2002 BMW M Coupe 3.2 lt (325 BHP) from UK and Ireland


Overall the car is an awesome little package of power, looks, handling and true sports carishness!


I have to say, since the big ends and oil pump have been replaced due to a recall that was missed, it has been fine and pulls well. However I am now going to be picky and list the little things that bug me.

1. The engine VANOS system is very tappy and quite irritating when cruising through a town, you want a nice throbby sound without a time bomb following you.

2. Rear view mirror, way too big, gets right in the way of left hand bends, when you are blasting round the country lanes, you want to be able to see through the bend, I am 6' 4" and find I constantly have to duck to see under the mirror.

3. Steering wheel is way to big and does not adjust in height.

4. Seats are uncomfortable after around an hour or so constant journey, it does not offer any lumber support.

5. Wing mirrors, or should I say door mirrors, very bad rear visibility, lovely site seeing the nice shiny wheel arches though.

Anyway, I said I would be picky! So don't attack me on the above list. The car is Brilliant!!! I love it!

General Comments:

The power very quickly becomes normal every day stuff and that is when you are going to make a mistake. I have been winding up the motor through coutry lanes thinking I am cruising, however cruising in this car is flat out in a Golf VR6 or Mondeo ST24. It is at that point you go into a corner which is a little sharper than anticipated and you have to scrub off a post 100mph speed, which can make for interesting driving.

Due to the hard ride and huge power I find she can skip about a bit on bumpy lanes and at times when I have been powering out of a corner, she skipped over a bump, and the traction control thinks there is a problem which cuts my power. This then puts the car totally out of shape as it is doing exactly what I do not want it to do. I recommend on a nice dry sunny day, turn off the DSC and enjoy the motor as it was meant to be used! Flick it on in the wet though...

The thing I do love is it turns heads everywhere, when you drive through a built up area, the engine has a throbby boom to it in each gear! Awesome! And everyone wants to get a closer look.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th August, 2003

2002 BMW M Coupe 3.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


Bonkers, but wonderful


Terminal sounding rattle from engine compartment. Turned out to be nothing more than a loose heat shield.

No other faults.

General Comments:

Totally superb hooligan coupe that looks weird, but goes like stink and handles beautifully.

Best production car engine ever (100 bhp / litre with normal aspiration and no on/off VTEC nonsense). It does have VANOS variable valve timing, but it's not all or nothing like many of the Japanese efforts. Screams past 8,000 RPM with a metallic snarl that just makes you grin.

What I love most about it though is it depends on the driver to stay out of trouble rather than diluting the experience with a bunch of idiot-aid electronics. You just get a brilliantly balanced chassis, as much power as you can reasonably use on the road, and steering and brakes that brim with feel and progression. If you overstep the mark, it will bite you hard, and if you crash it, it's your own stupid fault. I despair at some of the other reviews / comments on here that slate this car for its propensity to spin when provoked. BMW should be commended for their purist approach - if you don't like it, take a driving course or as one M Roadster reviewer said, buy a 318i.

It's not cheap to insure, and even with gentle use it rarely betters 25 mpg average. Not economical then, but for a car capable of 0-60 in well under 5 seconds, it's not too bad. Apart from an odd rattle when the car was just a couple of months old, it has proven totally reliable, and still feels as tight and fresh as the day I picked it up.

If you like your cars very, very powerful, RWD, beautifully engineered and dependent on the driver rather than electronics or conservative chassis geometry to stay on the black stuff, this is the car for you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th August, 2003

28th Aug 2003, 09:34

I have to say that I think you are a little confused over how your car runs??

I have a 2002 M Coupe, which officially does 0 - 60 in 5secs of 0 - 62 in 5.4secs, so it may be a little ambitious to say it does 0 - 60 in well under 5secs.

Also you say it pushes through 8000 rpm, mine hits its rev limiter at 7,900 rpm, which annoyed me immensely as it goes in the red at 7,650 rpm so I should not have been up in that sort of rev range in the first place. So how you are getting yours to go over that amazes me, perhaps you should have it checked?

The car is brutal and absolutely should be respected otherwise it will bite you hard even with traction control.

27th Oct 2003, 06:10

You both mention that the car will bite you hard; my experience is that when you do reach the limits of the car's grip, the breakaway is smooth and progressive allowing even an amateur like me to catch it with ease. In my view, this also makes the car much safer than my old E36 M3 which had acres of understeer (as dialled-in by BMW)!.

9th Mar 2004, 11:19

I'm not at all confused about how my car runs.

I've never timed the 0-60, but EVO magazine figured theirs at 4.3 seconds. I've not seen a magazine review anywhere quoting anything higher than 4.7. So my comment of "well under 5 seconds" stands.

Mine revs past 8,000 RPM, at least if the rev counter is remotely accurate. Maybe it shouldn't, but it does, and as it has now done 56,000 miles, it's obviously not causing any problems. I'm not about to get it looked at, as as far as I am concerned there's nothing wrong with it.

To the last commenter, the car is easy to catch as powerful RWD cars go, but my comments were directed at the nanny state morons who moan that they can't drive it boot-to-floor without having to do something other than sit there and doze off. If you aren't expecting the car to drive itself, like most modern "sports cars", it's easy enough to drive and it's rewarding.

1st Apr 2004, 22:41

I'm thinking of purchasing one of these cars. My brother has a Z3 and I slid out of control going 40-50mph on an offramp. The roads were wet, but I want to know if this car has better control in some situations.