1997 BMW M3 Review from UK and Ireland

1997 BMW M3 Evolution Convertible 3.2

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 3.2 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired25000 miles
Most recent distance29000 miles
Previous carBMW 740i


Much, much faster than you think



General Comments:

Prior to owning the M3, I'd always looked down on the car as being just another 3-series, albeit with a bit of grunt under your right foot. Now I realise just how frighteningly quick these cars are.

An acquaintance of mine had often described how deceptively fast an M3 is, but I'd never really believed him. Like Subaru Impreza Turbos, there are too many around and you hardly give them a second glance, let alone a second thought. But let me tell you that they are seriously rapid cars, with a steady flow of power grabbing the wheels all the way round the tacho from idle to the red line. All the while it sounds terrific -- harsh to begin with, turning into a banshee wail later on. "Intoxicating" is a cliche but it fits so well.

If this wasn't enough, every M3 is built to the standard everyone expects from BMW, and mine was convertible with a fully automatic power hood -- the 3-Series without doubt makes the best-looking drop-top -- and to top it all was virtually shake free. Only a minor shudder through the wheel down broken roads spoiled the feel. It's also a relative bargain, rating price against performance.

Looking back the only complaint I would make is that the car I owned had no traction control, now standard on the current M3, and was a manual. Although people expect manual boxes in performance cars like this, the SMG option would I think have suited me better as I've never got along with either BMW or Mercedes transmissions requiring user intervention!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2002

Average review marks: 8.8 / 10, based on 1 review