross drilled and slotted rotors on the car and I have yet to thrash it on a track or an autocross course. The handling is great but I may be replacing some of the stock components soon. The huge rear tires are rubbing a little and I am looking for something pretty specific from this car...I want to build a car I can count on on a track but that is a comfortable grand touring car. I am after an adjustable suspension where I can make it track stiff but then lower the damping rates for touring. On the highway I like a compliant suspension but huge antiroll bars so it soaks up bumps but still corners flat with no dive or squat under hard braking or acceleration. The general build quality on these cars is great...even though my car was in such rough shape when I bought it I haven't been surprised by anything that I've needed to fix on the car. It is solid on the road, the doors close with authority and sound like a vault doors, and there are no squeaks or rattles I can hear. There is a bit of a wind howl just behind the driver's side front window but I hope to figure it out and fix it soon. It has needed repairs but I can't really speak to E46's in general...like I said earlier, my car was rough when I got it. If you are looking at buying a car (this might just be the M3) from this generation (1999 through 2005, especially the older cars) check to make sure that the rear sub-frame assembly has been fixed - there was a design flaw and some of the rear ends tended to want to 'fall out'. The car looks amazing to me. I think that the E46 was the best looking of the modern 3-series cars (arguably, the E9 3.0CS was a better looking car but IMHO the body was too flexible and the performance can't hold a candle to the E46) and the M3 was the pinnacle of this series. The car looks amazing from every angle and the M3 is an understated supercar. It looks hunkered down, clean, and purposeful without screaming "look at me!" the way a Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari, or Lambo does. The interior is comfortable and devoid of distractions...a great place to spend some quality driving time. This car is NOT cheap to own. It slurps enormous amounts of premium fuel due to the fantastic exhaust note and the fact that I can't seem to avoid mashing down the go fast pedal. It scrubs the tread off the rear tires in about 10 000 miles and they are depressingly expensive to replace. Parts are pricey and you need to find a mechanic who you trust to work on the car outside of the dealer network, BMW factory rates are upwards of $140/hour at some of the shops in my area. Oil changes cost quite a bit too - the M3 engine needs a really specific weight of oil and it's not cheap or easy to find. Most E46 M3 owners run Castrol 10W60 but I've been using Total 10W50 for a year and a half with no issues. The Castrol costs $19/liter in BC and Alberta and I have been able to find the Total for about $11/liter. But an oil change is still over $120. And even with a great deal, the tires I put on the car last month cost me a little over $1100 for the four, and there isn't a spare or anywhere to put one. I think that these may have come from the factory with run-flats but I'm not willing to pay over $500 per tire and deal with the rough ride. The car is a blast to drive. It pulls strongly from 1500rpm through 7000rpm in all 6 gears. It makes amazing noises and I can't get enough of the beautiful engine and exhaust notes. I get envious glances from pretty much everyone on the road and just being seen in this car is instant entry into the "car guy" club. The handling is intuitive, the performance is incredible, and I love every second that I spend behind the wheel. I can't wait to take the car out on a track or an autocross course and really explore it's limits.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Roudi writes:
2002 BMW M3 Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Power. Handling. Looks. Perfect balance of daily driven car and performance. Wears the ///M badge. Legendary.

Cons

Weak subframe. Subframe has to be re-enforced for those real purest who enjoys spirited driving once and a while. Cost of maintenance, even though it comes once in a while.

