2004 BMW M3 Review from UK and Ireland

2004 BMW M3 CSL 3.2

Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.2 Semi-Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired20 miles
Most recent distance2000 miles
Previous carLotus Elise

Summary:

The ultimate 4 seater super car

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

The noise is like nothing I have ever heard coupled with the performance and handling provides a driving experience second to none.

The lack of steering feel seems to be the main issue with a lot of people however to me the feel it's perfect. The steering provides adequate information to know what's going on.

The ride is perfect for a car of this type although it's better with the PS2s as oppose to the cups. However only the cup tires can provide the full csl experience.

The performance from the engine is astounding, almost violent in its nature.

The SMG gearbox is a joy to use, never drive it below s4 and have never tried s6 yet. The automatic mode is useless and I think for a car like this it should have been omitted.

The DSC should also have been omitted as the m track mode is perfect for everyday driving. I have found that the DSC intervenes way to early and always drive with m track mode.

I find the seats comfortable however taller people that have been passenger in the car said they had a backache after an hour or so. Not sure if this is because I took the lumbar support Velcro cushion out of the passenger seat and placed it under the seating material in the driver's seat.

The car is huge and can easily fit 4 adults, there's a huge amount of leg room in the back. The boot space is excellent.

Running costs seem reasonable for what the car is. No where near those of an lancer evo which I owned previously with an elise. Fuel economy is reasonable also for such a car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th November, 2004

1st Jun 2005, 17:55

How about giving us a preview of the 1.4g tested lateral accelaration the M3 CSL is capable of achieving, 40% more g-force under cornering than v8 monsters.

Raziel.

30th Nov 2005, 15:35

I really want an M3 so keep those good reviews coming as I show my wife each and every one

"See honey, every owner loves them, we should trade our Volkswagen Golf in on one!" I say as I spin the laptop around.

She usually gives me that withering look from the other sofa that all wife's master after about a year or two that says "No" without her opening her mouth!

She's right of course as I have a mortgage, kids etc... At least I can read other peoples joy on this website...

15th Jan 2007, 15:21

I've disregarded my wife's looks and brought one! Will post seperately.

7th Jan 2008, 07:36

I still have my CSL despite the wife... it's brilliant!

1st Oct 2008, 07:27

Glad you are enjoying the car. I am looking at changing my car, and have been looking at either a brand new Subaru Impreza STi or a BMW M3.

Would love an M3, but would not be brand new, therefore a bit worried about the costs of anything going wrong, or the prices of servicing it etc in comparison with the Subaru, which would have a three year warranty.

Could you give me an idea of costs involved i.e services, tyres, fuel consumption etc etc cheers.

13th Mar 2009, 02:09

Maintenance costs will be more than a Subaru.

Oil changes, tires, and misc. servicing for average wear/tear will be anywhere from slightly to quite a bit more.

BUT - it's a different class of car.

And it's naturally aspirated and BMW build-quality. So if you take care of it, it'll give you less grief than a high-strung forced induction engine like the WRX.

Plus, no matter how you shake it, AWD cars just don't have much "punch" off the line. Especially ones with 4 cylinders.

You will regret not getting the M3.

Just do it.

-Chris.

Average review marks: 8.6 / 10, based on 1 review