2003 BMW M3 3.2 from North America
Like it - don't love it - but I'm getting there
After much research and debate I decided to buy this car to use as a DD. I've always liked the car's looks, and many reviews state this is the ultimate M3, and one of the best BMWs that can be bought. However, the potential costs of ownership kept me away. What flipped the switch was my wife's approval - she likes how it looks! (BTW, we are both in our mid-50s).
I wasn't really looking for a coupe, as I prefer 4 doors, but I had to have a manual trans. Manuals are very hard to come by anymore in sedans, so I was open to a coupe, and ended up with one. That has not been an issue.
I also ended up with an SMG car, not a 3-pedal manual car. I won't get into all the debate about SMG - you can read it for yourself on the web - but I like it. It gives me the connectedness of a manual, with the convenience of not having to push a clutch, and the option of full auto operation if desired. So far, no issues.
I use this car as my DD and it fills that purpose well. I prefer a highly responsive car and this fits the bill. It's great for navigating Houston traffic.
In return for responsiveness I give up a cushy ride. This thing rides hard, in part due to the 19 inch wheels, in part due to the near-race suspension. But it is still a comfortable cabin to be in. I have taken it on a few 3 hour trips and found it acceptable.
Repairs haven't been bad, although I do all my own work which cuts cost. The original alternator had to be replaced. Fortunately it did not leave me stranded. I just replaced the RTABs - a normal wear item - but a pain to replace. I replaced the steering guibo, and am in the midst of replacing the rack. Neither of these are difficult and the cost is reasonable. The biggest headache has been getting parts. Everything has to be ordered, and to reduce freight costs I choose economy shipping, which takes about a week.
So far the positives outweigh the negatives, and much is forgiven when the right pedal is matted, the paddle shifters are clicking, and the engine is singing its 7800 RPM song.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th May, 2016