75

I ///m Power! — Back in the days when tuning hit its peek when I was in CEGEP. This was my dream car, and I prayed one day for it to be in my possession. That day came sooner then I had expected. At the time, I drove the Jetta around and mod it inspired by the M3. If you look back at the Jetta, it had M3 style wheels. When came time for me to buy a new car. I had not even look at the M3 as I was thinking it is still an unattainable dream. Instead, I was in search of a different kind of sports coupe. More reliable and cheaper in maintenance, an alternative to my dream M3; the Infiniti G35 coupe. In search of a Pearl White with black interior and 6-speed transmission, the G35 had far-fetched search criteria. However, I was fortunate enough to have ran into 4 of them in my path, yet none of them felt right. One lucky turn of events, a M3 Coupe in Alpine white rose to the market, without even putting in the search effort. Unbelievable find! I knew it had to be mine. After many trips to the bank, and thorough negotiations... The dream became a reality! This is love. Before this purchase I had tried many G35, 350Z, a Porsche 911 and a Audi S4, but it did not have the right feeling. What those cars where lacking is the balance of power, handling, and usability. I wanted a sports coupe, there eliminating the Audi. I needed the rear seats, thus G35 shot to the top of the list rendering the 350Z & Porsche useless, since the seats in the Porsche are made for anorexic kids and models. The G35 lacked a godly handling, such was found in the M3, given it did have a more musical exhaust howl. Undeniably, my heart remained with the M3. Once behind that wheel it felt like you where in control of one of Gods chariots! Stability, control, power... all in perfect harmony. To top it all off, it can still be used as a grocery getter given its spacious boot. The sound from the Inline-6 is incredible, a little too raspy to my taste but nothing short of the Beethoven musical notes of motorsports. Absolutely, pure driver's car. No gimmicky technology added, a completely unrestrained best yet still very civilized. The build quality is absolutely exquisite. Can you expect any less from BMW? One look and you can say it is bold, very solid, and German muscular. Yet very easy on the eyes as it isn't too busy. Even those side vents became an inspiration of plethora for many other car design today. The engine design is definitely one of the greatest, no wonder the ///M had been the power-plant for, even until today, one the fastest cars in the world; the Mclaren F1. Extremely great follow up, from the legendary E30 M3. The E46 M3 really lived up to the hype. Truly and undeniably the real last purest M3 of its kind.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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James writes:
2002 BMW M3 Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Thrill-ride Performance with enough practicality

Cons

Stiff ride, various creaks and rattles, starter motor failure caused some headaches.  

55

Emma 3 — Best all around car in my opinion (performance, safety, practicality). Performs amazing, naturally aspirated high revs make it a screamer, but simple clean lines in jet black keep it a sleeper. Rear seats down suffices for most trips to Lowe's. Can fit 4 when needed, and can take the baby and the bulldog on joyrides. Still one of the best engines and all around capable cars on the road. I'll drive till it won't go anymore (doesn't appear to be any time soon).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Paul writes:
2002 BMW M3 Convertible Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Very fast (333hp), I smoke anyone who tries to race me. Love it with the top down. Stiff suspension allows really hard corners as though it were on rails.

Cons

Cost of parts. $750 for the rear brakes, but they're cross-cut, vented high performance brakes... what do you expect?

65

I Love This Car. — The previous own had put on large rims and ultra high performance tires. Unfortunately, those tires are crap in winter (no tread and the extra hard rubber tears in ultra-cold conditions). This car gets a lot of attention: gas station attendants leaving their posts, yells across lanes of traffic at lights "hey nice car!", honking and thumbs up from others on the road, strangers offering to buy it from me right then, etc, etc, etc... none of which I was expecting and I attribute mainly to what the rims bring to the look of an already hot car. The last owner had put in amps and 3 8" subs. I added a flip out DVD player with touch screen that hooks to my iPod in the glove box. :) I'd never driven a convertible before this and it really adds to the experience... I can sense/hear/easily see anyone around me so I can drive much faster with more confidence. It connects you more with the surroundings, which really heightens the driving experience and the sun is just so relaxing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Martin writes:
2002 BMW M3 Convertible Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Engine is solid, great exhaust note (without putting on silly Ripspeed back boxes), lots of gadgets, can fit 4 people (just), get the roof off in the summer, SMG gearbox with paddle shift makes you feel like an F1 driver.

Cons

Likes to drink Super Unleaded like it's going out of fashion, servicing costs, insurance costs, rattles a little, brakes need to be better, tyres are pricey.

45

Loves Being Driven Hard! — Can't really fault it, delivers everything you want from a car on all fronts.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Ben writes:
2002 BMW M3 Coupe Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
4

Pros

Exterior

Cons

Feels heavy for a sports coupe

35

A Beautiful Sports Coupe That Would On A New Level If It Weighed 2-300lb's Less. — I've always loved the styling of the e46 m3. All subjectivity aside though this is a great sports coupe with somewhat expensive maintenance costs for a German car. The only downside I felt though is this car felt heavy for a 2 door sports coupe.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Jeremy writes:
2002 BMW M3 Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Acceleration

Cons

1st to 2nd has some notches to overcome

45

Awesome — Handles nice and speed is tremendous.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Skrizzy writes:
2002 BMW M3 Coupe Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
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Overall:
5

Pros

Everything

Cons

None

Skrizzy
25

Best I've Owned, True Driving Experience — If you drive, then you need to drive an M3. Everything else is just a waste of time. I drove mine everyday and enjoyed it every time. You will never want to drive anything else after you take one of these for a spirited drive!

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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Rich writes:
2002 BMW M3 Coupe Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
4

Pros

AWESOME CAR, RAW POWER and BEAUTIFUL LOOKS

Cons

None excecpt, expensive.

25

Phenominal Car — I love this car for its enthusiastic driving capabilities and when I press the gas pedal, a grin will always ride across my face. This car is a neck breaker, always noticed and complimented on how great of a ride she is.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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universalcalvin writes:
2002 BMW M3 Coupe Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
5

Pros

amazing car

Cons

costs crazy $$ to upkeep

universalcalvin
35

Ultimate Driving Machine — A stunning car to own, it is fast and wild and turns heads everywhere you go. It still outshines the newer models with its lack of refinement and ability to put the FUN back in driving. If you have never driven one you have missed out on an unmatched driving experience.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 36 2002 BMW M3 reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

2013 BMW M3 Reviews

Fun Of Driving By Golfer7200

A car with 400 HP and good suspension can be full of driving fun. Engine sound is also fascinating. Of course the fuel consumption is not very beautiful because it's 4.0 liter and the maximum torque ... Read More

Engaging Performance! By Chrystael

I like almost everything about this car. The manual transmission mixed with excellent power and handling make it the perfect mid-size performance vehicle. It is very daily driver friendly, unlike the ... Read More

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2012 BMW M3 Reviews

One Of The Best All-rounders You Can Find! By racerc63

This car suites a variety of purposes, can be a family hauler and grocery getter one day and the next you can take it to the track where it is also perfectably and equally capable. Its also comfortab... Read More

Expensive, High-maintenance Fun By tmc930

Fast, nice handling, beautiful looking, awesome sounding, M mode is fun, excellent sound system and technology... BUT Bumpy, Bad in snow/ice/rain, High maintenance parts, Very low bumper, Gas guzzler.... Read More

Read all 3 2012 BMW M3 reviews

2011 BMW M3 Reviews

Show Stopper!!! By Danilo930

Great looks and handling, will go toe to toe to any Porsche out there. Good Technology and have competition Package. Will get the attention of anyone around, loud exhaust and fast take off. Even have ... Read More

Great Car By rrhartman

I like the car - very fast and nimble. Great looks. Complicated adjustments to practically everything. Hungry for power and gets a little persnickety at low speeds. Rated as highly likely to be a f... Read More

Read all 10 2011 BMW M3 reviews

2010 BMW M3 Reviews

Performance By BMW_M3

The acceleration, braking and handling are great in the M3. It is a ton of fun to drive, but you need to be able to do more then take the kids to soccer practice to really enjoy all it offers. Read More

Ultimate Bmw By GG42

I've owned three M3s since 1998. Even driven several M5s. This M3 is the best. Would keep it forever but don't have the room for it plus the new ride. DCT (dual clutch) is amazing technology. Wish the... Read More

Read all 8 2010 BMW M3 reviews

2009 BMW M3 Reviews

Lemon By M3haver

I heard really good things about this car, but it turned out to be a piece of crap. It barely ever starts up, it leaks oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid. The bearings go ... Read More

As An Overall , I Loved This Car By Yaser

Performance - Very Good acceleration, Good braking,Very Good handling Build Quality -Everything was ok, only heats up quickly in Dubai Weather Appearance - Lovely, console was boring Cost of Ownershi... Read More

Read all 18 2009 BMW M3 reviews

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